Drama as Foursquare Gospel Church, ex-pastor contest church ownership, members locked out by police


Members of Embrace International Assembly, Ikorodu, Lagos, were prevented from gaining access into the church’s premises on Sunday.

The blockade of the church since Thursday by policemen followed an alleged order from the authorities of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria.

There is an alleged dispute with senior pastor of Embrace, one Rev. Isaac Adeyemi, whom Foursquare claims used to be a minister under them but later converted their branch to his own church.

The policemen, who blocked the main entrance into the church with their van, also manned strategic positions within and outside the premises to prevent worshipers from going in.

Punch reports that as a result, members, who had turned out in large numbers for the day’s service, erected a canopy by the fence of the church to conduct Sunday worship under the rain.

But speaking with Punch, Rev. Adeyemi said he could not understand why the church was allegedly sealed on the orders of Foursquare.

He said, “I really don’t want to talk about this because the matter is already in court.

“In all the courts Foursquare had taken me to, they lost the case. The grouse is not against Embrace International Assembly but (against) me as an individual.

“So, why are they now sealing (up) the church? I’ll let the court handle the matter.”

The National Secretary of Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja, said the property under contention belonged to them and that Adeyemi merely changed the name and converted it to his own after he was allegedly dismissed from the organisation.

He said, “Isaac Adeyemi used to be one of our pastors in Foursquare until he was dismissed for indiscipline.

“So, instead of going in peace, he and some rebels changed the name of our church to Embrace. That is where the problem started.

“For the fact that the church belonged to Foursquare, we took him to court and the court gave an injunction for him never to enter there again.

“The court, while granting our prayers, sent bailiff to lock up the place last Thursday.

“It is not Foursquare that sent police to seal (up ) the place; it is the court that did that.”

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