Police lock out worshippers as Foursquare, ex-pastor contest church ownership
The members, who had turned out in large numbers, defied the rain and erected canopies on the street beside the church as the policemen restricted them from coming closer to the church premises. After the brief service, they defied the police restriction and staged a protest in front of the church, demanding its immediate opening.
The dispute it was gathered is between the senior pastor of Embrace, Rev. Isaac Adeyemi, and Foursquare, whom the church claims used to be a minister under them but later converted their branch to his own church.
Adeyemi said he could not understand why his church was allegedly sealed on the orders of Foursquare. “I don’t want to talk about this because the matter is already in court. In all the courts Foursquare had taken me to, they lost the case. So, why are they sealing up the church? I will let the court handle this matter,” he said.
When contacted on phone, the National Secretary of Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja, who refuted the allegation told The Guardian that the said property belonged to them as Adeyemi changed the name and converted it to his own after he was allegedly dismissed from the organisation.
“Adeyemi was one of our pastors in Foursquare and was dismissed for misconduct. He and some rebels changed the name of our church from Living spring Tabernacle, which is our chapel to Embrace International Assembly. Because the church belonged to Foursquare, we took him to court and the court gave an injunction restraining him and his cohorts from entering into that place.
Ugbaja said it was the court, while granting their prayers that sent bailiff to lock up the place last Thursday because he disobeyed the court order. “Foursquare didn’t send the police to seal off the place, the court did,” he added.
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