He is a man of several parts who is hugely admired for his uncompromising teachings of the word of God ,in this piece with a cross section of the Lagos press archbishop Tom Samson the general overseer of the Christ royal family international churches as he bares his mind on the state of the nation,his pasts,the present while looking ahead into the future… African voice publisher , Ebenezer ogunleye was there …excerpts..
Let’s meet you
I am Bishop (Dr) Samson, the General Overseer of Christ Royal Family International Churches, with headquarters in Royal City, Otta, Ogun State, we have branches in Ikeja, Egbeda, Lekki, Festac, Agbara, Abuja, PH, London, states in USA, Canada, etc. And not only churches, we have also made an impact in the area of education. In Lagos and Ogun states we have over 15 secondary and primary schools, we have college of education, our university programme is undergoing approval process, Monarch University, we have hospitals, I also have a charismatic Fellowship Network, where we impact pastors, pastors that are upcoming, Tom Samson World Outreach, Tom Samson Foundation where we impact communities, be it boreholes, transformers, empowering women, youths, for example during this Covid-19, the whole Ikeja community, Egbeda Community, Police Force, we gave out various food items. We rehabilitate this road, so many in Ogun State, we have impacted lives, a church should reach out to communities. As a light we should shine across the globe, reach out to the downtrodden through Tom Samson Foundation. Recently we venture into agriculture too, because that is what the government is emphasizing on. Right now in Ewekoro where we are a lot of youths are working there. In our schools we employ about 300 teachers, apart from lecturers. We touch communities, we impact lives. By the grace of God that is why at my 55, we have a cause to give thanks to God especially looking back where we were yesterday and where God has brought us.
What is your experience in the ministry?
I am not a man that started big. I remembered this street is bearing my name now, Adebola Tom Samson Street, I used to trek this street, 27 years ago, trek down to Egbeda to preach the gospel, because I stayed in one uncompleted building in that place. So when I left University 1991, I came into Lagos a young man but with the calling, because I started church on Campus. I finished from Bendel State University 1991, and I stated my ministry 1986 on campus, as a campus fellowship, basically noted for deliverance, because God gave me so much, Buccaneer, Black Axe on Campus, and many gave their lives to Christ. That is why they named me Violent Tom. I went round villages: Iweka, Okpila, Okpoji.. I moved from Bendel State University to Abraka Campus and we were the last set of Bendel University, after us it was Edo or Delta. We did so much on campus, we impacted lives in communities so when I came into Lagos, I came in alone, one shirt and one trousers, and moved round Egbeda, Akuwonjo, street to street, preaching everywhere, trekking round, and today we are all over the world, impacting communities, so our story is a story of salvation, destiny, transformation. So it has been amazing, though it was rough, but our God is a consistent God, he lifts up the downtrodden, he raised the poor from the dunghill; that is the story of my life. I am a testimony of a man lifted up from nowhere.
What is your advice to the youths who obviously don’t know where you are coming from but want to be like you, talking about the get rich quick syndrome amongst our youth, they don’t know your years of suffering, but want to be like you, even though they have not worked?
You see this is the problem we have today, even with young ministers, and the youth; patience, endurance, and again discovering yourself. You see I have a ministry but I am also a proprietor of schools, I am a Chancellor, I have hospitals, you see, you can discover yourself, but when you don’t have God it is very painful. One we need to encourage our youth, we must teach them values, integrity. Now, get rich quick syndrome is there, I tell my children that I give you pocket money doesn’t mean you cannot work on your own, make money and have your own saving. Even though it is a laborer job do it and save that money. So we need to let our youths know that, it doesn’t come so quick, it takes time. Some pastors might see people like us, I drive Rolls Royce, and this one, and they want to get that done, but it has taken me 30 years in Lagos, of struggling, touching lives, transforming destinies. I trekked on this street 27 years ago, down to Egbeda. We need to be encouraging our youths, because our God is an amazing God. When he sees your commitment and dedication he brings a reward.
At what point would you say you began to experience breakthrough?
At what time? Let me tell you this, when I put the church up at Egbeda, and that is why I don’t play with Egbeda, for almost five years we were struggling, because people will send their children to us while the adults would go to orthodox churches, they see us as children, mushroom church, but we kept moving, we were winning souls. At what point God began to give me breakthrough, the people I was praying for. When God began to answer their prayers, they began to give back to me. Let me tell you something, every multi millionaire you see in this church today, they did not come as a big man. I drive Rolls Royce they gave it to me; Limousine, they gave it to me, but they were not like that yesterday.
You have an event on the 6th of December, titled the Down of His Glory, What are we expecting at event?
