I can still remember clearly, I felt like my ministry was stagnated and things were not moving for me. So I decided to pray.
I remember that day in April 1994, my wife and I went to Lekki beach fasting and to pray that day. I was praying: asking God about the next level. “Where do I go from here?” God spoke to me and asked me to continue with the prayer and fasting until he tells me to stop. We left the beach that day and continued with the prayer and fasting. After eleven days, he said I should stop the fasting but continued with the prayer and I did.
July 1994, the Lord spoke to me clearly one morning that he was going to take me to the next level of ministry; to teach biblical success principles. He said I would not be able to do the things he wanted me to do in my former pastorate; because he was asking me to teach success on radio, television, tapes, publications and seminars. In addition, I was to establish a church that would help people discover and release their potentials.
I got the vision for Success Power International and Daystar Christian Center the same day. I remember calling few friends to share the vision with them.
I started first on radio. Later, I began to talk to a few people about the church arm of the vision. On 18th November 1995, Daystar Christian Centre was inaugurated. The inauguration was an interesting period in itself in that we didn’t have a lot of resources and we could not afford the type of accommodation we were getting either; hotels, banquets halls or some duplexes were for between N200,000 and N250,000 per annum and they wanted us to pay for two (2) years.
We were almost taking one small place on our street where we lived then but we stopped because we had serious doubts in our hearts. Eventually, the inauguration was held at Eko Chinese Restaurant at 76 Allen Avenue on the 4th floor and people had to climb the stairs.
Interestingly, I was carrying along my radio audience, telling them about the transition that was happening in my life. We had quiet a large crowd that day. Long after, it became a bit tough to pay the bills. I was on radio, paying N7,000 every week for the 15 minutes broadcast and then we were paying N13,000 per week for the use of the restaurant. Then the radio station doubled the rate for the broadcast, and we couldn’t cope. We took the broadcast off Raypower to OGBC2. We needed some breathing space so we could keep on the church. However,we couldn’t afford to pay regularly for the restaurant.
I remember clearly, the day I got to church in the morning and met the workers outside, they told me they were not allowed into the hall. I went in and spoke to the manager who was playing games with his friends in the hall we were supposed to use for our service. I told him to let us run the service and pay him after the service with the offerings but he refused.
Eventually, we reached a compromise: our service was between 9am and 11am but he said he would take his money at 10am. I felt once we had started service this man would not be able to stop us. Ten minutes to 10 o’ clock an usher came with a message that the man was threatening to shut down the generating set. Rather than take offerings at the end of the service, I took over the service, took the offerings and quickly counted it and gave him his money. After three months, we knew we had to move.
We then moved to Coker village, Alausa which was mistaken for one in Iganmu area. So when people wanted to come to our church and board taxis, they took them somewhere else in Lagos. It was so remote; people didn’t know it was there, even okada riders didn’t know the place. It was a dirty environment; a run down building. Each time I went to church, there was muddy water all around and people sharing the building with us would sometimes play loud music during our service and we would plead with them to stop the music. The most interesting one was the aroma that came from the food; particularly the smell of beans that would wax through the atmosphere. One sister said that she knew when they put magi in the stew that was been made.
I woke up one Saturday morning, and realized I had been in a dream. In that dream, I saw us move into a new location. I saw us dedicating that building. I saw Bishop David Oyedepo and his wife, I saw him take out a stick and plant it in the soil. It had fresh leaves on it and while he pronounced blessing; I saw people rushed to that location. There was a large crowd within a few minutes and then we were through with the occasion, my friends came to congratulate my wife and myself for the movement.
When I woke up, I knew it was a vision from God. I knew something had shifted in the spirit realm. I asked God, how do we turn this into reality? He said three weeks of prayer and fasting. We prayed through the nights and had a 24-hour prayer chain. Few days before the end of the fast, we saw ‘TO LET’ on a warehouse on 71 Oregun Road (now Kudirat Abiola Way). That is how we got to our present church office location and our moving in was powerful. Just before we moved in, I came across a book “Purpose-Driven Church” by Rick Warren. Through that book, God delivered to us the structure and the system for organizing our church to accommodate the growth that was coming. It was exciting. For about eight months; I took the church members through an hour class every Sunday before the service started. I told them that there was a crowd coming and that they would be teaching those classes to the crowd when they come. That was what it turned out to be.
Pastor Sam Adeyemi
Daystar Christian Centre