headquarters of Christ Embassy Church in Lagos who had to pay N1,000
each as gate fee to attend a New Year’s Eve service presided over by
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome have blasted the man of God for collecting gate
fees to enter his church.
attend the crossover service at Christ Embassy’s headquarters on
Billings Way in Oregun Area of Lagos on 31 December, 2014, were made to
obtain gate passes that sold for N1,000 each.
such passes were turned back and told that they could go elsewhere to
worship or watch the service online for free.
in Christ Embassy Church, it led to an uproar in January 2011 after it
was first introduced on 31 December, 2010.
as extortion, abuse of ‘Jesus’ teachings and another confirmation that
some Nigerian churches and pastors are more interested in making money
than winning souls for God.
though informally, that it was a way of controlling the crowd and
discouraging thousands of people who come to church once a year on 31
December and prevent “real worshippers” from securing seats at the
headquarters on that important night.
fans and under a barrage of criticisms, the church prayed the matter
would be forgotten. Nigerians also hoped gate fee collection would stop.
and is now seen as routine with those who cannot afford the money being
turned back on 31 December of every year.
roughly 20,000 seats, Christ Embassy might have made at least N20
million from the sale of gate passes used for the crossover service.
and former staff have complained in the past that the emphasis was often
too much on money in the church rather than on spiritual things Jesus
Christ taught his disciples.
churches in Nigeria apply the principles of “giving to the church to
receive from God”, many say the level of financial demands and pressures
in Christ Embassy Church is unusually high.
gate fees collection at Christ Embassy Church were made public last
week, Nigerians have continued to express shock, outrage and indignation
with many finding it hard to believe it.
good for crowd control in a theatre or secular concert, but not sound
enough in the house of God where Christ the head of the church bids
everyone to come, even when they only respond once in a year,” said
Femi Olulowo on Facebook.
rather see their once in a year response as an opportunity to reach out
to the loss (non regular attendees) and make disciple of them as Christ
already saved members to partake in a particular service, gate pass
should have been given to them at no cost and they will have the
privilege of going in first.
severally and I don’t know the magic in his sermon and anointing that
keeps making people fall for his tricks and gimmicks.
and shouts as if he just revealed what no man had ever read or seen in
that passage before and then takes a run front and back and they all
starts shouting. Just disgusting most times,” he said.
riches for themselves here on earth where moths will eat up and where
thieves will break through,” Ali said.
that gate fees were collected at Christ Embassy Church on 31 December.
“Somebody should please tell me this is not true. If it is true it means
corruption is now everywhere,” Akeju said.
sarcastically; ”Are you people just realising now that most of these so
called Men of God are con men? People have been paying for prayers, so
why can’t they pay for venue?”
“Why are we going to blame a business name for doing his business, he
is bussines man not a Pastor for real”.
the social media were critical of Oyakhilome and Christ Embassy Church,
urging the church to stop the practice.
Nigerians living in abject poverty and on less than two dollars a day,
many believe that demons are responsible for their financial, physical
and emotional problems.
often tell worshippers that to prosper and be blessed by God, they need
to give ten per cent of all their income as tithe to God. Some also say
they need to give ten percent of all their increases.
they need to “sow a seed in the church”. When they give money to the
church, worshippers are told, the “money goes into their future” to
transform their lives.
businesses, cars, houses, and investments within and outside the
country. Some even own private jets.
model and financial strategies in the church, Oyakhilome was named by
Forbes as one of the richest pastors in Nigeria.