By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—Millions of members of the Christ Apostolic Church worldwide will certainly heave a sigh of relief following the reconciliatory moves that would bring together the two factions of the church, Supreme Council and General Executive Council which have been embroiled in ownership crisis for the past 28 years.
The peace process has reached advanced stage that both leaders, Pastor Gabriel Lagunju and Pastor A. O Akinosun for the first time, have agreed to sheathe their swords and proceeded to use joint Sunday school; planned joint good women annual conference, joint national youth conference and 2018 pastors’ conference.
As a double assurance that the age long crisis is fizzling out, the two factions adopted the same theme, “Prepare for the next move of God” for the 2018 pastors’ conference.
Also, the two leaders used the same posters with their pictures placed side by side.
But for the unavailability of space, they would have come together under the same umbrella like the spirit-filled CAC of Pastor Ayo Peter Babalola era.
While vowing not to retreat on the reconciliation process, the President, Christ Apostolic Church Nigeria and Overseas, Pastor Gabriel Lagunju, at the C.A.C., Ile Anu, Alasepe Prayer Ground, Ikire, Osun State, where the week-long conference is holding, explained how series of peace meetings had been held to usher in lasting resolution of the ugly crisis which has done unimaginable damage to the once viable church.
Pastor Olagunju who spoke through the General Secretary of the Church, Pastor Joseph Oguntile, said: “building on the peace process demonstrated at the 2017 conference by the exchange of visits by representatives of the two governing councils of the mission, the Lord again inspired one of our prophets to propose unity prayers which were agreed with and held in three venues between December 2017 and January 2018.
24 member peace committee
“The 24 member peace committee composed of the two presidents and other leaders from both councils had also continued to meet gradually discussing and resolving the various issues involved in the mission’s unification project. Since the 28 year-old crisis could not be hurriedly and genuinely resolved without some level of patience and consideration of ‘some give and take’ principles, the entire mission agreed on some joint programmes which were heartily welcomed by the entire members of the mission.”
Continuing, he said: “As already reported to the Supreme Council at one of our meetings, the choice of joint leaders for the entire mission is already one of the eleven key issues in the unification agenda of the peace committee being tabled for discussion stage by stage.”
Confirming the reconciliation process, Pastor Ademisoye Alawode, Director of Publicity, who is with the General Executive Council, said as one of the signs that the storm is almost over, a delegation from the Supreme Coumcil led by Pastor Adeoloye visited Ikeji Arakeji camp of the CAC last Wednesday.
“The unification process is true. We have the same theme for this year’s pastors’ conference. We have had series of peace meetings, unity prayers. All these are outward signs that the peace process is on.
“A delegation of the Supreme Council visited us at Ikeji Arakeji today(Wednesday) and the leader spoke on the need to fast track the peace process and ensure that it is completed very soon.”
When asked if teeming members of the church should expect something positive at the end, he said, “of course yes. Pastor Adeoloye assured that both sides would reach the final destination. We have been having unity prayers and meetings.
There was a prayer on December 22, January 26. At Ikeji today, when the delegation of the Supreme Council spoke extensively about the peace process, everybody was so happy. Very soon, you all will soon rejoice with us that the church is one again.”
To ensure that nothing derails the wheel of reconciliation, the. Supreme Council swiftly suspended some of its pastors at Agbowo, Ibadan who printed a different Sunday school in defiance to the directive of the church leadership.
They reminded the defiant ones among them of the warning of God through a prophecy that during the reconciliation process, some of their members would rise against it warning that they should pray so that God would intervene completely.
While highlighting the giant strides that the church has made, he said hopefully, the pastors’ conference for 2019 which will comprise all members of both factions will be held in the same venue.
“In practical demonstration of our eagerness to increase our ministerial workforce to meet the needs of the present day evangelism and church administration, the Supreme Council again approved for 2018 the usual training for pastoral students located in six centres with over 800 candidates who graduated in their respective centres early this month.