Apostle Dr Dennis Akpanmbang is the general overseer of Divine Hope Christian Centre aka word Chapel Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. In this exclusive interview with one of our editors in Nigeria, Comrade Divine Sam, the clergyman who happens to be a one time business tycoon, operating from diaspora both African countries and America, and later aspired for House of representative in 2007 under the platform of the people’s Democratic Party, but on an encounter with his maker, he accepted to serve in His vineyard.
He currently owns a branch of his ministry in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. In this interaction, the popular international preacher categorically expatiate the significance of Easter in the body of Christ and the spiritual benefit of His resurrection. Apostle Akpanmbang equally lay emphasis on the activities of some pastors, and the CAN body at large, political involvement and otherwise.
This and a lot more, excepts.
Ques: Let briefly talk about Easter that is widely celebrated by Christiandom all over the world. But before then we’ll like to meet you in person?
Ans.: I want to start by thanking God for my life. My name is Apostle Dennis Akpanmbang and by the grace of God, I am the Senior Pastor of Divine Hope Christian Centre in Akwa Ibom State. I have been in the ministry for the past 10 years, my ten years in the ministry is simultaneously rewarding with cumbersome experiences. Some Christian don’t celebrate Easter and some says Easter is a period of this and that. But i want to tell you that Easter has powerful significance in the life of all believers. Easter is not all about eating rice and jubilation, it has gone beyond mere pursuit of materialism, there is a powerful significance behind the celebration. Easter is a time that the body of Christ comes together, is a time of unity in the body of Christ and this is exactly the price that Jesus Christ paid for at the Cross of Calvary. We have learnt from the scripture how he assembled the twelve apostles and equipped them about this time. The scripture also remind us that this period is specifically time to show love to all. One of the things I told my congregation in our Easter programme is that, there is no Bishop, Pope that can die for their members when looking back at wealths, but, Christ paid the Price, so Easter brings to us the memories of the love of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. When God disowned lucifer, thrown him down the earth and God went back to his drawing board, with the thought of what to do to reclaim mankind and he send Jesus as a seed offering.
You can’t reclaim your Mandate by anger or any form of social vices, Jesus paid the price of love, while they were beating him, he was talking about love, Jesus Christ even love the solders that was beating him and that was how Jesus Christ claimed back the Glory and the keys of restoration that is how he enter the agies and collected back our position, so Easter has so many powerful significance and it is a period of dedication and commitment. No matter the hatred in the church, Easter will bring us together and that is to show you the power of love in Easter. You said that some Christians don’t believe in Easter, but I want to tell you that Christ died for all including the madman on the road, therefore to celebrates Easter is a choice. Remember not every man that celebrate birthday, and even with that there are other people that celebrate birthday it is the same thing with those celebrating Easter and those who are not but even with that, Jesus died for all. Many that celebrate Easter has install revivals even in their ministry. This is the right time that Christian have hope of their living.
Ques: Man of God, the four days Easter programme in your ministry to commemorate with the crucification and resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ, of what spiritual effects will this brings to the growth of the church?
Ans: Yeah, we just finished a programme tagged the power of resurrection. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, I am the life, If anyone believe in me even though he was death he will rise again.” This period is to energise our spiritual lives, we will be fertilise again. There was no hope, but after the resurrection, hope was enormous. The program has already brought revivals to the church, by the verdict of this program all the departments in the church have received revivals. I am not preaching the name of the church, rather I preached Christ, because the name of the church has brought hatred that act as an hindrance to our miracle. If you preach Christ you preach love, because Christ is loved. If you must embrace Christ, you have to embrace love because love is the overcoming power.
Ques: From every point view, considering church doctrines and scriptural interpretation from different minister of the gospel, will you argue that there is still unity among Christians?
Ans: Christianity in Nigeria, Africa and even world at large is divided into many folds, but they are still Christians. The World Christian means christ like, Christians are split into various segment because they operate on different pulpit and different doctrines and principles. Some preaches the name of the church and anything outside the church means you’re sinner, they preach Christ under the name of the church, the other ones preaches lost in the name of synagogue. But unfortunately, Jesus Christ did not come in the name of any church or a certain group of names, therefore as body of Christ in Akwa Ibom State, in Nigeria, in Africa and all over the world because they have different pulpit that’s why you Christians fight among themselves but all are Christians and serving God. The Bible has already set aside by saying, by their fruit we shall know them. Any ministry that is not operating on the basis of love which is the core that Christ laid for us will soon dissipate or shutdown. There is a mixture in Christianity that some people are confused and because of that some people deliberately refuse to go to church. Occultic people are still going to church to become pastors all in the name of Christianity. In Africa, beginning from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, we are Christians with different pulpit and different doctrines but serve God under.
Ques: Election is just within the corner in Nigeria. Of course, as a clergyman certainly you must have had encounter with some leaders, perhaps you are equally seeing how the country is running. In your sumption, how will you access the current administration beginning from the federal government to the state level?
