Living a Dream – Literally

From The New York Daily News


Tuesday, June 12th 2007

Rev. Paul Vincent's dreams of a new life in New York have become a reality.

One night in 1995, the Rev. Paul Vincent dreamed his future. Then an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, he saw himself arriving at Kennedy Airport and meeting a woman he had not seen in some time – a childhood friend named Edith.

In the dream, she looked settled, as if she had been in the U.S. for years. Next he saw them dressing in the same room for an event – as if they were husband and wife.

When he awoke, he dismissed the dream. Little did he know it would come to pass and coalesce some of his most important goals: a happy marriage, self-publishing and the opportunity to work as a spiritual counselor and to raise money for Africa’s poor.

“I believe dreams are one of the ways God leads us,” says Vincent, 35, of Byron Ave. in the Bronx.

Vincent, the founding pastor of Kingdom Power Chapel, a Bronx-based Pentecostal ministry, is also the author of “Persistence Works,” a spiritual self-help book.

Last year, he also founded the Africa Charity Project ( ), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing safe drinking water, medicine, business loans and other resources to impoverished African villages, and to supporting religious and business education.

A slender man with a broad smile, his voice was boyishly exuberant on a recent afternoon in the couple’s small, tidy living room as he spoke of “spiritual revelations” that led him to his ministry, his charitable work, and his beloved wife, Edith.

After earning his B.A. in theology in 1996, Vincent worked as a Pentecostal pastor in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.

“He opened his home to take people in,” says Bishop Goddy Okafor, chairman of the Pentecostal Church in Abia State, Nigeria, who was a colleague. “Paul was [especially] dedicated; he sacrificed.”

“I felt God was putting it to me to be instrumental,” Vincent says, “in helping people not only by giving them fish, but teaching them to fish,” or to become self-sufficient.

During those years, he wrote Sunday sermons as a regular columnist for the Ambassador newspaper, a state publication. He also wrote “Persistence Works” – but had difficulty publishing it.

“I had to go back and read my own book to encourage myself,” he says with a laugh.

Undeterred, he continued writing. Soon, he had written more than two dozen spiritual, motivational books.

He began researching the possibility of self-publishing with a Christian publishing company in the U.S.

Around this time, he began dreaming of his childhood friend Edith, who he knew to be studying nursing in another part of Nigeria. In his dreams, they were married and living in New York.

“When I woke up, I would think, ‘How can this happen?'” he recalls. “I knew she had no plans to go to the U.S. I was living in the southwest [of Nigeria], she was in the southeast. It’s like being in Dallas and New York.”

Not to mention that, because he and Edith had grown up together, he thought of her as a “Christian” – or platonic – “friend,” he says.

So he dismissed the dreams.

In 2002, over six years later, he had a “followup” dream.

“I saw her father [in the dream]. He was coming out of church and he said, ‘Many suitors are coming [for Edith]. Over 80 of them! So what are you waiting for?’ I said, ‘But we have not spoken in many years. I don’t even know how to reach her.’ Before he could give the address, I woke up!”

During the next six months, he had “another four or five” of these dreams.

“I was thinking, ‘Is this God’s way of saying she is rightfully my wife?'”

In December 2002, when he ran into Edith’s younger sister, he asked about Edith. She told him Edith was living in the U.S. She had married and, tragically, lost her husband to a heart attack.

When he called Edith, who was living and working as a nurse in the Bronx, she was surprised, but not shocked. Incredibly, she had just had a vivid dream – about him.

In it, she saw a scene from their childhood, 20 years earlier. When they were in junior high school, they had performed together in a religious play, re-creating a wedding. Paul had played the groom, and a girl named Regina the bride.

“In the dream, I saw a photograph with me and him wearing wedding clothes,” says Edith, 37, with a shy smile. “I thought, ‘But it wasn’t me all those years ago. It was him and Regina.'”

Within a few months, Vincent suggested they marry. But Edith wasn’t ready to consider it. He persisted for an entire year, and little by little, the idea felt right to both of them.

When Edith came to pick him up at the airport, Vincent says, the scene was a real-life re-creation of his dream.

Since then, he has published his book – dedicated to Edith – founded the church and appeared on several Christian television shows, including “The Harvest Show” on World Harvest TV (Channel 321 on DirecTV) in January. His next book, “Don’t Be Discouraged,” will be published by Xulon Press ( in August, under the pen name Vincent N. Paul.

He emphasizes persistence when counseling those in need.

“In my last semester [of nursing school] I was pregnant,” says Ifeyinwa Francisca Iweha, 27, of Baltimore, a registered nurse who credits Vincent with inspiring her to obtain her degree. “Sometimes I thought I’d fail.

“I called him and he would pray with me and tell me to persist, and don’t be discouraged. I passed … and it was a wonderful blessing.”

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