Nigerian Christian minister who is also the founding president of Believers’ Loveworld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome will be turning 54 on December 7, 2017.
To help him celebrate his upcoming big day, we hereby present to you eight of the most interesting things you probably don’t know about his church.
1.The church started as a prayer group:
Many years ago, the founder of the church, Chris Oyakhilome led a prayer group while he was still in school. This group turned into what we now know as Christ Embassy, which was established in 1990.
2. It started with a different name:
Before it became Christ Embassy, it was initially known as Believer’s LoveWorld Fellowship and then Believer’s LoveWorld Inc.
3. Christ Embassy is a megachurch:~
From a prayer group, the church turned into a global network of churches with millions of followers. In Lagos, the headquarters has over 40,000 believers. It also runs three round the clock television channels; LoveWorld Sat, LoveWorld TV and LoveWorld Plus.
4. The church is allegedly run as a business:
One former churchgoer said he left because the church was treated like a business. Apparently, everyone has targets in this church. The pastor of a branch is expected to bring in more money than he did last week or month, home cells are expected to grow every week. This probably explains how the church has maintained it’s placed as one of the biggest in Africa.
5. The churchgoers have a strong belief in their founder:
This is reflected in how most of the congregation dress like their founder and treat their hair like Oyakhilome does. Even when the church was hit with their leader’s divorce scandal, their faith in him remained steadfast.
6. Their evangelists are very persistent:
Talking to a lot of people, we all agreed that Christ Embassy evangelists are seriously determined. They know how to follow up on prospective members and will literally ‘disturb’ you with calls, Whatsapp messages until you give in.
7. The Rhapsody of Realities is the manual of the church:
Every member is expected to own one.
8. The church’s founder has some unusual theories about masturbation, alcoholism and smoking:
In 2012, Oyakhilome shocked everyone by saying that these three things are not sins. Concerning masturbation, he said:
“The reason you are thinking of stopping it (masturbation) is because you think it has become a habit for you… masturbation is not more than a habit than any other habit…. no matter how wrong you think this is in your mind, get this straight, in itself, it is not a sin against God,” emphasizing that as a result of this belief that it is a sin, Satan used it to oppress people of God “making them feel ineffective and inefficient in the things of God.”
He was attacked by a lot of pastors including Adeboye, who maintained that masturbation is indeed a sin.
On smoking and drinking, the pastor said:
“There is nothing wrong with Cigarette, the Bible doesn’t say anything was wrong with it… I know a lot of people do complain about it because of the relationship attached to it with some sicknesses like cancer…but if they really believe it is wrong why not ban it totally.
It is the same thing when you have Christians working in the Breweries. The Bible doesn’t condemn alcohol. The only reference made to alcohol in the Bible is ‘do not take too much of wine’. So you see these things has to do with the individual state…if they are convince something is not good they should just ban it…”