©️ Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde

“My Landlord in Ikeji-Arakeji was a pastor popularly referred to as “Baba Fire” because he was a Fire brand General overseer of a growing church. He was genuinely called of God. Despite being a Yoruba speaking church, Youth corps members like me, attended “Baba Fire’s” Church, because of his depth in the Word of God and Healing Anointing. He was a man in his late forties.

Baba Fire picked interest in me and would ask me to come for prayers anytime he was at home. He told me he saw a light in me that would draw nations to the light of God.

Through his persistence, I became genuinely born again. I also caught the fire. I got baptized in the Holy Ghost. He taught me how to pray for long hours…

In no time, I was on fire for God. Some Yoruba non speaking Corp members walked up to me and pleaded with me to stand in as Baba Fire’s interpreter. They wanted me to be the English interpreter.

I tendered their request to Baba Fire who gladly embraced the idea.

I became Baba Fire’s interpreter, this made his ministry experience a boom, as almost all the Youth Corp members started attending his church. Even the non-indigenes who did not understand Yoruba like the Igbos, the Edos, those from Benue who were all in Ikeji-Arakeji and its environs started worshipping in Baba Fire’s church because of the English interpretation. God used me to expand his ministry.

By the time my one year of service was coming to an end, Baba Fire called me to his Prayer Room on one faithful Saturday morning…

“Raymond, your coming to Ikeji Arakeji was an answer to my years of prayer. God told me He was going to make this ministry go all around the world, but I kept telling him I couldn’t speak English. He told me He was going to send me an Aaron that will help my speech to be heard everywhere including in front of kings and nobles” Baba Fire said in Yoruba Language

“I believe you are that person God told me about, I would like you to be more than my interpreter, I would want you to be my Assistant so that this work of God in my hands can light up the world.” He said Baba Fire was asking me to give up a good life in Lagos as a potential Civil servant to become a “Village Pastor”.
I didn’t know what to say!

Baba Fire told me He was not in a rush and he wasn’t trying to enforce his will on
me, he advised I should go pray about it.�

At that time, Baba Fire had trained me in the act of praying and receiving from God, so I went on a personal retreat for some days.

One sunny afternoon after returning from the primary school I was serving as a
teacher, I slept off very exhausted. In what looked like an open vision or trance, I saw the Late Apostle Joseph Babalola who was a revivalist in the 1930’s who hailed from the same town of Ikeji￾Arakeji tapping me from sleep and speaking to me in the Yoruba Language…

“Raymond, you are to assist Gabriel in his assignment, you will be his voice
where he may not be heard, rise up and follow him, don’t betray him and don’t stop following him, for this purpose were you created, ask your mother”

It was a very short trance, but very powerful. I had goose pimples all over my body like a high spiritual power was in my room, I broke into tongues and laid down in the room.

I didn’t know how long I spent in that position, until I rose up and found out it was dark.

From my estimation, I had spent four hours slain in the Holy Ghost.

When I stood up and went out to join my other Youth Corp members, the moment I got to the corridor, they all fell to the floor like an electric wave from my body hit them.

Some of them burst into tongues, while others who were not born again started
weeping under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Baba Fire met us there and started
praying with us.

A little crusade started that night, as neighbors joined us.
The next day, I called my mum and explained in details all that happened…

“I am not surprised, that is your destiny, accept it son. You know, when I was looking for a male child after having enough daughters, I told God if He gave me a son, I will give him back to Him, so the trance you saw is correct, you were created for God’s Glory.”

My mother had said That was how I agreed to be Baba Fire’s Assistant…�

©️ Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde

After my set had left Ikeji-Arakeji, I stayed behind for another 5 years working
passionately for God under Baba Fire.

In no time, Baba Fire’s church had grew from 130 members to close to 2000 members.

We were able to build a small cathedral of about 2500 members. We had started
having Elites in our church, even to the point of having the First Lady (Governor’s Wife) as a member of our church. All these were possible because of the level of exposure I brought into the ministry.

Baba Fire started having international ministrations which I had to follow him to,
because I had to interpret in English Language…

He was getting blessed with cars, houses, money and a lot of gifts. At this point, the Spirit of Greed took over me. I felt I was the one pulling the crowd to his church and should be in charge of all that he was in charge of.
I felt He was using my glory, and I decided it was time for me to pull out and start my own ministry.

