The Celestial Church of Christ recently rolled out the drums for its 72nd anniversary worldwide, which was an opportunity to advocate for transformation and restoration of the derailed spiritual image of the church, Rebecca Ejifoma reports
Indeed, it is believed that when character is lost, all is lost. In this age and time where ills are embraced by the society, the church certainly thirsts for a rapid awakening.
Now, this was the turbulence in the mind of the Most Senior Evangelist-cum-member of the Board of Celestial Zion International Bible Centre Lekki Phase 1, Mr. Ezekiel Adegor, when he spoke to THISDAY on the solutions to these lingering issues the leadership of the church is faced with.
First, he narrated the essence of the establishment of the church 72 years ago, and then swiftly gave a balm to the whirlwinds raging the spiritual growth.
“This year marks the 72nd Anniversary of the establishment of the church since September 29, 1947. It is a journey that started on 23rd May same year when the late pastor founder, S.B.J Oshoffa received a visit from the Heavenly bodies,” he recounted.
Adding that the Celestial Church is mandated to propagate the Grace of Christ to the entire world, he listed the many morals expected of the church.
“Our pastor founder departed on September 10, 1985. This is the 34th year and we are also celebrating his transition to higher glory” he said.
Expressing that although Celestial exemplified so much of God’s glory in the past, he bemoaned that the church had derailed from its original root.
His words: “We must be truthful. Things have not been as rosy as it was. Instead of us moving forward spiritually, regrettably, we could say that the Celestial church – on the primary message of regenerating people’s lives and people’s mindset after the likeness of our Heavenly Father – is going the opposite direction.”
While the eloquent senior minister was explicit in his narrative, he seconds the opinion that everyone has to undergo character, attitudinal and behavioral reformation.
“Celestial comes with a message parable – Cleansing the world. This means cleansing the world through our Christlike character, attitude and behavior. So, we’ll be able to influence other people who are not yet in the light of Christ to receive and believe in him” he said.
For the audacious board member, this is the mission that has regrettably derailed. “Instead of us to forge ahead in cleansing the world, Celestial church today is battling with so much internally”, Adegor said.
Undoubtedly, celebrating its septuagenarian year for the church is all about trying to take a deep reflection of who they are and who God expects them to be.
According to the senior evangelist, who is also a clergy at Zion Parish located in Lekki Phase 1, when individual members are able to exemplify the lifestyle of Jesus Christ daily, he is sure “we can start repositioning the church and a gradual transformation will be noticed in the society.
Message to Members
Indeed, he has one message for Celestial members worldwide – defining who a Celestial is.
Adegor soon urged members: “You must define who a Celestial is and then practice what God expects from those called Celestial. A Celestial member is not just about wearing white garment or one who fulfils his lithological services in the house of God.”
He, however, described a Celestial as one who is immersed in the lifestyle of Jesus Christ and led by the Holy Spirit to achieve great exploits through the Word of God at all times.
Sadly, he went further to underline the unfortunate rapid spread of worldliness and carnality in the church as the reason that is eating up our Spiritual and moral identity.
He added: “Members owe it a duty to themselves that after 72 years, considering the mission God has placed on this church – to walk in the light Christ expects us to walk and to work for the Harvest of God’s kingdom.”
Message to Leaders
With the style of leadership taking a toll in the country, Adegor recalls an adage that leadership is very important in every society.
“For me, in any religious setting, leadership is everything. In a religious setting, leaders influence lives either positively or negatively,” he noted.
While he explained that followers look up to the leaders for character, attitudinal and behavioural direction, he said followers tend to read what the leaders do more than what they say.
He spoke further on leaders practising what they preach. “They will do what they see us practicing and therefore leaders must practice holy divine love like Jesus Christ did teach and show his disciples.”
Of course, Adegor also advised that the church must learn to kill carnality and worldliness within. Adding, he said when they do so, then the army of followers with them will see they don’t exalt worldliness. “Gradually, they will follow us in exemplifying this holy divine love wherever they find themselves”.
Among other things, he urged parents, especially fathers, to train their children to recognise right and wrong. “Partake Actively in their Upbringing and retraining them to become Godly children”.
The Bible Centre
Now, the Celestial Zion International Bible Centre – a theological school – is focused on the delight of the word of God in the lives of members and nonmembers.
“We found out that the reason Christianity is going backward is that so many people who call themselves Christians don’t have the word of God in them,” he expressed.
Currently, the centre offers programmes in basic and advanced diploma.
Interestingly, Celestial Church worldwide held its ‘Declare His Righteousness’ in the Church and Nigeria with a one day prayer chain on Sunday 29, September for all Nigerians.
“Whenever society was economically or politically feeling bitter, we must not look anywhere else but the church. When the body of Christ takes back its flavour, then things will go well In society.”
The senior evangelist believes in solution ministry. “Let us stop complaining and start actioning solutions to problems in society and Christianity,” he said boldly.
Continuing, he said: “People like Professor S. O. Odeyemi, the former DVC of UNILAG and a Sup. Evangelist R. D. Adelu the Senior Shepherd at Zion Parish have devoted their lives to implementing solutions that will transform celestial church. We all must emulate them to achieve even greater transformation in the Body of Christ”.
Ultimately, Adegor says it is a time for sober reflection among Christians worldwide for the good of all.