Prophet TB Joshua And Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Friendship Explained

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    After the BBC’s explosive documentary on the late Prophet TB Joshua, which shed light on his controversial practices and alleged diabolical ways, this took us back to Fifteen years ago, when Paul Agomoh, the former second-in-command of the late Prophet, disclosed that well-known Nigerian pastors were victims of his ungodly ways. One of those pastors was Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, the founder of Believers Love World Ministries, also known as Christ Embassy. 

    According to the former disciple, the “Man in the synagogue” bewitched Pastor Chris when he visited his church for the first time in 2001 and initiated him into his cult using diabolical powers. But this was not Prophet TB Joshua’s end goal as he would later use Pastor Chris to cause a division between the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN.

    While all these were ongoing, the media painted TB Joshua and the head pastor of Christ Embassy as friends who bonded over their higher calling and gift for miracle healing and teachings. Videos of the two powerful men of God performing miracles and healing in TB Joshua’s church and other friendly public sightings give the impression that they are fond of each other. Sadly, this was just a big controversial pot of soup that the SCOAN founder was cooking. When all the ingredients were complete, Pastor Chris’s association with TB Joshua shook Christendom like a Tornado.

    What impact did this have on Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s ministry? Did this cost him his supernatural powers as many insulated? And what led to the end of their relationship?

    Watch The Video Version Of This Post Here

    Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Humble Beginning

    In 1987, Chris Oyakhilome, a young and gifted Nigerian pastor, founded the Christ Embassy. What started as a campus fellowship quickly grew into one of the fastest-growing mega-churches in Nigeria, with millions of worshippers. Sporting a signature Jerry curls hairstyle, the televangelist used TV to popularise his brand of Christianity and gained massive popularity for his miraculous healing and prosperity teachings. 

    On the other side of town, TB Joshua, another man of God with a similar ministry, also focused on televangelism, miracle healing, and bible teaching. But unlike Pastor Chris, he didn’t have the backing of CAN and PFN to legitimise his ministry and doctrine. Despite having foreigners flocking to his church, the man in the synagogue was not accepted as a genuine prophet among prominent Nigerian pastors.

    Many of them under CAN and PFN called him a fraud and refused his membership in the association. While seeking the membership, Prophet TB Joshua told them that God anointed him from the womb, and he had no spiritual father who led him to Christ or mentored him.

    During TD Jakes’ visit to Nigeria, Paul Agomoh, former second in command to TB Joshua, revealed to LifeWay Magazine on July 8, 2009, that TD Jakes wrote to the PFN to explain who TB Joshua was, and expressed his desire to visit him in Nigeria as he had heard much about him. However, PFN replied that the man in the synagogue was not a Christian and not a member of the CAN or PFN. This upset TB Joshua, and he promised to cause a division in the association. This was when he began to get close to Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

    During an interview with Daily Champion Newspapers in January 2005, Pastor Chris referred to TB Joshua as a minister friend. The Christ Embassy founder claimed that they first met in January 2001 after the man in the synagogue called him on the phone. “He had been watching our programme on television with some of his visitors, and there was this episode of a little girl who was born blind who received her sight at our crusade. He said he was moved by the miracle and decided to call me,” he explained.

    This was corroborated by one of TB Joshua’s former disciples, Lady Evangelist Bisola Johnson. While speaking with Asabe Afrika in July of 2019, Bisola said Pastor Chris assumed his first encounter with TB Joshua was genuine, but it was all part of a big plan. One day, while watching Pastor Chris’s programme on TV, TB Joshua called the number on the screen, and when Chris finally got on the line, he went ahead to flatter him and invited him to his church. On the day the Christ Embassy head was visiting, TB Joshua set up hidden cameras all around the church ground and entrance So that if Oyakhilome only got as far as the gate, the visit would still be captured and published all over the media.

    After the first visit, the televangelist’s relationship blossomed, and Pastor Chris visited more frequently. One day, TB Joshua took Pastor Chris to his waterside prayer site, where he goes to recharge his alleged occultic powers or initiate people. Bisola said that after that visit, it was as if Pastor Chris became TB Joshua’s puppet, and he started paying tithe to TB Joshua’s church in millions.

    Bisola revealed that Oyakhilome also gifted the late Prophet his first high-end car, a Brand New Mercedes Benz S-class model. Before then, TB Joshua was driving a Volkswagen Passat 777. After using the Benz for a while, one of the car window glasses got broken, but TB Joshua couldn’t afford its replacement, so he returned it to Pastor Chris, who then bought him a Powder Blue Ontario Jeep, the first Jeep TB Joshua would ever drive.

