Pastor Courage Igene is the founder of All Nations Church. Pastor Courage began his secondary education studying computer information systems at the University of Benin in Nigeria before moving on to Paradise Valley College in Arizona. He has also attended the
School of Discipleship at the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Morris Cerrullo School of Ministry.
The driving force in Pastor Courage’s life is his faith and love for sharing that faith with the world. From a young age, he knew he was bound for ministry. All Nations Church has grown to several places of worship and he spends a great deal traveling to speak at each. He also teaches classes online to those interested in joining the ministry. Besides being the church president and a teacher, he is also an author, having written several books about his journey.
When he is not traveling, Pastor Courage spends his time with his family and parishioners, providing the spiritual guidance and empowerment they need to grow their relationship with God.
What inspired you to begin preaching?
When I was doing ministry in my local church as a child, the way they shared the Bible stories with me really resonated in my spirit. What I do now comes from my heart, from this passion and zeal he taught me. I feel like it was my calling from God to do what I do now.
When you were first developing your own churches, was there a time you doubted this was the right direction for you? If so, how did you handle that?
Many times, I doubted, but I believe that is normal. There were times that I faced opposition. In those times, I went back to my faith and would ask God if this is truly what he wanted from me. Each time, I felt God gently pushing me forward. I was steadfast and continued. Opposition is brought to strengthen you, to show you how to overcome things. In the beginning, I would respond to every opposition. I had to learn how to remain focused and follow the path that has been set for me.
What does your typical day look like? How do you make it productive?
I tend to do a lot of my projects at night. It is quieter then and I feel I do my best work. I multitask throughout the night. I will do video editing; I send out goals and projects so that by the next day when everyone is just waking up they are ready to start working on those things. I fall asleep about 7 am but only sleep until about 10 am or so. After prayer and preparing for the day, I usually start out about noon. I will then do counseling sessions at the church office. I do individual sessions to listen to parishioners and provide my best advice.
There are days when we are doing an outreach event or a revival. In that case, I am usually traveling to that location. I spend a lot of time on the phone, I will sometimes do the counseling sessions over the phone also. I try to be available as much as I can. I may visit sick family members in the hospital. I think of myself as a spiritual 911, I am always on call. It is a sacrificial lifestyle and I enjoy absolutely every moment of it.
What has been the most satisfying moment in your spiritual career?
Some of the most satisfying moments have been blessing someone with something they really need. I remember a situation when I was invited as a speaker at a church in Maryland and I happened to call out to this lady who I noticed was crying. I asked if I may pray for her and I asked God to help her. I blessed her with some money that I felt she really needed and her reaction was one of such gratitude. I even asked the local preacher if she was part of their congregation, and I was told no. She explained that she had been walking past the church when I had been speaking and was drawn to my voice, something compelled her to come in. It was a glorious moment for me, to be able to affect someone in that way.
Another example, a few weeks ago I was in another church in California and I praying for the people. I noticed a little three-year-old girl dancing as the music played. I blessed her with some money and this little girl just started crying. I told her I thought she was a wonderful dancer and that I appreciated her sharing her gift and her joy. She was so overjoyed with this blessing, even someone so young, that she couldn’t help but cry. There are so many of these moments for me and each of them is as wonderful to be a part of as the last. It is an indescribable feeling.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not teaching?
I am studying so that I may improve myself. I want to achieve a lot with my ministry, so I am always learning more. I will sometimes watch YouTube videos from great leaders. I will listen to worship music to help inspire me. I also like to watch movies when I can, to relax and focus on something different for a little bit.
What does the future hold for you?
The future is going to still be about ministry and empowering people. That is what I love to do. In the near future, I will be focused and praying for resources to be able to affect even more lives. I will be praying for more doors to open to us so that we can continue what we do. I would love to open a daycare center. I would also like to open a home for abused women so they have somewhere safe to be. I hope to start and after-school program as well. So many don’t have anything to do other than walk around the streets when they get off school for the day. I want them to be empowered for their future. Once we find a way to fund these ideas, we will be able to reach more people.
What books have inspired you?
I am more inspired by my experiences than with specific books. I get inspiration from things that I know are positive and may even change the way someone thinks. For example, with regard to health, I appreciate when I learn something new that I can share with others that may help their well-being. Years ago, I was a big soda drinker. I had no idea how bad it was for you. It does a lot of harm to your body. When I found out just how harmful it is, I quit right away and I have shared that with anyone who will listen. I will not even buy it now for the church when we have functions.
What is one piece of advice you would give to young people today?
I would tell them they need to stay positive and stay focused. Young people are easily distracted. They have plans and goals, but along the way, they may get distracted. Maybe they go to a party and get drunk and the next day doesn’t go to school. That could grow into something that leads them away from their plans. There is time for play and there is time to be serious. They need to be aware of the difference and stay their course.
If someone were considering entering the ministry, what advice would you have for them?
The very first thing I would recommend is going through our own ministry school. It is available online. It is called Transfer Generation School of Ministry. I teach live online to empower people to do ministry. They get homework and teach practical wisdom. I will assign things like go show someone an act of love and report how that person reacts. We train them for public speaking and other skills they need for ministry.