This story was originally published on Sunday, August 20, 2017.
Founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Pastor Mensa Otabil, has told his congregation that people who have no right to even mention his name in their speech are now freely hurling insults at him due to the Central Bank’s recent takeover of Capital Bank, of which ICGC owns 3% interest.
Using the bad news as an example to encourage himself and his congregation on Sunday, 20 August 2017, about how to find perfect peace in the Lord during personal storms such as his current predicament, Dr Otabil said: “Oh yes I’ve had some reality this week.
“You know when people who have no right to insult you, insult you; that is reality.
“You look at the person insulting you and the person, sometimes, himself looks like an insult. But out of the abundance of his insult, he is insulting you, so that is reality. Reality is when it is hitting, when all kinds of stuff is hitting, I don’t want to go too much into that.”
A statement issued by the Central Bank on Monday, 14 August 2017, said: “The Bank of Ghana has approved a purchase and assumption transaction with GCB Bank Limited that transfers of all deposits and selected assets of UT Bank Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd to GCB Bank Ltd.
“The Bank of Ghana has revoked the licenses of UT Bank Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd. This action has become necessary due to severe impairment of their capital. The remaining assets and liabilities will be realised and settled respectively through a receivership process to be undertaken by Messers Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“The main offices and braches of UT Bank and Capital Bank will be under the control of GCB Bank and will be opened at 1PM today for normal business transactions.”
At the Church’s headquarters in Accra on Sunday, Dr Otabil said he clung onto God’s promise of peace to deal with the bad news.
“For me, this is what helped me: it is getting hold of my mind and on Thursday morning, I woke up and I said: ‘Well I have a church to preach to on Sunday, they are not going to come and listen to pastor’s troubles, they need a word of encouragement, so, I go to my process of beginning to prepare my sermon and part of the process of doing my sermon is I start praying for the congregation, so I’m not praying for myself.’
“Am I in difficulty? Yes. But now I’m beginning to frame my references well. I’m praying for the people and I’m praying for people who are going through their own challenges and people who are going through all kinds of situations. I say: ‘Lord, help me bring a word to them that will encourage them; that will lift them up.’
“When you get to that frame of mind, you are now leaving the space of the storm and you are now getting to the peace of God. You are now becoming an instrument for God to use for his glory and for his purposes,” Pastor Otabil said.
He said in order to be able to do that, “You have to determine where your mind is going to stay. Is it going to stay on you, on yourself, on others or on God? Are you going to think about that person who you think has no right to even mention your name in a sentence who is now insulting you? You can’t think about that because it’s not worth the use of your mental energy. You can’t think about that. And you can’t also think about yourself too much because when you think about yourself, you feel pity for yourself.
“… There has to be a focus to where you put your memories, your reality and your imagination. It is a discipline. You have to control your mind and guide your mind not to go where it doesn’t want to go … And this week, I have really learned to do that; to guard my mind.”
In Dr Otabil’s belief, what has happened is a sign of good things to come for both ICGC and Ghana as a nation, adding that it is a reprisal attack of the devil whose eyes the church poked during its recent Greater Works events at which several internationally renowned men of God converged on Ghana.
“This year’s Greater Works was a point of departure and something huge took place. We poked somebody’s eyes. And when you poke somebody’s eyes, he’ll hit your hand. So what we’re experiencing is the hand-hitting. But the eye has been poked already. I said the eye has been poked already. The eye has been poked already. We transited and something massive is coming out of it, something massive. It cannot be stopped, it cannot be delayed, it cannot be denied. It’s coming because God has decreed it; it’s upon this nation. What happened at Greater Works was not just for ICGC. It was the turnaround of Ghana’s destiny. Ghana’s destiny was taken back and Ghana’s destiny is turning around and nobody can stop it. No devil in hell can stop it. We have poked the devil’s eye and we have the victory in Christ Jesus.
"It is not Otabil’s battle, it is bigger than me. We trust His promises. I believe that this nation from this year is leaping forward, the story of this nation will change, it will have a ripple effect over the story of Africa, there’ll be great economic growth, great financial growth, it’s going to be bigger, it’s going to be better, it’s going to be greater, it’s going to be massive, it’s going to be beautiful, it’s going to be pleasant, but when God promised the redeemer, He said that He’ll bruise the head of the serpent but the serpent will also bruise His heel.
"You can’t bruise the head of the serpent and go scot-free. Your heel will go through something so we understand what is going on. I understand what is going on, we are fully confident of what is going on. We know how the story is going to end. We know the glory of God will be revealed. We know that this nation will rise. We know that victory is coming to the people of God, so we don’t personalise our problems, we understand the promises of God that it is going to be better. You have to trust His promises and then you have to trust His plans.
"…So it’s going to be bigger, it’s going to be better, it’s going to be greater, it’s going to be gold. The money is coming and it’s coming big. We have stepped into money. We have stepped into a season of wealth. We have stepped into a season of abundance. The devil cannot stop it. There’s going to be a massive wealth transfer coming to the children of God. It’s going to be massive. I said it’s going to be massive. There’ll be massive projects being done, massive institutions being built. There’s going to be an acceleration in the next 10 years. This church going to build things it has not done in its 30-year history, and it’s going to be done in a very short time because there is going to be a massive wealth release. Oh yes I know it with all my heart," he said.
Dr Otabil also said despite the bad news, he cares less about his enemies.
"You know I don’t care about my enemies being destroyed; they are not on my agenda. I want to do well … I mean what’s the value of your enemy being destroyed and you, too, not doing well? So your enemy is down and you are down and you are happy? No. I don’t care what happens to my enemy, I care what happens to me. I want to rise. I want to flourish. I want to blossom. I want things to work out for me. Please don’t focus on what would happen to your enemy.
"… And at this point really I’m not concerned about enemies. No. Enemies are not my agenda. My life is too important to focus on enemies. All I want is God, when I come out of this; it’s going to be double. When I come out of this, I shall come forth as gold.
"I just came here to encourage myself and to encourage somebody that if you learn to stay your mind on Him, no matter what’s going on, just keep your mind like a horse rider keeps the horse under control; keep your mind stayed on Him," he added.