Chris Abah Ochogwu Morgan is a creative force and an inspirational voice in the worship music sub-genre. He is indeed a multi-talented songwriter, composer and performer, with a call from God to embark on the journey of restoring true worship to the body of Christ.
Morgan’s discography reflects his passion to create resources for the body of Christ.
His passion, he avowed, is derived from a consuming desire “to save souls.”
Having ministered on the same platform with great international gospel acts, such as Ron Kenoly, Lionel Peterson, Panam Percy Paul, Donnie McClurkin and a host of others, the Orokam-born Benue State singer has continued to witness an upward swing.
In an exclusive interview with DailyPost in his Abuja home, the head honcho of Apple of Gold Records, and President, Worship Nation, spoke on the life-changing encounter he had with the presiding, pastor of Kingsway International Chrsitian Centre, Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo.
The father of one also bared his mind on his rise from grass to grace and other germane issues, especially those bothering on his life as a minister and family man. Excerpts.
What has been happening to you lately?
Since I moved from Lagos to Abuja, the Lord has been so faithful to me and my family. It’s been a long journey all this while, having to come this far. The Lord has been proving Himself mightily in my life and ministry.
You started out in Lagos, why did you move to Abuja?
I believe that every man has this calling from God; when the Lord said I should come and conquer this territory for him, I had no choice than to obey. Since I moved in here the impact has been so unusual and very tremendous. We have been having a lot of testimonies to what the Lord has been doing through the release of my latest album, Beyond the Shadows. We have been receiving calls from all over the world; both Christians and Muslims do call to testify what the lord has been doing through His music.
Your journey into the music ministry, how did it begin?
It all started while growing up in the red, dusty street of Otukpo, Benue State at the age four. Before then, my mother used to tell me that everything about me from childhood was music, even when I cried, it was in musical tones. But something strange happened to me at the age of 12 while selling orange and groundnut for my mother. Then, I was a member of the Catholic Charismatic. I had an encounter with the Lord on the altar, the Holy Ghost came upon me and for three days it was an unusual encounter.
Then, I would go, hawk some fruits as early as seven ‘o’ clock before going to school just to earn a living. I met one pharmacist who used to play keyboard. I begged him to teach me how to play keyboard, he would chase me away and ask me to go and face my studies.
I even promised to pay him some money after selling groundnut for my mum until one day when he wanted to go out and needed somebody to stay behind to look after the shop, he asked me to come and he gave me a key to practice on the keyboard. Before he returned, I had already mastered the key he thought me and that was how I continued till I began to improve.
Then, I joined the Charismatic band and there I learnt how to play the drum, bass guitar and then the lead guitar. That was how I grew up building myself musically. I started writing my songs at the age of 15.
At age 15, I had a vision when I saw myself singing with a very mighty microphone. While singing, I would see a mighty hand holding a net and pulling people inside. I saw God giving me a net and told me that each time I sing, that is what will happen.
My upbringing was all about God. We grew up in a godly environment, my mother would always tell me to run away from the things of the world. While growing up, my life revolved around market, school, church and the house. It continued till the age of 16 when I went to Lagos with a certain man of God who wanted me for a music directing job in FESTAC Town. That was how I continued until the potential which God deposited in me began to spring up until I heard the voice of God saying that I should go out and engulf the face of the earth with the spirit of worship. Singing the song, stomping the beat, sharing the love and saving some souls – that was the vision statement God gave me. When I wrote the song Arabaribiti in 2006, it was the rave of the moment; in fact, it was in the mouth of all and sundry. I believe the reason God called me to embark on this journey is that there is a vacuum in the heart of man that no one can fill except worship. God called me to reconcile men to Him through worship. He said I should go and cover the face of the earth through worship and while doing that, He will move in his mighty power and manifest blessings and healing and do wonders in the midst of his people.
I must confess, the Lord has been faithful. We’ve been having invitational meeting all over the world. And I believe that this is just the starting point; we have not started what the Lord has called us to do. The best is yet to come.
What pushed you into music, love of fame or money?
There’s something about God, you remember the parable of the talents where some people were given different talents, the ones that traded with their talents were rewarded and the one that went and hid his was blamed.
