I was to be an herbalist like my father until my heavenly Father rescued me – Rev S.G Ashe
Few Men of God are approachable in Nigeria, especially due to their busy and cumbersome schedules, however, Rev Sunday Godwin Ashe was gracious enough to give us time out of his busy schedule to give us some insight into his life as a Gospel Minister, Pastor and Evangelist. Rev. S.G Ashe received his ministerial call over 30 years ago in Foursquare Gospel Church, Nigeria. Join us in this journey as we explore the life of the Zonal Superintendent of Foursquare, Alimosho Zonal Headquarters.
Rev. Sunday Godwin Ashe is the senior pastor of Foursquare Gospel Church Alimosho and the Zonal Superintendent (ZS) of Alimosho zone.
It is no longer news that you gave your life to Christ at such an early age of 15. Kindly share the experience of your new birth with us.
It was a remarkable experience in my life. It’s been thirty-seven years since I gave my life to Christ. I came from a home where African traditional religion was the order of the day. My father was an herbalist. Each and every day, I saw people visiting my father seeking spiritual consultation and assistance. This further drew my attention to the profession. Probably because my brother was not interested in the occupation, I became interested and had it in mind to follow my father’s footsteps. In contrast to my own plan, I heard a sermon on a particular Sunday that marked a turning point in my life. Everyone around me noticed a different person from the person who was once notorious.
Does being born again translate to an immediate drastic turnaround in a person’s life?
I think that is how it should be. There should be a change in one’s lifestyle. In fact, my own experience cannot be explained. The guy who was well known for causing trouble became suddenly quiet. It was so bad that when I told them I was born again, they laughed. However, the change remained constant.
What motivated you to enter the ministry?
If I wasn’t a pastor, I would have been a lawyer. I hate to see people get cheated. In my view, I see Satan as one whose plan is to rob people of their glorious destinies. So, I am in the ministry as a spiritual activist, one sent to rescue souls from the plights of the devil.
In your opinion, is there a difference between Christianity of those days and present-day Christianity?
Yes, there is a significant difference. The commitment of the past was better than today’s. People adhered to their religious values and beliefs consistently. There was also a way of identifying one another in the midst of the crowd. We addressed ourselves with the term ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ within and outside the Christian fellowship.
We are aware you have authored several books; can you tell us about the inspiration behind your books and the messages you hope to convey to readers?
Firstly, my objective towards writing is not profit-oriented. I write books primarily to spread the gospel, educate, and present my views to people from all parts of the country. These books could also be the written form of my messages that I preach in church. To the surprise of many, I am camera shy. Hence, the need to opt for writing books to make my messages viral. Most times, when people read my books, they reach out to me via my phone number and social media handles. As of yesterday, someone called me commending my books, and this gladdens my heart.
You don’t seem to be publicity-conscious.
Currently, I am camera shy. This explains why I hardly face the camera when I preach.
What themes do your books portray?
I am fully into the prayer and deliverance ministry. This motivates me to write most of my books channeled towards deliverance, prayer, and addressing spiritual needs. My books are centered on the fact that there is no problem that God cannot solve.
In the course of your ministry, which book has been most helpful?
This is a difficult question as I cannot mention a particular book. When entering a bookshop, I pick books in the categories of prayer and deliverance. I also read books written by powerful men of God. One which drew my attention more is a book given to me by my spiritual father, Prophet Michael Ajewole. Coincidentally, I share the same name with the author.
What advice would you give to teenagers and youths who have not had an encounter with God?
I feel for people who were born in Christian homes more. At times, it is hard to know where you stand spiritually. It could be a mere love for God without understanding being born again. Having said that, my advice to people in such a category is to seek God themselves. Your parents’ salvation does not guarantee your salvation. Salvation is personal. To the glory of God, all of my children made a personal decision themselves. I never forced them into the kingdom. Although, my actions could have been a determinant towards their action. Thanks to their mother, who led them to Christ. I only get to hear when they have also been added to the kingdom
Considering the fact that writing these days is another relevant source of income, what is your motivation behind writing books without making so much profit or no profit at all?
I am aware that the ministry is costly as we have to spend a lot to add souls to the kingdom. However, I took it upon myself as a point of duty to bless souls with my books. My first book, entitled “Travailing to Prevail,” was more of a giveaway than for profit. Also, my second books I launched on the same day, which was ‘Exposed and Expel’ and ‘Divine Replacement’ in Baruwa church in 2007, did not generate much profit. When I turned 40, I launched ‘The Man of The Hour’ together with my birthday celebration. This book took thirteen years to write, as I started writing it in 1993. ‘Overcoming The Power of Almost There,’ a book I wrote a week before I was posted to Benin Church, was launched on my inauguration day. I decided to give the proceeds from the sale of the books to the church. Also, on my 50th birthday, I launched three books and gave the proceeds to the church. Personally, writing is a way of generating income towards church planting, not payment of bills. In return, God has, and He is still blessing me. In the near future, I’ll consider putting my books out on websites or platforms where they can be accessed and paid for.
Despite your busy schedule as a pastor, how do you juggle between performing pastoral duties and writing?
During my busy schedule, it is that period when I get inspiration the most. In a day, I could write up to eight chapters or a whole book. Surprisingly, I think of the titles after writing the book. A typical example is ‘Needed In The City, Tied In The Village.’ I had so many titles in my head, not until I saw it on a banner.
What or who are your greatest encouragers in writing?
My wife happens to be my biggest inspiration. She encourages me to put some of my messages into writing. She is also more grammatically inclined than I am. She is always there to scan through and make necessary corrections.
How many years of experience do you have in ministry?
I had my call in the year 1987 and enrolled in the bible college in 1990. In Foursquare, I was inducted fully into the ministry in 1993.
How has your thirty years journey in the ministry been?
It has been fun and exciting. However, there were some challenges here and there. There were times I questioned God about my early journey in the ministry. These were times I was close to quitting the ministry. Despite the challenges, I am grateful for the privilege to be one of the few selected to be in the ministry.
What is your advice to young ministers?
After having a strong conviction that it is truly the call of God, the first step is to develop a close relationship with God. Humility should be embraced. Let humility be your trademark. Lastly, treat people right. Your asset as a minister is the number of lives you are able to be a part of, the souls you are able to rescue and direct.