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BY THOMAS UYENSE, October 24, 2003
Lagos State Commissioner for Civil Service Commission
Adekunle Oyebola has said that the innocent blood shed
during the Nigeria civil war and military interruption in
politics were responsible for the many woes of the nation
Speaking at a media, conference and launch of Liberation
2003 crusade of the Celestial Church of Christ, Orisun Abiye
Parish, Ogba, in Lagos, Oyebola noted that what the country
witnessed today was designed by God to teach the leaders in
this nation a lesson that no individual had the right to
take another personís life.
The commissioner, who doubled as the chairman and special
guest of honour on the occasion, remarked that the only
option left for Nigerians was to repent and seek Godís
While commenting on the theme of the crusade, Double
Restoration, billed to start on October 28 the co-ordinator
of the crusade, Omololu Oladosu, said God was going to use
the event to restore blessing to Nigeria in general and
Lagos State in particular, adding that the Lord allowed the
second coming of President Olusegun Obasanjo in office, to
restore double blessing to the nation, which he said was
lost due to bad leadership in the country.
Oladosu called on Nigerians to be patient with the
President on his policies and programmes, adding that the
policies and programmes, if well executed were capable of
turning the depressed economy round.
Mayor says move is economic
By RICHARD STEWART and DANNY PEREZ
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle,
Oct. 25, 2003, 1:24AM
STAFFORD -- This city has 55 religious institutions
over seven square miles, and local leaders say enough is
"Nobody wants to send a message that we're against
religion because we're not," said Leonard Scarcella, who
has been mayor for 34 years.
Yet Stafford's City Council is considering a zoning
ordinance that would ban construction of new religious
buildings or expansion of old ones in about half of the
city. Congregations would have to get specific use
permits from the council to build or expand in the
city's other half.
Scarcella said the problem is that the churches are
in danger of taking the place of other establishments.
Unlike most cities, Stafford has no property tax.
Instead, it relies on sales taxes, franchise taxes and
other fees for the city's funds. Churches don't produce
The mayor said 16 of the religious institutions are
now in the zone where they would be prohibited from
At least one minister said all cities, including
Stafford, should try to get more churches.
"People need a place to worship," said the Rev. Peter
Tuck Soon Leong, pastor of Stafford's Chinese Baptist
Church. "They shouldn't restrict us."
The issue of the overabundance of churches, mosques,
temples and other institutions came up last summer when
some of the city's more than 15,000 residents started
saying the city needed to include churches in zoning
ordinances. Stafford first started zoning property use
in 1997 because residents were concerned that there were
too many used car lots in town.
Now, the city averages one religious institution for
every eight acres, Scarcella said.
Several that have located in Stafford have done so in
just the last few years. And many members of
congregations travel from outside of the city to attend
"We welcome them here," Scarcella said. "A lot of
them visit our restaurants and other businesses while
they are here."
The zoning issue has percolated in other cities. For
example, a church intent on moving to a South San Jose,
Calif., technology park has drawn opposition from city
officials who want the area reserved for new businesses.
Stafford's zoning issue has come up in two public
hearings already and will probably be considered in at
least one more next month. At the earliest, Scarcella
said, the ordinance would take effect early next year.
The mayor said similar ordinances have been enacted
in other cities and are legal.
But others disagree.
"People should have freedom to set up churches. It is
their religious freedom," said Daniel Teng, a worshipper
at Houston's Evangelical Formosan Church.
There also has been some opposition, the mayor
admits, from other quarters.
"Developers opposed it because they wanted to rent
storefront facilities to church groups," Scarcella said.
"With the economy the way it is, they were eager to rent
their property to whoever they could."
A storefront ministry usually either quickly dies out
or grows so much that a larger facility is needed,
The Rev. James Akindude, pastor of Celestial Church
of Christ, Stafford Parish, said, "They should not limit
churches because we need more churches than nightclubs
and strip joints. The establishment of churches really
contributes to moral consciousness of society."
