Nigeria: Church Formally Announces Okotie's Divorce

Lagos — HOUSEHOLD of God Ministry, yesterday, released an official statement, announcing the dissolution of the marriage of its founder/General Overseer, Pastor Christopher Akpoborie Okotie, to Stephanie Henshaw. The statement signed by the spokesman for the church, Pastor Ladi Ayodeji, stated: "Pastor of our church, the Household of God, Oregun, Lagos, Rev. Chris Okotie, announced his separation from Stephanie, his wife of four years, at the end of service last Sunday." Ayodeji, in the three-paragraph statement, said both parties arrived at this decision after careful review of the prevailing circumstances which pointed to the fact that it is the best option for them at this time, adding that both Pastor Okotie and his second wife, Stephanie, have agreed to be silent on detailed reasons for the separation. "They also agreed not to divulge details of this incident for personal reasons," the statement added. Rev. Okotie thanked concerned friends and well-wishers and asked for understanding, while expressing the "hope that their decision would be respected as no further details would be given on this issue." On August 7 and 8, 2008, the former musician, popular pastor and presidential candidate, Rev. Kris Okotie married Stephanie Henshaw. The wedding was a colourful celebration of the couple who had both been previously married. The former musician, a law graduate, had been divorced from his first wife, Tyna, for over a decade while then 38-year old Stephanie had tasted two earlier marriages and had three children from the earlier marriages. Okotie's marriage to Stephanie was his second attempt at matrimony. He was first married to Tyna for 17 years, but the marriage packed up without any child. The Household of God welcomed the new bride. Though she did not have a formal role within the church, Stephanie was well-loved by the congregation. Therefore, when Pastor Okotie announced on Sunday: "Stephanie and I are no longer married. We have separated. You can see she's not in church today. It's due to irreconcilable differences...you should please respect our wishes at this time because there is no going back;" it caused a great deal of confusion and discussion. No additional details have been released on the specific cause of the split. Okotie, a charismatic preacher that often sends his audience into ecstasy, maintains a regular television and radio programme known as 'The Apocalypsis,' where he always reveals his knowledge of the Bible Book of Revelations beyond the ordinary and in a very complicated language which has prompted many to go to church with one or two dictionaries.
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