As you are reading this, everything is set for this year’s “the comforter 2018”, an Annual Event, organised by the founder (G.O of Love of Christ Generation Church in the United Kingdom, (UK). This year’s edition, which is aimed at Uniting The Cherubim and Seraphim and Celestial Churches will take place in New York in the United States of America (USA). In this interview, Rev. Esther Ajayi reveals the framework, how she started her church, why she always gives and many more to City People’s Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE. Excerpts.
What is unique about this year’s conference. Is it going to be different from that of last year?
There is a great difference in this year’s and last year’s conference. Every attendee of the United Palace Conference would get a Bible. The inscription on our Bible is the Comforter Bible. This is telling the world that white garment churches believe only in the great book of God, which is the sword of the spirit. Our mission, since the beginning of the year, is sharing Bibles free of charge. Those that are conversant with the social media would have seen me in some Pentecostal Churches giving out Bibles.
I was at Ebenezer Obey’s Church Decross in Lagos, I have been to many Celestial Churches. I was at C.A.C. Baba Abiara’s Church in Ibadan to give out free Bibles to remind people that white garment churches believe solely in the word of God. When we held the conference last year, we went about preaching, but this year, we shall be sharing Bibles at the United States of America United Palace Broad Way.
I want to believe that something must have triggered your action of wanting to bring together members of Cherubim & Seraphim and Celestial Churches. What is it?
It is a dream, I had a dream and in that dream, I saw a mammoth crowd in blue loins, some in four corners, white garment, some in a full garment and some in just the cape. And then I saw everyone tying blue loins and it was like I was talking to some people, while others were talking as well. I held my Bible and my staff of office and then I woke up. I narrated the dream to the members of the Unification Council of Cherubim & Seraphim delegation, the European chapter, Fasuloye, mother Okonkwo and Daddy Oyewole when they came in 2016 to give me Christmas card and thank you card for supporting them.
I told them the dream and they said that Bro. Okonkwo actually just suggested the unification too. His own insight was not a dream, he said that Cherubim & Seraphim and Celestial Churches could do something together.
Baba Fatusi of the Celestial Church invited me to a service, it was after those people spoke to me and he took the microphone and said: “Each time I go to the Celestial Church for anything, they will start singing Cherubim and Seraphim songs and he expressed hopes that one day the two churches would hold a revival together. I asked them what colour do the two churches have in common and I was told blue. That was why we used blue loins last year and that is what we will be using this year as well because that was what I saw in my dream. The dream took me into it and it was the blue loins that I saw.
It is believed that the doctrine of these two churches is different. How do you intend to harmonise them?
If there is a rapport, it would be tough to identify and separate members of the two churches as people generally call us white garment churches. I would say many people don’t know the difference between us, except those who are close to us. The thing that gives unity is the Bible.
That would give us the common voice because it is our text and guide. The possibility of unity has been tested and proven. Last year, we came together, took songs from Cherubim and Seraphim and Celestial Churches and we did the performance together. We had equal number of Choristers, from Celestial and from Cherubim and Seraphim, and then the committee had equal number of members and the outing was successful with a telling impression. Such a performance has to continue.
When you do something and the Lord supports that mission, things become easier, some people have been praying for the unity to become a reality for years. Canon Odunmbaku said he did not understand how God was helping me to achieve bringing the two churches together to perform songs because they had earlier tried it and things did not work out. I told him my case was easy because the Lord gave me a dream and that was what I am working on. “I am not doing this becuase I want any position, title or anything, but I am just doing what I have been sent to do. Mostly, I don’t want him to even put in his money. Don’t worry, we want to showcase ourselves to the world, I will put my last kobo into this, so it makes it easy”. In one of the meetings, they said no one was supposed to be the Chairman except me and I said “please leave me out of titles, I am your servant”.
Don’t think I have got anything negative that I want to tell the world especially the above average people because most of them come to us for enquiries on choosing life partners for their sons or daughters, but they go to Pentecostal Church for thanksgiving. The body of Christ is not divided according to 1 Conthians, Chapter 12, but mostly, a lot of people have two faces, at night, they go somewhere and during the day, they go elsewhere. There is no point being a hypocrite, if you can come to us at night, why not come to us during day time too.
Celestial Church members go bare footed, CS members don’t? How do you intend to reconcile this difference?