At a Stafford restaurant, Delores Morant, 52, said,
"I stand up as an ambassador of God. No matter what part
of the city, we need a higher being. We need some
Leong said his own church started as a mission of
Houston's Westbury Baptist Church. The congregation
bought 11 acres of land in Stafford about seven years
ago and built a church there because the property was
"Now we're too crowded," he said. The church plans to
begin construction of a $1.3 million family life center
around the first of the year and hopes to build an even
larger worship center after that, Leong said.
Worshipers come from a widespread area of Fort Bend
and Harris counties. "We have services in Chinese and
English, and a lot of our members are Hispanic," he
Scarcella said several other groups are embarking on
even more ambitious projects. Hindus are spending $100
million on a temple. Not only are the craftsmen from
India, but the building stone is as well.
Buddhists have begun construction on a 70-acre
complex that is in the restricted area, Scarcella said.
"These are really wonderful people."
The mayor said the ordinance is not aimed at any
Facilities already built or that have permits to
build will be grandfathered in under the proposed
ordinance, the mayor said.
Oddly enough, when Scarcella's own church, Holy
Family Catholic Church, needed to expand almost 30 years
ago, it moved from Stafford to Missouri City. Now the
mayor crosses the city line to attend church.
KHOU-Channel 11 contributed information for the
origination of this story.
This Day (Lagos), October 11, 2003,
Posted to the web October
Reverend Emmanuel Oschoffa, the acclaimed
leader of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), worldwide, has
renewed his call for peace among all aggrieved factions within
the church, for the sake of progress.
He made the call at a media briefing at
the international headquarters of the church in Ketu, Lagos,
which was attended by leaders of the church, while reacting to
the recent proclamation by another faction of the church under
the leadership of late Pastor Gilbert Jesse, who died on
Tuesday, October 7, 2003.
Jesse's group had earlier held an
international conference on Wednesday, October 8, 2003, where
they announced the death of their leader and renewed their
declaration of Jesse as the world-wide leader of the church,
despite his demise.
Before Jesse's death, both factions had
differed on their choice of leadership of the church, a matter
which went to court in August 2001, and was yet to be resolved
before Jesse gave up the ghost after a protracted illness. The
matter is still pending in court.
Reverend Oschoffa, who prayed that Jesse's
soul may rest in peace, declared that the Celestial Church was
one and that the unity of the church is paramount. He further
called on all the warring factions to return home and accept his
leadership so that they will not be lost and the church can go
on to greater things.
"As a man of peace, I believe in dialogue,
and I made a last call to this effect on August 3, during the
world harvest day celebrations. There all aggrieved factions,
including Jesse's were given three months to return to the
central church, an ultimatum which expires in early November. So
far, no hand of fellowship has been extended from the leaders of
the other faction, though some of their parishes are back under
the Ketu headquarters", he said.
"Reconciliation is not easy, but we are
all children of God and Jesus Christ. We must worship God in
perfect peace and love. The international headquarters of the
church is here in Ketu, the national headquarters is at Makoko,
while the world headquarters is at Imeko, Ogun State", he
Oschoffa, who incidentally is blind,
claimed his group has greater reach than Jesse's faction, both
nationally and internationally, and called on those belonging to
Jesse's faction to come back to the church in this time. He then
prayed for peace and progress in the nation, and wisdom for the
government in power to be able to rule the people successfully.
Concerning the court case and the need to
withdraw it in the interest of peace and reconciliation among
all factions, the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the
Church, Evangelist Oluremi Ogunlesi replied that the board would
meet and come out with a decision on the matter.
BY BISI ERETAN
DEPUTY Pastor, Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) World-wide,
Superior Evangelist Paul Suru Maforikan, has been appointed the
new Spiritual Head of the church.
His endorsement on Wednesday after an extra-ordinary general
meeting of the Council of Superiors of CCC Worldwide followed
the demise on Tuesday of the former Spiritual Head, Reverend
Pastor Gilbert Oluwatosin Jesse.
There had been speculations in the past three weeks of the
true state of health of Jesse, who was only recently flown
abroad for medical check-up and on return was said to be
convalescing at the home of another Senior Pastor at the Egbeda
area of Lagos where he died.
