As the Celestial Church of Christ marks its 70th birthday as from this week, a leading contender to the position of Supreme Head of the Church, Rt Rev. JKJ Owodunni, has sensational revealed why the church has been battling to present an acceptable leader since its founder, Samuel Bilehou Joseph Oshoffa, died.
Oshoffa passed on in 1985.
Owodunni, now an Octogenarian, in a recent publication, said he was actually the man ordained by Oshoffa himself as a successor but that some forces within the church upturned the directive, blaming it as the major cause of disunity within the church.
Recalling events shortly after the passage of Oshoffa, Owodunni said, “We have already taken steps for unity many times, even right from inception when Papa Oshoffa passed away.
“I suggested to someone that we should not visit the issue of the selection of Pastor. Even though I knew I had been chosen as the successor, I was not in a hurry.
“The person that they were planning to select as Pastor was the most senior person in the Church at the time. He was the one leading us before Papa Oshoffa came down from Port Novo and he was next in rank to Papa Oshoffa. I argued that we should continue with that arrangement until the Holy Spirit show us that I have been chosen as successor to Papa Oshoffa.”
Owodunni lamented that his colleagues in the clergy sneered at his warning and that its consequences had been dire as could be seen in the succession history of the church.
He particularly recalled an incident in 1997: “I started sitting on the Pastor’s chair in the inner altar when the Church celebrated 50 years because the Holy Spirit said, ‘Go and sit on it.’
“As soon as I finished delivering the sermon on that day in 1997, I went into the inner altar, sat on it and I declared from that day…that ‘anyone else who sits on it will crumble.’”
He said the Holy Spirit spoke through him affirming that he, and no one else should succeed Oshoffa, which had accounted for mystery deaths in the ranks of those who were appointed to the position of Supreme Head.
Owodunni cited how he initially battled the late Pastor Abiodun Bada, who was the first person to be appointed to succeed Oshoffa. “After I took Bada to court, even up to the level of Supreme Court…the Holy Spirit told me, ‘No more, the remaining battle is spiritual and the Holy Spirit will spearhead the battle.’”
He noted that Bada was head for a few years before his death and that Pastor Hunsu Ajose was appointed against his warning, but that Ajose only spent six days in the position as he died, thus vindicating him. He stressed that he was not rejoicing over the deaths but only to amplify his point.
But on why Oshoffa’s son, Pastor Ebenezer Oshoffa, who was made the Spiritual Leader and has retained the position 14 years on is still in the saddle, Owodunni explained that it was a strategic move by the church leaders.
He said the leaders knew that Papa Oshoffa was wrought in the world beyond that his directive had been flouted here on earth, and that if his son was put there, he would not kill him, so that the name of the church would not be brought to disrepute.
“If anything happened to him at that time, the world would have mocked Oshoffa, saying that he killed his own son,” he stressed.
Owodunni, therefore, urged his colleagues in the CCC to uphold all the traditions laid down by Oshoffa and obey the church constitution, stressing that everything was dictated by the Holy Spirit.
The CCC 70th anniversary, codenamed ‘Platinum Anniversary’, holds from September 19 to 29, this year.