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INTERVIEW: Micah Stampley Talks About His Nigerian Church Experience

American gospel singer, Micah Stampley, has been coming to Nigeria since 2001 and recently in the first weekend of this month in Abuja, he was part of the House on The Rock Church, The Refuge 15th year anniversary and the dedication of the church building, the Citadel & Towers, christened “The Transformation Centre.”

He was also part of the church choir, Tehillah Company special album launch on Sunday evening to round off the three-day event.

The launch, which is Tehillah Company’s third album also featured another international hit star, Angella Christie from the USA, as well as Frank Edwards and Kingsley Ike of Nigeria.

Stampley, who has been part of the mega gospel musical show in Lagos, The Experience in this interview with Abuja Metro, admitted that Nigeria had what America is missing, upholding morals and truths.

Experience in Nigeria

My experience in Nigeria started in 2001 in Port Harcourt. Of course, Nigeria wasn’t as progressive as it is now but I have been privileged to experience good African culture, worship and it was just as intense as it is now. And I so enjoyed and loved the worship here, I love the people and that has not changed. I have travelled to Nigeria many times since the introduction of Nigeria to me in 2001 about 12 years now. So, I love coming here; I have very strong relationships here that God continues to want me to come here and minister and deposit to His people and I don’t take it for granted.

Collaboration with Tehillah Company

Again, it is always an honour and a privilege to come. Pastor Goodheart and I are brothers; we both consider Pastor Paul Adefarasin as a father and we met through Pastor Paul. And my relationship in Nigeria began to expand through the ministry of Pastor Paul and The House on The Rock Churches. They are my brothers; they are my sisters and when I come to Nigeria, there is always an eye opening experience and there is a revelation that pours from Nigerians that we typically don’t get traveling to other countries and also the boundaries of the United States. The album collaboration was incredible. I communicate quite often what God puts in my heart. Of course I have collaborated with Frank Edwards in his new CD coming out right now. I was able to convince my recording company in the US to release me to do that, had they said no I probably would have disobeyed. But the collaboration here hearing the lush of different styles of our cultures and hearing the outcome was just an awesome experience.

Dedication of the Citadel and Towers

I am taking back the single… I mean I don’t know the details of how they accomplish this feat to build these massive sanctuaries debt free. It’s mind bungling. Churches in the US are guilty of building multi-million dollar facilities or ‎sanctuaries and not really having the resources to pay for it. And so all of our tithes and offerings go towards paying a mortgage. While here the cultures are different, if you get the money you buy it and if you don’t then you don’t get it. The culture system here is totally different and just to see the wisdom in the inside, the creativity in the infrastructure is absolutely amazing. So that is one thing that I take back and I talk about it all the time. That they (House on The Rock Churches) are able to complete this task it shows if God is on your side He gives you a vision and like I always say if it is God’s will it is His bill not yours. So I tend to live with that.

Lesson for Americans

Oh most definitely, we need to pick their brains (Nigerians) and see how they do it. I tell Pastor Paul and Pastor Goodheart that growing up we always used to have Americans come and be missionaries in Africa but the US and the whole government have been so liberal that we have been desensitised, I mean the whole country has been desensitised to sin and that culture shift has blown over to the church. The reverence that the African culture holds in itself here is something we definitely need to learn. How do we get back the morals of the scripture because we have lost it, we have tremendously lost it. So we need Nigeria, Ghana and other countries in the continent of Africa to come and be missionaries to us.

Remaining a church boy

I am an outcast, which is why I spend so much time outside the US. Many of my peers love what I do but they hate to see me coming. They are those who call me holier than thou and self-righteous and many times it is just because of the songs I sing. I sing that holiness is what I long for and my thoughts, my conducts and my response portray that as well. Is holiness not something you long for? Holiness is not something I have made up; it is not a demand I have put on anybody’s life, God says in His word “Be holy for I am holy.” And if you have the spirit of God you will say what you have the spirit of God inside of you is saying. Then at some point His character should come out of you. It’s been pretty difficult for me to understand how but then of course we are not perfect. We ‎all have flaws, sometimes we make wrong decisions but then there is a difference between making a wrong decision and living a lifestyle of sin, totally different things. And so the message that I preach is too radical for a lot of people, a lot of my peers in the music industry in the US. And they know this, they have seen how God has blessed all my events, given me longevity and I am very grateful. And I won’t stop preaching what I am preaching, I won’t stop singing what I am singing, I will never change my lyrics to make music to accommodate them and make them feel comfortable.

Parental role in holiness

I feed my children the word of God and I protect the portals or the gateways of their souls – their ears and their eyes, I protect and I cover them. As fathers we have a job to protect and to cover. I am very involved in their lives, all of them can come to me and talk to me about their personal things, things that they may be struggling with as they are growing up.

Bodies changing and all that, they are comfortable coming to me to talk about it, my oldest is 20 now, he is at his second year in college and it is the same thing. My relationship with my children is very different from that most parents in the US and that is what I say all the time, you can’t protect them from the world but what you can do is give them the word of God and provide for them.

Most times when we were growing up we used to say the atmosphere you create will always determine the products they are going to produce. At home the atmosphere is that of worship and the word. I don’t allow certain music to play in my house because music has the ability to enter your subconscious without your permission when you hear some music playing at the store or wherever and you find yourself humming it. So music has the ability to enter your subconscious without your permission and so it is my job to ensure that what enters into my children’s ears or what they see is my responsibility until they are older. You train up children in the way they should go when they are old they won’t depart from it.

Message for Nigeria

Nigeria has become a beacon of light and hope for me, so I say keep doing what you are doing, God has his hand on this country despite the bombings, kidnapping of the girls by Boko Haram. We see it all, we pray all the time and we understand that this is a spiritual attack, some are political, some religious but the hand of God is on this country and there is no weapon that is formed against Nigeria that shall prosper.

So that will be my message of hope to Nigeria to keep doing what you are doing, keep pushing, keep God at the center of your life and you will see the blessings and the favour of God like you have never seen before.

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