A terse statement issued after the meeting of the council of
∑ whereas the position of Pastor, Celestial Church of Christ,
World-wide has been made vacant by the demise of our beloved
Reverend Pastor Gilbert Oluwatosin Jesse, who was called to the
∑ And, because of the prevailing circumstances in the
Celestial fold world-wide, the seat of the Pastor cannot be left
vacant for too long.
∑ It is hereby resolved that the incumbent Deputy Pastor,
Superior Evangelist, Prophet (Dr.) Paul Suru Maforikan is hereby
declared the Pastor, Spiritual Head, Celestial Church of Christ
The communique was signed by 10 members of the council which
include the Head of Nigeria Diocese, Chairman, Council of Clergy
and Secretary General World-wide.
Join Bilewu Oshoffa Parish in Atlanta for the
launching of their 1st CD. The title of the CD is "God With Us (Oluwa
Wa Pelu Wa). Shepherd and composer of the CD is Senior Evangelist
Sammy "Meje" Bakare. For further information, you can reach the parish
Buoyed by the peaceful conduct of the just concluded
primaries of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ignatius Ajuru,
the Nigerian ambassador to Gabon, and leader of the Celestial Church of
Christ, Evangelist Emmanuel Oschoffa have predicted that the general
elections in the country will be peaceful contrary to fears being
expressed in some quarters including the international community that the
general elections next April will be marred with violence and chaos,
Ajuru who spoke with THISDAY noted that "the agents of doom who have been
predicting that he general elections will be doomed will be disgraced at
the end of the day, if all the parties will follow the standard set by the
PDP in the conduct of peaceful and transparent primaries."
He explained that if the way and manner the PDP primaries were conducted
are upheld in the general elections, "then we are on our way to joining
the civilized democratic countries."
Oschoffa, the blind son of the late founder of the Celestial Church of
Christ World- wide, Prophet Samuel Bilewu Oschoffa, who was recently
appointed as the spiritual head of the religious organisation under
allegedly controversial circumstances, also prayed that peace would reign
in the nation.
The leader revealed this in a discussion with newsmen in Lagos yesterday,
ahead of the world meeting of all the parish shepherds of the church,
which he called to unveil his plans and projects for the church in the new
year. According to him, "Only God knows whether the incumbent President
will still be there, but surely there would be a peaceful transition".
January 22, 2003
As evidenced in the screen snapshot sent in by Senior
Evangelist Olubayo Olasokan of New York Parish, he is our lucky visitor number
18,000. This milestone was achieved sometimes early December 2002!
We thank you for your support of this website and we pray that God protects,
blesses and guides you and your loved ones (Amen).
With Revival, Dinner, Awards, Women's Night, Thanksgiving
Service, and more...
Event Dates: February 12 - 16, 2003
Calvary greetings to you in the name of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.
Shepherds rarely get together to discuss what God is doing
for their congregation. This is not because of unwillingness to develop
and cultivate relationships that will strengthen their respective parishes.
More often, it is the heavy demands of the ministry and other pastoral
responsibilities that make it difficult. God is a common denominator among
all Celestians regardless of parish affiliation or location. We believe
that it is good for us to know each other much better, and to celebrate
together. So, we would like to seize this opportunity to invite you and
your congregation to our 25th Anniversary Celebrations in February 2003.
The events include:
- Three Days of Revival Services (February 12 - 14, 2003)
featuring notable men of God from across the country. See attached
- Awards, Women's Night, and Dinner at the Holiday Inn at
JFK, Queens, New York on Saturday February 15, 2003.
- Thanksgiving Service at Celestial Church of Christ,
1380 Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237 on Sunday February 16, 2003.