    Their friendship progressed. However, one fateful Wednesday, Pastor Chris joined TB Joshua to minister in the SCOAN Blood of Jesus service. The man in the synagogue had guests from the Netherlands; one of them was Jan Westerhoff, a man who is not crippled but lives with Multiple Sclerosis and has to use a wheelchair because he often falls when he experiences impromptu health crises. But all this information was not provided to Pastor Chris as TB Joshua made him believe the man in the wheelchair was disabled and he could heal him. Just like that, Pastor Chris was relegated to a Junior Prophet in SCOAN. When TB Joshua touched him, Oyakhilome raised the man from the wheelchair, and it became a big miraclous news across the country.

    How Chris Oyakhilome & TB Joshua’s Friendship Ended

    In 2001, Pastor Chris was won over completely by TB Joshua. According to Bisola, a former disciple and Prophet of the Synagogue, TB Joshua helped to organise one of the Christ Embassy’s biggest crusades in Aba. At that time, the mother of the then-governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, was a member of SCOAN. So, TB Joshua called her and informed her that his son was coming and the government should give him all the necessary support. The crusade was called “Total Experience” and took place between November 30 and December 2, 2001. 

    Division in CAN & PFN

    Like TB Joshua’s second in command, Paul Agomoh, explained, the man in the synagogue association with the Pastor was a strategy to convince some Pentecostal pastors in Nigeria that he is a genuine man of God. If TB Joshua is not of God, why did Pastor Chris go to his church and befriend him? Does this mean Oyakhilome is not of God, too? Since this controversy would only doubt Pastor Chris’s legitimacy, many accepted TB Joshua, and Pentecostal pastors started to visit SCOAN. This then punctured a deep hole in their ranks in PFN and CAN. And they tried to punish Oyakhilome for the division.

    The PFN convinced the National Broadcasting Commission to ban the telecast of healings, miracles, and testimonies just to hurt the ministry of Pastor Chris, which was focused on these areas. 

    In February of 2003, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was caught up in a major scandal when it was discovered that the general cashier of Sheraton Hotel had stolen 39 million Naira from the hotel. The cashier reportedly used the stolen money to fund various projects and donate cash to the Christ Embassy. Sheraton Hotel demanded that Pastor Chris return the stolen funds, but he claimed that the money had been given to God. This led to allegations of money laundering within Christ Embassy.

    While all this was going on, some popular Nigerian pastors accused Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of belonging to an occult group along with TB Joshua. One of the accusers, Pastor Chris Okotie, claimed that Prophet TB Joshua had initiated Oyakhilome into the cult and that their friendship was evidence of this. Okotie also accused Joshua of being a false prophet who compared himself to Jesus, citing the biblical example of “Bar-Jesus.” In addition, Pastor Chris Okotie called TB Joshua the son of the devil and claimed that some people who visited the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) headquarters were being held there against their will. The police intervened, but TB Joshua was not arrested.

    In May of 2013, Bishop Isaac Owusu Bempah, Founder and Leader of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International in Ghana, also openly accused TB Joshua and Pastor Chris of Occultism. He lamented that they’re not “true men of God” but leaders of occults, winning souls for the devil. He claimed the revelation came to him in a vision and after analysing their scripture, works, and conduct.

    Interestingly, none of these controversies destroyed Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s ministry; if anything, they only made him and his church popular. During a 2005 interview with Daily Champion Newspapers, Oyakhilome spoke about his relationship with TB Joshua and how he began to distance himself and relate to TB Joshua from a place of pity.

    “When I met with him, of course, I was excited, glad to see someone who was interested in the kind of things that I was doing. When these controversies came up, when these pastors, Pastor Chris Okotie, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and Pastor Tunde Bakare got on television and began to say a lot of things, I actually had to maintain an association of sympathy with the man,” he told the Newspapers.

    But according to TB Joshua’s former disciple Bisola, who began to expose him years after, the diabolical powers the man in the synagogue used to bewitch Pastor Chris began to fade after some time. Bisola claimed that one day, Oyakhiloms called a SCOAN worker and asked if TB Joshua was a genuine pastor, revealing that he had started to doubt his legitimacy. Just like that, the Christ Embassy head pastor stopped paying his tithe to SCOAN, stopped the generous gifts, and completely dissociated. Today, as we know, TB Joshua has gone to the great beyond, while Pastor Chris Oyakhilome is pushing 61 years of age, and his ministry is still standing.

    Would you say Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was a victim of Prophet TB Joshua?

    You may also like to watch This: Pastor Friends Who Snubbed TB Joshua & Refuse To Send Condolences To His Family.

     

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