Pastor Peter Kayode Falarungbon is the Head Pastor of Awakeners Chapel International.
He was the first Head Pastor of the Ghana branch of T.B. Joshuaâ€™s Church, Synagogue Church of All Nations.
In the latest edition of the world acclaimed Nigerian Religious magazine-Lifeway, Pastor Kayode reveals how the Head Pastor of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet T.B. Joshua, the man whose â€˜spiritual prowessâ€™ has kept the Ghanaian presidency in bondage, virtually sent him into exile in Ghana in order to have canal knowledge of his (Pastor Kayodeâ€™s) wife-Lola.
This is his story:Â
ON HOW HE JOINED THE SYNAGOGUE
â€œIt was in 1991 that my wife, Lola, and I went to the Synagogue. We went there because we had been married for nine years without any child. When we met Joshua he looked like a gentleman, a kind person and someone that could be relied on.
I saw him as someone representing God because of his physical and outward appearance. Within two weeks of our going there, he had gotten very close to my wife. That got me concerned but then I concluded that it could be because my wife hailed from the village next to his in Ondo State, Nigeria.
One day my former wife told me that the Prophet wanted her to work with him; that she had to do this before God could answer our prayer for a child. Since I did not want to be an obstacle, I gave her the go ahead.
Suddenly I found myself going there every day because we wanted the fruit of the womb. One day, Lola told me the Prophet wanted to see me. He (Joshua) told me God wanted to use me and that I should surrender myself to the service of the lord. It was a big battle in my heart and with my family.
I was born into and grew up in the salvation Army Church. My parents were leaders in the Church. All my siblings worshipped there. But finally I succumbed.
The first thing he did was to relocate me from where I lived in a three bedroom apartment at Ipaja road. He gave me a Chamber AND hall at Ikoutun Egbe. He told me that if I wanted to serve the Lord, I have to separate myself from the world, from my family and my friends.
Again I succumbed to that pressure. It was a serious battle with my family and friends. A friend of mine who was a Bank Manager at that time traced me to the Church and confronted me. â€œKayode, are you crazy?â€ he quizzed. I told him to â€˜Just leave me alone!â€™
That was the beginning of my journey. I abandoned my parents and refused to see any of my siblings. I was placed in the evangelical department to study the scriptures. However, because of my Salvation Army background, I found loopholes in some of the things he taught us but I could not openly challenge him.
He later asked my wife to move into the church permanently, while I continue to stay in the chamber and hall. I would leave the house in the morning, go straight to the church and return home in the evening alone.
On Sunday mornings, she would rush in early in the morning around 6am, take a change of clothing and rush back to the church. Anytime I showed my desire for intimacy, she will refuse on the grounds that the Prophet said we should not engage in sex yet.
The Prophet had to give us a â€˜passâ€™ before we could make love. I found myself taking all these instructions and there was no way out. I was simply helpless and could not save myself!
On his Pastoral Assignment
After going through the Bible Training course for about three to four years, most of my colleagues left. Some of them were well educated, I remember were Professors. They left because they could not stomach those bizarre instructions, considering their well exposed background.
I was one of two or three people who remained from my set. Agomoh set came after us. After a while, a Ghanaian named Ben and I came to Ghana in 1997 to plan a crusade.. We contacted the Ghana Pentecostal Council and we marketed Joshua very well to them even though many of them did not know him.
It was not a big crusade; we had about three thousand people in attendance. We returned to Nigeria and about months later. I was sent back to Ghana to start a fellowship. One sister Cecilia, rented a three bedroom apartment for us in Achimota and that became our venue.
We began to grow from there. Up till this time, my former wife remained in Lagos; we could not talk on the phone and I could not talk to my family as well. Once in a while, maybe once in six months or once in a year, Joshua would call me and put my wife on the line. Our conversation usually went like this: â€œHow are you?â€ â€œI am fine.â€ â€œWell I just want to find out if you are okay.â€ That was all.