LOCATION OF EVENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS
- Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Celestial Church of Christ
Queens Parish, 310 Elton Street, Cyprus Hill, NY 11208
(Between Glennmore & Liberty Avenues)
- Thursday, February 13, 2003
Celestial Church of Christ
Ileri Oluwa Parish
138 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
(Between Park & Myrtle Avenues)
- Friday, February 14, 2003
Celestial Church of Christ
New York Parish
1380 Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
(Between Knickerbocker & Irving Avenues)
- Saturday, February 15, 2003
Dinner & Award Nights at Holliday Inn (JFK)
- Sunday, February 16, 2003
Thanksgiving Service at Celestial Church of Christ, New York Parish
1380 Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
(Between Knickerbocker & Irving Avenues)
We recognize that you have a very busy schedule, but we
would make necessary arrangements that will make your attendance in any of the
above events as convenient as possible. We would appreciate a response
whether or not you accept our invitation by calling our Secretary at (718)
269-3622 or by email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or the Anniversary Coordinator at (347) 837-6523.
Looking forward to hearing from you. God bles you.
Yours in the Lord
Ldr. Bolaji James
Sr. Evang. Edward Emono
PRESSE STATEMENT OF THE PASTORAL-IN-COUNCIL
AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON THURSDAY 2nd JANUARY 2003 AT THE
INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, KETU, LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA
APPOINTMENT OF REVEREND EMMANUEL OSCHOFFA AS PASTOR OF CELESTIAL CHURCH
OF CHRIST WORLDWIDE
IN SUCCESSION TO REVEREND PHILIP HUNSU AJOSE OF BLESSED MEMORY.
The Constitution of Celestial Church of Christ provide that the Pastor of
Celestial Church of Christ worldwide (i.e. the sole Head of the Church
worldwide) shall be chosen by the Holy Spirit of God and that the
erstwhile incumbent of the post of Pastor shall name his successor as
However, Reverend Philip Hunsu Ajose of blessed memory, the last Pastor
of Celestial church of Christ, died suddenly on 2nd March 2001 without
naming his successor. There was alternative, therefore, but to wait upon
the Lord to reveal unmistakably His choice as Pastor so that the
remaining members of the Pastor-in-Council can then perform their
constitutional duty of legally appointing Godís choice.
In obedience to spiritual injunction; members of Celestial Church of
Christ Worldwide were assembled at the Holy Land at Imeko for prayers and
fasting beginning at 6:00 am on Saturday 28th September and ending on
Saturday 29th 2002 with the Founderís Day Remembrance Service. Almighty
God promise in the spiritual injunction that he would show us the way
forward. Forty-three Spiritual messages from different Prophets and
Prophetesses present were recorded.
The Pastor-in-Council, the highest ruling Body of Celestial Church of
Christ, Worldwide, met on October 1st 2002 and appointed a Committee of
Prophets/Prophetesses to screen the messages and identify any clear
message about the way forward and, in particular, about Godís Choice as
The Committee came out with a clear message that Godís choice as Pastor
was SUPERIOR EVANGELIST EMMANUEL OSCHOFFA, who was then the Head of
Diocese of Celestial Church of Christ, France where he was living.
Whereupon, the Pastor-in-Council met at the Celestial Holy City, Imeko,
Ogun State, Nigeria on Tuesday 24th December 2002 and appointed him
(Superior Evangelist Emmanuel Oschoffa) as Pastor of Celestial Church of
Christ Worldwide. He has therefore been appointed and installed as
REVEREND EMMANUEL OSCHOFFA, PASTOR OF CELESTIAL CHURCH OF CHRIST
WORLDWIDE with effect from 24th December 2002. He therefore automatically
became the permanent Chairman of the Pastor-in-Council, the highest
ruling body of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide. His proclamation was
made during the Christmas Day Service. A copy of the Proclamation is
Reverend Emmanuel Oschoffa is the eldest son of the Pastor Prophet
Founder of celestial Church Christ Worldwide Reverend Samuel B. J.
Oschoffa of blessed memory. He was born on Christmas Day (25th December)
1948 at Porto Novo, republic of Benin. He had his elementary and
secondary education in Republic of benin and his post secondary education
in Paris, France where he qualified as a civil engineer. He has lived in
France since 1968.
