It’s amazing, the realisation that PT is 60!!!
I remember when it struck me fully in the first half of 2016 that he was knocking on 60’s door, I could not believe myself. Suddenly, all I could see was a man who chose to be impactful regardless of the generation. So I am here to share a few things about the Pastor Tony Rapu (PT) I know.
He is one of those people one would have been jealous of as a sibling or class mate. The very simple reason is that he has what I call a midas touch. Anything PT touches, he does well. He is a man of excellence. It is not only what he preaches, it is what He lives. Embedded in PT is an unwavering commitment to order. Who else walks into a room and immediately notices one or two chairs askew? PT is the reason the operations team uses plumb lines to align chairs ahead of services. He does not miss a thing. I’ve learned from him that being a Christian goes beyond Sunday services to the demonstration of the excellence of the Spirit everywhere I go every other day of the week. PT embodies excellence in all he does and by his life has taught me to do same.
Oh my! He is a man of prayer. He is not one to boast but his greatest show of humility is in his eagerness to be soaked in prayer to be empowered to do. Not less than 4 hours daily is spent in the place of prayer. His reliance on God for direction is a very present inspiration for me. He is a man who seeks God and wants us to do same. He wants to build men and women who realise that they have direct access to God, teaching them how to be Sons of God, territorial and how to express government. PT believes in the power of prayer and at TPH, we pray. We fast. There is a sound of the roar of lions who will not be silenced. That’s the sound of men and women that he has raised. I remember when I sang with the choir, ahead of any major event, He took us aside for a retreat. Those retreats were life changing as He brought us one on one, back to the place of purpose and power, de-emphasizing whatever event we were preparing for. God always showed up but by example he had shown us that God wanted our availability above our capacity. He is an intense worshipper! You need to see him lead praise and worship to the beat of the shekere, never missing a beat.
His understanding of kingdom principles changed my life. They brought a practical relevance to my faith and helped me see that I am called, far beyond being saved, I am set apart to serve everywhere I am. Serving in the 5 fold ministry brings God glory but excelling at my job and being a positive influence also brings God glory. Being whole and living purposefully also brings God glory. Serving under Him has taught me about order and personal government in a relatable life changing way. His leadership classes are simply soul searching where I learn by the scriptures and his vulnerability. He is not afraid to lay himself bare for others to learn and grow.
PT is a restless soul and it is no surprise God has filled him with such grace to build. He is not afraid to do new things for the kingdom and his head is always bursting with ideas. Scarcely have I found one so dynamic. When you work with him, you know that like the Spirit moves wherever it willeth and no man knoweth, you know things can change at the last minute.
I like to say he acts ahead of his time, his innovative and building graces are simply out of this world and so whilst we struggle to come to terms with his methods, he has moved ahead with God. It usually takes a few years for everyone else to catch up with him and for me he often exemplifies the struggle Christ’s ministry had with the religious Sadducees and Pharisees. He is a man that responds to God quickly.
PT is a man of integrity and very deep and admirable family values. When you know him, you can relate with the letters he wrote to his son Tobe and his daughters Uju and Kene. He places his family first and it is admirable to see even when no one is watching. He is a man of sartorial acumen. I mean, who else wears his pair of jeans with perfect crease lines? His sense of style is 10/10 please.
PT is a man that gives God all he is and i am not surprised when he speaks about having served in various capacities ranging from being an usher to a praise leader. If a need arose in the kingdom, he gave himself to it as though his life was saying, ‘God must not look for a man where there is me.’ I have rarely met a man burning with the fire of purpose like PT. And like Mrs R says, “he does not sleep even when he appears to be sleeping”. Little wonder God is able to commit so much to His trust. He is fired up by the desire to live a life as impactful for God as possible and to die empty.
He straddles confidently across generations communicating with them with relative ease. PT is able to make a 60 plus human feel great, with the same breath mentor U40’s at TPH where he teaches men principles of life and go right ahead to listen and relate with the teenagers at The UnderGround Church. It is amazing to see him at home with the young guys at the Green House, jumping up and down to Unlimited God and in a mentor like role with millennials at The WaterBrook where he empowers them to go and be ‘Counter- Kulture’. It’s in the videos from Freedom Foundation and God Bless Nigeria where Ifeoma and Fatima call him Daddy and you can see how their lives have improved because of the work Genesis House does with the teams on the field. He is so self-effacing and does not want to be seen or known but the work that God has committed to him is simply amazing. Little wonder he does not age, God renews his youth daily.
He is a teacher of the word. If you get a chance to sit in his class, please don’t miss it. God breaks down scriptures to him in a very powerful way and when he gets a chance to teach, I am wowed by the relevance of the gospel to living today. Dying to self, took on a new meaning after a class he taught it in and the Davidic principles I find myself living out by the day I literally hear in his voice. The way he titles his sermons are simply classic. PT does not like run off the mill. When he gets to tell his story, you see a man that has gone through fire and you are inspired to do same.
He is a fine gentleman in every sense of the word. You walk into a meeting with PT late, you walk in head high because he knows you would have sent in regrets earlier to the organiser. Grab myself a seat? Never. As a lady, you stand by whilst a chair is offered for you to sit. PT is a king maker. He recognises graces, gifting and callings and empowers people even when they doubt their calling themselves. He is a father and somehow manages to step out of his intrinsically reserved, introverted self to nurture others to a deeper understanding of Christ. PT does not see a problem and leave it hanging. It becomes a burden and he discharges it by seeking God and building a solution structure to solve it. Isn’t that how The Water Brook Church, Holy Trinity Lagos, God Bless Nigeria, The Potters House of Lagos and The Green House were formed? He does not take no for an answer and against all odds, he builds on. His passion for God weighs more than his convenience. There have been times when PT had to change his clothing in the car as he rushed to God Bless Nigeria to join them in a radical service after teaching at the Dome.
I am grateful for the kingdom mentality I have and the relevance and impact I desire for my life because of the hunger PT’s teachings have placed in me. He makes me want to do things better and stand tall as a child of God influencing the world around me. I see the word of God and understand seasons better and He teaches me by example how to see God and be led by Him. A few people live their lives so full, with legacies so rich that one is inspired by every thought of them. That’s PT!!!
Like Paul said, we have many instructors but not many fathers. PT has been a father and today, we celebrate Him at 60. We know that there remaineth more land to be taken and we are convinced that a new door has been opened unto him.
God bless you sir!!!