SEVERAL leading clergymen have revealed that they have to flee from well-dressed and beautiful women who attend their churches in a bid to avoid falling for temptations of the flesh as recently happened to Zion Assembly (Coza) founder Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
Last week, Pastor Fatoyinbo was accused by the wife of musician Timi Dakolo, Busola, of raping her in Ilorin years ago. Pastor Fatoyinbo, who has denied the allegations, admitted, however, that Busola once attended the same church with his family and since then, another female member of his church has accused him of having sex with her.
Nigeria’s evangelical churches are the fastest growing business in the country and they attract millions of followers on a daily basis, including scantily clad and attractive women. many of these ladies are attracted to the wealthy pastorprueners who own strings of cars, private jets and wear designer clothing.
In addition, many of these women come to church in search of wealth because they are attracted by its prosperity message and they see the clergymen as their routes to riches. Over recent years, several of these clergymen have been caught up in cases of extramarital affairs and now, this is extending to rape.
Reverend John Oladapo, the president of the Baptist Conference and Ondo State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said: “There is no way a pastor can run away from attending to women in the church because they form an integral part of the church and they need attention more than the men. Pastors are seen as trusted oracles of God that can keep secret, that’s why a woman would pour out her mind to her pastor when going through challenges.
“Many women see their pastors as the first people to share their problems with but when counselling women, pastors should avoid doing so in secluded places and not at odd times and should restrain from emotional attachment. All pastors face temptations but if you suspect any foul play, you can refer the woman to either your wife or another female church leader.
“Pastors should always be on their guard to avoid women of easy virtue because they are many in the churches. The moment you suspect that the woman you are counselling is deviating and introducing other things more than what the scripture says, as a pastor, flee.”
Pastor Seyi Osanyinbi of the Power and Glory Tabernacle, Akure, added: “We all come under temptation and we are vulnerable. Pastors should avoid surrounding themselves with ladies, women, avoid unhealthy contact with them, don’t encourage improper dressing by ladies and women, be steadfast in the word of God and be sensitive because life is a warfare.
Reverend Paul Tioluwani of the Bible Way Christian Church, said: “Before I met with the Lord, I was a chain smoker and I drank a lot and I couldn’t say that I was innocent when it comes to the issue of womanising. But once I had a real encounter with the Lord, I don’t do such things again and never found myself in places where they are done.
“Once a man of God observes that a woman was making advances or that he is unduly getting attracted to a woman, he should run. Of all the sins a man can fall into, the bible admonishes that a man must run when it comes to fornication as Joseph didn’t think twice when he was confronted by the temptation of his master’s wife before he fled.”
Pastor Mathew Alalade of the Christ Apostolic Church Oke-Iye, Osogbo, added: “Pastors are also human who have flesh but the power of God’s anointing always keeps them away from temptation. Some pastors don’t attend to women in private, they rather attend to them in the presence of their wives or the women’s husbands.
“One does not have to run from women in the church because the intention of some women is to tempt pastors, hence the need for pastors to remain steadfast in the prayer. Temptation is meant for men of God and some fall for it to learn of the mercy of God and their lessons to be able to understand the grace of God.”