Prophet Ikechukwu Okafor Samuel is a young and talented clergyman, who is heavily loaded with the needed anointing, to lead the Shiloh World Chapel (a.k.a. Faith Nations), an equally young church, located at its headquarters in the Utako District and heartland of Abuja, the edifying Nigerian capital city.
Born about 35 years ago in Nibo, a suburb of Awka in Anambra State of Nigeria Prophet I.O. Samuel, as he is usually called, is founder and General Overseer of the alluring ministry, that has been described as, perhaps, the fastest growing church in Nigeria by a larger section of the ever circumspective and decisive Christendom.
Prophet Samuel, the Man of God, who was said to have been prophesied to be a great prophet before birth, was all along groomed to meet his divine call to the Lord’s vineyard, through the filial and spiritual guidance of his biological parents. His father was a very devoted and popular clergy, whilst mother was also a dutiful believer in the Christian faith. Armed with his early education in Christian missionary schools, he went ahead to upgrade his knowledge of the Lord’s kingdom at the Word of Faith Bible Institute, the official theology school of the Living Faith Church (a.k.a. Winners Chapel), led by Bishop David Oyedepo, the charismatic clergyman.
Having finished his pastoral school, he waited steadfastly on the Lord’s directives, before his final calling into full-time ministry, in 2010. Before SOCIETY CELEBRATION, Prophet Samuel testified to his mandate and that of Shiloh World Chapel, ‘’to raise a generation that will change nations and possess the land through the act of faith’’.
Emphatically, he puts it as a ‘Mandate to raise Men and Women rather than Money to do the Great Work’, in fulfilment of God’s prophecy to raise 1,000 Nigerian clergies and another 1,000 millionaires to champion a global gospel revival and to bail Africans and the world from poverty. Shiloh World Chapel,
the vibrant new generation church, where the high and the lowly of the Nigeria society throng to serve God and take to refuge, has a proclivity to numerous healings, deliverances and accurate prophesying. The church has an active charity organization called Samaritan Foundation, which gives care to the needy. Prophet Samuel, the physically build is married and blessed with two children.
"I have a spiritual father in the supernatural called Prophet TB Joshua. Prophet TB Joshua has been showing love to people from all the regions and religions of the world; Christianity, Islam, Traditional Worship, Atheism etc. I want to take after him, in his disposition to leading the flocks, charitable giving and showing of love; without unduly condemning anybody, but loving everybody. "
Sir, please, tell us about your encounter with Christ before setting up your ministry
Samuel: Before I was born, there was a prophecy that God was going to give my mum a male child that will become a prophet of God. The word was given to them in the book of Jeremiah 1:5, and that I was going to be a prophet unto nations. I was told this as a child and so was I trained to become a prophet of God.
What is your take about today’s Christendom, where Christian leaders do not speak with one voice?
Samuel: It is due to the lack of love. And if you really profess Christ and claim to be children of God, one needs to go back to the first love of Christ. If we are really from Christ we should try to live as Christ lived. The spirit of love must reign in us; to our fellow brothers; in our daily activities and in our churches. It is not speaking against each other or fighting one another, but in unity and love. That is what we lack mostly about leadership in the Christendom and other religions. If we can bring back love, we will work in one accord.
I am a man who was well brought up, and that is why I hate deceit and injustice. I get angry when I sense that things are getting bad. I don’t want things to get bad, either. That is why I also worship the truth, and would do everything to confront injustice and safeguard the rights of other people, especially when they face oppression and injustice. I don’t like the youths to suffer such injustice which reduces their selfesteem and worth.
I identify with the difficulties youths faces in Nigeria, which bleeds my heart. Youths are the most deprived. How will one expend resources to go through school and some vocational institutions only to remain jobless and redundant in the society? I cry for this country. Many people usually approach me to
do things, at my own level, to better the lives of youths and the Nigerian people, in general. But I have always lived my life trying to do my best for them. But, I am most bothered by the abject poverty in our land, especially among the youths. Painfully, this is in the midst of abundant resources while some of our (fraudulent) leaders chose to steal from our common treasury; that belongs to me; you; adults and youths; and poor men and women of this country. This is not the country of my dream, and I hadn’t any thought that we came to suffer in this country.
But, the people of a country deserve the kind of leadership they have. That is why I blame myself, you and the mass of our people, for having not confronted them headlong, this long. We are at fault over the untold injustice and oppression they heap on us. Now, it is time to tell those thievery leaders that ‘enough is enough’.
Unfortunately, a lot of you people do not understand my person because my level is very high. I am not ordinary. The only reason I come here (Shiloh World Chapel) is for a genuine cause, because I am selective of wherever I have to go to. Prophet Samuel knows that I go to bed by 7pm, since there is a
heavy load in my head. The load is the Nigerian problem which bothers me so much. How come that people like me and other capable hands are side-lined in the scheme of things, when we have what it takes to help this country?
Do you think this also reflect to political leadership at the higher level in the country, Nigeria?
Samuel: These days we are separated in love. People are not showing that love. When you unduly condemn your brother and sister, that love is not in you. So when you ask God for favour it would not be granted to you, because it is only love that sway God. And it is only God who controls love.
Who are your role models among the clergy of the Christendom, and why do you think they are?
