Fresh crisis tears Celestial Church apart

The last has definitely not been heard of issues flowing from the hosting of Fuji music star, King Wasiu Ayinde Anifowoshe Marshal popularly known as K1, at the 2019 Harvest Programme of the Celestial Church of Christ Genesis Global under the leadership of Senior Sheperd-in-Charge, Prophet Israel Oladele Ogundipe, on 15th December, where the famous singer performed on the altar for over an hour. Because an attempt to sanction the Senior Sheperd-in-Charge better known as Genesis has apparently kick-started what could turn out to be a domino of problems withing the Celestial Church fold in Nigeria.

According to the feelers reaching this writer from reliable sources, the National Headquarters of the Celestial Church in Imeko, a suburb of Ogun State, after the incident of K1’s performance considered as desecration of the altar, attempted to invite Genesis to come and face disciplinary actions on 2 offences. One being the K1 issue, and the other being an offence of bigger magnitude which concerned some actions of Cardinal James Omolaja Odumbaku popularly known as Baba Eto in both Celestial Church and Lagos political circles, who also attended the Genesis programme in contention tagged: Harvest of Massive Mercy.

But how exactly did Baba Eto get involved in an infraction worthy of counting against Genesis? This is how: when K1 was about drop the microphone on the day of the harvest to bring his electrifying performance to a close, Baba Eto made a grand entry into the Church which K1 was not initially aware of. But one of his band men rushed to him on the altar on the stroke of the time he was handing over the microphone, and the message that Baba Eto had just stepped in was apparently whispered into his ear. Hence, instead of going ahead to hand over the microphone, K1 stepped back with it to begin a special rendition in honour of Baba Eto who just came in. But that was not really the second offence.

The real offence was two pronged. One was that as against the doctrine in Celestial Church, Baba Eto wore his cap into the Church. It was said that he should have ordinarily taken the cap off before entering the Church as a norm. And as if that was not enough, Baba Eto allegedly went on to commit more grievous offence in the Church. There are reportedly, 2 special chairs above the altar in all Celestial Churches which are reserved for exclusive beings. One is said to be reserved spiritually for Jesus Christ, so no one sits on it no matter who they are. And the other is said to be reserved for late Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa, the founder of Celestial Church, and only any of his descendants who has taken over the leadership of Celestial Church who currently is Rev. Pastor Mobiyina Oshoffa, is allowed to sit on it whenever he visits any Celestial Church.

But lo and behold, after K1 had made obeisance to him while still singing his praise, and Genesis had come to prostrate for him before hugging him on the altar, Baba Eto went straight to sit on the chair reserved only for the person leading the Celestial Church worldwide. Abomination! In the doctrine of the Church, that is what it was said to be; abomination. The Headquarters wondered why Genesis did not ask Baba Eto immediately to vacate the seat immediately the anomaly was committed. And Genesis reportedly sent words back to the Headquarters that Baba Eto was too big in the Celestial Church for him to have challenged like that. For, one, he was quoted to have said that Baba Eto too heads a Celestial Church of his and well aware of the sacredness of the chair. So, he must have some reasons best known to him to have sat on it.

And again,Genesis was said to have argued that late Oshoffa’s wife was in the Church as a guest that day too. So, why did she keep quiet instead of raising issues on Baba Eto sitting on the sacred chair. But the Headquarters was said not to be ready to hear any of his excuses sent in words of mouth but for him to show up personally at the Headquarter to answer to the crimes he allegedly engineered against the Celestial Church. But Genesis was said to have responded to them that he would not come because he had not committed any crime whatsoever. So, it was a ding dong affair between Genesis and the Headquarters for days.

Meanwhile, the Church service after the incidents which was held on Sunday, 22nd of December, Genesis reportedly told his congregation that he was withdrawing his Church from the main body of the Celestial Church to stand alone. And he asked those of his members who want to stay with him to stay and those who were willing to go away with the main body to do so by their own volition. And as a result of that said secession, the main body of Celestial Church was said to have instituted a court action against Genesis on the matter. And how that would pan out in the coming days remained to be seen.

But in demonstration of his resolve to secede, members of Genesis were said not to have taken part in general worship by all the Celestial Churches in the country every year which starts few days before Christmas and ends on Christmas day usually referred to as “Imeko”. The battle line has obviously been drawn and the last has apparently not been heard of the matter.