Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Olufunmilayo Odumosu Immanuel ,aka ‘Jesus of Oyingbo’, carpenter, property developer, religious visionary, husband to 34 wives, father to dozens. The people around Lagos, Nigeria, called him "Jesus of Oyingbo." He called himself "Immanuel the Christ, Father Abraham and the Light of God."

 He was working as a carpenter when he founded the Universal College of Regeneration in the early 1950's. Before moving to Manor Street, his movement was headquartered in the neighborhood of Oyingbo, which gave him his lasting name.

Jesus of Oyingbo was religiously tolerant, mixing, for example, Christian statues with Islamic and pagan symbols on his compound.

During his life time, he was one of the richest religious leaders in the country! He assured his followers, who accepted him claim of deity, "I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord."

Hundreds of his followers once lived on Manor Street, Maryland, Lagos, Nigeria, in buildings called ''Merciful and Mighty'' and ''Everlasting Father,'' surrounded by statues of Christ, Caterpillar tractors, sculptures of lions and mermaids fountain with water spurting from their mouths.

It was an empire befitting the man who, mixing Christianity, paganism and profit, subjecting his followers to form of slavery.  Built his own church and popularized a movement that has put independent churches seemingly on every street corner in Lagos.

 It was alleged that ‘this Jesus’ did not exactly live a holy life and he had numerous scrapes with the law, among them illegal business deals, alleged abductions, and
sexual escapades - including relations with church members wives, even his own grown-up daughters!

According to one of his son, Seye Immanuel, ''After he died, it stopped,'' Seye Immanuel said. ''Everything stopped.'' The center could not hold, and the place unraveled into factions fighting over the man's legacy and money, pitting longtime members against the children, mothers against sons and daughters. The church fell apart!  But today, in an otherwise well-kept neighborhood has change forever.

In recent years, the eldest son, Olukayade Immanuel, took the longtime members to court, won his lawsuit last, immediately he evicted the members from the mansion. As the legal owner of his entire father's property, he allowed the children to stay. But now they accuse him of neglect and call him a thief.

Olukayade Immanuel has expressed optimism about the future thus: ''Nigeria has survived, and my father's movement will survive,'' he said. Pa odumosu died in 1988, he was aged 73.

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