Yinka Ipaye A brilliant Quantity Surveyor turn international Evangelist

The handsome Dr. Yinka Ipaye is a son of the soil (Ikorodu) who studied in the United Kingdom and certified a quantity surveyor. Upon his return from the United Kingdom to Nigeria, he practiced his profession for years by helping to build local structures in Nigeria. In spite having a thriving quantity surveying consultancy in Lagos, the brilliant man received a spiritual calling to minister to the lost people in areas and communities where the gospel of Christ has not been preached.
Like the biblical prophet Jonah, Dr. Yinka Ipaye ignored the calling, but after series of threat to his life, he accepted his fate and turned full evangelist and since then he has visited over fifty countries preaching the gospel. His evangelistic ministry has led him to remote communities in faraway countries where he has shared the bible message with many diverse people. Having visited India, China, Pakistan, Singapore, Kenya, Malaysia, Angola, Botswana, central Africa Republic, Congo and a host of other nations with the good news, Evangelist Yinka Ipaye’s only regret is why he has not heed the call on time.
Today, his ministry has been recognised by the United Nations and recommended for partnership with global ecclesiastic bodies. In this interview with Publisher of Oriwu Sun Newspaper, Monzor Olowosago and the News Editor, Ramson Acheme, Dr. Ipaye narrates his experience over the years.
Q: At what point did you started your global outreach ministration?
A: I received the calling in the 80s but I refuse to comply, I heed to the calling after I had a near death experience in 1991. Before e that time, I had several accidents, the last one almost took my life. After accepting Christ into my life and agreeing to evangelize, I was anointed by my spiritual mentor prophet Gabriel Folorunsho Oduyemi.
Q: It is common these days for evangelists and church founders to say they are called by God, only for them to live off fat offerings and tithes of their followers, can we say you went into the ministry for same purpose of enriching and aggrandizing yourself?
A: When I started the ministry I had a covenant with God and pleaded with him not to make me live off tithes and offerings. As I speak with you I still earn money from my profession, quantity surveying. I established the consultancy before my spiritual encounter, the business is still there being managed by competent hands.
Since I started my ministry till date, I don’t collect offering or tithe from any congregation. Some individuals only sponsor some of my trips to the remotes paces where I go to evangelized. How could anyone think of collecting tithes from poor rural converts? I couldn’t have thought of such thing. I chose the path of Paul the apostle in the bible, he funded his ministry by making tent for a living. Paul could have received financial support from the church but he chose to make tents to raise money whenever he is not evangelizing.
That is where I got the name of my ministry from, so I named it the Tentmaker International Ministration Incorporation. One of the reasons I made that covenant was because of my secular friends who might think I went into the ministry for money. During that time I donated six hectares of my land into a church, initially I was planning on building a mini estate on the parcel of the land but had to sow it into the church after my repentance.
Another reason why I made the covenant was I don’t want to add nor subtract a word from the bible, I tell my listeners and congregations the truth as written in the bible. Unlike some who will pervert some texts in the bible to cajole their followers, I preach only what the states if my listeners want they accept the truth or reject it.
The most important thing is that I have done part, the scripture told us to preach the gospel and leave if they refuse to listen, we should shake the dust of our feet their and leave them. Thirdly, after seeing God’s mighty hand in my life I know I had to follow His plans unconditionally. Right from infancy when I lost my parents till I settle down in life as an adult, I have no choice but to follow God’s direction.
Q: You just talked about difficult moments in your life since childhood, how is that connected to your calling?
A: Like I said before, I lost my parents at a tender age of three, I did not know my father nor my mother. My father died when I was six months old, my mother died when I was three years old I was raised by my grandmother and I used to think she was my mother. I didn’t know granny wasn’t my mother till I was about seven years old or so, that was when they told me my mother and father were no more alive.
After the struggling childhood, I started performing exceptionally well in school and I completed most of my education on scholarships. I went on to Britain to study and graduated with flying colours. When I came back home with my love of my life, we married and went back only for me to lose both my wife and the baby in childbearing process. I became so scared that everyone close to me die early, so I refuse to remarry. After having several accidents in life and a near-miss death experience, I surrendered to God’s calling unconditionally.
Q: How will you describe your life before you went into the ministry?
A: Though I had a tough childhood, I excelled in academic and received numerous scholarships right from college to higher institutions in Britain. I studied at the Polytechnic of Central London, Now University of Central London and graduated in 1975. After my degree programmes at the university, I returned to Nigeria in October 30, 1975. Then I didn’t notify my sister I was coming back home, so she was petrified when she saw me at the airport. I already secured a job at home before my arrival, then I lived a normal Christian life like every other church goer. While I attended the Methodist church, I help built three structures at Ereko, Yaba and Ago-Ijaiye Methodist churches. In terms of academics and work things were good for me, by spiritually it was different till I heed the calling.
Q: How was your experience when you dedicated yourself to the evangelistic ministry?
