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What Neighbours, Ex-followers, Others Say About Mummy GO’s Preaching, Personality


What Neighbours, Ex-followers, Others Say About Mummy GO’s Preaching, Personality

SUBAIR MOHAMMED of Nigerian Tribune went in search of the truth about the controversial Lagos evangelist, Mummy G.O.

EVANGELIST and founder of Rapture Proclaimer Evangelical Church of God (RAPEC), 54-year-old Pastor Funmilayo Adebayo, became a social media sensation with her fire-and-brimstone sermons where she proclaimed the wrath of God upon anyone who violates not only the scriptural rules but also her alleged self-made rules.

For her proclamation and regular sentencing of people to hellfire, social media users nicknamed her Mummy G.O. with her pictures and allegedly recorded voice being used as memes on the social media platforms.

Some of the hellfire quotes attributed to her, however, have been debunked by her son, Samuel Adebayo who claimed those outrageous quotes were deliberately linked to his mother to defame her.

He said his mother was not bothered by the hellfire memes circulating on social media.

Saturday Tribune visited the neighbourhood where Mummy G.O.’s church is located to find out who the controversial preacher really is and to learn what many Nigerians might not know about her from those who have close knowledge of her.

Located on a large expanse of land on Celestial Line in Adeyefa Estate, Iyana Ipaja, RAPEC (her church), according to some residents of the estate, is a “sanctuary of God” which is accessible only to worshippers that are willing to abide by the church rules. For the members, the watchword is restraint, as there is no atonement for sin. It is simply go against the rules, go to hellfire!

A former member of RAPEC and resident of the estate, Shola Ajao, shared her sentiment about the church and its founder. She said Pastor Adebayo started on the right footing and was much loved by her followers.

She alleged that her sermon started taking a strange turn about a decade ago after she and her church became popular.

“Mama RAPEC, as we refer to Pastor Adebayo, was a delightful evangelist to many of us. She started on the right footing and her sermons were pleasing to the ears and minds. I don’t know what went wrong; she suddenly deviated from the ways of the scripture by proclaiming hellfire verdict on every act with her self-imposed rules as the standard. She condemns every act, food and drink,” Ajao said.

On Thursday, around 11.00 a.m., when Saturday Tribune paid a visit to RAPEC, the church premises were deserted save for some church workers who were clearing the grass and tidying up the premises.

When engaged in a discussion on the controversial sermons and ways of life of members, a worker approached by Saturday Tribune refused comment.

“I am not in a position to respond to your questions. I am a member and a worker at the church. If you need any information concerning the church or its founder, you will have to meet with the pastor,” he said.

No talking drum at RAPEC –Celestial Prophet

Members of RAPEC across all social media platforms are known for their peculiar lifestyles.

Forbidden for male members are funky ways of life which include engaging in electrifying dance while female members are not allowed to do facials, fix nails or wear skimpy dresses or jewelry.

Also, Mummy G.O. forbids the use of fashion accessories, beverages, sea foods and use of the traditional drum by the church choir, as established in her sermons on the social media.

Prophet Jacob of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) whose church is located in the same Celestial Line area where Mummy G.O.’s church is located, spoke to Saturday Tribune about his neighbours’ peculiar way of worship.

Robed in the silky CCC traditional white garment, the Prophet was in the company of other members of the church, feasting on pap and bean cakes. He excused himself from the gathering to attend to Saturday Tribune’s inquiries.

According to Prophet Jacob, the founder of RAPEC has gone overboard with her controversial sermons.

He said: “We are all in the vineyard of God. We are in the gospel business together but I think she has gone overboard with her preaching and the number of things she forbids for members of her church.

“There was a time some of her evangelists came to the CCC to distribute their pamphlets to our members detailing the dos and don’ts of the church. But we told them we were not interested.

“There are scriptural ways of teaching the Bible and it is not allowed for anyone to rewrite or add to the laid-down scriptural rules and in the process bring in new innovations. This is not accepted.

“It is unfortunate that Mama RAPEC is quick to commit her listeners to hellfire. To her, it is forbidden for a male to wear a bushy hair. I know of someone who went into her church to worship but was sent back at the entrance because of his afro hairstyle.

“The usher told him it was not allowed in the church but the question is, what has a bushy and neatly kept haircut got to do with sermon?

“Also, wearing of necklace for both male and female is prohibited and if you wear a skimpy dress as a female, hellfire is your abode.

“Even at RAPEC, choir members are not allowed to use the gangan traditional talking drum. If they do, according to Mummy G.O, they will go to hellfire. Why is she always preaching doom and not salvation?

“Christianity is a peaceful religion but some evangelists are making it hellish for Christians. Our God is not a wicked God.”