My mum was not happy with the idea, but Maggie who at time was my
fiancée, gave me strong support. She was also of the opinion that I had what it took to be the General overseer of my ministry and not laboring for another person, who someday will hand over the baton of the ministry to his children.

Maggie and I got married after my fifth year under Baba Fire. We settled in Ikeji-Arakeji but Maggie and I were not content with the life over there. I would come back home every Sunday lamenting over how the church members were blessing Baba Fire more than they were blessing me. Maggie would also add to my misery by telling me it was obvious I was just been used by my G.O.

We both decided in the second year of our marriage to move to Lagos and start my ministry there, whenever the opportunity presented itself. Not long after our resolution, a woman who usually came for prayers all the way from Lagos became our source of motivation. She was always encouraging me to come over to Lagos…

“Pastor Ray, your anointing is underutilized and not appreciated here as it should be, you should come to Lagos or go to somewhere like Abuja or Port Harcourt, I tell you sir, under a year, your church will be the talk of the Town.”

“I know, but God asked me to assist Baba Fire here”
” Well you have done a great job so far, maybe God just wanted you to learn under
him, Pastor Ray I think this is the time you should launch out, Bible says we should go and preach to the uttermost part of the earth, not just in Ikeji-Arakeji town” She said laughing�.

“Honestly Pastor, if you are interested, my husband and I will be willing to invest in you financially to start up your church”

I was so excited about the opportunity and on getting home to Maggie I discussed the development with her. She was excited as well, and encouraged me to take up the offer. She even asked me to call her immediately to accept the offer.

On calling her, she was excited as well and she asked me to come over to Lagos to
see her husband over the weekend. She said, she would want it to seem as if I came over to pray for her family and from there she would take care of the rest.

I travelled to Lagos for a prayer vigil at her home. On getting there, her husband and children were not at home, she told me they would be home before the vigil. She lodged me in her visitor’s room and inside the room, everything I needed had been arranged there including food and drinks.

Around 11:45pm, she called me over the intercom, that she would join me in the Living room for the vigil.

On getting to the living room, the place was empty. Her supposed husband and
children were nowhere in sight.

As I sat wondering, she walked out of her room in a see- through net gown, and underneath she had nothing on. My heart raced and right there I lost my strength, I couldn’t resist her.

I slept with her and that was the beginning of my woe. I believe that was where I got the strong attraction, for married women. She kept to her word, and set me up in Lagos. But I hid my affair with her a secret between us. I didn’t tell anyone, not even Maggie or Baba Fire.

On returning to Ikeji-Arakeji, Baba Fire called for me, asking me what I had done. I acted in denial, he asked me the question 3 times….

“Raymond, what have you done?” and my answer those three times were “Nothing Baba”.

Maggie and I moved out of Ikeji-Arakeji around 10pm 4 months later to avoid being noticed. We didn’t inform Baba Fire, we only dropped a letter at our missionary home that had been provided for us. I stated in the letter that I was led by God to go start my ministry. I apologized for leaving without prior notice as I knew he (Baba Fire) would not want to release me.

We immediately changed our lines to avoid calls from Baba Fire, when we got to

“Are you saying, you have not heard from him since you both left there” I asked Ray who sat in front of me narrating the issue to me…

“I only heard from him, after about 2 months of starting my ministry. Till date I don’t know how he got hold of my phone number.�

“Ray, you made me an object of ridicule, you brought me disgrace, may you forever be caught in the web of shame and disgrace. You will continually see shame in your ministerial work” Ray recounted the exact words Baba Fire said to him over the phone.

“Ha! My God! He said all these and you never went back to plead?” I asked Ray.
“No, Maggie told me, it was just an empty threat” At that point I understood why
Pastor Maggie was able to cover and condole Apostle’s sinful lifestyle, they both
rebelled against God.

It all made sense to me, Apostle was never meant to be an Apostle or a founder of a ministry, he had been called to Assist a founder instead. The Marine powers and the spirit of immorality was able to swallow him up, because he was not in the perfect will of God…

The question in my heart as we both became silent were the first words that came
out of Ray’s mouth…

“Is it possible for me to close down my church that I have invested so much in and
return to Ikeji Arakeji to become the Assistant of an illiterate?”