It would be recalled that John and Love had tied the nuptial knot on June 15, 2013 in Jamaica, but there has been much ado about how the bride dressed, in comparison to other weddings held in the church within and outside Nigeria.
The crux of the matter is that Deeper Life Bible Church does not entertain okustentation or flamboyance in such celebration, but the bride put on a wedding gown, ear rings, applied make-up and held a bouquet. All these, people say, are not in consonance with the church’s doctrine.
Following some scathing remarks from members and non-members of the church on social media over how the bride was dressed during the weeding, John and Love were placed on discipline. They were also enjoined to seek the face of God and ask for forgiveness.
However, on Saturday, June 29, 2013, during the church’s mid-year celebration programme held at the Deeper Life Conference Centre, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and broadcast live to branches all over Nigeria and some parts of Africa via satellite, the newly wedded couple tendered a letter of apology to the church.
‘’We unreservedly and whole-heartedly state that we did not intend that our acts or omissions will, in any way, undermine the great works that God has done through the Deeper Christian Life Ministry worldwide and more especially, through our Father in the Lord, the General Superintendent.
‘’We also use this medium to profusely and sincerely apologise to the General Superintendent for the embarrassment and heartaches, our actions have caused him, more so that he had earlier declined to be at the events.
‘’This, notwithstanding, we fully accept that having been nurtured, taught and brought up with the sound teaching of the word of God, we should have been able to draw the line, which we failed to do.
‘’We have now realised the effects of our actions and omission and do plead with the church for forgiveness and also appealing that any action that should be taken be directed at John and Love, as we take this time to prayerfully reflect on our actions. We take full responsibility for what happened, and this action should, in no way, be blamed on the GS, or the leaders of the church in Nigeria, United States, Jamaica or United Kingdom and beyond.’’
In his reaction to the letter of apology, a member of the church with the name Dpresideo says, ‘’Personally and to the best of my opinion, they have nothing to apologise for. The reason is that they have not sinned in any way and I don’t see why they should be castigated or disciplined, as this would only aggravate the level of hypocrisy in the church! I shall continue to follow the General Superintendent’s (Kumuyi’s) doctrine of holiness and not human principles and personal ‘puritanism’ which does not take you to the gate of heaven, except holiness.’’
Anniettieufia in his own reaction, notes, ‘’Children of nowadays, you want to tell me that in that church they don’t have marriage committee and counselling team? I perceived they warned them, but they wouldn’t listen, after all, na my papa get church wetin concern you? That apology is too late. Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.’’
In a related development, Arowolo Anuoluwapo, argues, ‘’In my opinion, that apology was not necessary. The church should be the one to apologise for conducting a wedding they would not allow for ordinary members. The apology doesn’t solve issues. Traditions need to be reviewed if progress is to be made, or else the future remains bleak.’’
An elder of the church who spoke to LEADERSHIP Weekend on grounds of anonymity, explained that Sister Biodun (late wife of Kumuyi and mother of John) was among the 15 members that started Deeper Life Bible Church in April 1973. He noted that Biodun nurtured John and his elder brother, Jerry in the way of the Lord, adding that Love could not have displayed nonchalance or disregarded the church’s doctrine if Biodun Kumuyi were alive.
The elder who also disclosed that Love is the daughter of the National Overseer of DLBC in Jamaica while Pastor W.F. Kumuyi is the founder of the church, wondered why they acted contrary to the church’s doctrine, thereby heaping opprobrium or sarcasm on their parents and leaders who had nurtured them spiritually just because of wedding, a few hours’ event.
Another pastor, Debe Oduah, in his reaction, noted that the new wife of Kumuyi, Esther, spent decades in the United Kingdom before she got married to him, but that she neither wore wedding gown not ear rings during her wedding with Pastor Kumuyi in London a couple of years ago.
According to Pastor Oduah, ‘’Even if wearing of wedding gowns or ear rings, etc cannot prevent one from going to heaven, is one not expected to be loyal to authorities or to obey rules and regulations where one works or worships? ‘’Thus, John and Love have put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in their brethren’s way (Romans chapter 15 verse 13). The apology letter is hocuspocus and medicine after death because they willingly chose to be rebellious.