Meet the Host of #WWR
He looks like the regular kind of guy (he is, in fact, one), but a closer look will tell you there is more. Underneath that slim physique and calm demeanor is a passion and vision to transform lives and change the world for God through the instrument of worship. Today, we meet with the man who is behind the most talked-about worship event in town – ‘Worship With Ralph’. Read and enjoy!
RED: Tell us a bit about yourself in few sentences.
Raphael: My name is Raphael Francis Oladipo. A product of God’s grace and mercy. I am from Edo state in Nigeria. I am a Singer, a Songwriter, a Music Director and Instructor.
RED: How did you get into the music ministry and what kind of training did you have to become a musician?
Raphael: Music has been my lifelong passion. As a kid, my dad made sure I was involved in the church choir while he maintained a strong musical homefront where we had to sing loads of hymns during family devotion. At the age of thirteen I came under the tutelage of the dynamic Dr Albert Oikelome, whose musical influence still laces my every composition and instructing skills. He gave me the opportunity to sing on an international stage and made me discover my voice. In 2008, I went ahead to do a music diploma at the MUSON centre and there I learnt under proven professionals to be a better singer and flutist and also learnt advanced theory of music. I graduated in 2010 as the best male vocalist amongst a class of maestros.
RED: There’s word in town about an upcoming event you are hosting titled ‘Worship With Ralph’. Can you tell us what the programme is all about?
Raphael: Wow! WWR, as we fondly call it, is simply a worship program as the name implies. It is a gathering of true worshippers; people who have a heart for God and a yearning to see His glory manifest in their lives. This will be the third season of this programme and more than the previous ones, we expect a bigger crowd of worshippers.
RED: What is the theme and when is it taking place?
Raphael: The theme is ‘Lifting Up The Name “JESUS” and it is scheduled to hold on Sunday, November 2nd 2014. Venue is at Halified School in Maryland, Lagos. Programme starts at 2:00pm prompt with a call to worship.
RED: What’s the vision behind it?
Raphael: Oh my! When I completed another decade some years ago, I felt a leading to gather just my friends to celebrate with me in songs. The need for sons of God to manifest was strongly implanted on me; the need to reach out to the world through songs (a tool God has blessed me with); A need to minister on a platform outside the confines of a church wall; A need to touch the lives of my fellow men and bring people together in an atmosphere of true worship and divine embrace.
RED: Is there a target audience or is it just for everybody?
Raphael: I see myself as a voice to the young generation. And I know I have a ministry to reach out to youths. So, yes! The target audience is the youth and young adults.
RED:What do you expect from the congregation as you lead and what should they expect from you at this third season of WWR?
Raphael: #WWR is a program where we come to worship God. I just want people coming with an open heart and a readiness to worship irrespective of who is on the mic. and for this season, we will be singing songs like: – Jesus at the centre (Israel Houghton), – I’m in love with Jesus (New Directions) – Take me to the King (Tamela Mann) and a host of other songs.
RED: Are there other musicians ministering on that day?
Raphael: Oh yes. I am more like a convener. There will be an array of gospel artistes. Young men and women like me in whom the Spirit of God is and in whose heart God has placed a burden to bless the world.
RED: Who is your role model or who are you influenced by most as a worship leader?
Raphael: I listen widely to a lot of gospel artistes largely because I find myself directing choirs a lot. But if I have to mention names I must confess that I have been largely influenced by the legendary Don Moen, the dynamic Ron Kenoly and the masterful Donnie McClurkin
RED: What’s your advice to other worship leaders out there?
Raphael: The Lord is Spirit and they that must worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
RED: Thank you for your time, Mr. Raphael.
Raphael: Most welcome