Samuel: I have lots of fathers in the faith. I can call myself a man of choices in this regard. There are some persons I point to as spiritual fathers and role models. The man I call my first father is Bishop David Oyedepo, who has so much affected mankind, around the world. He has built schools and houses for people to live in. He defied poverty, working harder and enjoining men and women that they must not go to foreign lands to make it, and that they should remain in the country here to build it, tapping from resources that are abundant within. And I have a spiritual father in the supernatural called Prophet TB Joshua. Prophet TB Joshua has been showing love to people from all the regions and religions of the world; Christianity, Islam, Traditional Worship, Atheism etc. I want to take after him, in his disposition to leading the flocks, charitable giving and showing of love; without unduly condemning anybody, but loving everybody.
What do you think could be done to stop the no-love-lost among Christian bodies and between clergies? For instance, that TB Joshua is not any loved by some Christian bodies and leaders?
Samuel: If God calls you with special gifts, there must be envy. For instance, in the Bible, Joseph was hated by his brothers because of the gifts God gave him. Jesus was betrayed by His brother and a friend. So if it is happening today it is not new. If it is not happening it may not be the real gospel. Anyway, we are not surprised that it is happening. But why are you the one that must be used to betray the genuine work of Jesus Christ? If you are really the child of God, you will mind your calling because there are different gifts. We are one body, just like the eye, the nose, the ear, the hands and the legs etc. are in a body. They work together to make the body function proper. If you condemn the eye you can’t see where you are going and the leg, you can’t get to where you are going. The foundation has been laid in Jesus, and when there is undue condemnation from within, it therefore means that you want to lay another foundation. Jesus is our foundation and the foundation is love. The way we can solve it is for one to be silence and let God fight the battle. No man can fight for God.
Why would TB Joshua stop his relationship with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Federation of Nigeria (PFN)?
Samuel: I cannot answer to that. When it comes to CAN and PFN, I don’t know about that, but when it comes to the things of the Bible. But I believe that some people gather together to agree on certain laws and procedures that should guide them. I believe that those laws and procedures cannot guide the things of the spirit.
Now that most churches lay emphasis on prosperity, is it biblical?
Samuel: Prosperity is not against the will of God. We preach Christ if we must be faithful and if you are in Christ you will be out of crisis. Even when you pass through tribulations, you see it as blessings. Prosperity is not evil, but the excessive love for prosperity.
But, prosperity is what most of the churches preach
Samuel: They preach it because they do not understand the depth of it. The real prosperity is the prosperity of the soul. Whoever that preaches prosperity without preaching Christ will fail, because the prosperity of the soul is what matters the most. After the prosperity of the soul, other things would be added like it is usually said in the Bible; ‘’Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will follow’’ You can’t be worshipping God in truth without been blessed in your marriage, your finances and in whatever you do.
You appear to have a lot of semblance with Pastor TB Joshua; your solid physique, your hairstyle, your beard and the way you do things. And right now, Emmanuel TV, TB Joshua cable station is playing in your sitting room? One would think you are his biological son, so to speak?
Samuel: In life and when you look around the world to see the way people relate, you will know that birds of the same feathers flock together. When you associate closely with people some similarities are bound to come in. It happens to followers more, if they are humble to follow the footsteps of their leaders. It will affect their look and character, just as Jesus Christ did not have different look from his disciples. They were together from different wombs. I came from Anambra State, in the east but TB Joshua my spiritual father, is from Ondo State from the west. The spiritual link is always there, but much more than the physical looks, which manifest as with Christ and the disciples. These are the mysteries that people ought to understand and fear God about. And Emmanuel Television, the official channel of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, TB Joshua’s ministry is my favourite station.
Perhaps you are aware that TB Joshua is said to be the most controversial pastor in Nigeria. At that, don’t you have reservations calling him your role model?
Samuel: The arrival of Jesus Christ created lot of controversies. I have been to Israel and researched on all that He went through, but if you do not see what others see in somebody you don’t listen to others. Despite all the condemnation and prejudice Peter, James and John followed Him even to the mountain of transfiguration. That is why I have no apologies or regrets for believing and working with what I know.
Let us look at the name of your church; Shiloh World Chapel and Synagogue Church of All Nations. ‘World and All Nations’ seem to have the same meaning and direction?
Samuel: These are revelations as I earlier quoted that before I was born a prophecy was given as in Jeremiah 1:5. My church is not only for Ibos, Yoruba, Hausas, Niger Deltans, northerners or southerners. It is not only for Africans, whites or Caucasians etc., but it is for all peoples of the nations of the world. God is not the God of race or racial colours. He is the God of all flesh and there should be no discrimination. Anybody can worship in our church, as many foreigners do visit on weekly basis and go back to their countries.
There is a lot of wrongdoing in our society which most clergies refused to speak and act against. Christians have been unjustly persecuted and killed, like the case of the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria?
Samuel: I don’t preach religion I preach Christ and so my direct mission is to get people to follow the way of Christ. Killing is evil and no Christian should fight a physical fight because of the killings going on in the north. Let us use our need to ask God to inject the spirit of love for national unity. That is the only way things can be turned around. War and retaliation have never changed problems in the world.