An Encounter With Apostle Dave Heman –Ackah, Founder, Rainbow Christian Assembly

HIS reputation had gone ahead of him. A fine preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He calls his Church a Champions Cathedral situated along Airport Road, Warri.
On Tuesday December 2, I drove from Asaba to Warri and literally grabbed an impromptu chat with this ever smiling man of God, and whose erudition was simply amazing to hear him talk about his ministry.
He will be 66 today, which for him, is not a particularly landmark birthday.
For the first time visitor to the massive premises of the Rainbow Christian Assembly in Effurun, near Warri, one could be lost within the three or so massive buildings with patches of greenery all around you.
The land area is 7.5 hectares of land and could possibly accommodate spaces for primary and secondary schools.
I was led to his lavish office by some personal staff of the Rainbow Christian Assembly.
I was booked to meet him by 2pm, but I arrived earlier at 1.30pm.
The instructive chat I had with Apostle Dave Heman-Ackah started in earnest by 2.30 pm and rounded off by 5pm.
How did it all start? And how far has his Ministry gone?
Going down memory lane, Apostle Dave Heman-Ackah told me ‘I started when I left Pastor Ayo Orisejafor after 25 years apprenticeship in God’s vineyard. From the Church of God Mission to Word of Life in 1977. He prayed for me when I was leaving and before the whole Church.’
‘Immediately after we left him, My wife Rhoda and I got this ministry inaugurated Rainbow Christian Assembly. And by the 24th , from 2002 it will be exactly 17 years.’
Does he have any plans to go into establishing educational institutions in future?
‘Education is also part of the vision of my ministry but I take exception to over-crowding the little space as I want all cars of my members to be parked within the premises, instead of parking their cars outside with the attendant dangers of car theft.’
Apostle Dave Heman-Ackah feels the general trend of education in the country where many graduates are walking the streets, looking for jobs that are neither here nor there is not good. Despite their education and well equipped with degrees and certificates, the march of science and the internet had virtually turned robots to take over the jobs of humans.
Apostle Dave Heman-Ackah has some futuristc plans in the education sector when he finally has a bigger space for productive courses which will impart practical skills to students, who on completion of their school could work with the skills acquired.
The other day, somewhere in the internet, some Nigerians called on jet owners like some men of God to go over to Libya and repatriate stranded Nigerians in Libya. Will you soon join the set of Jet plane- owning Men of God?
‘If someone offers me a jet plane, I will sell it and use the money to advance the cause of my ministry.
‘It is not a sin to have private jets, but for me, it is not my priority. I care about the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus saves and heals. I am passionate about the dignity of the human life and not spend monies paying for obituaries.’
‘The Libyan situation is very unfortunate and many people caught up in the state of despair where they see their dreams shattered and quite nightmarish. It ought not to be so in Nigeria and Africa.
There is hope even in the face of the temporary despair in the country.
‘Since God gave us brains to till the land and when we review our education system, which should lay emphasis on acquisition of relevant skills to allow our children to work for themselves, instead of roaming the streets for non-existent jobs around the country.
The man of God paid tributes to the women in general for being hard working all day long, trying to put food on the table for the family.
He told his congregation one day that he believes the Delta woman and wife are gradually becoming bread winners and are fast replacing the menfolk as traditional bread winners.’
One of the homilies I took away from my chat with Dave Heman-Ackah was that ‘God gave us brains and we are not dummies, as all the technological discoveries and breakthroughs are because God’s finger is directing things.’
And another quotable quote from Dave Heman-Ackah is ‘God is an entrepreneur himself. The first commandment he gave to Adam was work the land, produce food for yourself. The fundamental Christian narrative should go beyond tilling the land for food.
‘That Jesus came and died for our sins. You have to use your brain and be ingenious. The Christian narrative should go beyond liberal studies and technical sciences.
My eventual dream is to go into proclaiming an institute for learning a trade straight away.
Dave Heman-Ackah gave the example of a young man who after graduating with a degree went into the repairs of mobile phones and handsets. And today, he has built a house for himself and bought a car.’
Giving his children as living examples, his two daughters and a boy after graduating are yet to pick up their certificates, but are now busy engaging themselves in most practical ways.
Finally, one of the children is into music production and the other two are into the ministry as pastors and motivational speakers.
The world is changing so fast that the more practical we are the better for the society.
The lessons are so illuminating in an internet world where paper degrees have been fast becoming irrelevant where skills have taken over, including robots doing jobs previously done by humans.
And like a happily married man of God that he is looking back what is his sense of achievement and happiness?
Married for 37 years to his princessly-looking Pastor Rhoda, Dave Heman-Ackah intoned romantically, ‘Apart from the salvation from God, the next greatest blessing is my marriage to Pastor Rhoda.’
We may as well add that behind every successful man of God is a princessly-looking good wife in Rhoda and he romantically intoned one for the greatest blessings for me in the ministry and the second greatest blessing is to be married to my wife, Rhoda, a strong spiritual pillar of support for the past 37 years of our marriage.’