Saint S.B.J. Oshoffa Cathedral, International Headquarters Church, Ketu, Lagos.
Every creation has its story and that of the International Headquarters Church is not far-fetched. What began like child’s play in a single room at the back of the Pastor Founder’s 2-Storey building on Moshood Street, Ketu, Lagos, over 43 years ago is now a gigantic structure that seats on Oshikomaiya Street in Ketu.
Saint S.B.J. Oshoffa, Prophet, Pastor Founder, C.C.C. W/w
Upon Papa’s spiritual guidance to relocate from Makoko to Ketu and unknown to him, a collective decision by a group of artisans who worked for him to have a place of worship of the God of their principal, was welcome with pomp and pageantry by the Pastor Founder, hence the birth of what has become the pride of celestians today. It is the working of God to add to His church and this was no deviation from the founding story of this little fold.
As the power of God in Papa Oshoffa resonated throghout the city of Lagos, Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world, it drew men with different challenges of life and Papa was sought for spiritual emancipation. Many individuals from all walks of life brought their ailing family members and friends to Papa for healing and he never turned back any. Most of those who lived in Papa’s house were non Nigerians and were also there for a long period to fully recuperate after they experienced healing.
There was an unusual mix as those who were mostly under the bondage of the devil were also part of the membership of this emerging church and it was called the church of the sick. They were however undaunted by the state of the membership of the physical church, more members of the Celestial Church of Christ at large who lived around Ketu got information of a new parish at the Founder’s house and they were delighted to be part of it. The numbers grew and so was the number of the sick amongst them.
His Eminence, Reverend E.M.F. Oshoffa, Pastor and Spiritual Head, C.C.C. W/w
Information about the growth was conveyed to Papa through his Personal Secretary, Papa Goodwill Abiassi. Papa who owned a parcel of land at Adeyiga Street, Ketu, which was still under construction, granted the use of this spacious facility that would at least accomodate the members of the growing church. After a Sunday Service in 1981, all the members of the church filed and marched from Moshood Street to Adeyiga Street singing “Mo nlo si nu ijo mimo…” The love of God quickly spread over the church and Papa himself was never far from her. He was her landlord, host and carer.
The first Shepherd, Leader Francis Houndekon, was Papa’s brother-in-law. He performed every duty of a Shepherd but the members were not buoyant enough to perform on the big stage. Due to this, Papa appointed the International Management Committee (IMC) under his own Chairmanship to ensure the smooth running of the church. They kept the church account, organised her harvest and performed other tasks as directed by the Pastor Founder.
Many other Shepherds did oversee the flock of God, among whom are MSE Salako, Superior Evangelist John Kingdom, VSE Ademola Obaniyi, MSE Abraham Ajose, Superior Evangelist Akin Longe, MSE M.O. Ajao, VSE J.S. Kuti, VSE A.A. Aladeseye, VSE Bilesanmi and presently sheperding the church is VSE Matthew Olatosho Oshoffa.
VSE Matthew Olatosho Oshoffa, Shepherd, Saint SBJ Oshoffa Intn’l Hqtrs Cathedral
Papa Oshoffa, a visionary leader, knew that the Adeyiga site would soon reach its full capacity so he bought the parcel of land where the edifice currently sits. In 1983, on one occasion, Papa Oshoffa led the members in his open roof car, who walked joyously behind him on foot from Adeyiga Street to the present location. There had been many attempts to expand the church even while it was at Adeyiga Street but these attempts were futile, until the realisation that a vision of Papa on the acquisition of this land was speaking to us. When we attempted to run with the vision through the concerted efforts of successive Shepherds and Parochial Committees, the church employed various means, rising from family thanksgiving and various launching exercises all geared towrds the new site.
Old Church at Adeyiga Street, Ketu, Lagos
Succour came from Reverend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi who donated graciously towards the building. We cannot mention all those who have generously donated towards this building and utilised all resources judiciously towards the completion of this project: among whom are the SBJ Oshoffa Family, Bada Family, Ajanlekoko Family, Ajose Family, MSE Ajao, MSE Banjo, VSE A. Aladeseye, VSE O. Bilesanmi, late MC Bola Sodeinde, MC Onasanya, the Parochial Committee (past and present), the Raheem Family, late Sp Ven Steve Babatope, Adeleke Family, the Akapo Peter Family, late AVSE Pekun Sobodu, Sup Evang Emmanuel Leshi, Sup Evang Oladipupo Adebutu, Sup Evang Dele Akinola, CEB Femi Ogunlana and Brother Demola Samuel Bolaji.
After a lot of back and forth, the church found its nerve on Sunday, 18th November, 2018, to hold her Adult Harvest Thanksgiving Service on this land and never returned to the old church location save for Wednesday and Friday services. In furtherance to the completion of the magnificent cathedral, which will now be named in honour of our visionary founder, Papa SBJ Oshoffa, as Saint S.B.J. Oshoffa Cathedral. A two floor Mission House has also been built, which will be named as Reverend E.M.F. Oshoffa Mission House. The second floor of the Mission House is named after Reverend A.A. Bada, the first floor after Superior Evangelist S.O. Ajanlekoko, and the ground floor after AVSE Pekun Sobodu.
To God Be THe Glory
Today, forty (40) years after Papa Oshoffa laid altar, the church is fully on ground and we are proud to say that all arms of the church have contributed fairly and squarely to the success story we celebrate today, even as His Eminence, Reverend E.M.F. Oshoffa, dedicates this imposing and awe inspiring edifice to the glory of God and the benefit of humanity, on this day Saturday 18th November, 2023.
SOURCE: A Vision Come True