The wedding of controversial actress Mercy Johnson to her beau has come and gone. But the soleminisation of the marriage by yet another controversial pastor, Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy, will ensure that ripples of the oddity he endorsed will continue to linger for a long time to come.
Many people wonder what type of Bible Oyakhilome is using to preach to his followers. They believe that he should not have gone ahead to solemnize the wedding because of the controversy that it generated some weeks before the wedding when the wife of Mercy’s new husband, Lovely came out that the man whom Mercy wanted to marry was at the time he was planning to go into another wedding still her legal husband.
Those who spoke to us said Chris Oyakhilome should bury his head in shame for conducting the sham marriage, stressing that the Catholic Church would never conduct such marriage that was full of controversy right from the outset and that there is no spiritual accountability in Christ Embassy.
Another who spoke to us condemned Oyakhilome, stating that his church is nothing short of a night or social club. He said further that Oyakhilome is always at the centre of controversy for instance, he charges feed for the church’s programmes and it is high time he stopped using the name of the Lord to perpetrate his crimes and thereby lead his followers astray. He also said that Oyakhilome has laid a bad precedent that now, people, especially single girls, can just wake up one day to leave their spouses for the rich or famous since they know that evil pastors like Oyakhilome would contract the wedding for them.
Oyakhilome has just contributed to turning two lovely children into literal orphans shorn of love from their father when their father is still alive, because of his flagrant disobedience an express biblical directive on marriage.
It would be recalled that when Ini Edo wanted to marry in one of the Redeemed Christian Church og God parishes inHouston,TexasinAmerica, the pastor of the church bluntly refused to marry the couple. Despite the fact her husband had divorced his ex-wife, the pastor told them he wasn’t going to be part of the wedding because God did not approve and would hold him responsible despite the fact that the couple are both members of the church.
Chris Oyakhilome is not new to controversies especially with the shoddy ways and manners he goes about with his ministry ranging from organizing fake miracles and receiving stolen money from his members.
Recalled that the South African Government and Christian community said sometime ago that they will not allow anybody to come and rope their economy and social system all in the name of religion.
They narrated a number of incidents that has compelled them to doubt the authenticity of the Christ Embassy.
Gathered that a lady who had been sitting on a wheel chair in the healing line, she had been sitting there for hours while waiting for the man of God to come and minister to her, but unfortunately for Pastor Chris as he is fondly called, called on the lady, and having forgot that she was supposed to act paralyzed lo and behold she stood up and scampered and ran to the toilet. Not knowing what to do she was not allowed to return to the wheel chair because many people had seen her while she was running to the toilet, she received serious tongue lashing from the Healing School pastors for the great embarrassment she caused while her empty wheel chair was wheeled out of the healing arena.
Another source recalled that a similar incident had transpired in theHealingSchoolwhen another supposedly bed-ridden faithful was pushed to the toilet by a church member who had volunteered to help at theHealingSchool. On getting there wit the helper, she stood by herself and went in. The helper screamed, rejoicing that a miracle had already taken place but to her amazement, instead of the pastors to rejoice with her she was reprimanded for standing without aid.
Further learnt that an old woman who ministers next to Pastor Chris, called Deaconess Pat, many refer to her as mummy in South Africa, who lays hands on women on Chris’ behalf was said to have warned some South Africans not to bring their children nor give their money to the money making scheme. Her words were, “this is not a church”. She also made mention of the fact that her own children are in full time church ministry but none are in Christ Embassy. She was quoted as saying that she is only at Christ Embassy because it is a job for her.
There is an interesting sub-unit in theChristEmbassyChurchcalled the ‘Haven’. It largely consists of select members that fund Chris Oyakhilome’s ministry inSouth Africaand beyond.
South Africans that belong to this group have suffered tremendously through the insane donations demanded from them by Christ Embassy. Many have had to take their children out of schools to be able to keep up with the Christ Embassy demands.
While South Africans are committing their hard-earned money to the Christ Embassy projects, their pastors are indulging in an unimaginable life of luxury.
Pastor Ken Oyakhilome drives a Lamborghini Murcielago, Austin Martin DB9, Porsche Cayenne, are amongst his five expensive vehicles. All of this luxury life inHouston,Texasis funded by what is called the “American Initiative”.
Another fake, is one Olatunde Oyediran who claims that he lives for Chris Oyakhilome;s vision and ministry and that is where all his money goes, yet he drives a Toyota RunEx.
Meanwhile, immorality is not a scarce commodity in Christ Embassy,South Africa. Tomisin Fashina, a Senior Pastor in the Sandton church,South Africa, is said to have children from different women in his congregation.
Fashina is said to have taught his congregation that it was more evil to bring a fatherless child to the world than to abort. This has raised the suspicion that he may be impregnating women in his church and asking them to abort.
His wife, Tolu Fashina, on the other hand is alleged to have embezzled theHealingSchoolfunds when she and one Taiwo Adenubi, a senior pastor inPretoria, just outsideJohannesburghad been given a construction contract by Dr. Diolla who is the head of theHealingSchool.
They were exposed by a worker who had taken his share of the loot, when they tried to blame it on him. Apparently, this guy, a Nigerian national confessed his own sins but said that he had learnt from the best, being Tolu and Taiwo.
In 2007, the Christ Embassy Randburg branch got a members called Funi Silinda, a business woman. She donated nothing less than R100,000, a month. On months like the American Initiative, she is recorded to have given approximately R600,000. She bought a lot of first class tickets for most of the Christ Embassy, Randburg leadership to attend international conferences inNigeria. She also paid for many of them to be in good hotels.