When the Glory of God comes upon man or comes into a place, there is a transformation. Isaiah 60 says arise and shine for your light is come, the glory of the lord is risen upon you. When the glory comes, now what begins to happen? Hre says you doors shall be open day and night… a lot of people have been struggling in this nation, young graduates, people looking for jobs, people doing business, they are not going well, when the grace of God comes, let me give you an example, for 430 years the Israelites were in labour, they toiled, but they were not appreciated. There are many people working in establishments, their bosses are not appreciating them, there are those doing businesses, but the environment in our nation did not empower them to get money to do business, when God’s glory comes favour comes. He said I will give you favour before the Egyptians, when the doors of His glory comes, one, your helper remembers you. One of the things that really brought transformation to my life is connection to international world, that is favour. When I did my programme it is war, the lord told me to use military camouflage, I did, then the posters, flyers were everywhere, do you know, four Americans, they missed their flight and they put them in Airport Hotel, when they saw my flyers on the floor they picked it. Talking of Dawn of His Glory, I have been toiling, laboring, that favour welcomed me to the world, as they picked the flyer God told them bring this young man to America. You see, that is a shift in my life. I have been popular in Lagos, Egbeda, but God wanted to give me a shift. I believe a change is coming to this country after this programme, as many that will be connected to it, they will expect a change.
You are still young, and you have spoken so about youth, what do you have to say about the #EndSARS protest and your advice to youths and government?
You see I remember even my early days in the ministry, I was using a Volvo car, and these policemen stopped me and said my car is a stolen car, I said sir, I know where I bought this car, but they said it is a stolen car. Eventually they said they would help me do one document, you could imagine. Do you know one of my sons said Dad anytime I am going out I am afraid. Because police must stop him because he is a young man and he has a little Toyota car he is driving. I have two sons like that, each time they must call me and I call them hei, Oga that is my child, so almost all our youths are scared to move on the road.
I believe so far, all we have done is good, because it is when you are a victim you will know what all this thing is all about. But meanwhile I must appeal to government and to our youths, our voice has been heard, all over the world, they know that there is EndSARS project, they know. And let us now look at Government, if government does nothing, a man like me will carry placard. I must tell you.
If we give this government between now and first quarter next year and nothing happened may be you guys will hear that Tom Samson is arrested. I gonna go out there too carrying placard because can you imagine two of my sons telling me that when they are going out they are scared. If a police stop you even you as an adult you can imagine and many times they say you would follow them to station and once you enter station you must be bailed, so I want to believe let us maintain peace for now, our government has spoken, we will hold them by their word and if nothing is done between now and first quarter of nest year I think we adults we have to turn to youths, because we have to fight for our children.
Tell us about the gigantic cathedral construction going on this same street you trekked many years ago, that is one. Two we want to know about your convention coming up this year, tell us what is unique about this year’s programme, and lastly tell us when and how you made your first 1mllion Naira?
By the grace of God in this environment apart from this royal Tower, there is a school property right behind us here, but the major one, God gave us the former Pavillion Hotel, which sits on acres of land and a lot of property there, we pulled it down, we are building a Cathedral, it is amazing, work is going on there, one it is going to speak so much of revival in the land, it is gonna give youths a lot of opportunity to receive the word and for transformation. And even the presence alone we have beauty. Many a time we travel abroad to look at some cathedrals, this one is another place people will say come there is something in Lagos, in Lekki, Otta, work is going on. it goes to show the revelation of God’s glory in or lives.
The convention, one of the special events in this convention apart from where I stopped, the down of his glory, another thing is my birthday. I will be 55; you know 55 is a double grace. Again I look back, he has been awesome. At this age, to have gone this far, it can only be God. When we impacted communities, the world, ministry wise, it has been enormous, As per million, you see if you look at my life I might tell you I am a man that doesn’t have cash, you know why, I am a builder. I invest. All our churches and schools they are on their property. We pay so much, the television, the media people, this things are very expensive, putting a church in different places are very expensive, as it comes we spend, we have almost over 1000 staff, so you can imagine to pay people on monthly basis, touching families, if you have about 1000 staff, how many families have been impacted? So if you give me 100million today it can’t last one week.
But when my first 1million came, it came in a Ghana must Go and I couldn’t sleep, and immediately we started building our church, and since that time till now we have never stopped building.
What motivated you to invest so much in education?
I’m read education in school. The primary school I went was catholic school, the secondary school was Islamic school. We went to Islamic school because that was the only school left as a child of a poor parent, so they sent us to the available school. You see being a teacher myself I just know as a missionary, missionaries were able to reach people through education. Before I started today I have been in the school and I talk to these children, and whenever I get there I tell them my life history and the fear of God and how they can be great too. How God can use them, how they can lead in this country. We inculcate integrity in them, so one of the best means for my evangelism is through education, so you can teach them morals, look at these public schools, cultism was terrible, in Ekpoma, in Abraka, Black Axe, Buccaneers, if you look at Christian schools today, this is not permitted. From primary school begin to teach them about the fear of God, you can imagine a teacher who is a member of Black Axe and opening his chest, what can that kind of teacher give? We need to catch them young, to impact people’s life, it is at that tender age.