Conversion And Growth
I grew up in Kpademai town, a township situated on the North-Eastern part of the Republic of Liberia, a country situated geographically on the west coast of Africa, seven degree north of the Equator. During the 70’s, there existed a church or a religious group in this township named as the Aladura Church. Aladura is a church group that calls the name of Jesus; unfortunately, its religious practices seem to be in conflict with biblical practices; nevertheless, the group believes in fasting and praying. They believe that God heals; therefore, they are engaged consistently in religious activities such as prayers, rituals, festivals, observance of religious days based from their setting and many more. This religious group conducts services seven days a week and the group is committed to the schedule. I became a member of this religious group during my growing up years between the age of 10 and 12. When I joined this religious group, I became committed to the meeting schedule. Every morning at 6 AM, the bell is rung and all members are required to converge in the church premises for services. In the church, images of Jesus Christ, photos of biblical characters like Moses, Joshua, crosses of different sizes, religious items used for the healing of the sick like table salt, garlic, and many more are displayed visibly in their specific locations according to the norms of the church religious practices. During services, the pastor holds a rectangular iron box in his hand containing a fire. He rotates this iron fire box into the air and at some point; members in the church encountered a religious experiences and are termed as the Holy Spirit coming on them. They gave word of prophecies to individuals saying, “Thou saith the Lord.” What I experienced in this church as the pastor preached during those days, was I felt that I was a sinner and seeing Jesus being nailed to the cross to suffer for me, I needed him to be my Savior. This was my first religious experience; though, I was in a wrong place; nevertheless, God used this religious experience as a stepping stone to get me where I am presently.
After my relocation from the Kpademai Township into Harbel, Liberia in 1984, I visited the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall, the Catholic Church, and the Pentecostal Church. During this time, I did not know Jesus; however, I had the desire in my heart to follow him; unfortunately, I did not know the procedure. In 1985 while sitting at my house during the evening hour, two brothers arrived at my house and shared the gospel with me and eventually gave me an invitation to attend their church. I honored the invitation without hesitation. On the following Sunday, I paid a visit to the church called Little Children Church, situated in Harbel, Crow Hill. During my attendance at the church, I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior after the pastor preached and gave an invitation. At this church I was sorry for my sin and I invited Jesus Christ into my heart to lead me daily in this Christian journey. After my conversion, I became an Usher for the church for three years. While serving in this capacity, I also joined the Praise and Worship Team, the choir, and I also served as the Children’s Sunday School Teacher from 1986 to 1988. After having served as Children’s Sunday Teacher, I became to conduct adult Bible studies on Wednesdays during the week from 1988 to 1989 after the pastor asked me to deputize in his absence. I also served as the General Secretary of the church and closely assisted the pastor to conduct bible studies and to preach on Sunday from 1989 to 1990. From the 1990 to 1992, during the Liberian Civil conflict I served as the Assistant Pastor of the Light of the World Christian Church, the church formerly called Little Children Church, where I received Jesus. When the Liberian Civil conflict intensified in 1992, I fled Liberia and sought refuge into the Republic of Guinea. I became a refugee in this country; nevertheless, I knew my Christian responsibility despite of being a refugee. I served as the General Secretary for the Liberian Refugee Pastoral Alliance from 1993 to 1994 in the Republic of Guinea. This Alliance was responsible for the coordination of refugee churches in the Lola Prefecture, Republic of Guinea. This Alliance also works in collaboration with the Eglise Protestantes de Guinee, a mission group from Canada involved in the evangelization of Guinea with the gospel. With this group, I served as the Church Planter to take the gospel message to the indigenous. After having served with this group planting churches into the Republic of Guinea from 1993 to 1994, I relocated to Cote D’Ivoire in 1995 to continue my education. After having graduated from high school in 1996, I attended the Charismatic International School of Ministry from 1997 to 1998 where I obtained a certificate and a diploma in ministerial studies. After my graduation from the school of ministry, I served as the administrator and a classroom teacher for this school from 1999 to 2000. In this school, we trained pastors, ministers, and church members who have the desire to enter into the gospel ministry.
