Popular Nigerian pastor, Sunday Adelaja’s church is currently enmeshed in an adultery scandal following allegations that he had extramarital affairs with at least 20 women in his church.
Adelaja, founder of one of Europe’s largest churches, Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church in Kiev, Ukraine, is now under fire to step down as the spiritual head of the church.
The pastor however denied all allegations levelled against him, saying it is an attempt by some people to take over the church from him.
“That is not true at all; I have read what people are saying about me. The funny thing is that nobody asked me for any information; no interview was granted to anyone,” he told SUNDAY PUNCH in an email.
In a statement on its website, the Russian Union of Christians Evangelical Faith stated that Adelaja, at a meeting of pastors and board of elders of the church, confessed to having committed adultery with his female parishioners and that he had repented.
According to a letter posted on the website of the Spiritual Council Russian Union of Christians Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals), written by one Apostle Toff Ulissis, a clergyman said to be providing spiritual care to the Nigerian pastor, Adelaja was urged to “seek psychiatric help in Kiev and the United States.”
Ulissis said, “Pastor Sunday mentioned that he had a relationship with 20 or 30 women; probably, the number was more than he could remember. Also, I talked with many women (married and unmarried), as well as with their husbands, and they shared with me their pain and described how the pastor manipulates people, who work for him. All the stories were equally horrific, disgusting and depressing. People are very sorry about the current situation with the pastor and wanted him to have psychiatric help.
“I made it clear that my aim is not to destroy either the Embassy of God, because many people have found help in the church or Pastor Sunday as a person. I wanted to make sure that everything has been done to these women and the couples have received care, reconciliation and redeeming restoration.”
Also, a bishop in Adelaja’s church, Anatoly Belonozhko, has resigned from the church, saying the embattled pastor was not willing to seek help.
“We, as church elders, began to create new projects and exercises to heal and restore the church, a new structure, and of course, help our pastor. But Pastor Sunday in writing categorically rejected our help, humiliating us and saying that we have no power to tell him what to do and how to do it and that he knows how and what to do.
“For 22 years in the Church of the Embassy of God, of which 14 years in the rank of bishop, I have always been faithful and responsible before God and people for their service. Taking this opportunity, I want to refute the lie that I knew of pastor’s sin for a long time. I found out about the moral fall of Pastor Sunday in the middle of December 2015 through the pastors of the Apostolic Council. After I learned about it, I talked to Pastor Sunday, trying to help. Remaining in the church in the most difficult time for all of us to save and restore the church and souls of men. But as I understand it, the pastor does not need my help,” Belonozhko said.
Debunking all allegations against him, Adelaja stated, “It is actually an old story that was cooked up by some disgruntled members of my leadership team when they knew of my decision to hand over the church because of my plan to return to Africa.
“So, it’s a leadership tussle from those whose desires for church leadership were not granted. I’m happy with my wife. The church here in Ukraine is doing well. So I thank God that their stories though believed by some without confirmation is still false nevertheless.”