No ‘hello’ during telephone calls –Ex-members

Among the many forbidden acts for members of RAPEC by the controversial evangelist, Pastor Adebayo, is saying hello to start a telephone call.

Apart from this, according to the teachings of Mummy G.O., it is sinful for a member to engage in electrifying dance. It is forbidden for them to eat Titus fish and beverages.

According to Mummy G.O., to engage in these forbidden acts is to go to hellfire.

On this, some residents of Adeyefa Estate and former members of RAPEC shared their thoughts.

A resident, Omolola, told Saturday Tribune that “Mama RAPEC not only regulates what members’ wear, she forbids them from saying hello to begin a telephone conversation.” As a believer, according to Omolola, a member is expected to say ‘shalom’, which means peace.

She described the approach of Mummy G.O. to Christianity as alien to the religion.

Omolola said: “She has her peculiar approach to Christianity. Even Deeper Life Christian Church that practises such archaic way of life has modernised its teachings. Today, Deeper Life church has introduced new innovations and technology to its teaching.

“But it is unfortunate that the kind of lifestyle Deeper Life has dropped is what RAPEC is embracing and preaching in this modern era and to the extreme.

“She has brainwashed all members of her church to the point that they don’t have a mind of their own. They pattern their life according to the teachings of Mummy G.O.

“For instance, everybody knows that saying ‘hello’ is the standard form of beginning a telephone conversation but at RAPEC, this is forbidden.

“You are only allowed to say ‘shalom’ during telephone calls. If you are a member of RAPEC, your response to phone call is shalom or you go to hellfire.

“Apart from this, eating Titus fish and some other sea foods and beverages are prohibited for RAPEC members. They are only allowed to eat Sardine fish and drink Ovaltine. They don’t eat certain brands of noodles and snacks.

“Are all these in the Bible? She is only making the religion burdensome rather than a source of succour.”

For another resident, Michael Okon, there are no rational explanations for the teachings of Mummy G.O.

Okon said: “I don’t understand what inspired her brand of teaching. She is too critical of everything. Imagine Mama RAPEC telling her audience not to eat certain products. You wonder what her interest is in the products.

“She forbids her followers from eating certain biscuits and sea foods. Only God knows where she got her power from.”

A founding member of the church said she left RAPEC when the founder allegedly deviated from the teachings of the Holy Bible.

She said: “We started RAPEC together with Pastor Wale. I was a founding member but I had to leave when her preaching began to conflict with biblical teachings.

“Mama started well as an evangelist but lost it when her congregation started growing. She preached with so much energy. During her vigil at Celestial Line, she was so active and you would love her sermon but how she turned to what she is today remains a mystery to me.

“One of her pastors, Pastor Wale, is a man of God. He left the church some years ago when God gave him some revelations about the church. I left the church with him. He is now in Ekiti State.

“When he discovered that Mama RAPEC had turned the scripture upside down and her teachings were contradicting biblical teachings, Pastor Wale left. No sane pastor would want to stay in a church where the scripture is being misinterpreted.

“With all the challenges in today’s world, how could an evangelist tell her members not to eat certain foods and drinks, especially when those foods and drinks are not injurious to human health?

“Mama RAPEC was quoted as forbidding Titus fish and some sea foods for her members. She has so misled many of her members so much that they dress shabbily and unkempt.”

They attacked me ‘cos of my trade –Alcohol seller

Positioned at the main gate of the estate is a middle-aged woman who sold alcoholic drinks, popularly known in local parlance, as paraga.

She narrated an encounter with members of RAPEC: “I don’t really know the evangelist but I know she has her church located in the estate. She preaches against worldly affairs and her sermon is to the extreme.

“I have been selling alcoholic drinks at this spot since 2010 and I met her here in the estate. But what struck me is her uptight approach to evangelism. She condemns everything with a note of finality as if she owns hellfire with the power to commit sinners.

“There was a time evangelists from RAPEC came out to the street for evangelism. Could you believe that her members were verbally attacking me and my customers? They stood directly opposite my stall, saying anyone who drank paraga and other alcoholic drinks would go to hell.

“They will say if you eat Titus fish, hellfire is your abode. Members of RAPEC don’t eat Titus fish, as tasty as it is. This is not what Christianity preaches. If, as a woman, you wear trousers, three-quarter skirt and jewelry, hellfire is your portion. Who says?

“They say if you drink alcohol, you are going to hellfire but I know these things are not completely forbidden. They serve as herbal mixtures which, if taken in moderation, are beneficial to the human body but they never see anything good in them and they openly condemn them. She is misleading her congregation with her dos and don’ts which are to the extreme.”

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