Members of the Genesis Global Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ turned out in their numbers at the Sunday Service of the church on November 22 despite the court judgment slamming a two-year jail on the lead shepherd, Prophet Oladele Ogundipe, www.churchtimesnigeria.net has reported.
Ogundipe was sentenced to two years imprisonment on November 18 by Lagos State High Court, Ikeja having been found guilty of allegations of fraud. He was found guilty of two of the seven charges brought against him. The sentences are to run concurrently.
A visit to the church by a correspondent of Church Times, however, noted that members were not deterred by the news that their shepherd has been sent to jail.
The service went on without any hitch with the presence of popular gospel juju singer, Abel Oluwafemi Dosunmu known as Mega 99.
Dosunmu who is said to be the in-law of Prophet Ogundipe came to show love and solidarity to the scandalised church and its leader.
It was earlier believed that the church would be deserted. But from what was on the ground at the November 22 service, church members seem not to have taken the development to heart.
Some, however, think the large turnout may well be an indication of the love members have for their shepherd; while some also think the large turnout may be out of curiosity to confirm if the Prophet would come to church that Sunday.
His absence notwithstanding, the whole atmosphere was electrified with music and dance. Worshippers danced and shouted to the rendition from the church choir while the gospel artist known as Mega 99, who came purposely to encourage members of the church, took time to lead them in exciting praise and dance.
He encouraged members not be overwhelmed by the current situation of the Shepherd-in-Charge of the church assuring that “this phase would soon pass.”
The man who stood in for Prophet Ogundipe popularly known as Oba told the congregation that the clergyman was wrongly accused in all the seven charges against him despite being found guilty on two by Justice Olabisi Akinlade.
He assured the gathering that the Shepherd-in-charge would join them sooner than later.
While notifying the congregation about the presence of journalists in the church, the preacher said, “I know a lot of people are here waiting to hear what we would say so that they can record and take it to their show. I notice the presence of pressmen here; let them ask you any question don’t be afraid. Tell them what you know about it. We know that it is a conspiracy of his enemies to calumniate him but we believe he will definitely triumph. Whatever we want to tell you will be shared on our other platform.”
He told the enthusiastic crowd to be more committed to church activities saying it is a trying time for the church.
While blaming the devil for the travail of Prophet Ogundipe, he implored the congregation to intensify their prayers against the enemies who had conspired to tarnish his image.
He encouraged them not to miss any of the church’s activities pending when Ogundipe would come back to their midst.
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