I have Lost My Life To Christ- Pastor Aigbotsua
Pastor Sunny David Aigbotsua is the Senior Pastor of Wonders of Praise Assembly International. He is one of the fast-growing Pentecostal pastors in Nigeria. He was formerly based in South Africa for the Evangelical ministry where he preached on Cable Television Stations until God asked him to return back to Nigeria for greater ministerial assignment. He was recently awarded a Doctorate degree in Divinity at the Present Truth Bible College International. He is a philanthropic pastor with integrity. In this interview with Godday Odidi, he spoke on the need for pastors to practice what they preached on the altar of God and other issues affecting Pentecostal churches in Nigeria.
Let's meet you sir?
I am Pastor Sunny David Aigbotsua, the Senior Pastor of Wonders Praise Assembly International. I am from Auchi in Edo State of Nigeria. I attended Ladipo Primary and Igbobi College Yaba and later proceeded to Patmos Bible Institute and Word of Faith Bible Institute (WOFBI) for my diploma and degree. Both Dr.Tunde Jordan and Dr.David Oyedepo are my mentorial fathers in the lord. I have attended several seminars and conferences both in Nigeria and Abroad.
When did you give your life to Jesus Christ?
I gave my life to Christ at 18 when I was already frustrated in life. In fact my foundation was rough but God saw me through in Life. Precisely, I grew up in Orile Sari- Iganmu here and life was very tough with me, you know what I mean. To God be thy glory that is history now.
Before you were called into your ministry where did you serve first?
I served with Rev. Kenny Okpara of Saving Grace Church International at Festac Town, for many years before God asked me to start Wonders of Praise Assembly International. Through the Holy Spirit of God, Wonders of Praise Assembly started on the 10th of July, 2004 at the primary I attended at Orile in Sari- Iganmu here until Lagos State Government banned churches from using schools for church activities and that prompted us to look for a place that was later leased to us. Our ministry was founded in a dustbin but today, we have bought the land and it is now our residential headquarters. We kick-started this ministry with just 11 members and to God be thy glory, the ministry have expanded. We have many branches in countries, states and cites of Nigeria like Abuja, Portharcourt, Italy, Kaduna and Lekki.All these branches of Wonders of Praise Assembly International were founded by me. I have five ordained pastors in my ministry. I have served many ministers of God in Nigeria but Rev. Kenny Okpara is my spiritual father. I never left his ministry with infuriation but with the peace and the unity of God. I do attend his church programmes till date. He impacted my life so much in ministry.
Are you a full-time pastor?
Yes I am a full-time pastor to the core.
What is your area of calling?
I am called into Pastoral and prophetic teachings and evangelical ministry (Outreaches). I am an Outreach pastor to the core.
Have you written any Christian literature book?
God has not asked me to publish a book. But I have a lot of books in my mine. I want to write what I practice not coping other peoples' works. I want to write a book based on my experience in life and nothing more.
You said many pastors serving your former General Overseer suddenly left his church for some issues but you remain steadfast, why?
Actually many pastors left my former church because of some certain issues but I stood by my then General Overseer. I don't think any of them that left are pastors now and none even making any impact in ministry except me. I never served to destroy but to make impact in ministry through his grace. I am still connected to him.
Who is your mentor in ministry?
My mentor is Dr. David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel International.
Are you a member of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN)?
I am not a full member of PFN because I travelled a lot. Even my ministry knows me very well that I evangelize the word of God from state to state, village to village and country to country. My pastors are always there for prayers, counselling and visitation to members and visitors.
You were recently awarded a Doctorate Degree in Divinity by Present Truth Bible College International; tell us how it was like?
I did not request for it but Apostle Dr. Ken Chidubem of Present Truth Bible College International saw the much impact we have made in our God's own ministry over the years. They felt I needed to be honoured in all ramifications.
Were you married before you started Wonders of Praise Assembly International?
I have started the church before I got married. I married my lovely wife on the 9thof December, 2009 immediately I returned from South Africa. Since I got married to my wife, the ministry has changed entirely. She is a wonderful wife to behold in my calling.
Ministerial sacrifice is one of your callings; can you tell us the secret of it?
I have given my cars, landed property and precious things to God not man. Ministerial sacrifice is my calling in life. I believe in giving not just receiving alone. Giving with attachment with not moved God to work that what I keep preaching to my members. You can see that my guest speaker is also teaching my church workers on ministerial leadership and ethics.
You said you lived in South Africa before, can you tell us the difference between ministry over there and Nigeria?
In South Africa where we have white people, they hardly understand our intonation of words, so we have to adapt to their polished phonetics. I preached then free on Television stations. I connected some of my Nigerian pastors too. In Nigeria, we have many languages which affect our pronunciation of words.
What is your major challenge in ministry?
Sometimes people vow without redeeming it. I have spent so much in this local church. I don't depend on members to feed. I have used my personal resources to equip this ministry and my members. I hate seeing my members begging for food. I have lost my life to Christ over the years. My assignment in Christ to make people happy in life.
Any success in ministry?
God has been wonderful to me since I gave my life to Christ.
What motivated you into philanthropic ministry?
Giving attracts blessings from God without hesitation. The principle of success in life is giving and nothing more.
Have you experienced any scandal in ministry?
Since God used me to found this ministry, I have not messed myself up with any female member of my church or otherwise. I set up a standard for myself (covenant) when I gave my life to Christ. I am very focus in life. I don't have too much friends. Men of God will always be scandalized, even Jesus Christ was criticized too. The Bible says” woe unto you if men speak well of you”. You cannot avoid scandal in ministry. It is normal in ministry but some ministers are also involved in scandals too.
In the next five years to come, what should members expect from you as the Senior Pastor of Wonders of Praise of Assembly International?
If God lift you up, nobody can pull you down. My vision from five years from now, if God tarries, to open more branches and win souls for Christ. Let your success speaks for you. You don't need to blow your own trumpet.
Do you believe in diabolic ministry?
God called me into evangelical ministry not diabolic ministry. I believe in God's power not man.
What is your advice for upcoming pastors in Nigeria?
They should work for God not man and not be hurried to make it in life.