Despite insinuations that the Celestial church of God popularly referred to as white garment Church is a cult,the Head North Central and North East, Shepherd John Babalola debunked the lies. He spoke to our man, Moltak Reuben Yunana amongst other issues. Read on;
Can you please tell us about yourself.
My name is Dr John O. Funmi Babalola. By the grace of God I am the regional head of Celestial Church of Christ, overseeing the whole of north central and north east province with its regional headquarters here in Jos, Plateau State.
What is the driving force of you being a Shepherd, what inspired you to join pastoral work?
Thank you so much, first and foremost, Celestial Church of Christ is a spiritual church and You cannot force yourself to become a shepherd in celestial Church. You can only become a shepherd by God’s calling and ordination. Nonetheless, today in Nigeria we have a lot of false prophets. but in Celestial Church of Christ , you must be a born again Christian and if it is the will of God to make use of you, you are ordained. I used to do a secular job until when God said, He wants me to be a messenger,So I have no option but to heed the call of God. Although, initially I wanted to turn it down, but God prevailed. That is why in a spiritual Church setting, the will of God supersedes any man.
So my driving force to become a Minister is the calling of God, Iam a creator of God and to Him I will return one day. It has been ordained that a man come to this world once after that judgment. So if a son dares to disobey his father, the father will never be happy with that son. So that is my driving force.
There are so many churches spread all over the country and even in this part of the country, what will you say is the cardinal objective of the Celestial Church of Christ?
Celestial Church of Christ is not founded by any man, it was given by God, like you rightly said, before the advent of Celestial Church of Christ to this planet, there were many churches but the Lord God noticed that despite sacrificing His only begotten Son ,Jesus, Many Christians are still patronizing herbalists. Thereby the herbalist when he dies will not see Christ. Now, God said I’m going to descend a Church of my own and that Church was graciously delivered into the hand of only one individual who God found worthy, He was born and breed in the Methodist Church and that singular man was S. P J Oshoffa of blessed memory. He passed on in 1985. This church was descendedfrom the eclipse of the sun and the moon in 1947. This incidence happened precisely on September 29th, 1947.
Now the cardinal objective of Celestial Church is the salvation of mankind. We worship God with no other thing attached to it. it. We serve God in Celestial Church,though a lot of people carry a lot of insinuations that Celestial Church of Christ is a cult, no, far from it.. So the ultimate goal of Celestial Church is to serve God on earth faithfully and make it to paradise and also harvesting souls into the kingdom God.
There was a time Celestial Church was so vibrant, what will you say is happening with the Church now?
Let me quickly tell you, since from inception the Celestial Church has been vibrant, the vibrancy of celestial church has been there. The only thing you can say is that there was a time after the death of the sole founder of the church there was leadership tussle but the power of God since the inception of the Church in 1947 is still waxing stronger till today. Whenever you worship God as ordained by God , Once you do His will, you will experience His power and We don’t do any other thing contrary than depending on God in Celestial Church of Christ. I am categorically emphasizing here that that the vibrancy of Celestial Church is strong as ever.
You talked about leadership, there is leadership tussle all over in the Church, you are the head of Celestial Church of Christ in North Central and North East province: How did you ascend to the Position?
Celestial Church of Christ as I told you from the beginning is a spiritual Church, it was descended into the hand of Oshoffa, and His immediate lieutenant then who was equally chosen by spiritual revelation. Everybody that is so anointed in Celestial Church has spiritual guidance. So, the more you are anointed the more you climb the ladder. Like me now, I have been the shepherd for some time now; you don’t just get up one day and rise to where I am now. I went through the ladder. Leadership in celestial church of Christ is into two: the pastor, the overall head is called the pastor, the overall head now is His Eminence, Oshoma, he was chosen by the Spirit of God and the elders of the church, the council of the church namely, the board of directors of the church, council of clergy all over the world approved and the selection was by the spirit. So he was called, He was enthroned and He was ordained and now he is the pastor, as far back as 2002 and till date I must tell you, the Church have been waxing stronger. Now it is in him that there is the power to ordain people as shepherd. So my own position that I am occupying he appoint me.. do you understand that, now everyone around me apart from the who got up now, all this people you see are members of the clergy, they are being appointed one way or the other. Even when God say you’ll become a clergy in Cele, you still have to go to the leadership, the pastor have to give his consent. do you understand me? so you can see that ascending to the overall, attaining leadership position in the church is by divine selection do you understand me but the pastor will begin to say you are to head this, you are to head that place, that is it.