If fame was what pushed me into this, things wouldn’t have been this way. No doubt, the industry is highly competitive, but if you know what you have and what you are called to do, the struggle of the earth is nothing to think about.
When God gave me this mantle, he gave me certain instructions, which I have been following. We are not focused on the money or the fame because the God whom we worship says durable honour and riches is with Him. You can’t lift the name of the Lord in worship and won’t be lifted.
What would you say are your challenges as a music minister?
For me, as a man who is called by God I see challenges as process, I have always observed that for every man that is born into the earth and has discovered his purpose, there is always a process time God sets his ways. You are expected to go through life’s process in stages and phases; when we go through all that, it shows God is squeezing the quality out of us. I don’t see those things as challenges, but rather a process. Through all this, the Lord has been faithful, because when He gives you a vision, He will definitely make a provision.
How do you cope with the challenges of a family man and a music minister?
The family unit is God’s idea. A purpose is not complete without a man, that is, if God wants to fulfil a purpose he needs a man; a man is not complete without the family, the man is part of the family circle, the family is the church, the church family makes up a nation, the nation makes up the whole continent, the whole continent makes up the whole world, the whole world makes up the whole universe and the whole universe makes up everything that is about God.
Before I got married, I used to go for ministration every now and then but when my wife came in, I had to adjust. I need time to be with the family. God gave me a young boy called Samuel and he needs time and attention and I have been able to provide his needs as a father. My wife also needs me to be around the family always. The Lord has been showing himself strong.
You ministered at the Gathering of Champions in London; how did you find your way there?
I meet the presiding pastor of KICC, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo in Ogun State during a programme few year’s back. After my ministration, he told me that the Lord would use me to mightly impact the world positively. He said the anointing of the Lord upon my life would take me to places and through my music God would do wonders in the midst of his people.
That was how he invited me for the 2011 edition of the programme in London. It was so marvelous to minister on the same podium with persons like Ron Kenoly, Lionel Peterson, Dr Panam Percy Paul and Donnie McClurkin and a host of others.
Your wife is also into the music ministry, how did it happen?
She was a chorus leader in Dr. Paul Enenche’s-led Dunamis Gospel Centre here in Abuja. I went there for a ministration and I heard her leading the worship with such an angelic voice. I was so moved and was like, who is this damsel with such a Holy Ghost-inspired voice?
One thing led to the other and we fell in love with each other and that was how I made the necessary procedures and we are here today as husband and wife.
A number of people have listened to your songs globally and have different encounters. What kind of testimonies have you been receiving?
A lot of people have written letters and other have sent text messages testifying to what God did in their lives through some of the songs God gave me. I have a number of tremendous testimonies, especially with respect to my song “Arabaribiti”. That is a song every person wants to listen to all the time. I have got a lot of testimonies of healing with a particular reference to another song entitled “Often as I Breath”.
When are we expecting your latest work?
We are on that; in no distant time, we’ll dish out some singles. For now, our latest album is in the market, Beyond the Shadows with hit tracks like ‘I Do,’ ‘Often as I Breath,’ ‘Ekondo,’ ‘Adakole’ and host of others. Our debut album is also doing great in the market, it is entitled, Arabaribiti.
Since you and your wife are into the music ministry, will Samuel take after you?
I can’t say for now because man proposes and God disposes. Only God knows the plan He has for him, like the Samuel of old, God gave him to us and we will give him back. When he comes of age, he’ll decide what he wants to become. But I will put him through all the instruments.
What lesson has life taught you?
To be consistent. Never get discouraged. At a point in my life I thought the Lord has forgotten me but when all hope was lost He showed up himself greatly.
What does “worship lifestyle” mean to you?
It means that worship is more than a song. It’s important to remember that music is just one of the facets of worship. To me, worship lifestyle means being the same person at home and the same person in the supermarket and when I am on the stage. It means following the example of Jesus, the Son of God, but was also the Son of Man. Jesus was approachable, and people loved to be around him.
Who do you look up to in the music ministry?
I always look up to God but there are people I admire their ministries. I love Don Moen, Panam Percy Paul, the late Tom Aba and many other great ministers of God.
Where are you from?
I am from Igwu Ako, in Orokam, Ogbadibo LGA of Benue State. My mum is from Otukpa and I grew up on the red dusty streets of Otukpo, Benue State.