At Last! Flamboyant Man of God, Bishop Tom Samson, reveals 'source of wealth' - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


Post Top Ad

Place Your Ads Here

Post Top Ad

Place Your Ads Here

Monday, 19 September 2016

At Last! Flamboyant Man of God, Bishop Tom Samson, reveals 'source of wealth'

Not a few tongues have been set wagging by the perceived flamboyant lifestyle of the founder of Christ Royal Family International Church, Bishop Tom Samson. But the controversial clergyman told PAUL UKPABIO that his seemingly exotic lifestyle is nothing less than he deserves after weathering the storms that life had brought his way. He also revealed the strange ways big money came his way twice while he was at the verge of throwing in the towel on his ministry.

We heard you share a testimony with your congregation that at a time in your life, it was difficult to raise enough money for food…

That is true. The beginning was tough. It was terrible, even to have three square meals a day. Even for my children to go to school, I could not afford common basic nursery school for them. Today, we have more than
16 schools across the country—nursery and primary, college of education and even university. And the purpose of that message today was to let them know that no matter how rough and tough it may be today for anybody, God still has His purpose which will come to pass. That God will make you great tomorrow does not mean that you will not go through suffering today. That Nigeria is terrible today does not mean that it will not still grow.

A great future starts with a humble beginning. Even if God says He will make you great, you still have to go through a process. Before I came to Lagos, when I left the university, God told me, ‘I will make you great.’ He said, ‘I will bless you. The whole world will know you.’ But He didn’t tell me that I would sleep under the Ojuelegba Bridge. He didn’t tell me that I was going to sleep on a biscuit carton. He didn’t tell me that to eat three square meals would be difficult. But today, I have a foundation that trains people to university level, empower over 5,000 women and establishing them in businesses. But looking back now, to feed then was difficult. That is the reality that I found out.

With God, even if He is going to make you great, it does not mean that you will not pass through difficult situations. The Bible says that even Jesus learnt obedience. There are things He suffered. So it is a message to comfort some people out there who cannot see better days ahead. Because all they can see is today, they are unhappy, they are frustrated and they think it is over. But the message is for them to look ahead. It might be rough today, you may not be able to feed today, just look ahead. With that, you will be able to survive today.

So how did you come about the fabulous wealth we see you exhibit today? You cruise around in a limousine, wear fanciful clothes and throw money around.
with wife

Let me tell you about the processes of divine turn around. When Isaac got to Gerah, he even went to meet the king to beg for land. The bible says that there was a terrible famine in Gerah. Isaac wanted to run away from Gerah but the Lord told him, ‘Stay in Gerah, I will be with you. I will bless you.’ Given a process of time, Isaac became greater than the people he met in Gerah. The bible says that the whole of Philistine envied him. Even the king acknowledged that he was greater than them. Meanwhile here is a boy that wanted to beg for land. God’s empowerment, God’s blessing takes a man from zero to hero. God’s blessing takes a man from obscurity into limelight. God’s blessing turns nobody to somebody. Blessing means empowerment to prosper. When you are empowered, it affects the kind of people that come into your life. Secondly, it affects your patronage.

Now let me tell you when I turned from a hungry man to a satisfied man. When I came to Lagos 24 years ago, almost the whole of the first four or five years was rough. In that same Egbeda, I almost ran out of the place perhaps back to my village (laughs). Egbeda was on the outskirts of the city. One day, I began to notice some people coming from Lekki, Ajao Estate where all those rich people used to live then. They showed up in the church. People that I never knew of. Sometimes they said somebody invited them or they just came.

One Sunday, they came and told me that they were Catholic women but they impressed with my teachings. They then said they would be coming from time to time. And each time they came, they blessed me. I saw money. They were not my members. Do you know that for me to start building that Egbeda church was not church offering? Where I was in Akowonjo, I was using a place that was equally used as a beer parlour. The landlord gave us a quit notice, and the last Sunday they gave us to quit, it rained terribly on that day.

That day, there were only four people in the church because rain did not let people come to church. And it was also the day the landlord had given us for our last worship. Do you know that I shed tears on that day? I said in my mind, ‘so my ministry would end today?’ I needed money to go and rent a primary school space. I prayed till daybreak that God should inspire my members to bring out money to rent the primary school space, but alas, rain did not allow them to come to church. My frustration was high. Then before the service ended, one woman joined us. She was an Anglican from Bishop Vining Memorial Church. It was because of that rain that she could not go to her church. She decided to look for a nearby church to attend.

I made an announcement that it was our last day there and that we needed money to rent a space at a bakery, and that I was told to pay N60,000 per annum. The woman did not even wait. She left a note which said she was not a member of the church, but concerning that announcement, I should send someone to her shop at Balogun Market in Lagos, that she would be able to help with the money. I sent people there and the woman released the money. That was how I got money to buy land with N20,000 down payment and used N40,000 to lay foundation. So that was how we became a property owner; a church of barely 10 members, some of them UNILAG students.

