Patron of Celestial Church of Christ Reveals He Was A Masquerade Worshiper, Explains How He Turned To Christianity
The Patron of Celestial Church of Christ, Oko-Oba Parish III, Venerable Most Senior Evangelist Gabriel Ojediran (JP) on this interview with Samson Oti, talked about his involvement as one of many foremost masquerade entertainers in Lagos, the final false impression that polygamy is widespread place amongst Celestial Church elders
As one of many Celestial Church’s parish entrance runners, inform us about life earlier than you had an encounter with Christ.
I used to be born in Fiditi, Afijio Native Authorities, in Oyo State. I got here from the household of Alagba, the household home of Akunuodun, the masquerade worshipers. I grew up worshiping Masquerade. I attended Methodist Fashionable College earlier than I used to be enrolled into Development work as a bricklayer, the place I spent 7-years throughout the nation. I couldn’t additional my training longer owing to household issues. My dad had many wives however sadly I used to be the one youngster of my very own mom, so it was a troublesome journey, however I thank God for bringing me this far.
All through my keep in Fiditi, I used to elevate the masquerade as a result of that was what I knew to worship, and it was at all times like enjoyable being underneath the Masquerade customized. I left Fiditi to Ibadan for an apprenticeship; I joined the Masquerade group in Alawo and Oke Sapati, and due to my surname, it’s very straightforward to know the place I got here from. I began the journey from Ibadan additionally by entertaining individuals, and on any Masquerade festive day, I should be in my costume. Whereas nonetheless studying my development work, I used to sneak out to elevate Masquerade; I see it as enjoyable. I don’t thoughts lacking essential assignments; so long as Masquerade is worried I’ve to be there.
One thing occurred between Pencinema Agege and Dopemu space, which modified every little thing for me. There was an ideal slaughter during which troopers killed 1000’s of individuals and demolished properties. In keeping with what I heard, some masqueraders had approached a girl in her store for cash, and she or he in all probability refused. These masqueraders beat her up. Sadly, she was spouse of a soldier. She instantly known as her husband who occurred to be on obligation in Military Entombment. That was how troopers got here in battalion and began killing individuals. They leveled the floor from Pencinema to Dopemu, till authorities intervened.
Was that the way you stopped worshiping the Masquerade?
On that fateful day, I ran for my life instantly I observed the state of affairs was getting messier. I took cowl at a preferred college, Saka Tinubu in Orile Agege. At the moment, the varsity was uncompleted, so I hid in a classroom, but I wasn’t relaxed. I used to be searching for an escape path to the shrine the place I might change my costume. My subsequent transfer from the varsity was to leap a specific fence to hyperlink the principle street however the place I jumped into was Celestial Church of Christ, Orile Agege parish. I was nonetheless in my Masquerade costume, and other people from the church rapidly gathered to see me the place I used to be sitting within the mercy land. They went to name their shepherd and a few prophets and prophetesses gathered to quiz my intention for leaping into the church.
As God would have it, I used to be given a listening ear to elucidate my state of affairs and what led me into the church premises. They eliminated my masquerade customized and gave me the church’s white garment to put on. I used to be additionally advised that God had destined me to turn out to be a member of the Celestial Church of Christ. At first, I refused however for God to show Himself to me, the prophetess began exposing every little thing I had completed in secret and I was advised to go and destroy every little thing. That was how I met Christ and grew to become a Celestial member from Orile Agege.
Did you begin your individual church after you grew to become born once more?
Celestial church buildings weren’t many in these days, so I worshiped at Orile Agege for a few years. That was the place I obtained my first anointment as ‘Elder Brother. I obtained correct orientation about Celestial from Orile and I had encounters with the founder Rev SBJ Oshoffa. Whereas in Orile Parish, I led a bunch to fulfill Baba Oshoffa and I used to be in a position to ask him why he selected to not be sporting footwear. After I left Orile Agege Parish, I joined one other in style church in Iju-Ishaga, Station Parish.
Inform us about planting of the Oko-Oba III parish being the patron of the church?
