Speaking in an exclusive interview with Punch newspaper, the General Overseer of Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, has disclosed that as a child, he did not enjoy a life of luxury, unlike other children of the affluent.
According to the influential cleric, when his father was a civil servant, he had the kind of fun that children of the middle class have, adding that later when the old man became a contractor, things turned better for the family and life turned rosier for the young Adeyemi.
Speaking further, he said that life unfortunately showed the family another card when his father’s business encountered trouble and finally collapsed. Without invitation, poverty stepped in. That is how the proverbial mouth that used to eat beef began to run after bones.
“I tasted poverty and real hardship. I used to brush my teeth without toothpaste. The experience gave me the capacity for compassion. I cannot forget where I am coming from,” Pastor Sam says.
The popular motivational speaker and financial teacher, noted that after he accepted Jesus Christ when he was still an engineering student in a polytechnic, he got a kind of vision in which God situated him in a context where he was teaching a group of people. This happened in the course of a prayer.
He found the idea funny initially, as he did not believe he was cut out for teaching. But his decision to heed the signals has transformed his life and the church that he eventually founded, although he found it tough in the first three years of its existence.
He notes, “I was born in Niger State. I spent my first 10 years there — in a village called Ndayako, near Mokwa. I would never have imagined that I would become somebody that would pastor thousands of people and exert influence in other areas. I was shy. I didn’t think I was a leadership material.
“It was an elderly man in our church then that called me one day, as a teenager, and said, ‘You are a leader’. He gave me a book. It was in the book I first found out that everybody has the quality of a leader. The remaining part you may lack, you cultivate along the line. The principle advanced in the book worked.”