So we started using our property by putting canopy on the foundation of the church we had laid. One day, one of the members invited the mother who is well to do. The woman thought it was a well built church, not knowing that it was a canopy. The first time we had a real well to do woman in our midst for Sunday service. Guess what, the rain started and blew the canopy away, drenched our clothes, including that of the woman. That was the day we had a special guest in our midst. I thought it was over, but the woman came to meet me there and then and asked, ‘Man of God, how much do you need to do a solid temporary structure here?’ That was how she gave us money to do wood and zinc in that place.

That was how in those early days in Egbeda, people started coming, helpers started coming. God began to answer the prayers of those that I had gathered and they too in turn began to give to the church. God began to give them joy. God began to affect their lives. My major turnaround has been caused by destiny helpers; people who were walking into my life to affect me and people who God was using my prayers to affect. That is the story of my life today.

But how about your churches abroad? How did they come about?

You mean my international ministry? I am almost all over the globe. By October, I will be in five outreaches—London, Canada, Houston, Texas, Atlanta and Europe again. I have churches abroad now. What brought about all this? About 12 years ago, the first time I did my programme, ‘It is War’, the fliers were all over Lagos. Some Americans were in Nigeria. They went to the East and on coming back to Lagos to board a plane back to America, they missed their flight and had to check into a hotel. It was in that hotel that they saw my programme’s flier. They were scared. Is Nigeria fighting war? They read it closely and saw that it was a pastor. But they wondered why a pastor was fighting a war. The Holy Spirit then ministered to the bishop among them, ‘Bring this man to America.’ They said, ‘Lord, we do not know this man. They say Nigerians are dubious people. How can we bring a stranger to America?’ Then the Lord spoke to them again, saying bring this man to America. Then, I had just opened my church in Ikeja.

So how did that connect you?

They came and said they would send me an invitation. That was how they sent an invitation to my wife and I. Two weeks later, they sent our flight tickets, itinerary book and accommodation and we were on our way to America. That was how they started organising meetings for me across America. In two years, I covered several states in America. Look at that picture (pointing to a wall hanging), that is a Mayor in America with me. I began to receive awards from Mayors in America, based on the recommendation I received from these Americans who discovered me. I toured America for two years, doing great work. So the story of my life has been that of destiny helpers. I called them messengers of destiny. And that is how God lifts people. Look at the story of our President, Buhari. He couldn’t have got to Aso Rock as president without people. He didn’t have the financial muscle. All his personal efforts had failed until God used certain people. Whether those people liked it or not, God used them.

When you are about to fulfil destiny, God will be there for you. Look at former President Obasanjo, God brought him out from where he was. Gen. Babangida, whichever way, could not rest until Obasanjo was out of there. Every success story, every major achievement in life is connected to somebody. Look at David, he was tending the sheep until he got a connection to the palace and he was introduced. Joseph was in prison. It was the butler who mentioned him and connected him to the right source, and he was brought out. So, every breakthrough is connected to somebody; a messenger of destiny.

After making the money, what did you do with it?

By the grace of God, He has used us to do some great things, starting from the ministry, which is my primary call. Today, we have churches built in various parts of Lagos. In Royal City, Ota, where we have 100 acres of land, our permanent centre, the site of our Royal College of Education, we have primary school there, Secondary school, hospital which can compete with any general hospital in Nigeria. And there we have other establishments like printing press, water factory, and so on. There also is the site for campus one of our proposed Monarch University.

Right now in Ewekoro, we have another 1000 acres of land for another campus for the proposed Monarch University. Work is continuing on these sites. There we hold our camp meetings where all our churches all over the world come for religious camping. We have over two hundred rooms there. We have flat apartments there, which is our camp ground 2. In Egbeda we have schools, massive cathedral. In Ikeja too, we have schools all built by the ministry. In Lekki, we have a big church where my son pastors. We also have churches in Festac Town, Ikorodu, AIT area, Ijoko, all built in the ministry. We have a great church in Abuja, in Port Harcourt, Cotonou, London, Manchester, Atlanta and so on.

Right now, we are building a massive preparation school in Agbara. Another massive one is in Ota. Female hostels, male hotels, laboratories, separate buildings for creche, primary school, library, each on three acres. On education, right now, we have eight primary schools, eight secondary schools, then the College of Education certified by Federal Government, which has been on for three years now. We are presently working on Monarch University, with 10 professors handling that right now. The beauty of all this is that we construct all those buildings ourselves.

Then also on health, we have a massive hospital in Ota which late last year gave free medical services to over 5,000 people, which was well publicised. We also give out free eye glasses, treat people for diabetes, high blood pressure. At least we do that four times in a year to the communities in Ota and environs.
Then also we have Tom Samson Foundation which focuses on empowerment. Late last year, we empowered 5000 women from Ota, Egbeda, Ikeja, Ikorodu. We taught them how to make chinchin, pastries, tie and dye, liquid soap, things that they do not need a shop to do or things they can do in their own houses. They were given certificates and N5,000 each so that they could start out on a low scale. Today, I can tell you that many of them supply our schools with pastries, liquid soap and so on.

