Prophetess (Mrs.) Uzoamaka Martin is the General Overseer of New Jerusalem Bible Church, International located in the Abulegba area of Lagos State. She began the work of God at the age of 16 years while still in secondary school. In an exclusive interview with The Claver Magazine, the woman of God posited that when an individual is passing through a trial, it does not mean that God has forsaken the individual but such trial is designed to strengthen the individual’s faith in God. She added that as a child of God, you must face challenges except it’s not God that called you. The Prophetess of God advised people, who are currently facing trials, not to be discouraged, but to continue to follow Him, assuring that in the end, their testimony will definitely manifest.
Tell us about the birth of the church, how did it all start?
Well, it started when I was in Secondary school at the age of 16 years.
Was there a particular encounter that convinced you that God was actually calling you?
I was always hearing a voice, telling me certain things and I was wondering how I could carry this work given my age then. I can remember vividly one instance. My father took us to one church and the man of God looked at me and told my father that God was going to use me and he asked me to fast for some days to enable what God had put in me to manifest. I actually fasted and after the fasting, my eyes opened such that when I see people, I see what is inside them and I will tell them and they will confirm it. So, people started coming to our house to see me for prayers and prophesy. I was still in the secondary school. Whenever I returned from school, I would see a crowd of people already waiting to see me in our house and then I would start praying for them and giving them messages from the lord. It continued like that.
At what point did you decide to set up a church?
We continued to worship in our house until God spoke to me that He would show me a place where we could set up a church, and I asked the lord how I knew the place and He said there would be a well in that compound and that if I see the well, I will know that is the place He wanted me to be and when I saw this place and the well, I called my mother and told her I had found the place. I then called the agent and he confirmed that it was available and that I could start. We then paid the money and started and God was manifesting himself in miracles, signs, and wonders but after two years, there were challenges. People called the owner of the place who lives abroad and he came down to meet me and said he does not want me to continue using the land. I pleaded with him to give me a little time to be able to find another place but he refused. I started praying and asking the lord to touch the man because I did not have the money to start looking for another place. One fateful day, the man came here and demanded my name and I gave him my name and he left. After one week, he came back and said I should continue using the place and that if anybody threatened me, I should call him and he gave me his foreign number. I think he went to make an inquiry about me or something and I’m sure they told him my hands are clean and that I’m a genuine person. But the challenges continued and in the process, I lost my mother though as a child of God, you must face challenges except it’s not God that called you.
So how were you able to surmount those challenges?
I was able to overcome by the grace of God who started manifesting Himself again and like I said earlier, the man asked us to stay.
Before you got married, what were you looking for in a man that would be your husband?
Before I got married, I told God that I wanted a man who fears him; you know money is not everything but somebody who will follow you and support your vision. You know, if you marry a man who does not support your vision, it’s just a question of time, you will derail from your vision. So, I prayed to God to give me a man who would follow my vision, a man who would understand my pains at times and God truly answered me and since then, I have not regretted it. My husband and I have been together since we got married each step of the way.
Generally, tell us how the journey has been following God knowing that you cannot do anything out of your own volition.
I must tell you that walking with God is not easy because you do not have a will of your own anymore. You know the road is not broad where you can do whatever you want or like. The road is now narrow and you have to face challenges. For instance, some time ago, ‘Omo ni ile’ came to this place and threatened to take over this place and before you knew it, they brought some fetish calabash and dared me to remove the calabash they dropped in front of the church if I serve a living God. You needed to see the crowd here. I told God to take absolute control because He is the only one I know and I removed the calabash and went to drop it at the main road and one after the other, they left. Many people came to ask me the kind of God I serve, that they had seen people who carried the calabash and suddenly slumped and died, had a stroke, and part of their body paralyzed. I told them that nothing of such would happen to me because I serve a living God. Yet, they did not stop at that, they took me to court and from court to many other places but in all, God showed up and today, we are still here and I return all glory to God.
At some point, you pray to God for a particular thing or an intervention in some area and there’s no immediate answer, do you feel despaired or disappointed?
You see, anyone that God calls, there must be training. During the time we were passing through challenges, I came to realize that sometimes when you pray and heaven is silent, it does not mean that God has not answered, He has said a word in your life and He is watching to see what you will do. Look at the case of Joseph in the Bible and the trials he passed through right from his brothers to Portipher’s wife and the inducement Joseph said no, I don’t want to do anything with you, Joseph had to run away leaving his shirt in the hands of Portipher’s wife who used Joseph’s shirt as an evidence against him even though he did not commit the act. Meaning that all of those were trials and heaven was silent. What it means is that Joseph had to get to the end of the trial before his victory would manifest. So, in every man’s life, there must be a trial and God has shown it and proven it. But the interesting thing is that all those trials strengthen the individual’s trust in the lord. Once you have decided to follow God, nothing should pull you down. Just continue following God and I can assure you that one day, your testimony will manifest and that was how God did it for me. I followed him in all the trials because I knew that God was alive and at the end, he made me celebrate, at the end, we won the land and great things began to happen. During the time we were going through the trial, it appeared heaven was silent but God has shown his face and still answers me now. So, when you are facing trials, don’t be discouraged, just follow Him and I can assure you that in the end, your testimony will come.
What’s your dream, your plans for this church in the next ten years?
My desire is that I want God to show Himself more and more. I want the anointing of God to go all over the world; I want the ministry to spread abroad, setting up branches in different parts of the world. God has said that this is the time, so I’m expecting it to happen and I know it will surely happen.
The ultimate desire of every true church of God is to win souls for God through evangelism, how much of that is the church doing right now?
Yes, we are trying our best to reach out to people and tell them about the love of Christ and the salvation He brought for us and I believe that God will give us the power to reach out to many people and win many souls for God.
What is the focus of this ministry?
Our focus here is holiness, righteousness, and soul-winning. If you go to most churches now, the focus is no longer about righteousness, but how to make it.