Opinion: The Kumuyi wedding and Deeper Life’s moral decency

by Victor Oshisada

kumuyi wedding


This is why Pastor William Kumuyi’s puritanical stance must be commended. By frowning at the son’s wedding misdemeanour, he is warning other members that similar behaviour cannot be tolerated from them anytime in future.

In the world today, there are diverse religious faiths-Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and others. Apart from these faiths, there are Atheism and Agnosticism. In practising religious faiths, and there are many of them as enumerated above, two types of practitioners or devotees exist. First, there are the practical devotees. Second, there are the theoretical ones. The first category really practises the doctrines wholeheartedly to the letter, whilst the second group merely theorises without actually practising the doctrines or rules.

In my candid opinion, it is not every devotee who is devout. In every faith, there are the “Pharisees” who believe in outward show (hypocrites). Among Christians and Muslims, there are hypocrites (“Pharisees”). What is in focus is the Deeper Life Ministry. A little insight into the background of the religious organisation is necessary. From the outset, however, I must confess that I am a Church of Nigeria (Anglican) member, and not of Deeper Life. Therefore, the opinion hereby expressed is dispassionate. I am of the opinion that the Deeper Life Church is truly morally decent.

The Deeper Christian Life Ministry is as well known as Deeper Life Bible Church. Its Superintendent is Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi. It is Holiness — Pentecostal Church with emphasis on Holy Livings. According to records, the Church teaches the doctrines of Holiness and living practical Christian life. Its members are taught and are also expected to live holy lives, as born again for the Kingdom of Heaven. I may, however, add: “How holy lives are holy, needs to be explained”. Established in 1973, the church has wide national and expansive international spread in all the continents.

Recently, Deeper Life Ministry got into hot water, when it suspended the Superintendent’s second son from its fold. In far away Jamaica, its General-Superintendent, Pastor William Kumuyi’s second son, John Kumuyi, was reportedly suspended, because of the latter’s controversial wedding. Newspaper reports said: “The controversy was over John’s bride who flouted the church’s rules by using make-up and other flashy ensemble that accompanied wedding gown. The gown also had see-through sleeves. His bride, Love Odih, was accused of flouting the established doctrine of the church on conservative dressing”. Opinion must be expressed on available facts.

The reported quote above needs to be analysed. First, the bride-groom, John Kumuyi, is the second son of the General-Superintendent, Pastor William Kumuyi. John ought to be familiar with the terrain where he is treading. So, he must tread carefully. He must be aware of the church’s rules about wedding gown that there must not be make-up and flashy articles. It must remain opaque, devoid of see-through (transparent) sleeves. Much is expected from him as a beacon of light to guide other members. Second, Pastor William Kumuyi, the father of the bridegroom, was reported to be absent from the wedding in Jamaica. Is it because of the “unholy” gown? If so, it is palpably clear that he was aware of the short-comings in the wedding ceremony, consequently, he decided to keep off, instead of witnessing what was clearly derogatory to his enviable episcopal status. The church overseer was reported to have expressed his displeasure with the “standard” of the wedding. In that situation, the couple might have been given the caveat before the wedding, which they might have flagrantly disobeyed. William Kumuyi’s absence could be a disapproval. If so, the General-Overseer deserves commendation. Nigerians doff their hats for him, as a no-nonsense father-in-law, who realises that Christians are the salts of the world and the light to show people in finding their ways.

Third, I learn from authoritative source that in Deeper Life Ministry, Marriage Committee (including a Woman Representative) is usually set up to examine every wedding gown to ensure its compliance with the accepted standard. Also, the Committee interviews the prospective groom and bride (that is, the couple) to find out, for example, if parental consents are sought. The reading public like to know whether or not the wedding gown at issue was earlier submitted to the Marriage Committee to vet in Nigeria or Jamaica.

If it was vetted or screened, what was the Marriage Committee’s verdict? Approved or disapproved? If it was not submitted to it, why was it not? If it was submitted, screened and allegedly declared unacceptable, why was it used for the wedding? In my own opinion, the members of the Marriage Committee, if still extant, must not escape culpability, if found wanting, unless if in Nigeria, one type was recommended and accepted, whilst another type was adopted for use in Jamaica, as a trick to deceive. From my heart of heart, it is my considered opinion that the Ministry has set a good standard, which every member must follow. It is irrelevant whose horse is gored; it could be the son of the Superintendent or ordinary member. Once the rules are flouted, discipline ought to be effected.

This is why Pastor William Kumuyi’s puritanical stance must be commended. By frowning at the son’s wedding misdemeanour, he is warning other members that similar behaviour cannot be tolerated from them anytime in future. William Kumuyi has done the right thing. The church organisation has grown from University of Lagos campus of 15 members in 1973 to be a global one of millions in membership in 2013. As for the tendered apology, I have my reservation. Apostle Peter asked: “Master, you say that we must forgive. How many times shall we forgive? Our Lord Jesus replied: “Continue to forgive and forgive seventy times seven times” Much as I support Christ’s admonition as a good lesson in forgiveness, my suggestion is that William Kumuyi must never be patient for as long. The period of suspension can only be reduced. There must be punishment to deter future occurrence.

