•His Son, Superior Evangelist TOSHO OSHOFFA Opens Up
•Tells City People The Story Of His Life @ 49
On Saturday 19th January, 2019, friends, church and family members of Superior Evangelist Olatosho Matthew Oshoffa, (TMO) one of the sons of late Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa, the founder of the Celestial Church of Christ gathered to celebrate with him. He turned 49 and he had sent out text messages to invite all of them to join him in a light get together party. Venue was Papa SBJ Oshoffas, Mission House in Ketu.
The birthday was well attended by church members and friends. He is well loved and respected by every one. He is loved for his humility. Many attest to the fact that he is humble to a fault. It was a 2-in1 his celebration. It was not only his 49th birthday, it was a party to mark is elevation to the rank of the Shepherd in charge of the CCC International headquarters in Ketu, Lagos. On the 16th of January, he was promoted to the rank of Superior Evangelist in charge of CCC International hq, Ketu, Lagos at the heavenly city of Imeko by Rev. Pastor Emmanuel Oshoffa. He became the new head of the mother parish of Ketu.
At the party, City People spoke to Tosho Oshoffa about his life as Oshoffa’s son. He also revealed a lot about his dad. This is to be expected. When you have a great man like SBJ Oshoffa as a dad you can’t but be proud of him. Let’s tell you a bit about this spiritually powerful man.
Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa (1909–1985) was the founder of the Celestial Church of Christ after reportedly resurrecting people from the dead. He founded the church in 1947 after being lost for 3 months near Porto-Novo in Benin. The church now has its main offices in Bénin and Nigeria. Five percent, or 400,000, of the 8,000,000 people of Benin are Celestial Christians. Oshoffa was reported to have had 13 wives and 54 children when he died in 1985.
Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa (Oju ki s’ofa) was born into a Yoruba family of mixed religion. His father was a Muslim, but had become a Methodist, whilst his mother followed traditional religions and objected to Christianity. His mother left him when he was only 3 months old to return to Imeko where her husband lived. His father was a Carpenter (a fact which was later thought important to a person who later reported receiving visits from Jesus Christ). He was born May 18, 1909 in Porto-Novo, which is now the capital of Benin but was then the new capital of the French colony. His family was also involved with the Cherubim and Seraphim Church. Felicia Yaman was Oshoffa’s first wife, and she was involved with the launch of the new church. She was said to be able to prophesy conflict and was invited to many of Oshoffa’s meetings
Oshoffa was working in the ebony trade in 1947 when he was instructed to found the new church. He reported that he had been searching in the forests to find the correct type of tree. He said he lost his way and had to live off the land for three months. When he emerged he was empowered with the gifts of healing and prophecy.
His first act of healing was reportedly the resurrection of his nephew. As a result, his elder sister, Elizabeth, was the first convert. The nephew was to become recognised as the first prophet of the new church. Over the next few years, several other people were reportedly brought back from the dead by Oshoffa. Between 1947 and 1951, the church grew in the country of Benin. In 1976, it was relocated to Nigeria because Oshoffa was in a minor conflict with the government of Benin. This was timely as he was just about to be arrested. Very soon after arriving Nigeria, Oshoffa cured a mad woman. Oshoffa held a public meeting in Yaba, Lagos, where those gathered reported his ability to prophesy. In the same year, he again claimed a resurrection.
The new church grew rapidly, and it gained followers across West Africa and the world. The church was estimated to have several million followers in 1998. In Nigeria, Oshoffa was sold a large piece of land. The new church was officially recognised in 1958. He took on two partners for the church, namely Reverends Alexander Abiodun Bada and Samuel Ajanlekoko.
Oshoffa died on 10 September, 1985 after being involved in a car accident where everyone in the car died. He was buried at Celestial City at Imeko. Oshoffa was the sole source of authority for the church and because of this, his death caused some problems of succession. After some confusion, Alexander Abiodun Adebayo Bada was appointed his successor by the church Trustees. Nigeria is considered a diocese of the worldwide church, and with her supreme headquarters at Porto- Novo. Therefore, Benoit Agbaosi would be appointed by the Supreme Headquarters Leaders to lead the church. In the beginning, those who became leaders of Celestial Church of Christ parishes were appointed by the Pastor Founder Reverend S.B.J. Oshoffa. A church is called a parish and the spiritual leader of the parish is called a Shepherd. To be a shepherd of a Parish, one must be called through Spiritual Revelation. After the revelation was confirmed, the would-be shepherd was required to serve as an Apprentice under established shepherds.
In this interview with City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, Tosho Oshoffa revealed a lot about what his late dad told him about the church and life. Below are excerpts of the interview.
