|By Sam Eyoboka
Posted to the Web: Wednesday, January 25, 2006
SENIOR Evangelist Samuel Kumolu-Johnson was born in August 1949 in
Kano to a Methodist Church lay preacher who was useful in setting up a
lot of parishes of the church in the North. He left Kano for Lagos at
the tender age of three where he lived with his blind uncle. He soon
became a chorister at the Methodist Church, Olowogbowo, while he daily
read newspapers for the uncle and became so good in English and in
current affairs. He lost his dad in 1962 when he was 11 years old but
managed to read Electrical Engineering at the University of Lagos
through scholarship and later worked with the oil company in different
parts of the country but later in 1967 he joined the Lagos State Civil
Service be-cause of pressure from his mother that he should come home.
He worked there for 20 years and retired to become a full time minister
of the gospel, this time at the Celestial Church of Christ, CCC. He
heads the Rescuers Internation-al, a reformist organisation whithin the
You were brought up in the Methodist Church, at what point did you
veer off to Cele and why?
I was a Methodist until I went for youth corp. Why I veered up basically
was because I discovered that within the Methodist Church, there was no
room for people to develop their talents. Iím somebody who believes that
everyone should be allowed to develop whatever talent deposited in one.
I had a very good talent to write, study something and come up with some
ideas that can be useful to humanity and I discovered that the Methodist
Church, even Anglican Church and other orthodox churches are so fixated
about their so-called precepts. If you come in and say something, they
will brand you as a non-comformist. And it was time to go out to look
for any other organisation where I could feel free to develop myself; so
that, I donít just lock up so much energy which could be useful to some
people and that was the basic reason. Till now, I have nothing against
Methodist Church, but I thank God that I moved out. I discovered that
the white garment is where you can really discover and develop yourself
to the maximum. The day I joined Celestial Church in 1979, was the day I
was allowed to read bible.
Secondly, I joined because I discovered that a lot of people from
other churches come to Celectial Church, either in the night like
Nicodemus, or early in the morning like Mary Magdalene who went to the
graveyard, to seek spiritual assistance. I am somebody who does not
believe in hiding anything Iím doing. If Iím a Methodist and I have to
go to Celestial for prayers, then why can't I be a Celestial? I can
assure you, in all the travails Iíve found in life; Iíve never had any
cause to leave the Celestial Church to seek extra power anywhere.
The third reason is that I discovered that Celestial Church is where,
by the grace given to the founder, you can live a normal life. The
church encourages people to live normal lives. I have a lot of friends
in Methodist, Catholic who have wives at home, and keep concubines
outside. Some even have more than one wives but you must not say it in
church. In Celestial Church, you live your normal life. If you have more
than one wives or you donít, itís your own problem. The church says come
as you are, as dirty and stinking as you are, we accept you but I found
out that 98 per cent of Cele members have one wife.
So two per cent are polygamists. Isnít that at variance with the
Bible? The Bible says a bishop must be a husband of one wife...
Number 1, the Celestial herarchy has no room for bishops. We start
from brothers, then elder, our next rank is leader, then evangelist.
There is no where in the Bible where it says, that an evangelist should
have one wife. It says bishop, deacon. We donít have those titles, so we
cannot be held down to what the Bible has written about them. And there
is no way you can equate a bishop with an evangelist. Their jobs are
Is that in another way saying that the Bible allows for polygamy?
What about David? He had eight wives.
And in the New Testament?
At the end of Revelation, the Bible says, you must not add or deduct
from this book. So, whether itís new or old, anybody who believes in the
Holy Bible must live by the Bible. Let me give you a simple example. I
had a mission that took me round Nigeria, preaching here and there. A
whole man like me would have to go round sleeping here and there without
anybody to take care of him; because my wife says she doesn't want to
join me. One thing I want you to realise is that, the Bible wants you to
live your life to the fullest. Thatís why Jesus said I came that ye
might have life and have it more abundantly, rosier and better than he
lived. The Bible does not encourage anybody to suffer himself because he
wants to please God. The bond of marriage is fivefold. Once any of those
bonds breaks; if your wife is not bone of your bones or flesh of your
flesh, that is, if the power of communion is not such that you are in
everything together, then that marriage doesnít exist. And thereís no
point deceiving yourself that you're maintaining that marriage so that
people will not talk. I do everything in such a way that my God is happy
with me and I can perform, to the best of my knowledge, any duty that is
Thereís nothing wrong with monogamy. Itís the ideal thing, but
certain situations come up in which you just cannot avoid it, unless you
donít want to succeed. Some people hide and keep concubines. I donít
keep concubines, I have no girl-friend or woman friend. Itís against my
policy. I will have a wife and I know Iím investing in somebody that my
name is attached to, any where she goes, my investment is being seen,
itís not hidden. We saw all these things when we were in secondary
school. A whole judge in Ibadan died, it was during the burial ceremony
that the wife knew he had another woman with four children. I donít want
to live that kind of life, and I thank God that till now, Iím not living
like that. Iím not saying that the Bible does not say you should have
one wife, but the same Bible is where, for certain reasons people had
more than one wives and God did not cut their necks. The famous man
after Godís heart, David, did it. I donít see anywhere in the Bible
where it says he did the wrong thing. And that is how Celestial Church
sees the issue of wife. The constitution of the church states clearly
that we abide by the marriage ordnances of any country where we operate.
