Olumide Emmanuel Marriage

Olumide Emmanuel opens up on failed marriage, says, “I have not seen my children since 2006”

by Church Times


Founder of Calvary Bible Church, Pastor Olumide Emmanuel has for the first time revealed reasons his first marriage crashed. He says he has not seen the two children of the marriage since 2006, when his estranged wife moved out of the house 

 He also gave insights into how top church leaders including Dr Daniel Olukoya and Bishop David Oyedepo tried to save the marriage but could not.

Pastor Emmanuel shared his experience with Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo in a recent video chat on YouTube


The background

It will be recalled that Pastor Emmanuel was first married to Ify. The marriage which produced two children hit the rock around 2005.

 The incident generated so much media debate. Many Christians were taken aback wondering what could have led to the collapse of the relationship between the love birds.

Olumide Emmanuel has been a pastor since he was 21. As of 1992, he was secretary of the Morris Cerrulo Missions in Nigeria and was very involved in the book-selling business long before his marriage.

He married Ify a fervent Christian and owner of popular gospel stores in Opebi, Lagos in 1997 at the age of 27. The marriage took place at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.

 He first got to know his former wife in the course of doing business. “She was my business partner and friend. But later I proposed to her,” he said in the interview.

I was the third man she would marry

Pastor Emmanuel  got the first shock of his life when the woman said to him during their courtship that she had had two previous marriage relationships that failed. Ironically, she was still a virgin by the time she met Pastor Emmanuel because she did not have sex with the first two men she married.

 “She explained to me that the first man she married could not perform. She later discovered that the man was having an affair with her chief bridesmaid.” Pastor Emmanuel said.

She had to dissolve the marriage.

The second marriage according to Pastor Emmanuel also did not work because the man was giving her some rules and regulations like wanting to have sex before marriage and asking her to close her business in Nigeria. Though they had done the traditional wedding, she could not go ahead with the marriage

 He recalled, ‘I remember she said she was going to the UK to marry and later we found out that the marriage did not hold. I knew about the second case.” 

 In the two instances, Pastor Emmanuel did not see any reason to blame her. So, it was not difficult for him to go ahead with the relationship.

But then there were certain red flags during courtship and even on the day of the marriage.

 Visit to Pastor Daniel Olukoya

Emmanuel recalled an incident where they both went to see Pastor Olukoya since he was Ify’s father in the Lord.  Before they got to Olukoya, she had given him certain dos and don’ts. But by the time they got to Olukoya, Pastor Emmanuel said he was his usual jovial self.

 He said he was so relaxed with Pastor Olukoya seeing the simplicity of the man of God. He chatted with him as if they had known themselves for a long time. Unknown to him, his to-be wife was not comfortable with that kind of familiarity.

 On their way home, she bared her fangs and expressed disgust at Emmanuel’s behaviour during the visit pointing out how arrogant and self-conceited he was.

 There was a hot argument on their way home. Some tantrums were thrown at Emmanuel which made him decide to call off the relationship. “But she came to plead later with her family. When she went to Church that Sunday, she went to Dr. Olukoya after service and told him what happened. Pastor Olukoya told her, if you miss that man, you are gone. All those things she was fighting me for were what Pastor Olukoya used to validate me.”

 Pastor Olukoya prayed with her and said I would walk back to the relationship. And that is what happened.  “I walked back to the relationship.”

Also read: How my family became prosperous after name change and why i stopped going to Italy: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/olumide-emmanuel-breakthrough/

Divorce was traumatic

Emmanuel who said the divorce had caused him a lot of trauma and made him lose relationships said he realised his ex-wife was in the prison of her past. “I realised that her experiences before our marriage had damaged her and she needed to be healed. But she was not healed. I knew what to do. But she was carried away by religion.”

 He went ahead with the marriage only to discover that the abuse he had suffered during the courtship grew  worse.

He recalled that she walked out on his parents on the day of the wedding. “After the wedding, she went to greet my mother in the family house.  As she was coming, my mother and other family members tried to welcome her saying our wife has come.

 “She flipped when she heard our wife and said I am not your wife I am my husband’s wife and that she does not want to be seen as the wife of all; in the traditional setting arrangement. Before everybody, she turned around and left.  I followed her. That was the beginning of the marriage.”

Ex-wife was prayer warrior

Emmanuel said the marriage was to be later a combination of all kinds of stuff for about 10 years.

Ironically, his ex-wife according to him was a prayer machine. “I have not been able to reach her level of prayers. She prays an average of three hours every night.”

 But the prayers, according to Emmanuel, did not change her. “It was more of the fall down and die prayer. And I used to tell her that “prayer should change you first”. But she was not experiencing that change. It was a major battle. The abuse at home was heavy, physical abuse was there.”

 He said his ex-wife slapped him at least six times in the nine years of the marriage.  

While declaring that he never lifted a hand against her, he said, “I never abandoned her. She left the house one day and was gone. We did all kinds of things to save the marriage. I did my part. We had sessions with Dr. Olukoya, and Bishop Oyedepo but all to no avail”

 He said his wife eventually parked out of the house in 2006. Since she moved out of the house Pastor Emmanuel says he has not set his eyes on his two children.

Life of a divorcee

 “I got back home and everything was empty including my freezer. I never had an accident while driving until that time. I have been a Christian all my life. I was into singles and married programmes and this happened to me. I had to go for therapy.”

 He said the life of a divorcee is horrible recalling how he had to cook two dericas of rice only to realise he was the only one at home.

“I recall that one day my daughter came home and said don’t mind mummy she does not know what she is doing. That same daughter I have not set my eyes on for years. If I see her now, I may not be able to recognise her. I laboured for my children. I don’t know where they are now.”

Dr. Emmanuel who said he was the one who filed for divorce to bring closure to the marriage remarried his wife’s secretary 7 years after the incident. The new marriage is blessed with one child.


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