Celestial Church of Christ came into the world through his father on
September 29th 1947. It is therefore hardly surprising that right from
his birth and childhood, he has under the strong influence of the Church.
Consequently he received anointment as Leader from his father in 1964. It
is not surprising that he soon answered the call to serve the Lord and
minister to His people in the Church on a full time basis. He rose up in
the hierarchy to become the Head of Diocese of France in Celestial Church
of Christ. Reverend Pastor Philip Hunsu Ajose anointed him Superior
Evangelist in December 2002.
He speaks Yoruba, Egun, French, and some Spanish. He is married with
children. Glory be to God on high. HalleluyahÖ.
Board of Trustees / Pastor-in-Council
Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide.
Senior Evangelist Oluremi Olusoga Ogunlesi
This Day (Lagos)
January 1, 2003
Posted to the web January 2, 2003
The controversy over the appointment of Emmanuel Oschoffa, son of the Pastor
and founder of Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) the late Pastor S.B.J Oschoffa,
as the spiritual head of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) worldwide took
another dimension as the most senior in the hierarchy of the Church, Reverend
Superior Evangelist Gilbert Oluwatosin Jesse, was formally declared the accepted
spiritual head of religious body worldwide.
The declaration was made at a press briefing attended by all the superior
evangelists, heads of dioceses, state evangelists, shepherds and members of CCC
yesterday at the CCC Tejuosho Parish in Lagos.
The Nigerian Diocese Pastor's Representatives Council, represented by the
Chairman, Shepherds Council, Senior Evangelist Lagun Adesanya, said after due
consultation with members of CCC worldwide and after thorough review of the
affairs of the church, it was agreed that Jesse be appointed the spiritual head
of CCC worldwide. Adesanya said Jesse was highly respectable and generally
accepted to all members worldwide as the Pastor of CCC worldwide.
The development was sequel to the disagreement with the appointment of
Oschoffa as spiritual head of the Church by the three ex-trustees at a meeting
in Imeko, Ogun State on Christmas Day.
Adesanya said that all the shepherds, church workers and entire members of
the CCC in Lagos State were solidly behind Jesse as the pastor and spiritual
head of CCC worldwide, while they rejected Oschoffa in totality.
He said those behind the appointment of Oschoffa as the spiritual head
worldwide are out to divide the church and the family of Oschoffa as they did it
without the knowledge of the late founder's family.
"Beloved shepherds and members, these men and their agents must not be
allowed in your various parishes, chase them out, disgrace them anywhere you see
them", he said.
It was also said that Oschoffa (Jnr) was rejected on the ground that he was
never a member of CCC while his father was alive as he did not believe in the
principle of his father and the doctrine of the church.
THE last may not have been heard yet in the lingering crisis rocking the
Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) as its leader in Nigeria, the Rev. Gilbert
Jesse, was on Tuesday appointed pastor and the church's worldwide leader in
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Emmanuel Oschoffa, a
senior evangelist and son of CCC's founding pastor, S.B.J. Oschoffa, had also
been appointed as the church's worldwide leader on December 25, 2002 by the
board of trustees.
Addressing a news conference at the Tejuosho branch of the church in Lagos,
the Chairman of the CCC's Shepherds Council, Snr. Evangelist Lagun Adesanya,
said Jesse's appointment was made at a meeting of the Lagos Council of
The council comprises superior evangelists, heads of dioceses, state
evangelists, shepherds and members of the church.
Adesanya said the meeting, which held on Monday, came after due consultation
with members of the church worldwide and a review of the church's affairs.
He said the installation of Oschoffa, as the spiritual head by some members
of the church's board of trustees, was not in line with the faith and state of
affairs of the church.
In his remark, Jesse said his appointment by the church superseded all other
"The board of trustees are not our enemy. If they come to us, we would
welcome them and add more people to the board and work together for the peace of
the church," he said.
He stated that the cases in court concerning the leadership tussle would soon
be resolved now that he had been appointed.
"The late Pastor A.A. Bada appointed Pastor Ajose as the next in command and
I as the second person, but now that Ajose is dead, it should automatically
become my turn," Jesse explained.