A: I will say I regret not heeding to the calling on time, because the experience has been awesome. Though there are difficult moments, I have been living in peace of mind. When I received my spiritual calling, I joined my spiritual mentor Bishop Folorunsho Oduyemi who ran a big ministry then. By that time Bishop Oyedepo used to visit Oduyemi from the north. Bishop Oduyemi was one of the first reverends to own a private jet then. He carried out so many important task including bringing electricity to Ajah which was a developing area in Lagos where plots of lands were sold for N250 then. Along the line I realised that an evangelist is not supposed to keep a church, he is called to plant churches across the world. I formally started my ministry in the 90s and it was commissioned in Congo Brazzaville. My experience in Congo filled with many shocking moments. The Bantu people which happen to be the focal point of the ministry in that country lived in misery. They live in shanties and I pure primitive state. There was no roads to their communities, even Mobutu the then president used to land in these communities through helicopter because there was inaccessible by road. I slept in the jungles where creeping reptiles and snakes died close to me in the camps. There was no portable water and the natives were in perpetual fear of familiar spirits in the rivers around them. I left revival and prayed with the locals for weeks and many were freed form the spiritual attacks associated to the evil river. After their experience I changed their name to the Special People of Africa. Considering what many contemporary evangelists are doing today, I challenge them to visit the riverine areas for ministration, the challenges there are huge and daunting.
Q: How do you raise money for the ministry?
A: like I said earlier, tithes and offerings are not necessary. I live on my personal income and donations from the ministry. I am not a rich man but I am a contended man. Some followers will appreciate God by giving some donations to sponsor some evangelical trips, but I don’t collect offerings and tithes. Mathew 6 verse 33 reads, ‘seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, all others things shall be added to you,’ I have all I need to live a decent life without tithes and offerings.
Q: Are you not getting tired doing this travelling ministry?
A: How can I be tired? Moses started his mandate at age 80, I’m just 71, and I still have field work to do. If not for the coronavirus epidemic, I would be in Asia by now evangelizing. I don’t have little children anymore as they all married and are doing well and I don’t have a wife there is no one to disturb me from evangelizing.
Another reason I remain unmarried is for me to maintain the anointing of God regarding the ministry. I learnt from the bible that anointed ones will be tempted. Is good to always focus on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus. To the Glory of God, the ministry is recognised by the United Nation.
Q: What is your view of the contemporary pastors who are living flamboyant lives?
A: I know that the fallen men of God are not perfect are as result liable to fall. People must avoid their footsteps and refrain from the excesses of the flamboyant lifestyle. It is obvious that many of the so called men of God are not called by God, they called themselves. What will a man of God be doing with four private universities his church members cannot afford to attend? God will surely provide for His chosen servants decent means of living but He did not call us to be greedy and live extravagantly. Judgment will begin from the house of God, we must be careful.
Q: Do you still attend social functions?
A: Yes, I do attend social gatherings, except that I take my time to choose where to go. I still belong to some social clubs and associations like the Octagon 90, an academic club in Unilag; Ikoyi club, Associations of Friends, Ikorodu: Ile-bintin Social Club and others. The Ikorodu clubs I do attend once in a while and help them conduct opening prayers.
Q: In recent times you have distanced yourself from Ikorodu, why is it so?
A: Not really, whenever I am around I do visit Ikorodu for social functions. When I attend these social functions I often take precautions not to fall into consequential acts like fornication. But most time I don’t come to Ikorodu, it means I have embarked on an evangelical mission somewhere in the world or I am busy attending to my spiritual children from around the many countries I have visited. My spiritual children could seek my support in prayers anytime and I also join them in prayers regardless of their location in the world.
Q: What is your hobby and what do you do when you are not preaching or praying?
A: Most time when I am at home, I watch television to be abreast of happenings in the society. I watch Channels television and where I monitor political events in the country. I also go on road walk, this I do often because it gives me the opportunity to pray while walking to two hours a day. This is my regular exercise routine.
Q: What kinds of food do you eat?
A: When it comes to food, I am very selective. I take fruits most times since I fast often. On each day I eat lunch around 2 pm. That is after taking light food like pap in the morning. I normally eat Eba or rice in the afternoon but I don’t eat food once it is past 8 pm.
Q: Being a spiritual person, what can someone do to get on your nerve?
A: Christ was asked how many times can we pardon someone who erred us, he replied by saying that we must only react after we have forgiven our transgressors 70 times 70 times. This means we must forgive 490 times in a day, by this he means we must forgive all the time. I try as much as possible to overlook matters.
Q: What are the challenges you face in the ministry?
A: The Lord Jesus said, ‘cast all your burden me’ I leave everything in the bosom of Jesus. Though I was pained in the death of my first wife in 1977, who died in December several years ago, I found it hard to remarry (tears welling in his eyes). Though I had children, I couldn’t remarry because it was hard for to get over the trauma of losing my first wife who died with pregnancy. She was very intelligent and passed her London ACCA professional exam, at age 20 Yinka had passed her professional exams and became a chartered accountant in the United Kingdom. But her life was cut short when she died at age 21.
Q: It is said that you see vision through dreams, is that true?
A: When you have encounter with God, your life will change. The many issues going on in the country are not coincident. God have shown his children many signs. God has shown me that He is taking over this country spiritually. The Covid-19 epidemic is a lesson for our politicians, they should have invested in Nigeria for long instead they wasted and squandered everything. Except for someone like Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu who invested at home, the rest wasted their resources overseas, now they can’t go there for help during the pandemic. I have once seen a vision where God showed me Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is ordained from heaven a kingmaker that he should not run for presidency, instead, he should keep appointing candidates. God is bringing in His chosen one to rule the country. Sometime ago God showed me Buhari will win second term but the man will not complete his second term in office. As I speak, has just completed one year in his second term, let’s keep watching.

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