By Sam Eyoboka, Monsuru Olowoopejo & Olayinka Latona
FORTY hours after the Supreme Court affirmed the death sentence passed on the General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, CPA, Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a. Rev. King, the remaining members of his depleted church still revered the bearded, athletic weird cleric as they shrugged off t heir worries to organise a special church service to mark his birthday.
Although his age was kept secret by the church leadership and members, the birthday though was on February 26, a date that coincided with the apex court’s judgment, was postponed till yesterday when the members thronged the church to celebrate a man who still commands unmatched cult loyalty and follower-ship among his converts, such that they still consider their lives of no consequence as far as ‘His Holiness, Rev. King’ is concerned.
Church declines comments on Supreme Court judgment: The church declined comments on the Supreme Court judgment on the founder of the church. Pressed by Vanguard for official comments, the resident pastor dressed in ash-coloured suit with a striped tie to match, Pastor Ifeanyichukwu Chiokwe said the church was yet to agree its reaction to the judgment.
Special birthday service
The resident pastor only volunteered; “You can report whatever you have seen today objectively. At least you have witnessed the ‘Special birthday service for His Holiness’ and you can see how we have conducted ourselves. As a church we have no comment on what you talked about.”
The special church service which commenced at about 7.00 a.m. and ended five hours later, was attended by about 400 members who arrived the church at different times. Sources said that the members were those who hold tenaciously to the doctrine of their General Overseer despite his incarceration 10 years ago and believe that the embattled founder would live forever.
A member who do not want his name in print, said: “I had other engagements today. But immediately I was reminded that there will be a special church service for the G.O, to mark his birthday, I rushed down. Infact, I am happy that I was able to attend the service. Our G.O lives on.” Some of the members took to the social media to congratulate the general overseer
King’s pulpit, special seat vacant
Apparently as part of the high esteem members hold Rev. King, a native of Achina in Anambra State and Psychology graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka-he is highly revered and dignified by members of CPA-nobody mounted the upraised altar which carried a kingly black chair to one side and a covered glass pulpit. In anticipation of his eventual return, his seat and altar were covered with a purple cloth and other royal apparels.
The resident pastor, Pastor Ifeanyichukwu Chiokwe, who presided over the special service used a different pulpit from where he preached the only sermon of the day, quoting several Bible passages include Luke 24 and Isaiah 53:1, urging members to hold tenaciously to their faith and do not believe whatever was being disseminated by the mass media.
The Sermon: Rev. Chiokwe noted that Rev. King would soon return to the church to continue his evangelical mission, pointing out: “When you visit the news stand today, what you will see on the front pages are stories about our G.O., Dr. Rev King. Also, the social media is awash with stories about His Holiness (Dr. Rev King), but the message I have for you is that, do not believe whatever you have heard or read.
“This is a trying time and I expect you to stand firm. Our enemies are trying to use the agencies of government to scatter the Church. But I expect you to stand firm and put your faith in God. I do not expect you to believe whatever message the world is passing across to you. But believe in the Lord, his scriptures and abide by his commandments,” he added.
Chiokwe who presided over the Sunday worship and birthday service at the Ugo Nnabuife Street, Off Bishop Ojo Avenue, Ajao Estate, Lagos, urged members to pray for the G.O., and remain steadfast and focused, saying that the birthday service of their spiritual father was worth celebrating.
He further asked the elated members to appreciate God for the life of their founder and also sing series of birthday songs for almost 20 minutes. Sources said that the excitement on the faces of the worshippers would make a first time visitor to the church find it difficult to believe that the bearded church founder with charming smile had mesmerised members describing himself as the Jesus Christ of our time is currently on death row.
Some members were dressed in two different branded attires with the pictures of Rev. King boldly imprinted on them with the inscription, ‘The man of the moment; His Holiness, the Most Hon. Dr. Rev King-The man of the moment,” and others in tee-shirts reading “Stop fighting God and His people.”
Rev. King’s alleged message to worshippers: After the only sermon of the day, Pastor Chiokwe proceeded to read Rev. King’s messages of encouragement, prayers amongst others to his faithful followers. The founder’s message read thus:
1.Today is worth celebrating.
2.Offer prayer for our G.O. Thank God for His Holiness, Dr. Rev King (3 minutes).
3.Everyone that prayed and thanked God for our G.O. will receive a special Hosanna miracle; miracles that are highly different from what he or she has been receiving before.
- Pray against evils that have fashioned themselves against your lives, shops, joy, dreams (20 minutes).
- You shall never be put to shame
- The moment the cake of the birthday celebration was cut by me, shackles, chain and all powers of the enemies will cut to pieces.
- After the service go home and rejoice.
- There is someone that ate poison but that poison has disappeared immediately you eat of the refreshment here today, you will have peace.
- I bless all the children in CPA, they shall be healed, protected, have long life and grow up to become great men and women of God.
- I bless all those who gave us support in any way, God shall give them pools of living water.
- Everything that would be consumed here today, has already been blessed, they have become miracle materials.
- Pray right now for every other good needs of yours. He shall answer your prayers.
- Let us sing very good birthday song for our Daddy G.O. for 20 minutes. “Happy birthday to you His Holiness”
- Open your mouth and sing your own good song to God because of today (30 minutes).
- I will stop here for now till next time time, our Daddy G.O, will live forever.
18 Prayer of dismissal
Immediately after the service which ended at noon, members were directed to the second wing of the auditorium for refreshments and they had quite a lot to eat and drink while the choir supplied light music.
Neighbouring cleric com-ments
Meanwhile another Ajao Estate cleric and a medical practitioner, Dr. Omadeli Boyo, General Overseer of the Redeeming Love Chapel yesterday described the Supreme Court verdict as long in coming, stressing that it was common knowledge that the apex court would confirm the death sentence.
“It took a long time in coming. It was obvious it was going to come. So it was long expected and the salient lessons to draw from the verdict, are that the chicken had come home to roost. At the end of the day, each man will give an account of his stewardship; either here on earth or by and by, in heaven-the judgment of God is bigger than the judgment of man,” the medical director of Pinecrest Specialist Hospitals, averred.
Account of his stewardship
Continuing, Dr. Boyo, a specialist in Organisational Culture, Public Health, and Sociology of Mental Health and Illness told our reporter that the judgment is only a matter of time to come “and this one has come after a tortuous journey through the Lagos High Court and eventually the Supreme Court which gave its verdict yesterday. Right from the High Court to the appellate court there was no mistake about it that Rev. King was wrong.”
According to him, there are lots of lessons ministers should learn from this; that the laws of the land may prevail and what he did was not only against the laws of the land but also against God, stressing that “he will still face the judgment of God over the allegations against him. This is only a preliminary judgment. There will still be a bigger judgment of God. That is the one he should also fear and repent for obvious reasons.
“The lessons to men of God is that this was the case of burns, deaths and other such like, there are other sins—though no sin is greater than the other—like falsehood, misinformation and financial and misappropriation of funds in the Body of Christ, lies…the world will have to judge the church in the area of accountability,” he noted.