After months of public speculation about the health of their marriage, reports revealed Friday that Anita Oyakhilome, wife of popular charismatic preacher Chris Oyakhilome who heads the Believers' Loveworld Ministries, also known as Christ Embassy Church headquartered in Nigeria, has filed for divorce from her husband citing "adultery" and "unreasonable behavior."
Pastor Oyakhilome founded Christ Embassy, a successful congregation with branches in Nigeria, South Africa, England, Canada and the United States, according to Forbes. The network has made him one of the richest pastors in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $30 to $50 million as of 2011. He is president of the Believers' Loveworld Ministries while his wife is vice-president.
Forbes notes that his publishing company, Loveworld Publications, publishes "Rhapsody of Realities," a monthly devotional he co-authors with Anita. It is reportedly the world's No. 1 daily devotional selling more than 2 million copies monthly at $1 a piece. Oyakhilome also owns television stations, newspapers, magazines, a hotel, a fast-food chain, and other holdings. His Facebook page, Pastor Chris Live, has nearly 1.5 million followers. more >>
Theologian and pastor James Emery White argues that turmoil within churches regarding the pastor, such as what has transpired at Mars Hill Church with Pastor Mark Driscoll, is not just a problem for the individual congregation, but for all churches.
"Without going into the saga that is Mars Hill Church … let's just say that it's a mess. And not just for Mars Hill," White recently wrote in his blog, Church & Culture. "It's a mess for all churches as such things unfold before a watching world. Every time something like this happens locally, or nationally, I groan. Not simply because it grieves me, not simply because of the damage to our collective witness, but because it makes it so much harder for so many men and women in ministry who don't create messes."
White, the founding and senior pastor at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, fears that others will "get painted with the same brush." more >>
Pastors are being encouraged to take advantage of the current popularity of faith-based and faith-related movies by attending the 168 Film Festival in Los Angeles from Sept. 12 to 13, by the event's founder and executive director John David Ware.
Organizers say this year's festival takes on additional importance as the press declared 2014 as "The Year of Christian Film" following a host of box-office hits that grossed record numbers while dealing with faith-based themes ("God's Not Dead," "Heaven Is For Real," "Son of God," "Noah").
Because "Jesus' parables prove that story can change culture, and because of the volume of faith films," pastors are invited to attend and contribute to this dialogue regarding the current state of faith-based media and opportunities afforded by this current climate, says Ware. more >>
T.D. Jakes, Perry Noble, Nick Vujicic and Jentezen Franklin were among the numerous participants of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" that's been sweeping online social networks. The stunt was being used to raise funds to support continued research into treating and curing Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Participants of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" record a video of themselves being doused with a bucket of ice-cold (or icy) water. Participants also state which individuals they are nominating for the challenge. If a person who is called out for the challenge fails to accept within 24 hours, they are then expected to donate $100 to an ALS organization (although some do both the challenge and make a donation).
An example of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" can be seen in the video below of Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas: more >>
One of the nine pastors who wrote an open letter to Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll, in which they complained about his lack of accountability, was terminated indefinitely on Wednesday from the church's staff.
Mark Dunford had served as an unpaid lay pastor at Mars Hill Portland and community groups pastor at the Mars Hill Ballard campus. According to Washington-based ABC affiliate, KING 5 News, Dunford was fired because of "rebellion against the church."
Neither Dunford nor anyone from Mars Hill has come forward with a statement regarding the termination. Meanwhile, Driscoll's parents have spoken out in defense of their son. more >>
Nine current pastors at Mars Hill Church, the Seattle-based ministry led by Mark Driscoll, have written a letter to their fellow elders expressing their concerns and listing critical points of information regarding the "abusive and coercive" culture long fostered by their besieged senior pastor.
Their aim in the letter, written just days (August 22) before Driscoll announced a 6-week break from pastoral duties, is that the Mars Hill Church leader would step down, to eventually one day be restored to a stature of God-honoring leadership.
The Mars Hill Church campus pastors who signed this letter are: more >>