Meanwhile, the real reason why we went to Synagogue was yet to be resolved â€“ that was our childlessness. Somehow in my pursuit of doing the will of God, the issue took a backseat in my mind. I simply wanted to do Godâ€™s work, please him and see what God would do. At some point during the years, I began to awaken from my spiritual slumber. I took a series of decisions. One of them was I must see my parents.
Early one morning, while in Lagos on his orders, I left Ikotun Egbe at 5.am.for Agege and traced my parents. They received me coldly. I was not in the least surprised. But then my mum later disclosed to me that my wife had told one of my old friends that Joshua told her it was impossible for her to conceive through me, that the lack of conception was my fault.
Although, I refused to accept that, I could not press the issue as I had to hurry back so that I could meet my appointment with T.B Joshua for 9.am that day. To my utter surprise, he was aware of my visit to my parents. My so-called wife had informed him. He asked me where I was and I told him I went to see my parents. That incident jolted me back to my senses. I began to piece things together and I perceived that something was amiss.
An accident I witnessed convinced me there was something more to the relationship between Joshua and my wife. Joshua used to flog his followers, old and young. I was privy to him trying to flog my wife once, but she just walked out on him without anything happening.
For her to have the guts to walk out on him when he was flogging others convinced me there was more to their relationship.
Back in Ghana, I remained devoted to the assignment he gave me. I even single-handedly began to sponsor his programmes on Metro T.V for two years without any financial assistance from him. The allegation of my wife with the connivance of T.B Joshua that I could not father a child continued to bother me.
Besides, as a single pastor of a congregation of about two thousand plus members, I battled with temptation. I came to a decision that I needed to remarry in order to prevent falling for temptation and also to prove to Joshua, Lola and everyone who believed the lie that they were wrong.
I also needed to put this woman out of my mind and my life for good. In Ghana, I met a lady here and I told her everything about my situation. And she agreed to my proposal. To the glory of God she got pregnant. I jubilantly announced to my parents, â€œI told you there was nothing wrong with me!â€
On His Father`s Death
One day my younger brother in Texas called to inform me that my father was very ill. Because of Joshua`s enslavement, I could not go to Lagos to check on my father. One day my brother called again from Texas to inform me that our father had passed on. That really pained me. I called Joshua and told him of my father`s demise. He asked me to come to Lagos and specifically charged me not to inform any church member in Accra. And I complied.
Oh how stupid I was! No member of my congregation knew my father died. I boarded the plane to Lagos alone and wept all the way. I was so sorrowful. I felt like the worst sinner. This was a man I had seen for five years! I felt like I was in a way responsible for his death. Joshua gave me 50,000 Naira and the permission to discuss funeral arrangements with my family. I did and returned to Accra to prepare for the funeral.
He gave me a bus and one other member to accompany me to my father`s funeral. Meanwhile, I had a congregation of over 2,000 members in Accra and not a single member knew I came home to bury my father. I am the first born of seven children. I have a brother who is a PH.D holder. I have a sister who is a vice-Principal of a school in Ibadan.
Another sister is a Police Officer, and the last born studied Agronomy at the University of Ibadan. Every one of them shunned me at the funeral. I was left to myself. My mother went inside, broke down and wept. Later she sent for me and told me the reason they all ignored me.
According to her, five days before my father passed on, he insisted on speaking with me. But because none of them had my telephone number they could not reach me. Eventually, my father persuaded my siblings to take him to The Synagogue to meet with Joshua. He was sure that through Joshua a call would be placed to me.
Unfortunately, when they got to The Synagogue they were left at the gate unattended to for two hours. They sent for my former wife and briefed her. She went inside to return two hours later to tell them that the Prophet was not available to see them. They had to return home. The next day, my father passed on. That was why my siblings shunned me. Right there I made up my mind to leave The Synagogue. I told myself it was time to leave!
(To be continued)