Celestial Church of Christ Genesis Global prays for Nigeria today
Prophet (Dr.) Israel Oladele Ogundipe is the presiding Shepherd of Celestial Church of Christ Genesis Global, a fast growing Celestial church not only in Nigeria but across the globe.
As the church celebrates one of its yearly events today, he told CHRIS IREKAMBA why God instructed him to organise prayer for Nigeria every October 1; his idea of personal altar, and the uniqueness of his church, among other key issues.
Who is Prophet Israel Oladele Ogundipe?
Prophet Dr. Israel Oladele Ogundipe popularly known as Genesis is the presiding Shepherd of Celestial Church of Christ Genesis Global. I hail from Egba in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
At what point did Prophet discover the purpose of God in his life?
That was 18 years ago. I was born into a Muslim family, but along the line, my family got converted to Christianity and we became members of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC).
But when God’s call came to me I moved from CAC to Celestial Church of Christ, while my parents remained in CAC.
Why Cele and not any other church?
Problem would make you to discover your God but to some people it is not so.
My brother that was exactly what motivated me to change from CAC to CCC; the challenges were so much, talk of poverty or mockery.
People really mocked my mother for wearing a particular dress to church all the time. It was that bad.
So while my parents were in CAC I moved to Cele, because over there, you are expected to wear your white garment or sultana to church all the time unlike Pentecostal churches. To me that covered my nakedness.
On a particular occasion, a woman, who had argument with my mother and in the process torn her only dress, said to her, “you people worship God more than any other person and yet poverty is written all over you.
You always come to church with this tattered cloth.”
This incident was one of the things that pushed me to Celestial Church, apart from God’s call. So, I went there to hide my shame.
Concerning the notion that white garment churches are bad; they are fetish; and that they don’t worship the way other churches do, but I wish you will come to one of our services and see the way we worship God in Genesis Global.
This is where we practise real Pentecostalism.
Genesis Global is a new phase for Celestial and that is why so many people from other churches have identified with us including our pastor friends from the Pentecostal churches.
Very often you see them here and they also minister in one of our services.
Ours is not fetish and we are not ritualists there could be bad eggs in the church just as it happens in other churches like the Pentecostal.
But the truth is Genesis Global is a church sent from heaven.
Our uniqueness is that we accommodate people with or without their sultana. We don’t discourage people from worshipping God here.
But you can’t find that in other Celestial churches. We believe that with or without white garment you can still serve God here.
Those who have been to our services can testify to this. Everything we do here has its root in the Bible.
If it is not scriptural, it’s not our culture. Here, we don’t spray money or dance in an indecent manner.
The notion is that in white garment churches incense, candle, anointing oil, as well as going to riverside to bath are part of their worship. Is it same thing here?
We use candle, incense, and oil. We believe they are scriptural but we don’t use eggs or go to riverside or beach to bath.
We have Miracle Water produced by the church and we have recorded wonderful testimonies from people.
The table water is sold for N200 and the proceed is used for charity works.
You are also not allowed to enter the church with your shoes. Why?
It is part of our doctrine here. We believe that God’s presence is sacred and we ensure we respect His presence.
It is an honour and reverence to the Most High God. Again, God never told me to abolish everything.
The church usually holds a particular programme every October 1. What is it all about?
It is our yearly event, tagged: Mercy Seat. God asked me to hold the programme every October 1.
It’s a period in which we gather together to offer prayer to God concerning Nigeria and for ourselves. He wants us to use the occasion to pray for Nigeria.
This year’s event is going to be different because we are going to empower some Nigerians by God’s grace.
We shall be giving out some items such as grinding machines; sewing machines; and cash to the less privileged people.
We have also invited some quest speakers, successful and professionals Nigerians, who have made it in their own fields of endeavour.
They are going to speak to our youths and advice them on how they can be useful to themselves and live a godly life.
I believe so much that we can change Nigeria and same thing applies to our youths.
We are also expecting the Area Police Command in Isheri, Idimu. She is going to educate us on how to control crime.
Traditional rulers and other dignitaries are expected to grace the event. The programme starts at 8am.
‘EXCEL’ is also an important programme of the church. Could you expatiate on that?
Excel’ started about four years ago. The first event held at Sheraton Hotel, while the second and third took place at Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island.
The fourth one is coming up next year, but we have not decided on the venue yet.
We use the platform to talk about the church and what our beliefs are.
People believe the People believe the church is not educative, and it’s not informative, but I tell you in Celestial fold we are excelling.
We have used this occasion to enlighten the public and by God’s grace people’s views about white garment have changed.
What’s your idea of a personal altar?
For me I don’t believe you must have a personal altar in your room before you can seek the face of God in prayer.
I am a mobile altar and my relationship with God is so cordial.
If I’m on the bed God is there with me.
Everywhere in my room connotes an altar as much as I rest my head there. Everywhere in my house is God’s sanctuary, notwithstanding the fact that books are everywhere in the room.
There is library in my sitting room; library in the inner room and even in this office. By God’s grace I read a lot and that is why books are everywhere. Readers are leaders.
What is your advice to the youths?
God has taken me through difficult situations in life. He has allowed me to pass through difficult situations so I could learn lessons from them.
I am a product of self-development. If God can use me I believe so much He can as well use young Nigerians out there.
I didn’t finish my secondary school education, I didn’t go to university.
But I had ambition of becoming a banker or lawyer but fate has its own way of dealing with people.
I have achieved a lot by the grace of God. Bankers and lawyers, etc., come here to receive God’s blessing.
My advice is that Nigerian youths have a lot to offer. They should remain focused and believe in themselves.
They should look inward and discover who they are and in whatever they do they should not forget God.
Every individual has potential to be great but you need to discover that greatness in you.
If you allow God to come in He would fast-track that potential of greatness in you. I believe we can do something for ourselves and for this nation Nigeria.
What is the role of the church?
The role of the church is to impact our community, for instance, this street (Duro Ishola) was tarred by our church.
At least, you’ve seen the interlock we did from the beginning of the street to the end of it. Even that Egbado road, we grade it yearly.
There was a time we wanted to work on that road but neighbours resisted it, saying we encroached on their land.
We had to stop work because we are not government that could force.
We’ve given scholarship to students and those who have benefited from this gesture are not even members of our church.
We have also empowered a lot of people and have given some of them motorcycle for commercial purposes.
How do you manage noise pollution in this area?
When you are good, you will also enjoy people’s favour and I think that is the scenario here. We don’t take advantage of people.
If we have 100 people living here, for instance, 60 percent of them are members of the church and non-members too equally appreciate what we are doing here.
Sometimes I will go to their houses to plead with them and very often they’ve shown understanding.
There are atimes we also write to them to bear with us.