Celestial Church of Christ is a spiritual, world-wide, united, indivisible Holy Church which came into the world from heaven by DIVINE ORDER on the 29th of September 1947 in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin through the founder of the Church, the Late Reverend, Pastor, Prophet, Founder Samuel Bilehou Joseph Oshoffa. The Church is well known with Parishes, Dioceses all over the world with its International Headquarters in Nigeria.
Vision of the Church
To evangelize the world through the proclamation of the Word – the Good News of the Messiah Jesus Christ, and of the Kingdom of God; in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, and of the Kingdom of God; in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, proclaiming deliverance to those bound by the shackles of Satan, healing the brokenhearted, the sick, the informed, restoring hope to the hopeless and those who are bound, while reinforcing the faith of all – both feeble and strong in the unfailing righteousness and faithfulness of God Almighty and Jesus Christ, the Lord & Savior.
- To worship God Almighty in holiness and reverence
- To Preach the good news of the Messiah – Jesus Christ and the imminent Kingdom of God through evangelism, Bible Classes, Bible Lectures, organized spiritual forums, print and electronic media.
- To prepare believers for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- To work for the unity of all Christians
- To organize and run schools, colleges, seminaries, and research centers.
- Inculcation and restoration of Christian values into home/families, to encourage family cohesion, peace and stability in homes, neighborhoods, and nations through prayers, counseling and spiritual ministration.
- Organize charities and relief operations.
- Promote crime free and drug free environments.
The purposes for which the church is organized are exclusively religious, charitable and educational.
The Divine Order
God called Rev., Pastor, Prophet Oshoffa on the day of total Eclipse of the sun in West Africa, when he was in the forest of Dahomey (now Republic of Benin), to purchase Ebony wood being a carpenter and timber trader, just like his father. He was in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. Just as our Lord Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. St. Matt. 4: 1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13. Just as our Lord started his mission of redemption alone, so also did our highly esteemed Rev., Pastor, Founder, S.B.J. Oshoffa started alone, on the 29th September 1947.
The Spiritual Message
In the deep mystery of divine appearance, during prayer on the 19th September 1947, a winged Angel bathed in intense light, word came from God to the founder as follows:
“It is the wish of God to send you on an errand of preaching into the World. Many nominal Christians there who were confronted by difficulties and problems of this world. They run after fetish priests and other power of darkness for all kinds of assistance. Consequently, on their death, they cannot see Christ because, by their action, Satan has left his spiritual mark on them. To assist you in in your work so that men may listen to the fact that God has sent you.”
Tenet and Mode of Worship
The Church under the absolute dictatorship of Holy Spirit is hereby emphasized for:
The Name of the Church:
The name of the Church “Celestial Church of Christ” was revealed by the Holy Spirit through a Prophet who was held in trance for seven days.
The Tenets and Mode of Worship of the Church
Ordained by the Holy Spirit. The rules and regulations written in the booklet of “Tents and Admission into the membership of Celestial Church of Christ.”
Mode of worship includes the setting of the Altar, and the seat therein, the number of candles used for various types of services and the seating arrangement in particular, it should be noted that the seating arrangements was revealed through a Prophetess who under the influence of the Holy Spirit in the wilderness on Friday 5th of October, 1947, sketched the seating arrangement using oranges.
The Service of the Church
Revealed through the Holy Spirit as promised by our Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:25-26)
There is an order of service laid down in the Celestial Church of Christ for different occasions such as Marriage, Funeral, Naming Ceremony, Mass in Remembrance of the dead, etc. The order for the respective occasion is strictly as revealed by the Holy Spirit and as set out in the booklet titled “Order of Service”.
Holy Rites or Sacraments
There are a number of Holy Rites or Sacrament within the form of worship in Celestial Church of Christ utmost importance. Members shall avail themselves of the opportunity to partake in these rites or sacraments: Baptism, Holy Communion, Annual Washing of Feet, Annual Pilgrimage to Imeko, Ogun State, Nigeria at Christmas Eve, Annual Harvest Thanksgiving Service, and Holy Mary’s Day.
All persons who earnestly, sincerely desire to be saved looking for salvation and therefore accept Jesus Christ as the son of God and Holy conversion by taking up such duties and privileges as entailed in the fellowship and the Ten Commandments are welcome into the fold. Celestial Church of Christ is an inclusive congregation, with the desire to observe the Tenets and Mode of Worship is welcome.
The pastor is the Head of the church in all matters and he is represented at the Parish level by the Shepherd, at the district level by the District supervisor, at the regional level, by the Regional Head, and at the diocesan level by the Head of Diocese.
The first Pastor of the Church was the Founder, Reverend, Pastor and Prophet Samuel Bilehou Oshoffa. Through him, the Lord Jesus Christ raised a number of dead, restored a number of blind, deaf and dumb. He was a great prophet of our time. He was translated at the age of 76 (in 1985) after leading the church for 38 years.
The Pastor is assisted in his administration by:
- The Board of Trustees
- The Pastor in Council members
- Staff of the International Headquarters
- The Heads of Dioceses, Regional Heads, District Heads, Zonal Heads and Parish Shepherds
At the Parish level, the shepherd is assisted in the administration of the Parish by its Parochial Committee.
Celestial Church of Christ membership is open to all persons who earnestly and sincerely desire to be saved and therefore accept Jesus Christ as the son of God and the only Lord and Savior of mankind. Those who are irrevocably committed to confessing with their mouths the Lord Jesus and believing in their hearts that God hath raised Him up from the dead and who wish to worship and serve Him in the Church; demonstrating their sense of conversion by submitting to the church tenets and taking up such duties and privileges as are entitled in the fellowship. All these are welcome.
Nobody shall be considered a member of the Church until he or she has been baptized in the Celestial Church of Christ, irrespective of any previous baptisms in any other Christian denominations.
A worshiper desiring to become a member shall:
- Renounce membership of all secret cults, societies, and fraternities.
- Renounce the worship of all idols and fetish practices.
- Desist from the worship of Satan and all his works, from following any fetish priests and from engaging in magic or any powers of darkness.
- Renounce all titles, position, or associations, which directly or indirectly conflict with the above injunctions (e.g. any type of Chieftaincy title).
- Declare that living and dead, he is a full member of the Celestial Church of Christ and that on his death, he should be buried in accordance with the tenets and rites of Celestial Church of Christ.
- Must have joined the church for at least one year before he or she can be baptized in the Church; and can only receive anointment at least two years after his or her baptism depending and to commensurate with his or her activities in the church.
- Celestial Church of Christ does not encourage polygamy.
- Shoes cannot be worn into the Sanctuary and when in your Sutana.
- Female members cannot come into the Church during their monthly period. They are free to return after sanctification on the eighth day (Lev. 12: 1-3).
- After delivery of a new baby, the mother shall not return to the church with the baby until after the period of purification which is the 40th day after delivery. (Luke 2:22).
- Female members cannot enter the Sanctuary without appropriately covering their heads (1 Cor. 11:5).
- Drinking of alcoholic beverages and smoking of tobacco products are not allowed.
New members shall normally, prior to admission as worshipers, undergo sanctification with a pail of water, candle, sponge, and soap for spiritual purification in the church. The prayer of sanctification shall be conducted by a Pastor’s representative in charge of the Parish or by his appointee – using CCC hymn #8 (Exodus 30:17).