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@pastortt1 • 7y

REV. TOM: Great Man, Great Words When the stories of our lives have been written and compiled, one name would recur again and again in the chronicles: Rev. Tom Amenkhienan. For some strange reason, which I've never researched, I first heard him referred to as the "big man from Texas". This was even before I ever set eyes on him. He was coming to minister at the UniBen "Ugbowo" campus fellowship of the ministry. It was going to take place on a Wednesday night. I was new. Everybody who knew him was very excited. All I gleaned from anyone I asked about him was that he was big, tall and "larger than life". Oh boy, were they absolutely spot on! When he came, he was different. I hadn't heard or seen Pastor Chris or Pastor Ken (as Rev. Ken was then known) as at the time. At least, not as they had now become (Pastor Chris, as a high school student, came to collect cartons of Gideon Bibles from my dad back in the days. Being the "unofficial" keeper of the gates at home, I always opened the gates for him to enter and Rev. Ken was in the same high school as myself) since I last saw them. Rev. Tom (or Pastor Tom as he then was) was different from all of us in UniBen. He dressed differently. He spoke differently. This was 1988. He didn't look like a student. He looked like a Texan. At least, who I assumed a Texan would look like since I hadn't met any. Big, Tall, Reliable. His accent, while not American, was cultured. His diction was excellent and his elocution, mesmerising. He was wearing a yellow, short sleeved shirt tucked into a pair of black trousers with a black wetlooks belt and a pair of matching black wetlooks shoes. His belt buckle was a belt buckle worthy of being called a belt buckle!!! Rev. Tom looked like a million $ and he spoke like a million $. Maybe that's why he assumed that all of us present, each, had a million $ in our pockets. Even if we didn't, which we didn't, we all believed we did when he was through speaking to us!! Rev. Tom told us that the gospel had brought us into millions through the work of Christ. I still remember what I heard that night because it was a severe culture shock to me. I had grown up in a Christian home with both parents "tongues talking". I had given my life to Christ in 1979 (the 1st of many "givings"). I entered UniBen in October of '87 and had joined the ministry (the last of my "giving" my life to Christ) just before Easter Campmeeting of '88 which Rev. Tom had come to sensitise us about as we were the hosting fellowship and campus. I was jolted repeatedly that night as Rev. Tom told us about our financial wealth in Christ. Previously, all I had heard of was the evil of money. How Christians must run from money. But here was a preacher who was telling us to have it!! He looked like he had it. Lots of it. And I believed him. Finally, Rev. told us that wealthy people didn't ride pillion on motorcycle taxis (aka okadas), student or not, neither did they enter rickety buses to seat at the back. He told us to be classy because we are millionaires. We should maintain our class in everything we do even if we are labelled arrogant by others. Don't eat corn and pear or groundnuts while walking on the road. Neither ice cream nor fast foods nor drink anything while walking on the road. Get to your room first. Do all things with dignity. Amazing!!! I never climbed an "okada" from that day onwards (with one exception which was with Rev. Tom's express instruction. That adventure is another day's discussion). Since those halcyon days of yesteryears till the present halcyon days of today that I've become a close associate of Rev. Tom (God has been very good to me), he has impacted, imparted, inspired, motivated, guided and taught me in so many ways. Many people don't know that Rev. Tom is incredibly funny (he wrote a song for me when I was ASG titled "ogbonge Pastor") and very endearing. But there's one thing that I want to say that he has indelibly seared into my spirit: In public and in private, in speaking and in discussions, in seriousness and in joking, Rev. Tom always always speaks, consistently, God's Word. I've never heard Rev. Tom talk lack or as though anything is impossible. Never. Not once. Big figures. Big goals. Big health. Big visions. Big tasks. Everything positive. Everything is possible. It's just amazingly inspiring. Since 1991 when Rev. Dr. Chris Oyakhilome appointed me into the CEC (God has indeed blessed me and is favorably gracious to me), bringing me into proximity with Rev. Tom, I've never heard any word spoken inconsistent with God's provision for us in Christ Jesus. In 25 years. Little wonder the amazing success that Rev. Tom is. Modelled on his (and our) Father, Teacher, Leader and Pastor, Rev. Dr. Chris Oyakhilome. Rev. Tom Amenkhienan, sir, thank you for the impact that you have made in our lives through your service and devotion to our Man of God. We have learnt through you and we are better today because of this. Thank you and Happy Birthday sir. #HBRevTom #YearOfSpreading