One of the great pillars that holds Celestial Church of Christ (C.C.C.) is Superior Evangelist Olatosho Matthew Oshoffa (TMO). He is one of the sons of late Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa, the founder of the Celestial Church of Christ. He is also the younger brother of Rev. Pastor Emmanuel Oshoffa, the head of CCC Worldwide.
He was promoted to the rank of Superior Evangelist-in-Charge of CCC International Headquarters, Ketu, Lagos at the heavenly city of Imeko by Rev. Pastor Emmanuel Oshoffa.
Last week, he spoke with City People Society Reporter, TOYIN OGUNDIYA and SUNDAY ADIGUN on why many Pastors condemn CCC and how those Pastors who critise CCC come to them in the night for prayers. Below are excerpts.
In the course of your sermon, you stated that Pastor E.A. Adeboye is the only Pastor that has never critised Celestial Church of Christ, what is the reason behind it?
Yes, he has never critized Celestial Church and I respect him for that.
Why is that so?
Like I said, many Pastors in Nigeria and abroad, come to our church in the midnight for prayers. We have one or two prophets from Celestial Church of Christ that prays for them whenever they are facing any difficulties.
If Cele is evil, why do they come to us in the night for prayers. They are like Nicodemus in the Bible that didn’t want to confess Jesus openly. They also condemn Celestial outside but yet, they come to us for prayers whenever they face any problem. They talk condemn C.C.C in the front of their members, they tell them not to go to Celestial Church, but our Prophet still pray for them when they have problem.
Why are they hypocrites? That was why I said I respect Baba Adeboye so much. He has never condemned our church. I could remember vividly when Baba Obasanjo held his second term thanksgiving at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, all the church leaders were there. I went with my elder brother there. He is the head of Celestial Church. When we got to the church and they announced our arrival that the Pastor and head of CCC Worldwide is around, believe me, Baba Adeboye stood up from where he was sitting. He said I am so glad to see another Oshoffa on the throne of their father.
Before he could say that, it means he doesn’t have any bad thought towards CCC. And again, Redeemed Church got their strength from Celestial Church.
When my father passed away in 1985, they sent someone into our midst to come and study the strength and power of Celestial Church. Those people stayed in our church for 2 years. They studied the way we worship and all our programmes, some of the thing we do that we do not put so much strength in it. The tapped into it. That is why there are some similarities in our programmes. When they got all those things, they went to Lekki in 1987 and that was when Redeem Church got transformed and got their strength.
That is why Baba Adeboye will never critise our church. He respects our church and we respect him too.
Baba Adeboye is a lover of Christ. He has something in him that makes him special and that thing is humility.
Are you saying Pastor Adeboye didn’t critize CCC because that was where they got their strength?
Baba Adeboye knows that SBJ Oshoffa is a true man of God and Celestial Church is a church of God and like I said earlier, he has something in him that Jesus loves and it is humility. Humility is what Papa Oshoffa and Baba Adeboye have in common. Baba Adeboye strength is humility and Papa Oshoffa strength while he was alive is also humility.
Are you saying being humble as helped your father’s ministry while he was alive?
I must confess, my father was so humble. There was a time that they were interving my father on TV. The man said, Papa during the type of Jesus, Jesus raised about 3 dead bodies but you have risen up more than 20 dead bodies. Don’t you think you are greater than Jesus? My father got angry and he said, don’t tell me that. A servant can never be greater than his Master. I was just a poor Carpenter when Jesus found me through his mercy. He chose me out of many and made me a force to reckon with. I am nothing without Jesus.
You said there is only one Oshoffa in the world, can you please tell us the meaning of that name “Oshoffa”?
Oshoffa means “Oju ki sofa ti ota le ta bani ko gbeni subu”. It means if your enemies look at you with bad eyes, their eyes can never become an arrow that can hurt you. They will only look. God is so mercy because through the name of the founder, any true Celestial worshipper is being protected from his/her enemies.
What brought about the idea of wearing white sutana and no shoes?
The Bible says, who are those that are in white, those that purify themselves with the blood of Jesus. And also in the Bible, what the men of God wear is gown and why we chose white is because white signifies holiness and purity which shouldn’t have any blemish.
That is also the reason why we don’t wear shoes. People ask my father that why is it that your people don’t fast for 40 days? Celestials don’t fast for 40 days, they don’t even fast for 7 days.
What is the reason behind it?
What is fasting? Fasting is when you deprive yourself of what you love most and one of those things is Shoes. Shoes complement human dressing. So, anytime that we are putting on our sutana without shoes, we are already fasting because we are depriving ourselves from what we love most. Of course, it is not easy to walk bare footed.
I could remember vividly, when former President Obasanjo became the President.