Let me start by congratulating you on your 49th birthday. How does it make you feel?
I feel much more thankful to God. I feel happy, that God has kept me alive, to appreciate God in every aspect, because I am alive.
You are a very, very important personality In God’s Ministry. How did you start serving God? How did Church’s work start for you?
First of all every child has a destiny. We all have that something we came to this world to achieve. I believe that my destiny is in doing the work of God. I appreciate God for making me what I have turned out to be today. I appreciate God for making me a vessel for his work, through working in his vineyard. It’s not an opportunity given to everybody. It is just a Grace given by God, to anyone he pleases. He has millions of people in his world and we have hundreds of millions of celestials all over the world. God gives it to any one he loves.
If at 49, I am counted worthy by God to be propagating his word, I give honour and thanks to God. All I will say is that, I believe by my destiny, I am just toeing the line of my destiny. I say God thank you for making me one of those that he can use.
How did you discover your destiny?
Through my parents, through my father SBJ Oshoffa who is the founder of this Cele Church and my late mum. Elizabeth Oshoffa. I believe my birth had been prophesised and my destiny has been prophesised before I was born. When I was growing up, I had that calling, Spiritually, I had that appearance of the angel of God appearing spiritually that confirmed what God had foretold about me, even before my pregnancy. I am not trying to be arrogant but I believe that I have something to achieve and at 16, I discovered this through Spiritual Revelation. Since then I have always been thanking God. What is important for God is for one to be obedient to him. And to listen to him. Obedience to God and Total Humility under his authority matter a lot. And that is what is destroying many people today. Many are trying to be above God.
If you submit yourself to his authority he will show you the way. He has shown me the way, because I believe that he gave me that spirit of humility which I will give all his glory back to him. Because they are not mine. I can’t equate myself to him, which is impossible. But by submitting myself, he has kept and he keeps showing me the way to toe, either through revelations, or prophetic acts, from other prophets, I have been leaning spiritually on to him and going by all the good things he has done for me, I believe I have been called; not as anything but as a Chief Servant to serve his people.
Let me take you back to when you were growing up, what was your relationship like with your late dad?
First of all, let me tell you that my dad happened to be a unique man. Being a Spiritual Man that was used as a tool to establish this Church, he still had time for his family. Each child will be the one that will go to him then to collect his or her normal daily allowance. He had a close relationship with us, with every child of his. He never neglected any child. Every Oshoffa child had a close relationship with his or her father.
Like how many are you?
Believe me, when he passed away we were 54 children with 13 wives. He wasn’t a man that was keeping women outside. Yes, He was Polygamous man. But it might not be his will. He had a plan of having only one wife but because he could not get a child early, women were given to him. That was why he was with 3 wives even before the church was founded.
He was with 3 wives when he was called by God and given this mission to establish the church. Therefore he had 13 wives and 54 children. Believe me, I could name the 54 children one by one just to tell you how close he made us. He made sure there wasn’t any division. That is why there is no one that can really interfere in the affairs of the Oshoffa family because we have that love that binds us together and that love came from that head of the family then who happens to be Papa SBT Oshoffa. Though we were many but we knew ourselves. I could tell you, this woman has this number of children. I could also tell you their names one by one. That is because that man, my late fathers, was Love himself.
He made sure he impacted that love on every woman that he had and those women who are his wives impacted that love on every child that they had. So we formed a solid family. He was a great man. So, personally, I was close to him. I was 15 when he passed always.
One day, at the age of 13, I went to him. I said “Papa, that God, that you are propagating, who created that God? I said that as a child. He told me. He said my son, if you want to know the source of God, you wouldn’t love representing that God.
If you want to know the origin of God, you will end up offending that same God, meaning that God is a God that you can never know his source. He said, forget about that, and let your presence believe there is God and worship that God. That is how close we were. My father and I were so close. And after he left, this world, I had so many spiritual encounters with him. Believe me, I am not trying to arrogate or give myself any powers, I believe I have just been lucky to have received so many Revelations and Facts from him, about him personally, about our Lord Jesus Christ and about the church that God made him to found in his lifetime, in this world.
I was born in the Church, so I know a lot about the church already. After his death again, some spiritual revelations were given to me, about the church, about Jesus and about my own mission to on earth. What does that mean? Its means you needs Humility to serve God. You need Humility to relate with him.
You need a lot of Humility to worship God Without Humility one can never see God. Every child I can say has a Destiny. We all came to this world to accomplish our Destiny. We were all sent to this world to accomplish our Destiny. May God help us to accomplish what we came to this world to accomplish?