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A Rare & Candid Interview Granted by Rev. Gilbert Jesse to Celestians
(Saturday November 23rd, 2002 - Dallas Metro Parish, Dallas, Texas, USA)

Question from Evangelist Oshin (Holy Cross Parish, Grand Prairie, Texas)
We are glad to have you here sir in a very short time. I knew you when I was attending a church at Ojota in the  1970ís. The only problem we have is that we have been thrown all around as far as Celestial is concerned. This is not the Celestial church that we knew when we were young. Celestial Church is the first African church to be established in America. We are the only church diminishing everyday. Problem is with the leadership. It is very difficult to know the truth due to lack of communication from the top.
Also, the church is being polluted by giving priority to money by some unscrupulous elements. We are being misled as far as communication is concerned. How can we correct these problems?

 

Answer from Rev. Jesse
We can put it right. That is why Iím here. I have called the general meeting of church workers. If youíre there, you will see and experience how we are going to put things right. Your problem nowadays is due to leadership. This issue will be tackled during the meeting. Thank you. We will receive our glory back. Celestial will come back to its former status as it was in 1947 to the 60ís.


Questions from Bro. Dayo Amon, Secretary of Dallas Metro Parish and also the webmaster of C.C.C. Worldwide website.
We welcome you in the name of Christ and we pray that God will continue to be with you (Amen). The knowledge, wisdom, understanding and the Holy spirit that the Lord has given to you, he will never take away from you (Amen). I have three questions
 

Question #1 from Bro. Amon
 If you know the glory of this great church, you will never be afraid or ashamed to go out there and proclaim you membership in the Celestial Church. Nowadays, mentioning Celestial Church attracts negative comments from people about their bad experiences or bad rumors about the church. Part of the problem stems from the way the church is organized. For example, Establishment of parishes is not a tightly controlled process by any means. The listing of parishes in our publication is not even accurate. What are the steps that the leadership of this church are taking to regain control from the way parishes are being established. What are things that you will do to help put things back in order.
 

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
You will hear from us after the meeting in Washington. The glory of the Church will come back. All unnecessary parishes will be scrapped. We are not going to open our eyes and this church continues to deteriorate and perish. The glory will come back because I am not going to leave any stones untouched. Either leadership or anything else. God will take control of His church (Amen).

Question #2 from Bro. Amon:
The second question I have for you is regarding effective communication. Here in the U.S., we mostly hear rumors with no clear and direct communication from the leadership in Nigeria. We donít know what the vision of the leadership is, what is really going on, what are the programs and plans they have, etc. I would like to hear what steps you will take to improve communication in general.

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
Yes, that is why Iím going around to see things myself, firsthand. That is why Iím visiting many parishes in the United States and also visiting all the districts and branches of our church to see what is going on. Even, I have seen that the problem is due to leadership. But henceforth, communication will be very easy because when the good leadership comes up, you will see what is happening. You will not be forgotten or isolated. Thanks.

Question #3 from Bro. Amon:
My third question is about evangelism. I have heard many things about your evangelical work in the church. We loose many members because they donít feel fulfilled from hearing the word. Too much emphasis is put on spiritual work Ė victory, blessing, protection, etc. and not on Salvation, Redemption, developing a personal relationship with God and Christ. Today, listening to your sermon, its very different from what we usually hear in the church. You spoke heavily about Salvation, Christ; power of prayer and Redemption. This is very rare nowadays. My question is what are the steps youíre taking to not only inculcate and strengthen evangelism in the church, but also ensure that all the anointed evangelists get adequate scriptural training?
 

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
Yes, Evangelism is the power and heartbeat of Celestial Church of Christ! That is why Iím sure we will survive because of Evangelism. We will continue. Now we are setting up and putting more effort to see that things work properly, seminary and training of the Shepherds in California, USA. We will steer people away from preaching the doctrine to preaching the gospel!


Questions from Evangelist Tunde Orimolade (Covenant Parish, Dallas, Texas, USA)
We welcome you into our midst. May the spirit and power of the Almighty God continue to direct you in all your footsteps, Amen. There was once a time if youíre recognized wearing a soutana on the road in Nigeria, a fellow Celestian will give you a ride! Now when people see you in soutana, they will pick a race. My questions are:


Question #1 from Evang. Orimolade:
Love among our neighbors. We are now seeing situations where when one parish is having an event, Celestians from other parishes will not be there. According to the word of God, a house that is divided cannot stand. If we are not in one accord amongst ourselves, how then can we go out and evangelize and bring people to the fold?

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
Thank you Ė that is a very good question! Some shepherds (I canít call them shepherds) who establish churches here were never trained. They are not shepherds. God did not call them. Maybe because of unemployment, they converted their rooms into church. That is the reason why many cannot live on church alone, but go to work. If youíre a trained shepherd, and God has trained you, God will be in control of your church. You have to love one another because if youíre called, you must have been trained. Anybody who establishes and has no love, that is not of God Ė God has not sent you. He is just doing the work for his own stomach. So, not all the establishments here are God established. Many are called, but few are chosen.

Question #2 from Evang. Orimolade:
And my last question to you sir, there are some Senior Evangelists in this church that donít even know how to properly conduct services, sanctification, etc. Some cannot even successfully sing three victory songs! How do we explain these kind of things in the Church?
 

