Tuesday, September 19, 2023 11:24 am
By Fred Chikwuelobe
A friend called me to ask why I have not commented on the trending succession at the Fountain of Life Church where late pastor Taiwo Odukoya’s son, Jimmy has been named successor. Firstly, I told him I must not comment on every topic. “But you mourned the late pastor, ” he insisted. “Yes, I did,” I answered. In fact, I still do because he was nice to me when I sought his help, and I am not an ingrate. My motto in life is that, “of all human frailties the worst is ingratitude.”
Also, I adored pastor Taiwo because he lost three people who were dear to him and could have been broken. He lost two wives and his twin sister. Only a few will pass that route and remain strong to continue to serve God. Pastor Taiwov did, and I respected him for that.
Why I didn’t comment on the handover is because ‘e no koncern me.’
However, to help folks understand it, and because I have always criticised Church business, I now write this.
1. Only members of the Fountain of Life Church have the right to choose the successor to the departed GO.
2. Only those who have diligently paid their tithes, sowed seeds, contributed to the growth of the church have the right to protest against the choice, that is, if they don’t like it.
3. People should understand that aside some orthodox churches and Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), many of these other churches are family businesses.
Therefore, it must pass on from father to wife, to son or to even daughter.
4. If pastor Bimbo Odukoya hadn’t died in that Sosoliso plane crash, she could automatically have been the choice.
5. Benson Idahosa of the Church of God International registered the Church in the name of Benson Idahosa Organisation (BIO). When he died and some Church members wanted to take over, the documents were produced, and Magreth, the widow, took over the family business.
5. Prophet TB Joshua died and his church business was handed over to the widow.
6. Moses of the Holy Sabbath of Christ the King Mission died and his son was recalled from abroad to take over.
7. And so on, and so forth.
In cases where the church business owner was not clearly defined, crises have also followed succession plans, and such churches usually go to court to contest it. Assemblies of God is a typical example. And some others.
Therefore, that elders of the Fountain of Life Church quickly handed over the church business to the heir apparent should not bother any non-member. Rather, they should be commended for averting a crisis of succession. They could have muzzled the tattooed and biceps loaded son of late pastor Taiwo. But they didn’t do that. They respected the founder. For this I respect them. I commend them. I respect the church.
People must understand how religion is practiced in our clime. It is both business and politics. And all business and politics is local. If you sit down in such church businesses thinking you are a shareholder because you pay tithe and sow seed, you would be missing the point. These are not shareholdings or share purchases; they’re for the prayers said on your behalf and the miracles wrought for you. Be content with those, unless you didn’t receive any.
So, to my friend who called me to ask that I write on the topic, this is my position.
The church is a family business. It is still in the family. All the departmental heads have deferred to the owner of the business. It should not be subject to eternal examination until churches file annual returns to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). By the way, did you watch those Big Brother Naija blockheads call CAC “certificate?” That should bother you and not another man’s business.