Aderemi Dabiri, leader of Celestial Church of Christ, Land of Goshen, Lagos, has stated that he invited Fuji musician Pasuma and music artiste Portable to their event for soul-winning.
There was uproar on social media on Wednesday when an event flyer that revealed that Pasuma and Portable would perform at the church’s praise night in Lagos went viral.
Several Nigerians took to social media to condemn the invitation of the secular music artistes to a religious activity.
Reacting to the backlash, the Shepherd-in-charge of the Celestial Church of Christ International Headquarters, Ketu, Olatosho Oshoffa said he had informed Dabiri to cancel their performance at the event.
However, Portable claimed that he received N5 million from the church and insisted that he would perform at the praise night.
Reacting to the backlash in a trending video on the internet, Dabiri explained that his decision to invite secular artistes was to gain new converts.
He also said he had previously welcomed several new members with this evangelism style.
“It is not our first time inviting guest artistes. We have been doing it without a problem and I can give you a series of instances,” he said.
“I noticed that there are some notorious boys who cause trouble in the community, disturbing the authorities and engaging in cultism.
“I wondered how can we draw their attention so that they would have a change of heart. We have gone to places where they are and they ended up beating us.
“Most of the members of my church are new converts and it was through that pattern that I converted them,” he added.
He said he prefers secular musicians over gospel artistes because they are “more respectful”.
“Some gospel ministers are rude. If you talk to some of them, they respond rudely, but the day I called Pasuma, he sounded respectful on the phone and also agreed with my stance,” he said.
While acknowledging concerns raised by the church’s task force, Dabiri said he is committed to reducing the “excesses” of the performers, particularly Portable.
“We will tell Portable not to dye his hair and he should not sing vulgar songs but to sing gospel music. We will also caution him not to dress inappropriately or climb the speakers,” he added.
“We will also warn him not to allow his boys to smoke here. We have invited close to 30 military personnel to man the event.”
Dabiri also appealed for support from the larger Celestial Church community, stating that he wants to continue this evangelism style to grow the church.