Me: Sir, it’s a pleasure meeting you and having a relationship with you, but often atimes, I wonder the background this inspirational man of God has. Can I please know about your background?
Pastor Aduloju: Yemi Graceman Aduloju was born about 4 ½ decades ago. He is the 3rd of 7 children, born in Ado-ekiti to a bricklayer father and a tailor mum. At the age of 4, I came to Ibadan from Ado-ekiti to join my father who had already relocated. I lived all my young life in Inoalende area in Ibadan. I grew up in a 16 room house that was full of young people. So we did a lot of dirty stuff like smoking (someone sold Indian Hemp in our house so we had it for free), chancing people which is actually stealing. I went to St John’s Roman Catholic Mission primary school in Inoalende. Then proceeded to Bashorun high school in Ibadan. I later went to Ile-Ife for A-levels at then Oyo state college of art and science. Finally, studied law at Obafemi Awolowo University in 1992.
Me: You have been a blessing to me and many people that have had one form of relationship or the other with you. It amuses me how a very educated man as yourself is into ministry. May I please know about your journey into ministry?
PA: I started changing my way of life at the age of 17 when I had an encounter with a man named Jesus. I was out to serve God after I just got saved. I was CALLED into ministry. I didn’t come into it, there is a difference.
My father’s job brought a low source of income therefore; funding my education was a bit difficult. To worsen it, my father had an accident in 1984 (about 5 people died. Only him survived). He was in the hospital for six months, therefore my mum had to take over the responsibility of catering for us. She worked in a canteen as an attendant and she would bring left over’s of different dishes in nylon bags for us to eat. We survived on that and it was very painful for me watching my mum look at us and cry. That was when I began to pray about our situation. I asked God to remove the suffering. In the midst of the suffering, it was hard to even get on with school and I had to write WAEC. I needed NGN 65 and my mum had to sell some of her clothes which was painful. I gave my life to Christ after that.
I therefore told God if he would see me through, I would serve him. My elder sisters didn’t go beyond secondary school, but I was determined to go beyond that. So I declined the job of a messenger at Union bank that my dad was able to get for me through a friend. By that time, I was driven by a vision to become a lawyer, a vision I caught after my father took me to Afe Babalola chambers.
A man with vision will break through any barrier in life.
I had to work in a school where I taught for NGN 25, I used the money to buy A-levels form. I was paid NGN 35 for the second month and I bought Jamb form. I did A-levels because the cut off mark for law was 274 and I scored 227. It wasn’t easy in school as I had no money and I was a one trouser man. I would mostly wash it on Sunday evenings and it must be dry by Monday morning. I went about preaching with my one trouser as I was the president of Christian Union. On gaining admission to university, my mother wept as she could not sponsor me but because education was relatively cheap then, I didn’t have to pay much (I don’t think I paid up to NGN 3000 for my 3 years course). I had no textbook, would ask for papers to write on from different people. I basically lived on borrowed things.
God has really cooked me to endure the emotional trauma I went through.
There was a day I made a vow to God. I told him, if he would get me through University, and I come out as a lawyer, I would serve him. I was called to bar December 1993. After youth service, I moved to Lagos to practice law and was asked to start a branch of the church I attended in Ibadan in Lagos. I got a very good job at an intellectual property law firm where they offered me what could eradicate the poverty in my life, but the second day after starting, the Holy Spirit reminded me of my vow and asked me to serve full time. I found it hard to accept but did. So I only practiced law for 2-3 years in 1996.
Me: Was that how a young vibrant man entered into full ministry?
PA: Yes! That was how I left salary for no salary.0