Ans: Let me quickly add an input there, we are all feeling the pain of hardship. Yeah, we are Christians, but live in the world that is controlled by men. Let me shock you small, I long dropped out of politics. In 2007, I contested for federal House of representative, but, when we met in our party they told me to stepped down that I am just a novice in the party and the political system with juicy promise of rewarding me and as a peaceful loving person,. I believed and succumbed to their plea, but guess what, they bluntly refused to keep to their promise. Since then, I rate every politicians as liars, they don’t keep to their words so I withdraw completely from politics. Currently, I am in a ministry, I don’t predict politics and any of my members that come up with political ambition, I will only pray and release blessings on them. I can’t stop any of them, because that is their personal decision and I will not allow your personal decision to become a prayer point in the church. If you make the personal decision of people venturing into politics to become a prayer point, you scatter the kingdom of God. My duty is to pray for them individually and also encourage them. Politics in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, they use God as a caption, they hide under God and they used the same God to suppress and oppresses the voiceless and the downtrodden in the society, especially the uneducated.
Politicians use God to execute their evil agendas, politicians in Nigeria don’t have conscience and that’s why I withdrawn completely. As a pastor, I am in authority and coming into politics, I will come with authority which many will not like it. Therefore, let me withdraw and hold on a priesthood office so I’m focusing on the priesthood and not in politics.
Ques: Are you a member of CAN in Akwa Ibom State?
Ans: Yes, I am a member of CAN, but, regrettably CAN is now focusing on portfolio, big envelopes, tinted screen cars, security, ego, has scattered CAN. These are the elements that destroyed CAN in Akwa Ibom State. Any pastor that preach the truth, must be contented with what God has given to him or her. With estate houses, truth will be far fetched from the preaching. Instead, all ministration will be anchoring on the governor, even when the government is not doing well, they will preach to promote them because they need big envelopes. A lot of pastors has fallen from Grace because of desperation to acquire wealth from politicians. CAN should have been an independent body of Christ that encourages other brethrens in the faith. Governors or government should be going to them and not the other way around. When you keep going to a politicians office, fill form and wait for them, no matter the level of your anointing, you are under that person. A Bishop is becoming a burden to the Governor because of regular going to the office to queue behind, this is because they are not contented with what God has blessed them with, they now mixed politics with the pulpit. There is no how you compromised gospel in politics and have respect in government, some pastors and ministers have lost their ministerial value, they now split themselves into what the called father’s of faith (interrupt)
Ques: Sorry to interrupt you, there are some group of men in CAN called fathers of faith in Akwa Ibom State, these men have already endorse the Governor’s choice of successor in person of pastor Umoh Eno. What is your take on fathers of faith in the ministry and politics?
Ans: My brother, the only registered body of Christ that I know and also identified with, is the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN and then followed by Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria PFN. This ‘fathers of faith’, are they registered? I just heard of them, their duty is to perform endorsement of any kind and by tomorrow maybe women of faith will emerge and other follows suit. Fathers of faith is a platform of taking envelopes from Government House and politicians in Akwa Ibom State. The question, can the same father’s of faith endorse a local man without having envelopes? Can they endorse a youngman on the street who hasn’t have money to purchase a form to contest? No, they cannot. The platform is not registered, is just a name, which I as much as politics is concerned many names will come out, and that is why I said that many pastors have lost their values and by so doing turn to a politician. Currently you can differentiate a pastor and a politicians in Akwa Ibom State.
Ques: The Governor has equally adopted a pastor to be his successor in 2023, is there anything bad in having a pastor as a governor?
Ans: You are still taking me to politics, but let me tell you, Pastor are in three fold. There is a full time pastor, part time pastor and there is a pastor that is full time in his business but just answer the name pastor and you can’t compare such a pastor with a full time pastor. Even a part time pastor is even better than a business pastor. Umoh Eno has set out his position, he is a part time pastor who also run his business. A part time pastor contesting as a governor is a business man, but what I don’t like is using the name of God to fool the people. Every Akwa Ibomite should see Umoh Eno as a business and a part time pastor who was to come into the office as a businessman but using the name of God, Umoh Eno is a businessman and not a pastor.
Ques: Your life then as a politician and now into full time ministry, is there any difference?
Ans: I am happy and fulfilled in the ministry than when i was a politician, specifically, I have total peace of mind, I am no longer public minded neither parading with securities and I can now enter any public place without fear. I move freely, I am happy for the calling of God upon my life. Although in the beginning, it wasn’t very easy. By the grace of God, I am blessed. At the teenage age of 25 years, I travelled upto 17 countries and I returned big. If there was something I was running away from was to be a pastor. My mother told me I will end up as a pastor, she told me that God has blessed me bountifully, but I will end up preaching the gospel, I never thought of, but here I am preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
Ques: Why did you decided to bring your ministry to the rural community, leaving the heart of town where other multimillion churches are located?
Ans: I came here in 2011,two years in the ministry I didn’t collect offering, I didn’t come to the Ministry for money. The Lord told me clearly, he said, your missions is to restore hope to the hopeless. I came here to acquired this land for my estate business, but I had spiritual encounter which alerted me that God want this place for himself to develop the downtrodden. Today, we have a branch of this church in the Port Harcourt, Nigeria, United Kingdom and God is still taking us to places from this community that we are.
Ques: Your message to Christians all over the world to mark 2022 Easter?
Ans: Love is the overcoming power, if you can not love God, you can’t love your husband, wife and even your neighbour, love is the supreme. Let Christians develop the habit of loving each other as Christ love all of us.
Divine Sam: Thank you very much servant of God for giving us your audience and speaking to us on Easter.
Apostle Dr. Dennis Akpanmbang: you’re welcome, I enjoy your brilliant interaction. Becon on me any day anytime.