By Vincent Ukpong Kalu and Chioma Igbokwe Saturday, February 5, 2011
Ezeonye before joining Chosen
• Photo: The Sun Publishing
When Evangelist Juliet Ezeonye turned her life to Christ and joined the Lord’s Chosen and Charismatic Revival Ministry she said that one of the things that ignited her passion was Jesus Christ’s admonitions to cast her burden upon Him because His yoke is easy and light.
Juliet said that when she got to Lord’s Chosen and Charismatic Revival Movement (LCCRM) church, instead of making light her yoke she was heavily yoked with worse burden and her attempt to free herself from the bondage that the church entangled her with led to her persecution by the authorities of the church.
She told Saturday Sun that she has been a staunch member of the church and amiably called Chosen Mopol. Juliet by her narration got to the church wealthy and full of joy but left the church indigent. She ponders in regret that if she had contemplated that the church couldn’t change her for the better she could have remained the way she was.
She is alleging threat to her life by authorities of the church for joining another one.
In a petition to the police against the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, Juliet alleges threat to her life after her property was allegedly destroyed by members of the church.
Before joining the church, Juliet claimed she was rich and comfortable dealing in gold, cosmetics and other women wears.
“I was a successful businesswoman and leader at Berger Motors and also a politician based in Abuja before I gave my life to Christ. As a routine, I always came to Lagos from Abuja to spend weekends with my family. Sometime in 2004, during one of my visits, I noticed a huge crowd rushing into the church at the Ijesha bus stop. I asked and a member of the church told me that it is a powerful church where miracles happen daily. I decided to suspend my journey to go in there to see things for my self.
“After service, I started hearing voices telling me that I should repent or die. I was scared so I made up my mind to join the church. I became born again and decided to worship God according to the teaching of the pastor.”
Before then I had two cars and eight shops in Lagos. When I joined the church, due to the pastor’s preaching on the benefits of giving I gave out most of the things that I had to the church to make heaven. Those earthly things that the church preached against, which included female trousers and jewelries were set on fire. I was convinced that I was committing sin by wearing them, so I destroyed them. I was the founder of Chosen Mopol that is why I am popularly known as Chosen Mopol among the members. I was also the one who started wearing the lemon colour apron that has made millions for the church.”
Trouble at home
Determined to make heaven, Juliet never discovered that her commitment in church had started having negative effect on her family. Annoyingly, when her husband tried to call her to order she simply asked him to leave her alone to serve Jesus.
“My husband accused me of being dirty and unkempt, because I stayed in the church from Monday to Sunday. I no longer had time to cook for my family. I obeyed the pastor’s teaching that I completely neglected my duties as a wife and mother. It got to a point that my husband asked me to choose between him and the church. I told him that I am for God. When he realized that I was not moved by his threat, he divorced me. He argued that I was no longer presentable the way I was when we met. I bluffed him that in heaven there is no marriage.”
Juliet claims that she did not hesitate to inform the pastor of the development in her home and was advised her to stick to her belief. “Everybody was against my belief including my immediate family but I was determined to stick to it. I had no choice but to relocate to the church which I turned to my home. Life became difficult, as there was no help coming from the church. With the aid of a concerned individual I was able to set up a petty grocery shop within the church premises. Through that I fed myself. One day I returned from a church service only to discover that my shop has been destroyed. Members of the church who witnessed the demolition told me that it was people from Alausa that did it.”
Surprisingly, soon after Juliet said she found that demolition was at the instance of the General Overseer, Muoka, on the claim that the shop had become a distraction to her devotion to the church work. “It was at Alausa that I was shown a letter from the GO, Muoka, authorizing them to destroy my stall. Embittered I confronted the pastor who told me that he asked them to demolish my stall because I was no longer committed to the work of God. I asked him to advise me on what to do since I needed to survive to do the work of God. His reply was that I should not worry that God would bless and provide for me. The church was not paying me and that was my only source of living. I was frustrated and told anyone who cared to listen the agony I have been facing and solicited their assistance.
Solution came when a member of the Anglican Church who had bought my CD decided to give me a space in front of her compound, which is also in the estate.
“When they discovered what I did, hell was let loose and they kept sending people to me to warn me to close down the shop. At a point I was summoned to a meeting where the Pastor referred me to the Bible where God used Satan to remove everything that Job had. He warned me that God could also use him to do the same to me. I refused to heed their warning and still continued in the church.”
Unable to cope with the pressure from Pastor Muoka, and incessant threat to her life by people she could not identify, but belief should be members of the church, Juliet decided to leave the church and joined a Catholic Church. “I specifically chose the church because one of our members got assistance there when all efforts to get assistance from the Lord’s Chosen failed. When I took that decision, I became an outcast in the church, members especially pastors started keeping malice with me.”
On Sunday November 21, 2010 some touts were sent to stand in front of my shop and ward off anyone who came to buy anything from me by telling them that I am now a Catholic. When they noticed that all their attempts failed, they tried to carry my loud speaker but I resisted them. They left and in the next 20 minutes, two truckloads of security men arrived.
“They insisted that I should go with them but I refused demanding for a warrant of arrest. I told them that I also knew their boss and would confirm before I go with them. It was at that point that they left. I rushed to the nearest police station to inform them of what happened at my shop. I am now an outcast simply because I decided to join another church. I know that members have been brainwashed against me and I don’t care all I want is my safety. Several church leaders have come to tell me that my decision to leave the church would lead to my untimely death as no popular member has left and suffered a pleasant fate. They know that I am saying the truth; I cannot lie against them because I know God will not forgive me. I am only begging them to leave me alone so that I can start my life all over again.”
After attempts by Saturday Sun to get Lord’s Chosen side of the story, the reporter was referred from one official to another. First reference was to see one Brother Chidi and his phone number was given. When he was contacted he said he would get back and never did even after repeated calls were made to him. However, an official who would not disclose his name said that Juliet should have been grateful. According to him, the lady came to Lord’s Chosen as ‘just one’ person and the church transformed her life for the better. “We are in the business of soul wining and there are recorded tapes to prove some miracles contrary to Juliet’s position. We don’t have anything against her. The church does not believe in violence.”
Reacting to the allegation of fake miracles in the church, the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Lazarus Muoka told Saturday Sun that when Christ was casting out demons, He was accused of doing that with the power of demon. “Let me explain to you what you should know. As long as the church is concerned, you will have such talks and that is one of those things. They said Christ was casting out demons with the power of demon. As long as God is involved in what you are doing, people will persecute you. They have done it before; sponsoring publications against me, even somebody that is related to me was involved in the smear campaign but later the chief and a relation of mine came and begged me. What I am doing is the power of God; I don’t even touch people when I am ministering. How come pastors in other branches of the church are also performing miracles? Here, even ordinary members perform miracles. If you join us today and you live a righteous life, you too can perform miracles,” he said
Juliet as u are posting this on internet,remember that GOD is watching u.GOD bless u