‘Labels don’t influence my style’
‘Why fake prophets are taking over the wild’
Her dress sense is impeccable. You would conclude she is a business tycoon until you get closer and feel the aura of this amiable woman of God. Mama Blessing as she’s fondly called by her followers and her hubby,Apostle Joseph Agboli are the pillars of the Victorious Army Ministries International, based in Ikeja, Lagos. The couple who reminisced their humble beginnings as ministers of the gospel spoke with Effects recently in Lagos.
Considering your glamourous looks,what attracted your husband to you way back, coupled with the fact that he was a young preacher?
The attraction is still Jesus. I love God, I love the way he served God and the way he serves God. My passion for him has been Jesus and will remain Jesus. I love the way he cares for people. He has a heart. He’s one man who would not like to see anyone in pain. The love for the lost sheep was so profound and that is one thing I appreciate about him.
Were you into ministry work too?
No. I wasn’t. I didn’t even want to be a pastor. I was doing business.
What kind of business?
I was into Real Estate and I’m still there.
You look so nice for a pastor’s wife, what’s the secret?
Looking good is not only in the look. It has to do with the spirit of God.
(Husband cuts in): She’s my wife. From the first day she met me, she vowed to follow me anywhere I was going. She vowed to pay the price. You need to see her ministering to people everyday which is not common anywhere. My people can attest to that. She wouldn’t like to see anyone in pain.
What informs your dress sense?
If you meet me here from Mondays to Saturdays, I’m on jeans and shirt because I’m ministering to people. No makeup. But when I’m coming to church on Sunday to celebrate Jesus and his resurrection, I dress well. What informs my dressing mostly is the way I feel inside. I’m not influenced by anyone when it comes to dressing. I create things for myself. I can sit down and create how I want to look for the day. It’s not anything special. My dressing skill, I guess Christ, as part of his love for me has deposited that in me. I love to dress well no doubt.
Are you a designer freak?
No. I’m not a designer freak. Being designer freak implies that you’re buying someone’s name isn’t it? You are buying somebody’s name; somebody’s clothing. But why don’t you create yours. I have a brand, my children are grown-ups now. I don’t pay attention to which designer I wear and where it’s coming from but I love Channel. I also patronize made in Nigeria now. I was not used to that before but now I patronize few people.
How did you meet your husband?
I met my husband with his eyes closed. In those days, he hardly spoke to anyone with his eyes opened. I love the fact that he is still the same. He’s very deep into Jesus, prayer and the people. He would sit down and counsel between 100-200 persons in a day. Then, he used to start his counseling session at 7.am and end it by 11.pm everyday. And there was always food, and free transportation for the attendees. I have not come across a man of God who would offer you money to come to church as far back in 1994. That was what I liked about him. When he proposed marriage to me, my reply was, if you would keep doing this work till the day you see Jesus like I’m seeing him now, I would marry you. That is the shortest way to describe it.
The church started 21 years ago, how did you arrive at its name?
(Apostle Agboli speaks)
I was in Onitsha when the Lord spoke to me to return to Lagos to raise for him, an army. I was in the sitting room with my wife discussing and suddenly, there came the visitation of God almighty. Both of us heard the voice clearly. Call the name of the church, The Victorious Army Church.
Before you went into the ministry full time, what were you doing?
I was doing more of evangelistic work. I have never worked anywhere. I finished from school and I began to go to places, preaching, winning souls for the Lord as an evangelists. In 1994, I entered into full time ministry.
Why are there many fake pastors these days?
It’s not difficult to know who is actually doing the work of God or who is not. The thing is, people are desperate to get out of pains, out of their situations. In their bid to free themselves in a hurry, they resort to prophesying. The ministry of prophesy is not supposed to address yesterday, but how to get out of that circumstances or situations. If I met you for the first time and I told you that three years ago, a woman threw something at you, it has not changed anything. It has only reaffirmed what you already knew. But if I met you now, and I said to you, listen, I see God’s glory upon you or that you are getting married at the end of this year, I’m addressing your future, Prophecy has nothing to do with ‘ you can’t get me out of the pain.’ By their fruits, you shall know them.
People should stop eating and drinking from strange places, you may be selling your soul when you receive from fake prophets or spiritualists and eat because you are hungry, forgetting that the food they are giving you is being exchanged for your destiny. I think people should be very cautious of the holy water from nowhere. I have a girl now who is on the verge of committing suicide. She went to a church where she was asked to sell her property and give the proceeds to the said man off God who would take her to a hotel in Enugu. The man of God was based in Lagos but their meeting point was in Enugu. No one can tell me that he or she is not aware that the pastor is not a man of God. People fall into temptation on account of their lust. For instance, a man of God met a married woman who was believing God for the fruit of the womb and the so-called prophets would tell the woman that he has to sleep with her and deposit in her, holy ghost sperm. II’s been happening and of desperation, many of them are falling.
Can you talk about the ongoing Bethel Victory convention?
The convention which started on November 29th to end December 4th is tagged: “My season of favour’. The convention is aimed to liberate members and the generality of Nigerians from the affliction of poverty, hardship, barrenness i, sorrow, pains and afflictions in all ramifications. The theme of the event this year was taken from the book of Psalm 102:13, where god promised to liberate the Isrealites from the bondage of 430 years in the land of Egypt.
When a nation humbles itself and prays, God answers. I don’t see recession as a believer. I can’t see Nigeria on the verge of recession yet. The fact that we don’t have money flowing around as it used to flow does not mean there is recession. If government and top Nigerians have to live right, cut their coats according to their sizes. Gone are the days when a man who had no job would be going about in SUVs, We are teaching children that it’s good to work, it’s good to be educated, ration what you have. People can no longer be extravagant. The difference between the immediate past government and this government is extravagance.
That is not to say there is no hardship, its also saying, if you are supposed to lived in Delta state and function in Delta State, don’t come to Lagos. You don’t just get out of school and move into duplex without working, without a stable job.
The only thing this government need to look into is citizens’ welfare and job creation. What I and my husband have been doing over the years is for the church to return to the original intention of God for it. There should be free health care, free education and proper welfare of our people. If the church begin to demonstrate this and sees the way we are demonstrating it, they learn.