Christ Embassy founder, Chris Oyakhilome started charging crossover worshippers in December 2010.
On December 31, 2015, Christians who attended crossover service at Love World Intern Christ Embassy were billed at the gate.
No one was allowed in, NewsroomNG gathered, if they couldn’t afford a N1,000 electronic gate pass.
A church usher (most likely a Johnny Just Come from another branch) saw the whole money for worship process and couldn’t stomach it. We won’t be mentioning his real name. Let’s call him John.
John said he couldn’t bear what was playing out before his eyes. So he started questioning his superiors on why earnest worshippers couldn’t freely walk into the house of God on a special day like this.
John’s superiors, we gathered, immediately relieved him of his ushering duties and locked him up in one of the church offices.
Unknown to them, John had been in contact with a journalist whose name we would also not mention. He spoke with the journalist the moment they relieved him of his duties.
But he never thought they would go as far as “arrest” and detain him.
‘I couldn’t believe my eyes,” he said.
‘They were collecting money at the gate something I’m not sure the Jesus we preach would do. I just couldn’t believe anyone who follows Jesus would do that.
‘I just had to speak out. But they didn’t want to be questioned.
The Christ Embassy headquarters, it is reported, can seat 20,000 people. If each of these pay N1,000…do the math.
‘I wasn’t surprised when they told me I was off for the night. I thought they would just allow me go into the church service but they didn’t. They took me into one of our offices and locked me up.
‘That made me more angry, it was just unbelievable,’ he said.
John kept in touch with the journalist days after the New Year 2016. But after a while, he stopped picking the journalist’s calls.
It wouldn’t be the first time that would happen either. The Chris Oyakhilome-led grace-preaching, and miracle-working, church is known to sell its seats for fees during crossover services.
The church said it imposed the charge to control the heavy crowd its New Year’s Eve services attract.
Attending a crossover service at Christ Embassy’s headquarters on Billings Way in Oregun Area of Lagos…especially when Chris Oyakhilome is presiding over such…is not free.
Christ Embassy first introduced the widely condemned measure on 31 December, 2010. Then, the church mandated anyone who wanted to attend the service to purchase a N1,000 ticket before hand.
No one, who didn’t have the ticket, was allowed into the worship center.
On December 21, 2015, Christ Embassy made it compulsory for worshippers to purchase an electronic gate pass for N1,000.
John said he just couldn’t stomach it, and the church gave him a robust response.
Welcome to Christ Embassy.