For David Ibiyeomie at 60

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BY REGINALD TOBIN

The man, David Ibiyeomie, is different for different people. To me, he comes across as that quintessential preacher whose teachings have transformed lives, freed captives, and comforted broken hearts. His impacts on the lives of his followers are immeasurable.

As a preacher, Ibiyeomie has a deep understanding of God’s word and how God works; he’s a good preacher in every way. I’ve been listening to him for a few years now, and there are a lot of things I admire about him. I admire his kind of Christianity and his lifestyle. If there’s one thing I can tell you about Ibiyeomie, it’s that as a pastor, he practices what he preaches, (faith, love, giving, etc.).

Ibiyeomie is not only a preacher of faith, he is full of faith. When you scan his life as a preacher, from his beginnings until today, all you see is faith.

As a preacher who had few beginnings, he faced several challenges in the past. He once told a story about how people never thought that the Salvation Ministries Church would exist for long. He told how the people of Port Harcourt never believed that a Pentecostal church headquartered in the town could survive. And because some Pentecostals who started earlier couldn’t stand the test of time, everyone thought Salvation Ministries would be no different.

He also recounted how he preached on a particular Sunday, with only a few small children present. There was a time when he had neither money nor a car. As a preacher, there was a time in his life when he had only a suit and a shoe with a broken sole.

There was even a time when a sitting governor tried to intimidate him by telling him to move his church out of the area where it is.

There are many more, but these are just a few of the many challenges the revered man of God has faced in the past. However, he overcame them all.

He has successfully led the church since 1997 to date (25 years) with over 1,000,000 members worldwide. Today he is one of the wealthiest preachers in the world, handing out cars, suits and shoes like he hands out candy. His church has not budged either, and today he commands the respect of leaders and notables around the world. But the background of how he climbed through these challenges is “faith.”

Ibiyeomie was undeterred by his early days. Despite the challenges, he maintained his faith in God who sent him on a mission to preach the gospel. As he always said: “I was not called, God sent me here”. I’m sure he always clung to that, because even in misery he proclaimed saying, “I’m one of the richest preachers on earth.”

Another situation where Ibiyeomie’s faith was also tested was during the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world in February 2020. Ibiyeomie was not threatened by the rising numbers released by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control. Unlike other preachers, Ibiyeomie did not succumb to church confinement. He argued that COVID-19 has no place in the church because it is God’s house, and he and his church members can never be infected to congregate in God’s house. ; a place where the sick must find healing. And as he said, COVID-19 found no place in the church until it passed away. Only faith and an understanding of the word of God can bring a man to such a position.

But that’s not all I admire about Ibiyeomie. While I admire his giving lifestyle, I more admire the calmness in his giving. I also admire his love life. He loves people.

David Ibiyeomie understands the place of love and giving. He preaches and practices both. He gives without making it known that he has given. But as a philanthropist who has done so much in this area, some of his works can still be seen.

Sometime in 2018, to mark her 56th birthday, Ibiyeomie built a standard “elderly home,” a place where the elderly are cared for and cared for. After commissioning the building, he officially donated it to the Catholic Diocese of Port Harcourt, due to the experience of the Catholic Church in running a retirement home. A Pentecostal pastor handing over such a building to another denomination to manage? You rarely see it, but Ibiyeomie did it. What a way to advocate unity in the body of Christ.

In 2019, Ibiyeomie built a free school in Port Harcourt for children whose parents cannot afford a formal education. He has also released 50 million naira through his foundation (David Ibiyeomie Foundation) for school fees for 1,000 children.

Still on his philanthropic works, in February this year, Ibiyeomie commissioned the new building of Banham Methodist Academy, (his alma mater) in Port Harcourt after giving it a new look. Until Ibiyeomie intervened, the school was housed in a very old and dilapidated colonial building.

Let’s not forget that to mark his 60th birthday, he also hinted at granting scholarships to 1,000 students. These are just a few that I have mentioned and will stop here.

As a preacher, Ibiyeomie has the traits of a true man of God. His penchant for soul winning is breathtaking. Not a Saturday goes by without him taking to the streets, talking to sinners about Jesus and why they should repent. Ibiyeomie is bold and fearless. He condemns evil and speaks the truth at all times, regardless of the circumstances.

Born in Bonny, Rivers State in 1962, the pastor and author has gone through different phases of his life and today he has a success story. But Ibiyeomie’s success story cannot be considered complete without the mention of his dear and beloved wife, Peace Ibiyeomie, who accompanied him throughout this journey.

At 60, Ibiyeomie certainly has a lot of stories to tell. As someone whose life has been transformed from a “man of the world” to a preacher of the gospel. From the pastorate of a church with less than 50 members at its beginnings to more than 1,000,000 members today; and moving from scarcity to prosperity, indeed, Ibiyeomie has much to be grateful for.

Dad, as he is affectionately known to members of his church, and in the town of Port Harcourt, contributed greatly to Christianity. When it comes to the body of Christ, in Nigeria and beyond, Ibiyeomie has paid her dues and deserves to be celebrated.

Happy 60th birthday, dad.

Tobin, journalist, can be reached via [email protected]

Opinions expressed by contributors are strictly personal and do not belong to TheCable.

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