Archdiocesan head of Ondo/Ekiti Diocese of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Most Superior Evangelist Prophet Ayo Adeyemi, popularly known as Ayo Ugbe, speaks with Daniel Akeju on his experience in the ministry in the past 36 years, and the need for clerics to contribute critically to national discourse. Excerpts:
Experience in the ministry
Growing up was quite challenging, but with God on my side, all things have been made easy for me. I have never thought I would be where I am today, but I thank God for His grace and mercy upon my life. I have been in the ministry since 1981. I started my own church, the CCC Ayo Ugbe in 1990 and since then, we have experienced the hand of the Almighty.
To be honest with you, I thought of quitting in 1993, when something terrible happened. A woman in my church sold her child and lied against me that I was the one that stole the child. It was a very serious allegation, and virtually all the church members deserted me; they stopped coming to church, and it almost got to a stage that I was the only one worshipping at the church. However, we searched for the missing child, and by God’s grace, we found her and also discovered that the mother was the one who sold her child. It was such a big crisis at the time and I thank God that it was resolved.
What are some of the achievements the church so far?
There have been many developments since I took over as the archdiocesan head of Ondo/Ekiti, but the one that stands out is the seminary school. To the glory of God, we have been able to matriculate the first set this year; this is done to strengthen the work of evangelism. We also organise groundbreaking revivals at regular intervals.
The CCC has had the church’s name mentioned in relation to reports of fake spiritualists who take part in ritual activities. How would you react to that?
The CCC is a church ordained by God to carry out special mission, one of which is to rid the world of fetish practices and cleanse the world. The CCC does not engage in fetish practices. Sure, there are some elements soiling the name and the image of the church. However, I know for sure that at some point, God will separate the ‘wheat’ from the ‘tares.’
What measures are being put in place to ensure the church’s unity?
Activities are ongoing to ensure the church comes under a single umbrella. Hopefully, I believe it will come to pass soonest.
How would you describe the supreme head of the CCC, Right Reverend Beni Omoge?
He is principled, godly, and a man of his word. His love for the word of God and his desire to transform the church physically and spiritually endeared me to him. In less than one year, we acquired the Golden City, and we recently laid the foundation when he clocked one year in office. He is working assiduously to ensure things are put in place.
There have been concerns that clerics nowadays do not hold political leaders accountable to campaign promises. Would you say that is true?
It is quite hard to find clerics in the like of Elijah, who would confront the ‘Ahabs’ and ‘Jezebels’ of our time. It is hard to see clerics who would stand up to speak against social ills of our time. this is because they have soiled their garments in the mud. The wealth they would amass for themselves have robbed many of their sense of reasoning. The money collected from these corrupt practitioners wouldn’t make them speak up. And this needs to be adequately addressed to rid the nation of corrupt practices.
The CCC would clock 70 in a matter of days. Are you satisfied with the way things are in the church?
We thank God for how far He has brought us. There have been storms but His presence has helped to calm the raging storm. I know with God on our side, all that needs addressing will be adequately addressed.
What are some of the programmes for the anniversary?
A power-packed revival has been slated for that day, during which different gospel artistes will perform. There will be other activities such as Bible exposition, spiritual teaching, among others. People should come with great expectations that they will receive great things from the Lord.
Word of prayer for the country
All we need is prayer; the country needs prayer at this crucial time. Despite the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is back from his medical leave, we need to keep praying for him. All I would say is that God will grant us peace in Jesus name.
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