For partnership like theHealingSchool, she gave about R30,000 a month. She built a computer center in Randburg, furnished it with state-of-the-art computers and accessories. Funi paid for the Christ Embassy TBN contract. She was led to believe that it cost R100,000 a month. Yet she faithfully paid for a whole year.
It however came as a shock to many when Funi announced that she was leaving Christ Embassy because she had run out of money. She said that all the donation she made in Christ Embassy were financed by business projects she received prior to coming to Christ Embassy while she made nothing since joining the church yet she kept on spending.
It became obvious that Funi was tired of being used which is something she said in the end. The final straw was when she was told that she has been personally invited by Chris Oyakhilome to attend his birthday party on the 7th of December, 2007.
Tunde Oyediran started working on her, telling her of how she would need to compete with others at profligacy when she gets to the party as they habitually auction Pastor Chris’ suites for anything up to R1 million.
That day, she realized that Christ Embassy was nothing but a 419 scam. It was then speculated that she cancelled the flight and went back to her home.
Then another fake, Dolapo Layode, who is often postured by the church as the highest giver and donor in the church, came toSouth Africain 2007 to share a very far-fetched testimony.
Dolapo told the meeting that two Angels came to her room asking to be dispatched. And she had told the angels to get her a license to lift oil inNigeria. In two weeks time, she had not only gotten this license, but also a scholarship toLondonwhere she studies about the business she was about to embark on.
In less than a year, Dolapo was telling people that she has trucks with her names running aroundNigeriatransporting oil. She never mentioned planning to be in the transportation business as well.
That was when some people realized that Dolapo and her kind, in Christ Embassy were a grand part of the whole extortion scam. No one can out-give them and it is meant to be that way. Dolapo shocked people even more when she said that when she prays for money, she finds it everywhere in the house, in her wardrobe and within clothes.
However, it appears this grace or ability to mint money as it has been termed, only works for the Nigerian members of “the Haven” group.
South African’s are loved because they work and earn a lot of money and have easy access to credit according to one Pastor Efeoma, a former “Haven” President.
In all these, many South Africans have had to use desperate measures to finance the deep pockets of Christ Embassy hoping to avoid being shunned.
They use credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans, second bonds, missed car and house payments to meet the church’s demands. As a result many are blacklisted by the credit bureau, their cars are repossessed while they are evicted or watch helplessly as their houses are auctioned.
In the ‘Haven’ group the only people who seem to have testimonies of being millionaires are Nigerians while South Africans face liquidation and other financial crisis.
It is no longer secret that the South African authorities are not leaving any stone unturned in its investigation to get to the root of the many outcries against the activities of Christ Embassy inSouth Africa. This was demonstrated about a month ago when Pastor Chris came for the healing school. He was literally frisked and not a single stroke of nicety was spent on him. It was real business and objectivity. His private jet was thoroughly searched at the airport. He was asked to fill in forms standing on the counter as the airport officials apparently refused to use the VIP lounge to do all that.
Chris was said to have been very angry at Ose, wife of Ken Oyakhilome, who has been running Christ Embassy aground by their immoral and uninspiring conducts. Chris is also said to have threatened to stop coming toSouth Africaas he blamed Ose for poorly managing matters inSouth Africa. Chris who came toSouth AfricafromTexaswas said to have gotten the same treatment there.
South Africans strongly feel that Chris made the worst mistake by coming toSouth Africain the first place. The investigators handling the matter already have the support of many countries, includingNigeria. They have met with some Nigerian officials who are passionate with fighting crime. A meeting of all religious groups inSouth Africawas convened recently in Kwa-Zulu Natal to discuss the notorious activities of Christ Embassy inSouth Africa.
And as the South African authorities step up investigations, into the activities of Christ Embassy, the people are aggressively mobilizing to stamp out Christ Embassy from their country for good.
Sometime ago here in Nigeria in March 2007, one Lawrence Agada, an assistant pastor who was a cashier with the Lagos Sheraton Hotels and Towers, donated cash and gifts totaling N39 million believed to be stolen. With the money he bought 250KVA generator valued at N4.4 million and another 27KVA for N1.5 million which he donated to a satellite.
Prior to this, he had given N6 million for the refurbishment of the church as well as N1 million for the purchase of plastic seats for the headquarters and another N1 million contributed to a crusade tagged “Night of Bliss”. While he also gave N400,000 to his parish pastor who had no money for a trip toAustralia.
In appreciation, Oyakhilome wrote Agada, ‘May God, who gives seed to the sower and bread for eating multiply your seeds in Jesus name’. But rather than receive God’s blessing Agada became a guest of the police when his employers discovered that he had stolen from them to give to the church. Agada’s employers also insisted that Oyakhilome should refund the money, but rather than complying, Oyakhilome and his church issued a statement admitting that Agada made donations bus refused to make a refund.
Also before the noise that Agada’s stealing subsided, another members of the church Gbenga Kehinde donated to the church in similar circumstances. Kehinde who was then an assistant manager with the then Eko International Bank stole about N40 million from his employes and donated N10 million to the church.
Due to complaints in some quarters about his miracles, his television programme, atmosphere of miracles which he ran seven days in a week on about 20 TV station was banned from airing by the National Broadcasting Commission based on what it terms unverifiable faith healing.