As Baba Aladura Olorunfemi Ejide celebrates his next birthday on June 19, 2023 in the United States, the vocal founder/general overseer of Ogo Sioni Aladura Ministry Int’l shares his thoughts on Aladura churches and canvasses genuine reforms in the white garment church sect in the below interview with Christian Benefits.
He says. “The truth however is that we the Aladura cannot afford to continue fooling ourselves. It is our foolishness that allows some non-Aladura churches to talk rubbish about us. When other churches are busy doing revival and evangelism, we are busy dancing and clapping hands. Now, somebody is saying let’s stop that nonsense. Let’s be forward looking and embrace genuine reforms and positive changes in the fold.” Below are the excerpts of Baba Aladura Olorunfemi Ejide’s special interview in commemoration of his birthday celebrations
In few days time you will celebrate your birthday precisely on June 19, 2023. To what with you attribute your successes and achievements in life and ministry so far?
Whatever successes or achievements in my life and ministry so far are attributable to God. God is the secret behind them. I allow God to do His work in my life and ministry, knowing that anyone that places God first in his/her plans will be successful.
You are renowned for your vocal defence of Aladura churches. However, in one of your past interviews with Christian Benefits magazine you canvassed reforms in Aladura churches. What kind of reforms are you canvassing in the white garment fold?
First, is the word of God. Every Aladura church today must be word-based. They must study, know, understand and practice the word of God; the Bible. Presently, most Aladura churches still believe more in spiritual works than in the word of God. Many Aladura priests cannot preach the word of God for few minutes. They can lead their congregation in singing, clapping and dancing for a whole day. But when it comes to preaching the word of God most Aladura shepherds are lacking.
How did you set out to be different when you started Ogo Sioni Aladura Ministry about 30 years ago?
When God called me into ministry I requested from Him wisdom, knowledge and understanding that would enable me to take the Aladura church from the primitive religious practices to the demand of modern-day Christianity. God answered me and drew unto me some people of like-minds to assist me achieve the kind of reforms and changes that I want in the Aladura. With this we have been able to establish Ogo Sioni on the word of God like our Pentecostal brethren. The Aladura has spiritual power but lack the knowledge and the understanding of the word of God. Some other people like me came up to encourage other Aladura churches to embrace the scriptures by teaching and practicing the word of God more importantly than the primitive religious practices common among Aladura churches. Sometimes some people find it difficult to believe that we at Ogo Sioni are Aladura. Indeed, Ogo Sioni is still Aladura but Aladura with a difference. In this modern age, you still see some Aladura churches dressing like masquerades with garment of different colours. That’s one reason why I’m imploring our people to change, and let the whole world know that Aladura churches can also study and preach the word of God.EJIDE: It’s our ignorance that is drawing us (the Aladura) backward
How is the low depth in the word of God in Aladura churches affecting the white garment sect?
Sometimes we feel like our Pentecostal brethren are cheating us, or that they are superior to us. But in actual fact we are not being cheated by the Pentecostals and other word-based church denominations. It’s our ignorance that is drawing us (the Aladura) backward because we lack the word of God; an area where the Pentecostals particularly, the Baptists, the Anglicans and the Methodists are doing very well far ahead and above the white garment churches including the Cherubim & Seraphim and the Celestial.
Using Ogo Sioni as a template for the reforms, how can Aladura embrace the reforms?
We have already started and embraced genuine reforms in Ogo Sioni Aladura Ministry Int’l. We are setting the pace as the pathfinders to the genuine reforms in Aladura churches such that today many people outside the Aladura fold are being attracted to our programmes. In fact we are experiencing a massive membership harvests of new converts and worshippers from some prominent Pentecostal churches like the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries etc to Ogo Sioni Aladura Ministry Int’l. Though we still retain the positive aspects of the Aladura doctrines or practices, we ensure that more than anything else our members are rooted in the word of God. I tell our members, yes, you will get the solution to your problems, but first you have to know God through His word, the Bible. By ensuring that the people are first grounded in the word of God, it helps me to easily find the solutions to their problems and lead them in the way of God.
Since human beings naturally abhor change. Don’t you expect some forms of resistance from some of the Aladura faithful to the reforms you are canvassing in white garment churches?
Even when Jesus Christ came to reform the entire word some people resisted his reforms. So, naturally we expect some challenges, resistance and criticisms to our reforms. The truth however is that we Aladura cannot afford to continue fooling ourselves. It is our foolishness that allows some non- Aladura churches to talk rubbish about us. When other churches are busy doing revival and evangelism, we are busy dancing and clapping hands. Now, somebody is saying let’s stop that nonsense. Let’s be forward looking and embrace genuine reforms and positive changes in the Aladura fold.
How will you react to the label of the Aladura church as an indigenous Christian religious movement?
There is nothing wrong in the labeling of the Aladura church as an indigenous Christian religious movement pioneered and founded by the Yorubas. Christianity goes with culture. I’m an African. I should know how to worship God in an African way.
Are you inferring that since Christianity goes with culture there is nothing wrong with ritualism and herbalism; two of African cultures, as a way of practicing Christianity in the African way?
No! Let me clear this. When I said Christianity goes with culture, it does not mean that we should practice ritualism or herbalism as African Christians. What I simply mean is that our Christianity practice as Africans should have an African outlook in the way and manner we dress and relate with people; not necessarily to be practicing ritualism and herbalism. Even at that, I don’t think anything is wrong in drinking Agbo (herbal solutions) when we are sick to cure the sicknesses; even with our confession as Christians. Except we want to deceive ourselves, many people across all church denominations today have subscribed to drinking Agbo to cure their illnesses or sicknesses. That is part of our beliefs and practices in the Aladura, and nothing is wrong with that.EJIDE: In this modern age, some Aladura churches are still dressing like masquerades