A petition has been signed by the founding family of Late Prophet Ogunorunlayede, the first shepherd of Celestial Church of Christ, CCC, Calvary Parish, against Rev EMF and his team, over what has been described as divide and rule style of leadership, that had plunged the Parish into discord.
Other members home and abroad who have signed to withdraw from Ketu include Sodolamus, elders, Choir members, women’s committee, men’s committee, and others who have unanimously adopted the resolution to return to the Parish’s culture that kept the parish united and in accord 11 months after the demise of the founding father before the interference of Ketu led by Rev EMF Oshoffa and his divide and rule style of leadership.
The signatories have resolved that the church henceforth will be under no authority of Ketu until peace returns to the global CCC.
Their Preambles to resolution are highlighted below:
1. Observing that Celestial Church of Christ (Calvary Parish 1) has recently been going through a series of administrative and management crises in the form of interference that militate against the collective welfare, peace and progress of the parishioners in consequence of several lawsuits involving the leadership and administration of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide.
2. Noting that one such lawsuit is the recent case in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/565/2021 Between- Most Sup. Evang. Samson Banjo & 3 Ors v Rev. EMF Oshoffa & 2 Ors pending before the Honourable Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos filed on the 15th day of June 2021 seeking several declaratory and consequential reliefs which have unfortunately resulted in gross constitutional uncertainty in the Church and also paves the way for the abuse and manipulation of the administrative and management structures of Calvary Parish 1 by some former members of the dissolved Parish Caretaker Committee in collaboration with some officials with a strange interest in the affairs of the parish at the Church Headquarters.
3. Noting further the necessity to document the factual nature of the complaints against the former members of the Caretaker Committee whose conduct threatens and envelopes the Parish in frequent administrative and leadership deadlock starting with an uninvestigated complaint against the Shepherd by these former members of Caretaker Committee that resulted in the World Headquarter transfer of the Shepherd to Kaduna State where he was rejected and posted back to the Parish; the rancour arising from the completion of tenure of the Parish Caretaker Committee; the unchecked interference and conflict of interest with the authority of the Shepherd-in-Charge and the Caretaker Committee, the Parish and its Council of Elders are not in doubt that the Shepherd, Prophet K.S.A is the superior and appropriate authority to administer the Parish with administrative assistance from Caretaker Committee members, the status of the Caretaker Committee as an organ of administrative convenience and not of legality or constitutional significance either in the Church or the Parish; and the ultimate conduct of the former members of the Caretaker Committee
for resisting and petitioning the dissolution of the Caretaker Committee which the Shepherd ordinarily undertook in line with the instruction of the Pastor and spiritual head of the Church that appointed the Shepherd in the first place to reorganise and bring about lasting peace in the Parish within Six months.
Observing further the outcome of the peace meeting between the Pastor, Rev. EMF Oshoffa and members of the Parish Council of Elders, the former members of the Parish Caretaker Committee and the Shepherd-in-Charge, Prophet K.S. Adeyinka on the 26th of April, 2022 at Olowora, Ikeja, Lagos where it was resoundingly noted and acknowledged by all present that hitherto, Calvary Parish 1 has enjoyed unprecedented tranquillity and progress even upon the demise of the pioneer Shepherd, Sup. Evang. Joshua Akande Ogunorunlayede, J.P. in 2014 when the Parish Council of Elders who has been working in consonance with him for over three decades immediately took over the running of the Parish for Eleven (11) months before the advent of the first transferred Shepherd to the Parish from the Headquarters.
Noting further that at the outcome of the peace meeting of 26th of April, 2022 at Olowora, Ikeja Lagos. The Shepherd-in-Charge, Pro. K.S. Adeyinka was given Six (6) months by Pastor EMF Oshoffa to reorganise and bring about lasting peace in the Parish. In compliance with the instructions and directive of the Pastor, the Shepherd dissolved the Caretaker Committee and inaugurated a fresh Committee known as the Parish Management Committee during Sunday service on 22nd May 2022 and by a letter dated 23rd May 2022, the Shepherd notified the Pastor with the names of all persons appointed to its membership.
