Sometimes, God does His greatest work through men and women whom you would not, initially, expect Him to use. Passed over by men, falling short of what everyone considers the basic requirements of leadership, a man is selected by God to be an object of His divine workmanship. One such man is Paul Adefarasin. Paul was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to caring parents. Wanting the best for him, they sent him to high school in England and to university in the United States. Despite all he had going for him, turmoil was brewing inside of Paul. He had begun experimenting with drugs and, before long, was thoroughly addicted. He became an outcast to family and friends and a disappointment to all who had previously believed in him. Paul’s life was spinning out of control so he decided to return to Nigeria. There awaiting him was terrible news.
Paul’s father was diagnosed with cancer and had been given three months to live. Paul was desperate. Who could help him? He turned to spiritualists and witchdoctors for assistance. To Paul’s disappointment, witchcraft did not help. In the depths of despair, Paul turned to an old schoolmate for advice. This friend asked Paul to come with him to meet his mother. Paul was about to meet an amazing woman. She was a woman of great faith and she quickly gained Paul’s trust. Paul told his story to this sympathetic listener and, after a while, she offered to pray with him. Paul says:
As we prayed together she said with more sincerity and authority than I’d ever heard in anyone’s voice, ‘Father.’ Immediately, the room was filled with the presence of God. She paused for what seemed like an eternity and then said again, ‘Father.’ Never before had I experienced the tangible presence of God like I did in that room as wave after wave of His essence washed over me. She prayed for me first in English and then in the strangest language I had ever heard. Rather than alarm me, however, it actually comforted me a great deal.1
Something happened to Paul that day. He was no longer the same person. One day, a friend came to visit him and during their discussion the friend told Paul about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He prayed for Paul and, again, Paul had a special experience. He says; “Immediately, I felt God’s power flow through me in an astonishing way… the next six months of my life were truly incredible as I felt the sovereign hand of God rest firmly on my life.” More good things were in store. Paul decided to visit his father and, while there, laid hands on him and prayed for him to be healed. Miraculously, Paul’s father recovered and lived for another seven years.
Saved and baptized in God’s Spirit, Paul began sensing a call on his life to the ministry. He began a small house church with seven people and called it the House on the Rock. Prayer became a huge emphasis. Prayer meetings would often carry on through the night. More people started coming and contributing. They expanded to holding meetings in a restaurant. It was reported that in 2004, House on the Rock had a membership of seven thousand with thirty-six branch churches. They have community-based outreaches as well, such as a feeding program, relief for disaster victims, prison outreach and a rehabilitation program for former prisoners.
May God be praised for this good work.
Adefarasin, Paul. “The Kingdoms of This World.” In Out of Africa. Ventura: Regal, 2004.
1Julius O Ihonverbere, Nigeria : The Politics of Adjustment & Democracy (New Brunswick: Transaction Pub., 1994), 1.
2Joseph Thompson, “Rising From The Mediocre To The Miraculous,” in Out of Africa, ed. C. Peter Wagner and
Joseph Thompson (Ventura: Regal, 2004), 29.
3Ibid., 30, 33.
4C. Peter Wagner, “Introduction,” in Out of Africa, Ed. C. Peter Wagner and Joseph Thompson (Ventura: Regal, 2004), 10.
1Paul Adefarasin, “The Kingdoms of This World.” in Out of Africa. Ventura: Regal, 2004.