Excerpts from Pastor Tola Odutola’s message to the Jesus House, Baltimore, US when making public his resignation from the Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG, as transcribed by Church Times Nigeria.
The proposal came from the headquarters for us merge all the churches of the RCCG in North America together. The churches were asked to drop their tax-exempt numbers and come under one tax identity. Many of us rejected the idea. And one of the reasons for rejecting the idea is that if any church in the US does anything wrong and they are going to be sued, they will sue everybody together.
One of the other things that were proposed was that if you want to get a loan to do a building, or anything we have to go to the centre to do that. Which means all the things we used to enjoy has an entity, we will have to go to the centre before they are approved either, we want to apply for education for the pastor or whatever.
Two or three years ago, there was another proposal, the issue was brought up again we rejected it and they laid it to rest. And we thought it was over. And this common purpose 38 document agreement was brought up again on the same issue. And part of the things written on it was for us to hand over the assets of the church, and take the liability. So we said who does that. Why would I hand over 10m dollar assets and take over 4million dollar liability? Is it my father’s business? People rejected it.
Then they came with a three-page agreement and we showed it to our lawyer, and the lawyer said slavery ended a long time ago, because some of the things that were there you would imagine if a Christian ever drew that document. When I saw the three-page agreement, I said how did 38 pages become three pages. So what happened to the rest of the 35 pages?. At that time trust had been lost. I went to the Lord in prayer.
For me, it was a no go for me and I said I cannot sign that document and lose my soul, because I felt if I sign the document it would be out of conscience. I refused to sign. And they said if we don’t sign we were no longer part of the RCCG. I said it’s okay. And they said we give you one year.
We spoke back and forth and nothing happened. And I said I could not lose my soul. I can’t sign the document. They gave us one year and said since I did not sign, I am no longer a part of the RCCG. In February they sent us another letter and said since I did not sign I was no longer part of the RCCG.
In April this year, I resigned from the organization RCCG North America and RCCG worldwide. So from today, this in fact is our first Sunday as an independent church, not under any other organization.
I want you to know that this was not a decision I take lightly. I have served in this church for 30 years. Thirty years that cannot be taken back. If you add 30 years to my years I will be 91. I served for 30 years with nothing from any organization to say you have done well. But I know that God is a rewarder. God is a rewarder.
I know there will be many people out there who are probably disappointed by my decision. I apologize. But we are not going back. I know after this decision it is not unlikely that I will be demonized on social media. It’s okay. But one thing I ask of you is don’t bring those reports to me because I want to focus on what God has asked me to do.
As a good child, if somebody abuses your father, it’s okay for you to fight. But I don’t want to be distracted. I also want you to know one thing, I have made up my mind that I will not throw stones. Because I helped build that church for 30 years. I will not throw stones. This is the last time I will talk about this. We are going to move on with life. I want you to know that my destiny, your destiny is not in anybody’s hands, it is in the hands of God.