In the Holy Bible, almost identical behaviour is recorded. In 1 Samuel, Prophet Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas who made themselves vile, and Eli, their father – Prophet failed to restrain them. The Lord, speaking through young Samuel said: “Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that hear it shall tingle. In that day, I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end”. Thereafter, in an ensuing battle between Israel and Philistines, Israel was defeated by the latter and the Ark of the Lord was carried away as Prophet Eli’s two sons were slain. (1 Samuel, chapter 4, verses 1 to 12). May our Lord God forbid this similar tragedy befalling the Deeper Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, his family and the whole lot of Nigerians. Amen.


Victor Oshisada, a veteran journalist, writes from Lagos.


Read this article on the Guardian Newspapers


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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  • jeromeine says:

    wia wz pst w f kumuyi rit frm d preparation of dis wedding. Dd he nt understand dt his integrity wz @ stake if anytin wnt wrong @ dt wedding or cud it be dt he trusted his son, having bn taught d church’s dctrne frm his chldhud, if dt is d case, d citing of the sons of Eli wz rit n dis case. Morealso d use of ones agency shud b alowed in christianity so dt huevr dt perishes shud perish unto himself

  • Jamiu James . says:

    I strongly agree with the contribution of suddy.

  • Kingsley says:

    Is indeed a slap 2 our face.i mean broda john ought nt2 av alow dat apen,as 4luv dat wasnt our standad.is totaly wrng.but we mst corect ds,so ma yut dnt becus of wat u heard draw bk

  • Special One says:

    Good one here. Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered onto the saints.

  • Suddy says:

    The only thing I didn’t like in d wedding is the see through top of the gown n d make up since its against d chrch standard as has been read in the bible.. Besides, the wedding wasn’t conducted by Deeper Life Church, but by The Clergy President in Jamaica who’s licensed to wed couples. However, I commend Pastor Kumuyi who took his actions but was still present at his son’s wedding. His son isn’t the father. I can’t judge Dr Kumuyi for his son’s fault or that of his daughter in law. I respect Pst Kumuyi, Pst Adeboye and Pst Oyedepo as I see them as God’s top generals in Nigeria.

  • Miari says:

    Poor quality journalism. The story is badly written with unverified information. Veteran???

  • Seyi says:

    Pastor Kumuyi will never compromise his stance on holiness irrespective of who is involved. While I’m not holding brief for the Church, I pretty sure that the wedding gown in question would not be the one that was approved by the Church’s marriage committee. If that is the case, then a case of perjury could be established against the couple. Pastor Kumuyi will never take kindly to this because of its spiritual implication.

  • Pastor Idowu David says:

    The citation of Eli’s sons was accurate, the whole report is welcomed.

  • darlington says:

    May the lord Jesus open our eyes to see and ears to hear from above.

  • Usele Bright says:

    In a church, i still believe we mind the same thing just as the scriptures says. The couple did not mind these rules which they knew. However, there is a committee that looks into every details as it relates to wedding in the Deeper Life Bible Church. The question is, what role did the committee play in all that happened before and during the wedding which they are known for. Could it be an oversight because it is the superintendent son’s wedding?, is this also true about the National overseer’s daughter? I know of some wedding that was cancelled just because the groom has TV-SET in his house. Is the standard different now, if yes then the church will have to apologizes to all who are affected. No doubt the church has good standard which they have kept for decades now and that is what i believe they want to keep at all cost be it Junior Kumuyi or not.

  • Tunji says:

    Funny story. Can d wedding be undone? Does the furore about their improper dressing mean God does not approve of the union? Is it the first time Mrs Kumuyi Jnr wuld use a light make up? Pastor Kumuyi is a great Man of God no doubt but God is infinite, cannot be caged by doctrines of men. Its high time Deeper Life consider the fact that Moderation is it NOT a stereotyped way of dressing. Congrats to the couple.

  • yemi says:

    The writer in closing remark called the incident a tragedy. How is it a tragedy?

  • Oge says:

    Veteran journalist indeed! This article makes little/no sense. Meanwhile, Okonso the judge and arbiter of the born again. I guess in ur opinion, d born again must live d Deeper life way.

  • Peterson says:

    Writer, you’ve tried, though you’re not a Deeper Lifer according to you. But my own wedding will equally look as nice as that of John and Love. So leave the young couple alone.

  • Anderson says:

    And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless. Matthew 12:7

  • John says:

    This write up lack credibility, how can u compare this issue with the sons of samuel, just because u knw a story in the bible doesn’t mean u understand its teaching….even Jesus didn’t teach us to be like this the bible has check and balances the bible teaches us not to be extreme,

  • eka says:

    Okonso as u call urself, can u leave me to my opinion?? U sit wia ever u r n know who is born-again or not…. Well done Uncle of Jesus

  • okonso says:

    (Eka u call ur self,u r not yet a born again child of God, so u won’t understand)

  • okonso says:

    (A K A u call ur self,u r not yet a born again child of God, so u won’t understand)

  • eka says:

    As long as d gospel of our Lord is concerned, they did nothing rong to deserve any form of suspension.. We r saved by d mercies of God n not by church doctrines like u stated above. Dear writter, Find another gist

  • lyrical miracle says:

    veteran journalist u say? a lot of FALSE information here.
    1.pastor Kumuyi was present at the wedding
    2. whose ox is gored

    you guys should preview your news before publishing.

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