Pastor Clem Esomowei is the senior pastor of Triumphant Church International, London, with apostolic oversight over branches in Durban, South Africa; Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and Cape Town, South Africa, and outreach centres in other parts of the world. He is also a motivational speaker, business mentor and successful author, and is married to Marjorie Esomowei, his wife of over 30 years.
Keep The Faith (KTF): Tell us about yourself, your family and growing up.
Pastor Clem Esomowei (PCE): I was born in Patani in Delta State of Nigeria. My father was a civil servant, who served with the Ministry of Health hospitals, and my mother was a trader and home keeper. They had 13 children.
My dad was a very conscientious husband and father, who was always there for us. He missed formal education at the village school because his dad, my grandfather, withdrew him from school, because his teacher used to flog him. When he grew up as a young man, realising the disadvantages of a lack of formal education, he educated himself informally so that he would be qualified for the future ahead of him. He vowed thereafter to do everything he could to ensure his children were educated. My father was stricter than my mother, but never believed in flogging children. He believed in moral instruction and Christian values.
I attended various Catholic primary schools, as my dad’s job often transferred him to different locations: from Abeokuta (Ogun State) in the southwest region of Nigeria, to Forcados (Delta State) and finally to Benin City (also called Edo), where I attended Edo College, Benin City, one of the best secondary Schools in Nigeria. It was at secondary school where I received the instruction and discipline I needed to succeed anywhere in the world.
Thereafter, I studied Pharmacy at the prestigious University of Ife (now called Obafemi Awolowo University) and served with Glaxo Pharmaceuticals (now GlaxoSmithKline) in Lagos, Nigeria, retiring after a ten-year service as a medical representative and export manager.
KTF: What were you like as a child? Did you enjoy school, and what were your favourite subjects?
PCE: As a child, I was a very soft spoken, reserved, gentle but playful. I started off as an average student in my early years, because I never used to prepare for examinations until my dad started putting some pressure on me. He enrolled me in after-school lessons, where my potential was exposed by a seasoned schoolteacher, Mr Uwadiae – a teacher I can never forget and pray to meet him or his children someday.
My favourite subjects at primary school were English, Arithmetic and Geography. At secondary level, I scored As in Additional Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and English. I passed the concessional entrance examinations to three top universities in Nigeria: to study Petroleum Engineering at the University of Ibadan; Pharmacy at the University of Ife, and Medicine at the University of Benin. I originally chose Petroleum Engineering, but my dad intervened asking me what would I be doing when the crude oil wells dry up? I didn’t want to do Medicine, and he prevailed on me to study Pharmacy. My ambition was to build up a financial base to begin a community pharmacy practice.
KTF: How did your life change when you became a Christian?
PCE: My life turned around when I got born again in 1984 – one year after I started working with Glaxo Pharmaceuticals as a medical representative. My values changed, my commitment to Christ increased, and I soon became the Company Export Manager (Africa). I ministered the Gospel to everyone I met in those nations I visited. As I served the company conscientiously, I saw many saved and healed supernaturally.
Churches were planted in the Gambia through my evangelistic efforts. Several churches were planted in Nigeria through the Word Ambassadors, a crusade team I led. Finally, in 1992, after much divine pressure and apostolic confirmations, I resigned my vocational job as Export Manager with Glaxo, to serve God and His Son, Jesus Christ, full time for the rest of my life. I was sent as missionary pastor to break the ground for my local church in the United Kingdom.
KTF: You have been married for over 30 years to your beautiful wife, Marjorie. How did you meet, and what can you tell us about her?
PCE: We met at church in 1985, after I dreamt that a deaconess in the church introduced a young lady to me. It happened just as I dreamt some weeks later, and the revelation flashed in my mind; I just knew she was the person I would be spending the rest of my life with. She was a very pleasant, pretty, determined, focused, God-fearing young lady. We got married on 14th February, 1986, in Lagos, Nigeria. It was very glorious and modest, but not as flamboyant and financially intensive as weddings are today!
My wife is very special. She is so very pretty and a hardcore Jesus-lover, who is passionate about the call of God upon her life. She started as a banking officer with a regional state bank; moved to a new generation merchant bank, and rose to become General Manager of the bank’s subsidiary. She served pari passu as the head of the children’s ministry at our local church, growing the children’s ministry from about 200 to 1,500, when she left to join me in the UK.
KTF: And what about the church you founded, Triumphant Church International?
PCE: Triumphant Church International began on 19th September 1999. Our mission is to restore people to their full potential in Christ, and to inculcate in them a lifestyle of prayer, outreach and intimate relationship with God. We have several community and ministry groups, such as: foodbank every week; Christmas angels; fitness centre for the 40s to 80s; homeless feeding twice a week; women and men’s ministries; singles’ and married couples’ ministries; youth and children’s ministries; church service ministries; community outreach ministries; international outreach ministries and media ministries. These ministries have one way or another led to the growth of the church in general. We have established branches of Triumphant Church International nationally and internationally.
KTF: Triumphant Church International is also very active overseas. Where and how do you minister abroad?
PCE: By the grace of God, we have branches and chapels in Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Durban, South Africa and, in the UK, in Birmingham, Basildon, Chatham and Leeds.
Our overseas missions include our annual Back To School project for over 250 children; our annual Widows In Need Project (WIN); an annual outreach to red light districts in Den Haag (Holland); medical missions for prostrate cancer, malaria and diabetes tests in Africa; collaboration with our women’s ministry, as we are building orphanage bungalows in Nigeria, and collaboration with other overseas ministries in mission.
KTF: In addition to being a pastor, you have written a number of books and are also a motivational speaker and business mentor. Can you tell us more about this area of your ministry?
PCE: I thank God for enabling me and putting me in ministry to express the revelations I receive from God in the books I have written, like The Successful Christian Business Man and Woman – this was written in my quest to see Christian businessmen and -women succeed in business, to finance the spreading of the Gospel. The Da Vinci Code Truly Fiction was written to debunk the false doctrines spread by the writers of Da Vinci Code, which became a popular movie of misinformation about the life of Christ. Making Progress is more of a theological exegesis and eisegesis. Divine Decrees I, II & III are prayer proclamation books on various 21st century issues. Victory Over Offences exposes the dangers of living in offences, unforgiveness and bitterness.
The bestseller so far is the Divine Decrees trilogy, which has spread to Africa, the Americas, China, India, South Korea and other countries of Asia. I enjoy ministering at conferences and training church leaders, which I have done in Europe, Africa and the United States of America. God has raised up several successful international businessmen and -women through my ministry; they are a tremendous blessing to the ministry and to the community at large.
KTF: Who is the one person, besides Christ, who has most helped to shape your leadership, and how did they help you?
I can’t really name one person, but it has been a combination of my desire for reading developmental books by Bishop Mike Okonkwo and Pastor Taiwo Odukoya in my early days, and Dr Myles Munro, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, John Maxwell and Pastor Paula White for ministry development.
KTF: In which direction do you believe God is calling your ministry in the next 5 to 10 years?
PCE: In the next five to ten years, we plan to expand the present church premises to accommodate church attendants; plant five more international branches and ten national branches; purchase permanent sites at some of our UK and overseas branches, and to start and fully run the TCI internet radio and internet TV stations.
KTF: Just for fun, what are three words other people would use to describe you?
PCE: Reliable and amiable, God-fearing and humble. Oops, that’s four!
For more information about Pastor Clem and Triumphant Church International, visit triumphant.org.uk, Twitter – @caesomowei, Facebook – Triumphant Church INT’L TCI, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.