OpinionSpecial ReportUncategorized

Sack Of 40 Winners Church Pastors: Oyedepo Cares Less – -By Chris Paul Otaigbe

All the hue and cry over the recent sack of 40 new Pastors by the Living Faith Ministry headed by David Oyedepo, may just be for nothing.

He cares less what anyone thinks because, he knows full well that, in a lawless society as Nigeria’s, no law can catch or prosecute him.

For a man who has so much cash and physical assets scattered all around the world, Oyedepo has made so much wealth that money and men are afraid of him; in Nigeria; and Africa too.

In fairness to him, he started from a humble beginning and rose, through his love of God, to where he is today.In other words, he did it all by himself so he owes no one any permission or apologies for his actions. He is invincible. All we can do, is to speak truth to power for God to make appropriate judgement over the case.

Having such a hold on a Community of Winner’s chapel (with millions of people as members) spread across the globe who literally live a Winner’s chapel life seven days a week, all year round, is a feat that must be commended.

As a member of the Winner’s family, I must confess I admire his preaching and leadership of the Ministry. But I get motivated more by Makinde (David Jnr), his son’s sermons. I am sure, one day soon, David Jnr., will electrify the entire world with the word power God has gifted him with.

Oyedepo’s Pentecostal adventure, for ministry expansion, got him to set up 10,000 churches. Wow! And that’s supposed to be a feat, in a nation wired with poverty and hunger.

Anyway, so he gets 10,000 young men, who merely passed through his sandwich Bible courses, to play Pastor and shepherd those churches. Less than two years later, he found forty of them could not deliver to target and so, they have to go. His excuse is that his church does not engage in losses. His god does not tolerate losses. Wow!

In today’s Nigeria, animals (in human skin) who carry Bible and call themselves man of god have been caught, severally, with human parts and blood on their hands.They engage in human sacrifice just so they can have sea of heads in their churches. They want to boast of a large congregation too.

So, if any of these sacked Pastors had gone that route to miraculously make a mammoth branch of the ministry in their base, Oyedepo would welcome such a church with open arms and declare such a one as ‘my son, in whom I’m well pleased…!’

Has he forgotten how he started? At some point, according to the history of the ministry which he narrated often, they could not raise N300, or thereabouts, the church needed to use at the time. He would use their situation, at the time, to prophesy the rosy future they have found today.

Would he be here today, if God had cut short his energy and aspiration for ministry if He (God) had frustrated him (Oyedepo) out of church work?

From the tone of the action the ministry took against the 40 Pastors, it showed Oyedepo cares less where or how they meet their target.

Whether they get it from the devil directly or through satanic agents. As long as their churches have a particular number of congregation and the new Pastors remit a particular sum, it is fine by Oyedepo.

Now, his critics can understand why his schools such as Covenant University boast of such exorbitant fees. At a time when poverty has dug deep into the anals of the country, the sources of the wealth of most of the parents of the children who attend Oyedepo’s schools are obviously questionable. But Oyedepo cares less. Take the money and take your eyes away from the evil mind behind the money. Cash is cash!

Of course, this particular issue is not peculiar to his church, as other ministries and denominations have schools where the school fees are abominably satanic.

Some stories coming from life in covenant University Community do not glorify God or His Church.

Back to the fired forty; as the Lord liveth, the genuine ones among them who sincerely aspired to accomplish the mission of meeting the target, this sad experience will become their stepping stone to greatness; by God’s grace and to His glory.

So, let the world take note that these are the corner stones rejected by Oyedepo’s ministry.

Would anyone now blame Oyedepo’s brother in Law who took advantage of his headship of Abuja’s headquarter of the ministry to establish his own Good Tidings Church next door to Winner’s chapel?

On a personal note, I have been close enough (even though I didn’t deal with him directly), as an observer to watch how Oyedepo and his wife politely refused to help one who was very close to them but who genuinely needed assistance.

In Lagos parlance, let me say mummy and daddy Oyedepo ‘skoped’ or ‘posted’ the person so badly I became embarrassed for the General Overseer and his wife. Did they have to play such a game just to look nice while denying them assistance!

The lady would later learn from another person who also lived with them, at some point, that the treatment they gave her was better than the one she experienced when she sought their help; for the first time after so many years of serving them.

That made me sad but then I concluded he is just a human being.

On a broader note, his desire to set up 10,000 churches that must meet certain financial and Congregational target vindicates the description of Pentecostal church branches as glorified business centers.

His awkward excuse for sacking the forty pastors elevates the Catholic Church’s process of training their Reverend Fathers in a Seminary before sending them to man their parishes without giving them targets.

Where the Fathers fall short of certain expectations, they are redeployed.

This is the logical, commonsense and rational thing to do in ANY religious organization.

The White men who brought Christianity to Nigeria, trained their Nigerian mentees in whose care they left the church.

They even supported them with funding and protection till the new church heads could find their feet.

They set up schools for all the children in their Community of operation to attend free of charge.

If they had applied the Oyedepo church Administration formula, not many would have had the opportunity to enjoy the education that has made them who they are today; including Oyedepo.

Perhaps, the church would have died too because not many may have been able to meet the target.

Worse still, the carnivore that many have turned into doing money and church growth blood ritual would have started way back then.

Thank God, they had a relatively decent heart to work, sincerely, for God.

Currently, I attend a branch of one of the top old school churches where Sunday attendance is never up to 30 congregants.

But guess what, through the young presiding Pastor, God has revealed Himself to me beyond my imagination.

But it has not increased the number of those who come to worship Him there; yet.

This young Pastor would easily have been one of the forty Oyedepo fired. If that happened, I probably would not have had the opportunity to meet God way I did under the young Pastor’s guidance.

In appreciation of his work and convinced people I know need to experience God through him, I have referred some to him and they have testimonies.

So, I am CONVINCED that on an ‘each one tell one’ basis that branch is on its way to rapid growth.

The point here, is, can we quantify how many of these young Pastors God had planned to use to heal the hearts of the hopeless and the helpless in their respective Community of work?

Yes, God will use anything or anyone to achieve His objective.

But it is not in our place, General Overseer, Bishop, Reverend, Senior Pastor or Elder, to know or determine the who, when, where and how!

Another point I discovered through the young Pastor in my current place of worship is the place and power of personal prayer. I had an issue for which I needed God’s intervention and it had a deadline. With persistent fasting and prayers in the privacy of my home, God came through for me before the deadline.

In other words, God is real and you can access him yourself.

Even as a business concern, some compassionate corporate body may still retain and redeploy the young Pastors to some other department in the organization. The truly useless ones can then be laid off when found out.

In the end, as we can bear witness, today’s Nigerian church is no longer about God but about using the name of Jesus Christ to perpetuate personal agenda; whether it’s against the law of man or commandments/injunctions of Almighty God.

In saner climes, what these church business GOs do, and get away with, would land them behind bars.

Well, this is Nigeria where anything BAD goes and people like Oyedepo are above the law and that is why he will care less what anyone thinks or says concerning his actions.

Only God knows who is truly serving Him; in truth and in deed.

*Chris Paul Otaigbe is a veteran journalist 

Comment here