Pastor Cornelius Adekanbi Taiwo Adekunle, the Shepherded-ln-Charge of The Anchor Royal Family, otherwise called Testimony Embassy, Adamo, in Ikorodu North local Government Area of Lagos state is one of the emerging voices in the vineyard of God.
A visit to his church last week during a One Week Open Air Crusade that ended on Friday 20th July showed him as gifted deliverance pastor. But rather than claim credit for the feats at the program, the 48-year old attributed everything to divine favour. He also spoke with Nigerian Compass On Saturday on a wide range of issues
MAY we know you ?
My full names are,Cornelius Adekannbi Taiwo Adekunle. And by the special grace of God, I am the Shepherded- In- Charge of Christ Royal Family, (otherwise called Testimony Embassy).We call it Testimony Embassy because God has been using us, in no small ways to glorify Him and as you can see, a lot of people, have been testifying to what God has done in their lives.
On he October 5th this year, I will be 48 years
You do not look it. Madam must be taking very good care of you because you actually look younger?
Bless God for that. It is the grace of God and she has been very supportive.
Tell us about your background starting from your childhood uptil this stage of your life?
I was born in Ile-Ife, in the present day Osun state on October 5th 1964.My parents are from Osogbo, but myself and other siblings were brought up inlle-Ife.
I attended Cossy Bethe Primary School,Ebute Metta, Lagos. I lived with my uncle between 1971—1977. Later on, we moved to, He -Ife where I attended Baptist Grammer School,Nefrade at Garage Olode in 1984.At the school I was the school prefect.
There after, I attended Oduduwa College for my Advanced Levels courses in 1987.Even there, I was also the senior prefect. I attended the popular Obafemi Awolowo University and graduated from the department of Political Sciences in 1992. I served at Cross Rivers state, Ugep, Obudua local government, 1993. In 1994, I joined the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission .To the glory of God, things have been working out well. Presently, I am doing my MBA with World University , United States of America (USA) by correspondence.
Who were your colleagues at Oduduwa College?
I can remember one Famakin Ibukun, now I big girl. She is now a Chief Executive Officer [CEO], Sterling Assurance. There are also a lot of them, numerous to mention.
As a little boy, what sort of a child were you?Are you the, introvert,extrovert ?My mother told me that I was the stubborn type. But at any rate God did His best in my life.
She told me that along the line, when she realized that she could not cope with my stubbornness, she had to send me down to Lagos to leave with her immediate junior brother..Mr Raji Oladejo, now late. We leaved at house 10, Ibadan street, along Shyllon street, Palm Groove
When you lived with him, how did he impact on you?
When 1 looked at the kinds of life the man lived them, I felt inwardly repulsive. He drank liquor, and smoked cigarettes heavily. Mere looking at that, I told myself that I will not imbibe those kinds of life style.
How long did you live with him?
For fifteen years
Looking back now, were you told the kinds of qualities in you that the panelist saw before choosing you the as the School Prefects?
The height and the brilliancy. I would not like to say that I was the most brilliant. But it was like more of team leader .1 remember I would gather some of my colleagues together for afters school lessons. I was always a rallying point to some of my colleagues students and others. And I remember that I really enjoyed solving peoples problems at that tender age.
If you could recall , what type of problem did you solve for your colleagues ?
I come from a very noble family at least by the then, the village standard. I remember one of my juniors had problem and ran to me screaming, yboda, boda ,boda Taiwo. I misplaced my mother's money and that that was the last she had on her .She would almost roast me alive if I could not find the money.' I remember that day, the money was just 50kobo, I think.
But you know it was a big money then. I remember that I gave her the whole money I had then to solve her own problem. Those were the kinds of things that now give me joy each time I remember those kinds of scenarios. Could you believe one thing ,later in the day, one Hausa man living withing the premises later gave me money higher than what I had given out. I thinkNl .00.
What type of business were your parents doing them?
My mother was a petty trader. She also supplied the Obafemi Awolowo University some fruits, plantains, oranges , vegetables and all sorts. And my father, now late, was a wonderful father. He was a successful farmer. I learnt a lot from him, especially, the habit of record keeping.
How did you meet your wife? We met in 1996, when I was teaching at Jubril Martins Memorial Grammar School,Lagos. She had just just finished and was about to serve. Mrs Olubitan was the Principal and she was the link between us.
What actually attracted you to her? Was it love on first sight ?
