Home Features RCCG’s Iluyomade: Examining the “sins” that led to his suspension
Why was Iluyomade suspended

RCCG’s Iluyomade: Examining the “sins” that led to his suspension

by Church Times

Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, the erstwhile pastor of the City of David parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God has so much going for him in the church. He is not just a pastor. He is one of those who has the ears of the General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The two of them have come a long way. Pastor Iluyomade is a great fan of Pastor Adeboye. He has deep respect and regard for the G.O. He has always stood by him and has helped to ensure the ministry prospers in his hands. Iluyomade shows his love both in kind and in cash. The City of David parish where he pastors is perhaps the greatest financial contributor to the RCCG.

 

Pressure on Adeboye to retire

One of the significant things Iluyomade did for Pastor Adeboye was to stand by him when there was a subtle insurrection in the church just when Pastor Adeboye turned 70. Some power brokers in the church hierarchy had put pressure on Pastor Adeboye to retire in line with the church’s constitution.

Rather than join the folks who wanted Adeboye to relinquish his position, Iluyomade mobilised resources at his disposal to curtail the pressure on Adeboye; an action Adeboye is forever grateful for.

It’s one of the reasons issues concerning Iluyomade and the City of David are touchy in RCCG. Such issues are handled with tact and it’s always a challenge to apply the big stick when necessary.

Dating site

But the respect for the parish and its pastor seems to be waning; at least with the recent suspension of Iluyomade and the decision of the church to investigate him and the parish. Even at that, deciding to suspend him did not come easy. It came at the instance of the governing council of the church.

Indeed, Pastor Iluyomade who commands a lot of respect among members of COD; played into the hands of the RCCG authority.

One of his “sins” was the audacity of his parish to establish a dating site. This is clearly against the conservative stance of the church on the issue of marriage.

For Pastor Iluyomade the site was his way of helping to find godly relationships for the growing number of mature singles in his parish. When the site was introduced, some elements in the church kicked. But then, nothing could be done.

Iluyomade had however explained in a statement made available to Church Times then that the site was not like those of the people of the world. The explanation notwithstanding, some elders of the RCCG were not comfortable with the move. Even at that, nothing could be done then. The church authority had to look away.

Trinity Towers

That was in 2021. The parish has since moved on and has over time built a strong reputation. The height of the church’s impact was the construction of the Trinity Towers. The multi-billion-naira edifice has been the cynosure of all eyes. It is also a testament to the growing influence of Pastor Iluyomade who is believed to have carved a niche for himself among elite Christians.

This achievement notwithstanding, there are insinuations that the Trinity Towers may not be an RCCG project after all. It is alleged that Pastor Iluyomade had registered an organisation different from the church and that the Tower may well be in the name of the organisation.

But one of the top pastors of the church punctured this position. He told Church Times that it would be hard for any individual to appropriate the Trinity Tower. According to him, the land upon which the tower was built was acquired by the late Pastor Eskor Mfom who was the predecessor of Pastor Iluyomade in the City of David. It was bought in the name of RCCG

“If the land was purchased in the name of RCCG, it will be hard for the building to go to an individual. Those who say the tower does not belong to RCCG are talking without fact,” the pastor said adding, “one of the reasons Pastor Iluyomade was suspended is not unconnected with the Trinity Tower. The church wants to ascertain the true status of the tower which Iluyomade laboured tirelessly to build.”

Arise foundation

Apart from the Trinity Tower; the Arise Women Foundation of Iluyomade’s wife, Pastor Siju Iluyomade is another project that has drawn the attention of the RCCG. The foundation has been making a great impact and has been a lot of blessing to society. However, some elderly elements in the church also believe the foundation is also a law to itself despite the great impact it is making. They believe it should be investigated.

The source said, “The panel that was set up is also going to look into the activities of the foundation and make recommendations.”

The lavish

But what further brought opprobrium to the City of David and indeed Pastor Iluyomade was the lavish 60th birthday party of his wife, Pastor Siju Iluyomade amid the tragic death of Herbert Wigwe, the then CEO of Access Bank.

Wigwe was a benefactor of the church. Some felt the birthday party coming just about a week after the tragic exit of Wigwe was an affront to humanity and should not go unpunished. The celebrant at no time apologised to the public despite the public outcry against the act.

It is believed that the suspension of Iluyomade and the presence of Pastor Charles Kpandei will allow the church to examine all the allegations without any hindrance.

Will he come back to City of David?

Though some members of the COD believe Iluyomade will reclaim his position after the three-month lapses, one of the pastors of RCCG told Church Times that it may the difficult. “I doubt if he will get that position back. But he may retain other offices like the head of the Christian Social Responsibility of the church and Special Assistant to the General Overseer. I don’t see him going back to the City of David.”

He noted further that the Governing Council sits once a year to make decisions concerning the church. For it to have had an emergency meeting on the matter shows it’s not what they will want to take lightly. His suspension will lapse by the end of the convention in August when the governing council will meet. By then, the council will decide on his status in the church.

Iluyomade is 64. Going to start another church may not be an option for him. Already he seems to be at home with the decision of the church according to sources close to him and he is ready to follow through with the suspension. But it is not unlikely that certain elements will make suggestions to him which he may consider in the coming days.

What however stands clear is that he was a major force in the City of David. He was a rallying point and had over the years been an inspiration to many in the parish. It will be difficult to erase his imprint in the parish.

By Gbenga Osinaike

 

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