It is not only the Celestial or Cherubim and Seraphim Church that has leadership problem, but because we are always in white, that is why so much attention is paid to us on leadership issues. We have leadership issues in Anglican, Methodist and all other Pentecostal Churches becuase the devil is trying to attack Christendom and that is where people need to pause and allow humility to always come first according to the Book of Proverbs. We have a lot of people, who focus more on position.
In my church, we do brothers and sisters. I was at Imeko and I called his Eminence the head of Cherubim and Seraphim and Baba Osofa that I was not doing the unification crusade because of any position and that anytime a position is ascribed to me in a letter, I would be out of the schemes. That has been a lesson to all of them, because people usually arrange exclusive chair and table for me at event, but I usually prefer to just sit quietly at the back. Whether I sit at the head table or at the back, it doesn’t change my name or anything about me.
Last year, I was invited for Galilee by Ayo Ni O, but I could not make it, it but this year, I will attend.
Last year, Baba Abidoye came to me and said he might not come for the Comforter programme and I told him that he wanted to kill the dream by not coming and they fixed a meeting and everyone was happy. I must say that people could be at loggerheads, but we must make conscious effort to resolve the difference and make things work out.
Why is there persecution of Christians in many states in Nigeria today?
Persecution is everywhere and it is the attack of the devil. I don’t see people differently in Esther Ajayi’s mission, I see people as human beings and in my foundation, you will see all kinds of ethnic groups. A lady came from Maiduguri in one of empowerment programmes and she was shocked that a Yoruba person, who has a foundation, is not biased, but ready to assist members of other ethnic groups. It will get to a point in Nigeria that we people would think twice before embarking on barbaric things.
Nigeria is God’s own country, if you watch spiritually when things are going out of hand, God would just intervene. At a point, God speaks to their conscience. All the people we have empowered will go back and speak well of us.
Knowledge is power and through that medium, people will begin to have a change of heart. People are beginning to learn and ignorance is an evil that is eating deep and as people begin to get knowledgeable they would be transformed. No one will be able to destroy this nation because it is God’s own. You know a lot of them just fight and they don’t know why, because of ignorance. We are educating and empowering people for transformation.
A lot of people have a perception that white garment church members are into fetish things. How do you intend to erase this misconception?
Cherubim and Seraphim was founded by St. Moses Orimolade in 1925 and in 1947, the Celestial was founded by Samuel Osofa. Before I tell you a story about the fold, I will like to tell you, that anywhere you are in the world show manners. I started with my appearance and with that I have been able to pass a message. Do you know that the father of St. Moses Orimolade was a Herbalist? And he fathered St. Moses Orimolade and because the spirit of the Lord was open, St. Moses could not stand that environment and he started his Evangelism early. The first stigma, he had was the fact that his father was an herbalist.
And it is so funny that people use the herbalist thing to stigmise CS members. The fact that his father was a herbalist does not mean he too must be. The spirit of God was so much on him.
Do you know that Baba Fadayomi of the Redeemed Christian Church of God was a member of Cherubim and Seraphim and also a member of the Fogo Band? Baba Enoch Adejare Adeboye went to inquire about something from Baba Fadayomi, but because he was a Ph.D. holder, he turned the whole situation round. The first set of persons Baba Fadayomi preached to was not so educated like him and Baba Adeboye turned things round, because he was more educated and the kind of person he first preached to were people in his class. So, those whom St. Moses Orimolade preached to were people of his class, those in his community, so you can not judge us with that in the 21st century.
The kind of clothes they were wearing then would give you a wrong impression about them, but things are different now and that is why we are using sharing of Bibles to Evangelise and show people that what we believe in is the word of God and nothing more. We are changing the face of things and making things modern. When you see us derssed like this, there is no way you would think of relegating me. And the word of God is the watchword so you cannot think otherwise because I am educated.
The Esther Ajayi Foundation is really doing a lot, what are the ongoing projects on hand now?
On Saturday, we went to Odogbolu Local Government in Ogun State and as I said earlier that two buildings are ready. One for the physically challenged people and the other for those, who are not. They are furnishing them to make the buildings comfortable for people and I commended the Engineer and those in charge.
Also, we went to Kosofe Local Government in Lagos. We went to a primary school and we saw many pupils wearing torned uniforms and we took their measurements and their uniforms would be ready soon. We are also empowering 104 persons in conjunction with YAYI, a make-up professional and another lady in Ghana. We have so much on our hands.