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However, the Pastor has failed to acknowledge the appointment of the members of the newly constituted Management Committee even though such approval is administratively unnecessary in the first place. This situation seem to create an appearance that the Pastor’s blessings to the appointment were denied, this unfortunate development created serious administrative management and leadership lapses and crisis within the parish as seen from the objecting and disruptive conduct of the former Caretaker Committee members to the extent of threatening chaos and lawsuit against the Parish and the Shepherd.
Ironically, the notification letter from the Shepherd to the Pastor clearly stated that the Parish Managemen Committee will be saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the peaceful transition for a new Shepherd from the headquarters and also enshrining the right and constituted a way of administration in the Paris and to work with the incoming Shepherd to stabilise and harmonise Celestial culture in the Parish.
6. Observing therefore that it is worrisome and counterproductive when former members of the Parish Caretaker Committee chose to resist and protest Shepherd’s dissolution of the Caretaker Committee (whose tenure already ended) being an action within the authority and mandate given to the Shepherd
by the Pastor and thereby creating and propagating an unnecessary division and internal crisis now affecting the smooth management and administration of the Parish with grave implications for membership drive and other development of the Parish.
7. Realising that it is desirable to rescue the Parish from the manipulations of its membership and administration from within and without, and observing that the Parish’s reliance on the Headquarters for the provision of Shepherds for its management and administration is counter-productive and unduly politicised, and such is now working significant hardship against the unity, peace, and administrative cohesion of the Parish; the Parish principal stakeholders have now resolved to suspend the practice and revert to its traditional transparent and accountable administrative and management independence with the adoption of proper resolutions to properly address the crisis which will be prepared and communicated to the Pastor accordingly.
B. RESOLUTION OF CELESTIAL CHURCH OF CHRIST – CALVARY PARISH 1
By this Resolution of the founding fathers, elders, principal stakeholders and members on behalf of Celestial Church of Christ (Calvary Parish 1) of No. 1, 3, 5 & 7, Calvary Close, Aguda, Ogba, Lagos State (“the Parish”) dated 30th May 2022 the following Resolutions were proposed and duly passed:
1. “That henceforth, all binding communications from the Parish to any authority, persons or groups of persons shall be in writing and bears the signature of the Shepherd-in-Charge of the Parish and Counter-signed at least by a member of the Parish Council of Elders.”
2. “That henceforth, all binding communications to the Parish from any authority, persons or group of persons shall be in writing and duly signed for that authority or by such persons or group of persons.”
3. “That Calvary Parish 1 is not interested in escalating any disagreement amongst the disputing leadership of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide. However, the Parish is aware of the danger and mindful of preventing the extension of the crisis which affects the smooth, transparent, accountable management and administration of the Parish in any manner that negatively affects the peace, tranquillity and growth of the Parish and its membership generally.”
“That the Parish is unequivocally committed to the promotion of the creeds and tenets of the Church and remains undistracted in its mission to sustain the holy sacrament of the Church as delivered to the world through our beloved founder, Pastor Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa with enviable conducts and profound transparency in moral, financial and spiritual matters.”
5. “That the pending leadership and administrative dispute in court over the management of the Church is affecting the smooth management and administration of the Parish; whereas the parish members, elders, founding families and principal stakeholders have resolved to preserve, revert and retain the peaceful approach within the Parish for the control, management and administration of the Parish in line with the tradition adopted upon the demise of the pioneer Shepherd and until such time that peace and love returnto the Church and such time that the Parish shall request in writing to the Pastor for the posting of a Shepherd to it from the headquarters.”
6. “That the Pastor should be notified immediately through a Solicitor on behalf of the Parish that the Parish has adopted an internal parish administration and management under which the Parish will independently appoint its own Shepherd-in-Charge within the Parish who shall have spiritual, administrative and management responsibility for the Parish and have in like manner the authority to appoint such numbers of persons amongst the parishioners into working committees of any description to assist the Shepherd in the day-to-day management and administration of the Parish as he deems fit in line with the Parish’s original tradition upon the demise of its pioneer Shepherd.”
Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.