doubt, churches have denominations and patterns of worship differ, but
when you stumble on one, where weird activities are the order of the day
and alcohol, animal sacrifices and biblical villains like
Nebuchadnezzar, Ahab and even Satan are deified, then you’ve just
encountered worship redefined. Tabitha Pearl writes.
Christian worship centre or church is a place where you expect
everything but the absurd and the weird. But this was precisely what
this reporter beheld few weeks back when she went snooping at “As God
said, It Must Be Done, The temple of the Most High God,’ located in
Oke-Aro in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
A mere N100 bus ride from the popular Agege/Pen Cinema Bus-Stop, took
this reporter to As God Said Street – the street is named after the
church. A short commercial motorcycle ride took this reporter to the
The temple is flanked on one side by what used to be a mosque and the
other by a Celestial Church of Christ, which, strangely, wasn’t holding
any service this Sunday. This reporter was however to soon discover
during the nearly 10-hour-long service, that the mosque and the
Celestial church had to evacuate their locations because of the new
“Sheriff” in town.
The first thing that catches your attention as you walk into the
church premises, depending on your keenness of sight, would either be
the rather heavy use of the colours red and white; or the slaughter slab
on the far right corner, though carefully concealed by the gigantic red
gate. Beside the slab this fateful Sunday was a black goat waiting to
be slaughtered and served to worshippers. Makes some sense though. If
worshippers have to stay in church up to 10 hours or more, it just might
be normal to consider feeding them.
the temple, the love for red is even more pronounced. The floor has a
fading red colour, which tells you it had originally been painted with
glossy red paint; even the choir and a few members bear a touches of red
on their dresses. No usher is seen ushering people in; there actually
is no need for one, as the sitting arrangement is glaring enough, even
to a first timer. Male worshippers sit to the right while female
worshippers sit to the left.
Another thing you cannot miss as you walk into the temple is the
altar. It is divided into two sections: a very high one, probably the
holy of holies, reserved for the Most High, should he come visiting; and
then a lower one, possibly where the seer, fondly called Papa, preaches
from, whenever he returns from a visit to the Most High, which he
claims he does often.
“I still communed with the Most High last month. I sit and discuss
with Him often. I know his form. Who says we can’t see God?” he boasted
amidst wild cheers from his followers.
On the higher altar is a massive chair, the type you find in kings’
palaces. That’s probably where the Most High sits when he visits. On the
lower altar is a replica of that same seat, possibly for the Papa. On
the far left of the lower altar is a seat like the earlier ones, only
smaller in size. This is where the wife of the seer sits during service,
albeit only on the invitation of her husband.
above the higher altar or holy of holies, is a line-up of some relics,
the sort you’re only likely to find in a herbalist’s shrine. The most
conspicuous of these would be an elaborate form of a skull, placed in
the middle of two crossed bone-shaped pieces of woods – pretty much like
the familiar skull and bones image, used to depict danger and death.
There is also something like a big calabash, placed in the middle,
leaving a first-timer wondering if this is a shine or a temple where God
Sunday Nation’s visit coincided with the 6th Anniversary Celebration
of the worship centre. It was with great excitement that the seer,
Blessed Dike-Oji-Ofo Chukwu announced to the dance-intoxicated
congregation that, “Today, we are celebrating our sixth year of moving
to this temple.”
This announcement was followed by an excited cheer from the worshippers.
The service, which was said to have begun at 8:30 am, ran for hours
unending, with more than half the time spent singing and dancing, and –
wait for this – spraying those perceived by the seer to have danced best
with money. Interestingly, the children seemed to be more favoured in
the money rain, above the adults. In order to be sure if this was the
general mode of worship or just a one-off thing to commemorate the
anniversary celebration, our reporter sought the opinion of a female
– The Nation