Senior Pastor of Lagos-based ‘Household of God’ church, Rev Kris Okotie, was reported to have barred Mr. Biodun Kupoluyi, the publisher of E24/7 magazine, from attending his church after the journalist wrote a story alleging that the pastor was dating an undergraduate named Miss Naomi Hoffman.
Kupoluyi, who is not a regular member of the church, in an interview with Encomium Magazine said: “I received the news from a man claiming he is representing the church that he has been directed by the pastor of the church and members of Household of God church that I should not come and worship with them.”
According to him, “his reason was premised on E24-7 magazine’s expose, ‘Pastor Chris finds new love, says I will not get married again, but may opt for surrogacy soon’. I found it shocking that a day after the publication hit the streets, his media department sent a release out and it confirmed our story.”
“He actually made those statements and we reported it. I think he did not think anybody could have known about his romance with the girl, Naomi. He was caught off guard … but as a journalist; I owe our teeming readers that responsibility. I feel fulfilled, though I will miss his theatrics, his stage performances and verbosity”, he said.
Kupoluyi said “my perception of the church and my respect for the man has changed. He is not a serious preacher of the gospel. The job of a good shepherd is to seek a lost sheep, not to ban a sheep or send away a sheep from the fold. It is only in our environment that these kind of things happen. Because I worship in a church, I can’t write the story of the pastor even if the pastor is doing what is wrong? But the pastor and the church will hail me if I praise him or do a PR story for them”.
“Despite the ban, if journalistic duties call I will go there. In fact we were there the following week after I was barred. It was the week he claimed Christians can do tattoos and plastic surgery. We went with a whole crew, looking forward to a show down. I’m a free citizen. I cannot be cowed. And I stand by my story on Naomi. That is not disputable!” He concluded.