After I made a covenant with God that I’d by no means return to worshiping Masquerade, there was a revelation for me that God wished to use me not just for one church, however that I should be prepared to hold the cross until the top. Oko-Oba Parish III occurred miraculously, it was by no means an initiative of any being. It occurred like a thriller. All of it began in my spouse’s store on a Sunday afternoon. And every little thing about the church was mentioned that very day. By and enormous, it’s a group church in the present day that just lately clocked 40-years. I didn’t develop up as a Christian, and I by no means went to seminary college at any level to ensure that me to assume that I’ve a name to turn out to be the shepherd of the church. I am solely being honoured because the church patron. Every thing concerning the invention of Oko-Oba III occurred the next Sunday of Juvenile Harvest whereas I used to be nonetheless worshiping at Station Parish. As at in the present day, over 15 Shepherd from Ketu have served within the church. And for report functions, we now have an excellent relationship with the headquarters and that’s why we’re in a position to invite our non secular chief Rev Mobiyina Oshoffa to our church for blessing.
As God used you to plant Oko-Oba III, does it imply it’s your property?
No, it’s not my property; it’s the property of Celestial Church of Christ, Worldwide underneath the management of Reverend Mobiyina Oshoffa. Throughout his lifetime Papa Oshoffa (the founder), he used to go to Orile Agege parish usually, we heard so many issues from him and he didn’t educate us that method. Even if you’re a billionaire, and you’ve got cash to construct a church with a Celestial brand, it doesn’t imply it’s your personal. You can solely construct the church and take the paperwork to the headquarters. The title of the paperwork should be Celestial Church not particular person names. And that has been the way in which we now have been working. We have now not derailed from the tenets and doctrines of the church, led by the founder and that is why it is going to be tough for anyone to mislead us.
In Celestial Church, most front-runners often turn out to be the shepherd of the church. Why is your individual completely different?
It’s as a result of truthfulness doesn’t exist once more.
There are lots of factions within the Celestial Church of Christ in the present day; does it imply the church can not communicate in unison for the reason that founder handed?
It’s as a result of persons are not being honest. Our Hymn e-book says lots concerning the doctrine of the church, and don’t overlook that it’s a non secular church. That’s the method Papa left the church, however sadly persons are derailing. And that’s the reason we’re the place we’re in the present day. The reality of the matter is that Imeko is Celestial headquarters and we now have to respect that order as laid by the founder. However in the present day, Celestial headquarters is in all places and that’s the reason many untrue issues occur throughout the Celestial church buildings.
There’s a in style perception that Celestial Church leaders are polygamous. Is that this a part of the church doctrine?
We’re mixing spirituality with persona; and so they should be handled in a different way. I do know the place you’re going. Being polygamous doesn’t have something to do with the church. It’s a private affair; topic to debate. When Papa was alive, I heard it from his mouth when points like this got here up, he mentioned it brazenly that aside from Mama Yamah that he married on his personal; different girls got here straight from their dad and mom. Papa by no means engaged in any type of fornication or adultery. Let me put it straight, being polygamous doesn’t have something to do with Celestial Church, it’s a private factor and who’re we to guage others? Celestials want peace and prosperity; we should always cease any type of backwardness behavior.
You mentioned truthfulness doesn’t exist within the church once more, how?
See; let me inform you one truth about being trustworthy, most of us within the Celestial fold don’t perceive the grace God has given to us. God loves pureness, however most of us aren’t 100% dedicated to this, and that is why Celestial is affected by energy play and politics.
Whereas worshiping Masquerade, have you ever ever had an encounter with non secular individuals earlier than?
Haaaa! That is an attention-grabbing query. I used to beat white garment church members each time I wore my masquerade costume. I see them as evil spirits as a result of they at all times see us the identical method. I can not rely the variety of white garment church members I gave severe beating, particularly once they mistakenly got here near my father’s home drumming and praying. All I did was get my father’s permission to put on my costume and my cane to beat these individuals away in entrance of our home.
Now that you’re in Christ, do you remorse doing that?
No, I don’t, as a result of that was my understanding then, and that’s what I grew as much as know. However in the present day I’ve been in a position to perceive that Christ supersedes all different gods.
Supply: The Nation