THE First Baptist Church, Orogun in Ughelli North local government area of Delta State, has been shut down indefinitely on the orders of the Orogun Traditional Council over an alleged “spiritual cleansing” exercise carried out by the pastor and members of the church.
The pastor, Rev Tode Joseph Godspower, was said to have conducted a crusade organised by the church after which himself and members of the church, embarked on a “sweeping exercise” with the intention of sweeping away evil from the community.
Enraged by his action, the monarch, Okpara-Uku, (HRM) Akpojotor Epko, invited the cleric in a letter dated, April 15, 2019 under the guise of “discussing issues that will bring progress to the kingdom.”
The pastor who is also the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Orogun branch, was reported to have been assaulted by some persons at the palace for “insulting the gods” of the land while he was being grilled the next day by the traditional council.
Confirming the ban on the church, a chief from the kingdom, Chief Immanuel Ogobene debunked claims that the pastor was assaulted during his interrogation at the palace, saying, “There was no confrontation or assaulted, he was just warned on his action.”
On what transpired at the palace, Chief Ogobene said: “He (pastor) went to the palace with some selected members of his church and was asked why he did what he did, but was tongue tied and couldn’t say anything to defend his action and was warned not to open the church until further notice.
“The council will meet and they will deliberate on the shutdown of the church as soon as possible. You have no right to go to a community and start casting away their idols; he does not have that authority
“Even if God has revealed something to him, the best thing to do is for him to go to the Okpara-Uku who is the head of the community and tell him. Then the Okpara-Uku will consult his council, deliberate on it before he is permitted to do so or not, but what he did was trespass of activities.”