We abide by what the law says. So, the church is not saying go and marry
10 wives, but it says when people have problems and difficulty of life,
rather than run to festish priests, they should come here. God will give
us a solution to any problem.
But I can assure you today, that 99.9 per cent, if not 100 of
polygamous situations are due to one or two problems. Donít let anybody
deceive you that the man likes women, itís a lie. Probably the man is
too sexually active and the wife cannot cope.
On the contrary, if a man is married to a woman who is too sexually
active and the man cannot cope, will you advise the woman to take
That is their own problem. I donít get involved in that one. I want
us to realise one thing, religion or the Bible has no intention of
making you live an impossibility. You can always have a meeting with
your wife or your husband and say let's review this situation. Anything
that both of you agree upon, is valid before the almighty, because you
are still trying to keep the bond. There are rare cases here and there
and those exceptional cases are not too many, but when those cases come,
they must be handled in their own merit.
The Celestial Church of Christ as it was founded by late Pa Oschoffa
is not what it is today. Can you give us an insight to what is the true
The church is not what it was for three reasons. One, the prophecy he
gave on succession was misinterpreted. He said the spirit that
instituted the church will choose a successor to him. And one of the
ways to know his successor was that he would have joined the church 20
years before he died or 5-6 years before he died. And he said when that
person is finally known, he should be honoured and respected. They
refused to allow that prophecy to come to pass. Infact, they wanted to
cover it up but it was one of the members of the Board of Trustees,
Owoduni, who allowed a lot of people to know about the prophecy. Pa
Oschoffa gave the prophecy on his last interview on television. He said
he has chosen the leader, who would not be the next person in rank,
which is Bada. The person will be chosen by the spirit, that is in the
church. When he died, people said the thing canít come to pass. I was
one of those who believed that, because of my spiritual growth then.
When we ran into chaos, I now discovered that it is the only solution.
What they should have done was to put on an advertisement to determine
those who joined the church 5-6 years before the man died. Those who
joined 20 years. There are records, because he defined in the
constitution to who the pastor is. He said the pastor must have
unchallengeable authority on earth as concern the rules, doctrines and
tenets of the church. If you people now say you were born at that time,
the spirit has given you, so, let us see what he has done to you. You
will now know whether what they are saying can be challenged or itís
unchallengeable. If we had maintained the same dead leaders, new ideas
would not come in; but unfortunately, they refused to listen. That is
one thing that caused the chaos.
The second thing is the love of money. Pa Oschoffa was really blessed
with money by the almighty. He would sit down and people will be
bringing money to him. God gave him that grace. There was the
annointment exercise in which he places hand on you, with oil, and a lot
of promises are automatically kept by the almighty. Particularly
promises that have been surpressed by the devil. What he used to tell us
then was; ask what you want. God specially gave Papa. Why did he give
him? So that he could have followers. So, when he died, the people he
left believed that such grace would be automatic. But they had since
discovered that it doesnít work. People never sat down to really search
Oschoffa spiritually and know why he was performing and succeeding. They
just felt that all they needed was to be called Pastor.
So when they now gave themselves the title, we have four pastors now
and the four came up in four different ways.
How do we get out of this lock jam?
The shortest way I believe to get out, is for us to forgive
ourselves. Because each of the pastors are not ready to leave the seat,
but there can be a midway solution if they love the church and they love
the unity of the church. The solution is to let Agbaosi become pastor.
If Agbaosi is accepted by them to be the pastor, he is senior to every
pastor. The others have no right to talk. While the man is on sit, let
us work on the fulfillment of the prophency.