CALL TO MINISTRY
One of the ways to actualize if one has been called to the gospel ministry is to get involved with institutional ministries like Women Ministry, Men Ministry, Prayer Ministry, Evangelism Ministry, Youth Ministry, and the Singing Ministry. These institutional ministries path the way one could get involved in exercising various motivational gifts such as the gifts of exhortation, generosity, serving others, mercy, and many more. Being involved with these ministries is an open door to exercising gifts that can enable an individual to actualize his or her calling into ministry. When I became a Christian in 1985, I was very proactive in entering some of the ministries mentioned above. For example, I was part of the Church Evangelism Team, the Choir, the Ushering department, the Sunday school department, and the Youth Ministry. In these ministries, I was given the opportunity to share the gospel with sinners, to give exhortation during Christian gatherings, to serve others during service time at the church, and to write communications as the General Secretary of the Church. God rewards faithfulness; therefore, stewardship is the bed rock to dive into one’s calling. Disobedience, unfaithfulness to the Christian service, lack of integrity, and many more can become obscurities to the call in ministry. Many people God calls to ministry do not actualize the call because of the above mentioned entities. They are dangerous to the call of God in one’s life and they can serve as obscurities or impediments to exercising the gifting that God has placed upon the called person’s life. In this light, the call to actualize ministry is characterized by total obedient. I would not have actualized the call I received in 1999 if I have been disobedient to God from 1985 to 1998. God prepared me from 1985 to 1998 to enable him reveal my call in 1999. I would not have actualized the call if I have been disobedient to Him during these years.
The confirmation of my call came into a dream in 1999. This was a spiritual experience that I cannot explain in this document; however, God confirmed the call on my life. After the confirmation of the call, the teaching ministry took on different morphologies with respect to what was happening in the ministry. God healed the barren, the lunatics, the demon possessed persons, the demonic afflicted people, and many more. When God confirms the call on an individual’s life, his or her ministry can take on different happenings by the reason of the grace, the office, the calling, and the anointing the individual has received from God.
ASSESSMENT OF MINISTRY EXPERIENCE
When it comes to ministry experience assessment, sometimes it is difficult to evaluate one because such evaluation is not based on empirical data or quantitative evaluation but such evaluation is based on quality. It is easier if someone else is doing the evaluation than the self; nevertheless, I will attempt to evaluate my ministry experience based on the physical and spiritual ministry experiences. Under the physical ministry experience, I will discuss the church and school administrations and under the spiritual ministry experience, I will discuss the pastoral and deliverance/counseling ministry experience.
Initially, when I became a believer in 1985, I worked closely with the church administration when it came to the organization and implementation of church’s programs. Programs held by the church were headed by me because the position I had as the General Secretary obligated me to run the church administration. I was the one responsible to coordinate departmental wings in the church and at the same time to oversee the day to day running of the church administratively. I was playing multiple roles in the house of God. One thing I have realized in ministry is that the more we avail ourselves to God; He gives us special grace and the anointing to do what we cannot humanly do. Having this administrative ability to run the Church, qualified me to serve also as the administrator for the Charismatic International School of Ministry in Danane, Cote D’Ivoire.
Upon my graduation from the school of ministry in 1997, I became the Administrator for the Charismatic International School of Ministry. During the tenure of this administrative position, I was responsible to organize programs, to draw the teaching schedule and to designate teachers responsible for courses, to distribute courses, and to pay teachers. In this school, I also served as student’s pastor. I had services for students accompanied by systematic deliverance involving evil spirits exorcism and healing. Most of the students who entered the bible school with spiritual problems were ministered to during the course of their studies at the school. Most of the students who graduated from the bible school serve today as pastors and in other church related capacities.
For the past years in ministry, I have functioned in the teaching and deliverance ministries as a pastor. I am Pastor-Teacher by virtue of the call. The call to the teaching ministry has enabled me to serve as teachers in both the secular and the religious settings. I served as teacher of Biology, Physics, and Chemistry in high school in African prior to coming to the United States of America. I have also been involved in church planting in Republic of Guinea and bible school ministry in the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire. I have served in the pastoral leadership for the past 15 years prior to going to a theological seminary.
When God confirmed the call upon my life in 1999, the teaching ministry underwent spiritual evolution in the positive sense. The teaching was accompanied by systematic exorcism of evil spirits from the inflicted following by healing.
In 1999, one of the students who attended the bible school invited me to minister to their congregation on a Wednesday. During the teaching session in the church, a 32 old age man who was also attending the session felled off and went eventually into coma. This man has been sick for the past 17 years and he was brought to the church by family members to be prayed for. He was taken into a closed door to be ministered to after the session. After the prayer, God delivered and healed him instantly. The following Sunday, when I was preaching, he got baptized in the Holy Spirit with the physical evidence of speaking in tongues. His name was Josephus.