The issue of mode of worship, it has been a thing of concern to the general public especially those who are of the celestial faith, some time they don’t understand your mode of worship, can you shade more light?
Our mode of worship is given by God. let me tell you, God said to Moses, off your shoe for that ground is holy, in celestial church of Christ, I’m starting from there, once you put on this garment,- sultana( white robe) I’m wearing, once you put on this white, you don’t put on shoe, what that simply means is that you have to submit oneself totally to God. If I die today, will they put shoe on me …. If they put shoe on me will I Know? When you wear sultana in celestial church of Christ you don’t wear shoe, no matter who you are, be it a clergyman, a minister, commissioner, governor. This garment is social lever. This is to tell you that in Celestial Church of Christ, pride is never there, not minding the position you occupy. This church have produced governors even sitting governors.W are the same thing , He sit down on the floor to worship God, do you understand me now and our mode of worship is given by God. There is what we call angelic song, all our songs are angelic ones.
Let me quickly tell you this in the Celestial Church of Christ whenever we want to build a church, we always face the east, that is the instruction we got from God, so whenever you want to build a church you don’t just buy a land and build one, the elders will go and watch the land where the rising of the sun is positioned. We face the east, it is biblicaiyl ordained by God that we worship only God. Another mode of our worship is like the Muslims (raising hands to the east) oh …….. Christ oh my king.A good Celestial member will never go to a herbalist , a good celestial member will never do anything diabolical.
We do sermon, after sermon we give thanks giving offering, we pray, but if God gives us instructions that we should have a vigilor revival service we obey. So this are some form of our worship.
There is what we call new moon service ,but there are a lots of people that draw negative insinuations that the celestial church is bad. Instead of them to come close to celestial, to ask us how do we do things, they begin to have assertions on us, God will forgive them. I am here to tell you that everything we do in celestial church is Biblical.
Do you think the Christian Association of Nigeria has lived up to its responsibilities?
Well to the best of my knowledge of CAN, I believe in the principles of CAN, that we are one that is the desire of our Master Jesus Christ. CAN in Nigeria is divided into five blocks, while the Celestial Church of Christ we belong to the OIAC (Organization of African instituted churches) and I must tell you I’m a product OAIC by the grace of God.I, have held leadership positions in CAN.
Responding to your question, as a human being , politicians in Nigeria are just trying to hijack the position of CAN, but I must tell you the current national president of CAN, His Eminence Rev. Dr. Ayo Kunle Samson is a man filled with the Spirit of God and is doing things meticulously in consonance and agreement of all denominational heads. We stand as one body of Christ in the whole of Nigeria and the leadership of CAN is always out there to protect the interest of CAN.
Sir what can you say is your success story,
We thank God, now I’m celestial clergy, I give glory to God, so far so good, He accept and used me to convert a lot of people to Christ, many that are backsliding God has used me to stabilize them and i will continue to preach the gospel and do the work of Him that have sent us.
I will say that our success story is that I rose from being a church worker to a church prophet, from a church prophet to become a full shepherd and a zonal head.
I think our major reason is to glorify God. Today this jurisdiction covers; Plateau, Gombe, Bauchi, Adamawa, and Taraba and we are waxing stronger on daily basis. We have every reason to glorify God. I must say whatever success I may be recording here in my present jurisdiction, whatever I have recorded as success in my passed endeavored I have to thank this Godly inspired leaders in celestial church of Christ either in my previous stations and even here in Jos jurisdiction were the elders are very supportive and with all of them we are waxing stronger .They are part of my success story. You see whatever work you do, you should make sure that unity is key among members Today I can say God have used me to now to put in place the celestial women council, celestial choir in the entire jurisdiction , ushers, the prophetic council in place, prayer warriors are in place, all the parishes are doing well. I think the success stories we have recorded are to the glory of God.