Actually before then, I have been looking up to God for somebody that would be homely, understanding, dependable and on top of all, somebody of high intellect. Even as at then, I had experienced a lot, I was praying to God within me, that any time I wanted to marry, He should give me the bone of my side and the flesh of my flesh, that I will be proud of intellectually, accommodating and someone from a well organized Christian home. Thank God I have never regretted marrying her
Are you saying you never had any relationship before you met he?
Actually, when I was in the world I used to have one at a time. I had about two of them before I met my wife.
When was your Turning Point in life?
My Turning Point in life , was in 1989 at the university, I was a part two student and at a fellowship. Nobody invited me I just went there myself, sat down and received the teaching. Though, I had a Muslim background. I was a Muslim from childhood. My Muslim name is, Isiaka, from Isiaka to Cornelius.
I had a brief stay with the Christ Apostolic Church[CAC] and Redeemed Christian Church RCCG] New Life Parish Alaka, Lagos. Later on, we came down to Ikorodu joined Mount Gilead. Thereafter I became a pastor.
Can you share with us some the testimonies with us?
As a trained pastor, it is not good to mention names. But I can talk about few. There was a lady that phoned in from the United state of America. She complained that some people ganged up against her in her place of work and the matter got the level where they had hatched the plan to deport her back. I told her to wake up at exactly 12a:m and join me in the prayer, I was happy to be told later that those that boasted to testify against her could not attend the panel and the case was struck out.
There was another spectacular one. This woman came here and wept bitterly that her son absconded from home for close to eight years. The woman was completely sad and down cast. When she came here we prayed together and thanked God, he showed up here looking for her mother. In the area of deliverance too, God has been proving Himself .A young lady was here under the guise that she needed a special prayer.
She actually came to test the power of the Lord. When I first sighted her, the Holy Spirit told me that she belonged to the water mermaids. I invited my wife and another pastor to join me. As we prayed fervently, for about 30 minutes non stop, the woman just fell face down under the anointing and everything about her changed. Facially she had transformed herself, saying, so, you people have come to fight me. After the spiritual battle, she was ashamed ofherself. Then we prayed for her and let her go. Those are just few among others.
It is a common thing among some of these Pentecostal pastors to display there wives so openly as their second in command after them I their churches. I am sure you will refer me to that section of the bible that said, a man and woman shall leave their parents and become one united soul. But Jesus Christ himself, during his life time was not identified with a particular woman?
The work of the ministry is enormous, without a partner like your wife, one may not be able to function very well. Each time I attended a biblical course I would tell my wife to attend such a course. So, as I was growing in the Lord ,she too must grow
But what can you say of those that prefers celibacy?
I do not want to go to that area, that is not a Pentecostal doctrine. For a pastor's integrity not to be in doubt you must have your wife besides you otherwise, a lot of rumours will be hanging around you, especially when they perceive that the calling o f God is upon you.
There are some smart guys now planting churches for business. They would make a mental calculations of the numbers of flocks that would give tithe,alter callings among other quick ways of of milking some gullible follower ships?
Well, we have read a lot about that and we have seen enough about that. There are some that do not have that calling of God in them. I am not condemning but that is the truth. The Bible says by their fruits yee shall know them.
Nowadays, the numbers of churches outnumbered the flocks,yet social vices are daily on the increase. In our view point, what did you think is responsible ?
There are some denominations where the words a of God are preached undiluted. But in some cases morals are not well taught. But here, our mission is Holiness is Our Lifestyle. We are totally Bible based , render welfare services and encourages innovations.
Madam, what are your full names?
Mrs Omoyetunde Akannbi Adekunle. I met my husband sometimes in 1996 while I was living with my uncle at Ogudu, Lagos state. After I finished my service year, I came to Lagos to seek for a paid job as a PTA teacher. In the school, I was teaching Mathematics.
What attracted you to him?
The first time he came calling, as he was climbing the stair case, something just struck me that, yes, this is my husband. But I pretended as usual of some ladies. I just brushed past him as if to say I did not take notice of him and he called me back to tell me his mission. So, we started talking. He later told me everything about himself from AtoZ.
From then,what can you say endears you most to him?
His honesty and his carriage
Tell us about your background.
My father is from Akunna, Akoko Ondo state. My mother is from Ekiti. I am the first child of the family of six . My mother was a Nurse, now retired, while my father was a Superintendent (SPO) in the Nigeria Police.
You are from Ondo, while you are a little younger, did you part took in the Ogun festival because most Ondos happily took part?
As a little child I actively took part in the Ogun festival.lt was generally considered as fun [ General laughter]