After the rebel incursion into the Ivory Coast in 2002, we headed to the Republic of Guinea. At the border town called Ganta, there lived a 30 year old man named Joe. He was crazy; as the result, he ate garbage. He was possessed by evil spirits. After we prayed, God delivered him from the evil spirits and he was set free and eventually became well mentally through the power of God. In 2007, a 12 year old Liberian girl had a kidney failure at the Carolina Medical Center. She was hospitalized for six months; unfortunately, she could not go into the latrine as the result of the failure. Medical doctors and nurses after having given multiple prescriptions to the child, the child’s organs could no longer function for proper assimilation of the drugs; eventually, she became very big as the result of edema. It was my neighbor’s family child who was hospitalized; therefore, she asked me to go to the hospital to pray for the child. When I arrived at the hospital, the mother was crying. We anointed the child with oil and prayed. After we left the hospital, the child who has not urinated for seven months was able to urinate that very day. In 2009, Abraham experienced an aneurism in his brain; as the result, he had to undergo two surgical procedures in the brain. It was a grave situation that no one thought Abraham could live. I went to the Carolina Medical Center to see him. Upon my arrival, he was tied with various machines in the Intensive Care Unit and he appeared like dead body. I asked the nurse who was attending to him to explain to us what actually happened to him. She drew the paths of the stroke on the white board and explained it in detail what happened to Abraham. After the explanation, she said if he lives, he will be disabling the rest of his life and he will have to live in rehabilitation center to manage his disability. This conclusion by the nurse brought a sorrow to his wife and members who were present. After prayer was offered for Abraham in the hospital, God healed Abraham and today he is active, working, and going to school.
In 2007, my wife got pregnant with my son. After the examination, it indicated that the child was bridged. The doctor recommended abortion; religiously, we could not commit abortion by virtues of our religious ethics. After the second test, she was diagnosed to be at risk of bearing a Down syndrome child. The doctor recommended amniocentesis to test if my son will be a Down syndrome child. We refused the test because the doctor never had the solution to stop the Down syndrome disease. We received numerous letters from the hospital concerning the condition of the fetus. My wife was pregnant for 12 months. When she went to give birth with my son, the fetal heart beat was zero. The doctor declared that the fetus was dead; therefore, he recommended surgical procedure in order to save the mother. My wife was not willing to undergo the procedure. We prayed and God reversed the situation. My son was eventually born virginally through the power of God though the fetus was declared dead by the medical doctor. He was not born as a Down syndrome child based on the prognosis shown on the various letters we received from the Hospital. I cannot explain everything in this document God has done to authenticate the call on my life.
Based on these happenings, it can be recorded that God indeed has called me into ministry. This conviction concerning the call to ministry drives me spiritually to fulfill His purpose on earth through the promulgation of the gospel message to the dying world.
RESUME OF MINISTRY POSITIONS
With respect to ministry positions or opportunities, I have served in multiple capacities in the local Church and the universal church. After my conversion in 1985, I served as the Head Usher for the Light of World Christian Church from 1985 to 1987. From 1988 to 1990 I served as Adult Bible Studies teacher. After having served in these capacities, I became the assistant pastor of the Light of the World Christian Church from 1990 to 1992. When the Liberian Civil conflict intensified, I fled and sought refuge into the Republic of Guinea. While in Guinea, I became the General Secretary for the Refugee Pastoral Alliance from 1993 to 1994. After having served this post, I relocated into the Republic of the Ivory Coast in 1995. While in the Ivory Coast, I served as the Administrator for the Charismatic International School of Ministry from 1999 to 2000. We fled back into Guinea as the result of another rebel incursion from Liberia in 2003. In 2003, I served as the Deliverance and Counseling Minister for the River of Life Outreach Ministries, Laine Refugee Camp, Republic of Guinea, from 2003 to 2005. In October of 2005, I moved into the United States of America and started the Praise Ministries International, Inc in 2007 as the visionary. Presently, I am the founder and Visionary of Praise Ministries International, Inc U.S.A and Liberia. I believe serving others; therefore, I have adopted servant hood leadership as my leadership model.
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONALISM
Pastor Jallah Yelorbah Koiyan is the graduate of Central Piedmont Community College, New Life Theological Seminary, and Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary, U.S.A. He holds an Associate Degree in General Education (AGE), Associate Degree of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (AAS), Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies (BABS) with concentration in Pastoral Ministry, and Master of Divinity (M.div) with concentrations in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling. He is an enrolled candidate of Doctor of Ministry program at Charlotte Theological Seminary and the Adjunct Professor of Theology and Counseling at Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary. Pastor Jallah Yelorbah Koiyan is an academician and the visionary.