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
Thank you. Because those promotions from A to Z are bought for some of them. In those days, before I got my first anointment, I spent about seven years in the church. Nowadays, within three years, some are promoted to Senior Evangelist. How can that person conduct a service. He will not even know what he is doing because he is not trained and not in spirit. He bought his post with money. So he will misbehave. (From the Audience, ďWho are the ones giving out those types of anointments?Ē) I donít know, you have to know that yourself! I know I have not personally giving out such anointments. If they had make the mistakes, I am here to correct those mistakes. This church is a spiritual church and we all have to be in spirit to the spiritual work. If youíre in the flesh, you cannot do the spiritual. No matter is your rank, it is not that which matters. Sidesmen can even conduct service if he knows what he is doing and the spirit of God is with him. People just want to look important with posts and want to be Ogaís Ė they want to be Lords. For women to see them that they are Senior Evangelists. I suspect that some people even went ahead to sew regalia for ranks that were not give to them officially. That is why some of them cannot make it up till today. They run from pillar to post. Because the spirit will be chasing them all around because they have put on what is not theirs. Letís wait and see. The Glory will come back like I have said (Amen.)
 

Question from Lace Superior Senior Elder Sister Akinsanya
Some are complaining, Celestians donít preach, Celestians donít read the Word. God will touch each and every one of us (Amen). It is only God that can instruct you and touch your heart. Some donít pick up their Bibles after leaving the church. Reading of your Bible shouldnít stop at church, but must be inculcated into our daily routines. We all need to search our hearts. The leaders need to better educate the congregation. God will be with you.
 

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
Thank you. All these problems will be solved. People donít preach because they are in big posts. God choose his preachers. Not every shepherd can preach very well. For example, CCC Worldwide, we are few that are doing evangelism. Formerly, this church did not come with evangelism, but only came with doctrines and vision. When I knew that this cannot help us into the Kingdom of God, I started evangelism. I know what happened, I know what I faced because of this evangelism (S/E Akinsanya from the audience Ė ďAt Igbobi Ikorodu Road, I was thereĒ). Thank you very much, God bless you. So because of this, people believed Celestial Church is a place to go and do blessing and victory work and go away. I know what I faced when I started this evangelism. I was nearly jailed! But I know, with evangelism, this church will be able to move forward. So whether anybody likes it or not, evangelism will come to reign in this Celestial Church of Christ. May it be so, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Amen).
 

Question from Evangelist Charles Adogun-Etien
Youíre welcomed in our midst, sir. I have realized that the youth have no provision in the Celestial Churchís constitution. I have also realized that we need to get our youths involved deeply in the church because they are the Celestians of tomorrow. Moreover, they are more open to change. I pray that you should please in your own time help us to focus more on the youths because we are the generation of Celestial tomorrow. Celestial is not a church of mediocrity Ė always the first. It is the only church that fulfills the most from the Bible worldwide. If there is no focus in the youth, they will be taken away from us by other denominations. Especially in the United States, most of the youths are coming to church because they are doing so to obey their parents. If care is not taken, there will come a time when they are grown and able to make their own decisions, they will simply defect to other denominations and other funky churches. In my preaching, I have stressed this issue at many parishes in this area. Sir, I want you to focus on the youths.
 

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
Yes. I think you know Dr. Odeye. I only support his programs with establishment they have at Otta. I even went there to open it and Iíve been contributing immensely to their programs. We told him to carry on. That is where our youths will be useful. Because some fathers come to church and they donít bring their children or if their children ask them pointed questions about the church, they are unable to answer such. So the children will say this is no church, I better leave. That is why we have established youth programs, especially at Imeko. We always dedicate time to them to do their programs. And every church at Ketu, we give them time. For example at Ketu, the youths are the ones conducting harvests at International Headquarters. We know if we donít get them involved now, the whole church will be a mess tomorrow. Because the youths are the church tomorrow. That is why we leave you people with the Bible so that you will not remain in the Ďdoctrineí. You will be able to gain more souls for Christ and to the church. For example, at all universities now, we have our youth branches there, at Ibadan, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. We are trying, Rome was not built in a day. We are taking some important measures about the youths and we will continue. We will beg God to help solidify the programs. You yourself can even establish a youth program here in the United States. Gather them together and through you, God will be able to establish the youths here. Thanks.
 

Question from Prophet Segun Sorunke (Dallas Metro Parish, Grand Prairie, TX, USA.)
We have heard of people talk about those that defect from Celestial Church to other churches. What I want them to realize is that it is not the will of those leaving to other churches, but it is us that are here whose hearts are not clean to others. We loose many members to such churches as the Redeemed Church of God because we are not encouraging those people to stay to worship in the fold. My second comment is about Imeko fund we have been contributing forever. When is this project going to be completed and fully erected?
 

Answer from Rev. Jesse:
Thank you. We will finish it soon. Now, it is money we will use. All what has been contributed cannot even do anything yet, I donít know where the money contributed is. Iím telling you frankly, I donít know. All Iím going to do, it is not our contribution that will build Imeko. Either we get a mortgage and borrow money from the bank, and sign agreements to make monthly payment. We will award the contract to a credible contractor. We can be more effective this way. Then monies contributed can then be used to pay off the mortgage. I donít go after money, Iím only after evangelism. However, if God gives me the grace and guidance to build Imeko City, I will. If God wants me to do it, He will provide for it (Amen). Thank you.

 


 

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