You also have a flamboyant lifestyle. You ride fabulous cars, wear loud clothes…

The truth is that most of the things that I have, I got some of them free. The Rolls Royce I received this year was a gift from my birthday committee. The limousine I use was a gift from somebody abroad. That is because I am a giver too. You have been here with me today for some time, I am sure that you have seen the number of people that have come in here. I attend to them one after the other, and when they get a breakthrough, they always remember me. Today, I have a lot of established people, but they came in as nobody. Some of those women I gave N5,000 each have come back with gifts saying that God has blessed them. So life is all about give and take.

If you have an opportunity to acquire a private jet will you buy?

There is no way we will not have a jet at some point. Look at our air transport system. Many times I wanted to go to our church in Abuja to preach but couldn’t because of our air transport system. Sometimes, the excuse is that there is no aviation fuel. Sometimes, going to just Port Harcourt here, you will sit at the airport for five hours. So if anyone has the means, of course, they will look out for alternative. Look at those who are in the House in Abuja, who own private jets, some of them don’t have the kind of itinerary that I have. We even need the jet more than they do. If anyone of them donates theirs to the ministry, I will gladly accept because the ministry work as it is needs it (laughs). I’m telling you the truth, I will gladly receive it.

Officially, it is said that our economy is in a recession. Is the church affected in any way?

Of course, the church is in the system too, so it is affecting. The people you saw coming into my office today, some of them came for help. The recession is affecting the church. Even the income of the church is affected because it is the people that make up the income of the church. Some of our church members have not been paid salaries. Some of them are civil servants and they are not being paid salaries regularly. Some of them have been thrown out of their homes by impatient landlords. Meanwhile, some of them don’t know their senators. They have not even seen their representatives before. What do they do? They simply come to church for solution.

Personally, I have a staff strength of over 250, and many of the parents in our schools are not paying full school fees for their children because where they are not working, and for those that are working, some of them have not been paid where they work. And these were parents who used to pay even before schools open. So how do we send the children away when we are aware of their situation and we are a church as well? It is a difficult situation indeed. We are praying for our government. We are praying that things improve.
I want to make a plea to our Senators, House of Representatives and every other person. They should know that people are feeling pain and it is we pastors that are feeling it more because it is we that the people see. Many of them are not reachable. But for us, when service is over, people can’t go home. No money. They can’t even feed their families, so they wait to collect money. The church is feeling it more because it is the church that is closer to the poor. We are praying for our president and I pray that our politicians have that human heart to make amends.

What is your fear about Nigeria?

As a believer, fear is not my portion. What some people are saying is very annoying. They say that the country should divide. These days, all we hear about the world is war. Look at what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Libya and so on. Our solution is not in breaking this nation. And it is not in raising ethnic or religious sentiments that can divide the country. Let me appeal to all ethnic leaders, the solution to our problems are all economic. Unfortunately, evil people are using political and ethnic sentiments against our economic solutions.
My major fear is these politicians, religious warlords and ethnic champions dividing this country. If they do that, war will ravage the country. If they do it, the war will last for more than 30 years. It will be disastrous. Nobody will gain anything. And those who start it will not finish it. So let us put that idea away. Now talking about my fear for Christians, these are the times to seek God more. If not for God, Nigeria would have been no more a long time ago. We remember the civil war. Also the June 12 crisis when most Nigerians were sure that the country would be no more. God wants Nigerians to be one. We have passed through the night and we are still standing. I leave that as a message for those who wish to hear.

As a global preacher, how would you describe your present lifestyle?

It is a busy life for me. Being a bishop means that I have a meeting with about 250 pastors that I mentor every Monday. These are general overseers of their own churches. Now, after the preaching this morning, I will go down again to have a meeting with the men and then come back upstairs and attend to these pastors that I mentor. Where you are sitting is where they will sit. I listen to all the challenges they are facing in their ministries. Some I have to help because I always remember where I am coming from. Then I have my churches that I have to supervise. Also, I am a full time pastor for my church in Ikeja. My wife pastors the Egbeda church. Daily I receive calls from different parts of the world on spiritual and financial issues. Some for prayers, some for help in one form or another.

I am a televangelist and my programmes are watched all over the world. That means I have to ensure that it is on air. I am pastor to people that I have not even met before. Their burden is also my burden. Added to that is the fact that I am a builder, supervising hundreds of acres of projects all over the place. The simple answer is that it is the grace of God. No man can do it except the Lord be with him. It is my destiny; it is my calling. If someone else wants to copy me, they may not be able to last. Sometimes too, I ask myself, how does Baba Adeboye do it, supervising all the churches all over the world? When I go to America, I hear that Baba Adeboye had just left. I would go to another place, I would hear that Baba Adeboye had just left. Same with Baba Oyedepo. I have 16 schools but Baba Oyedepo has multiple universities.

Just like you asked me, I asked Baba Oyedepo same question and his answer is that it is the grace of God, because that is what you have been handed over to do. It is my assignment. I am sure that if you ask President Buhari how he is able to handle Nigeria, he will reply that it is grace of God too. Without it, no one can do anything good. I think that in life, we should not be afraid to do anything good and beneficial to mankind. Because if it is your assignment, nobody can stop it.

No comments:

Post a comment

Post Top Ad

Your Ads Here