We woke up to the sad news of the demise of one of our members, in the early hours of Wednesday the 15th day of May, 2019. This news did not only destabilize the psychological disposition of our sensibilities, but also evoked mixed feelings as to why the incident took place.
We capture this moment to commiserate with the family of Chaplain General, Arowosaiye John Dele and his dear wife and the entire family on the painful demise of their Son, whom they invested a lot on.
God will definitely give you the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable and irreparable loss.
The attention of the Church however, has been drawn particularly to the reactions, moments and positions ventilated on various forms of the social media in respect of the demise of Michael Arowosaiye. We feel obliged to hereby state the facts as we know, to lay to rest doubts, questions, queries and ambiguities in the minds of our loved ones and the general public.
1. STATUS OF THE DECEASED TO THE CHURCH.
The deceased, Michael Arowosaiye joined the church in 2017 and was appointed to lead the second choir (Sacred Vessels) of the Shepherd’s House Assembly, Apo in 2017 after he was found qualified to lead a choir of that magnitude. His appointment came after about a month of probation, by the General Overseer, Rev. Dr. Joshua Talena. He went through the foundation school of membership and fulfilled the basic requirements of membership of the church. He was neither a Pastor nor ordained worker in church. He was a leader of one of the departments in Church. He performed his duties well up until last year when reports of inordinate behaviors by him, trooped in. Like the General Overseer would always say, “the church is not a perfect place, but a place where imperfect persons are moulded into the perfect ways of God”, The Church authority through the Church Management Committee (CMC) drew his attention to the various reports that came against him. He was reprimanded twice and a third time, given a final letter of warning that disciplinary action would be taken against him if such reports were received again in that regard.
2. SUSPENSION FROM LEADERSHIP ROLE.
Early this year, it was reported that other incidences of misconducts were perpetrated by him. The CMC ( which is the highest decision making body of the church) invited him for further questioning. He admitted to all the allegations and also confirmed all the evidences against him which were overwhelmingly convincing. The evidences were WhatsApp chats between him and the some persons who later left the church because they were disappointed that their leader would indulge in such behavior.
Consequent upon the finding of the CMC in the matter of the misbehavior by Michael Arowosaiye, he was TEMPORARILY RELIEVED from playing a leadership role in the Sacred Vessels for a period of three months, which commenced through a letter dated the 17th day of march, 2019 to elapse on the 19th day of May, 2019. (Reduced to two months by the General Overseer).
We wish to state here categorically that he was still engaged in other aspects of service to God, even in choir, but just not leading the choir for that temporary period. The Church also felt that he should use the time of the relief from leadership duties to reflect on his life, make a change and then continue with his plans for life. So the church stood by him, appointed two Elders from the CMC to mentor, counsel and provide effective spiritual and career guidance to him through the period.
3. MARRIAGE PLANS.
The Church Management Committee did not suspend the marriage of the deceased at any particular moment. The deceased had approached the Senior Pastor on two different ocassions late last year, 2018, to purport to introduce his would-be wife. The General Overseer refered him to the Marriage Committee as the regulation of the church is. He did not for one day, attend any marriage class nor enrol in the class. He rather went later on two other separate Ocassions to the General Overseer, to express regrets about marrying the said lady who was in another department in church. Out of frustration the lady left the church and travelled to Lagos to recover from the pain and disappointment of a failed relationship. A third time, early this year, 2019, the deceased approached the General Overseer again to report that he has finally made up his mind to marry the same lady. The General Overseer gave him the sum of 100,000.00( One Hundred Thousand Naira only) to support his “introduction” as part of the marriage rites. To the amazement of the church, we later discovered that English Marriage cards were online and printed already. (All these were done without the approval and knowledge of the Marriage Committee in Church).
We believe the deceased had issues to settle before “walking down the isle” that was why he chose unilaterally not to go on with the marriage. So he relayed that decision to the Church.
4. ACCOMMODATION FUNDS ADEQUATELY PROVIDED.
The deceased accommodation need was met. We state here that it is not the functional obligation of the church to provide accommodation for all departmental heads, which the deceased was one. The Church has up to 30 functional departments. It is only the deceased person that was paid allowances up till his demise. ALL OTHER departmental heads do not receive any allowance. We freely serve God in our different capacities, except for administrative staff of the church who are on the payroll. The General Overseer singled Michael out for pay because he was the son of a clergy. He was treated kindly and favored. A total of 370,000.00 ( Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira) only, was given to him by the church to pay his for accommodation. Having delivered such amount of cash to him, the church reasonably believed that he had sorted his out accommodation needs.
We read with great surprise on social media that the deceased died out of frustration of lack of accommodation. This is information is greatly untrue and should not be peddled at all.
We also would like to honor the request of his parents not to grant any press conference in this regard, so as to give respect to the wishes of his parents who are still mourning the demise of their son. We implore the press to let the “dead rest”, and allow the matter to also rest.
Michael Arowosaiye lived his life serving God with passion and sincerity. We mourn him today, but we most of all, take pride in the fact that he served God with all his heart. We believe that one day, we will all meet our creator and how we live our lives, really does matter. There is a life after this earth and we adjure every person to seek God, the one and only true God, through Jesus Christ His son who died for our sins.
Thank you for sparing your time to read this statement.
We have laid to rest, our friend, brother, son and singer, Michael Arowosaiye. May he find rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ukeme Ekrikpo Esq,
Legal Adviser, Shepherd’s House Assembly International Inc., Apo, Abuja.
cc: Lawrence Onuche