Emmanuel Olusoji Ewulomi was one of the people who gave their life to the establishment and growth of indigenous churches in Nigeria, especially the Aladura Mission. After he came to belief in Christ and abandoned idol worship, he became totally committed to God and worked vigorously based on his understanding of mission. His loyalty, commitment, and boldness made him prominent among the Aladura. He established many Aladura churches, and some of the people he mentored hold him in such high regard that they pray at his grave on the anniversary of his death.
He was born in Lagos at Ebute-Meta to the family of Josiah and Joke Ewulomi. His parents were from Oteyi village, Abeokuta, in Ogun State. He was born in 1930 as the first male child but the second born, in a polygamous family. His father was born into a wealthy family and wanted to provide for all his children, so he made it possible for them to reach any educational level they desired. His father was also prominent in the Nigeria Railway Corporation, working in the locomotive section of the corporation. The family practiced idol worship, which exposed Emmanuel to traditional religion. He also had a close relationship with his grandmother, who happened to be a strong traditionalist. This relationship gave him great exposure to charms and idol worship.
Even though his father wanted all his children to go far in education, Ewulomi did not go beyond a secondary education. He went to the Methodist Primary School in Ebute-Meta, and proceeded to the secondary level in the same school, finishing around 1951. Since the standard of education was good at that time, he was offered a job at the Nigeria Railway Corporation, where his father worked. Right after secondary school, he started there as a replacement for his father. It was the practice at that time that when a man was leaving a job, he could replace himself with his son. So, his son worked as a foreman in the locomotive section of NRC.
Ewulomi was first married to Miss Olu, who had been instrumental to his conversion. Their union only produced one child, but later in life, when he became a prophet, he married more women and had many children. Three of these children were named Gideon, Sunday, and Yemisi. Emmanuel Olusoji Ewulomi was very stubborn and wicked as a young man. His exposure to charms and evil sources of power added to his stubbornness, and he did not want to hear anything about God or Jesus Christ. He detested anything that was related to the church. He eventually met a lady that he wanted to marry. It was this lady, named Olu, who took his name to her prophetess for prayer. The prophetess (E. N. Amike), who is now Rev. Apostolic Mother for the entire C&S Paradise Church, invited him to her house, preached to him, and later invited him to the church. Initially, he vehemently objected to the invitation and warned the woman not to try it again. However, after much persuasion, Emmanuel agreed to attend the church - but with wrong motives, as he later confessed. He went to the church in order to satisfy the woman he loved, so that he would not lose her. He also went there to test the power of God and to put a spell on the man of God there. He decided to follow the lady and the prophetess to their church, which was the Cherubim and Seraphim Society Church of Nigeria at 38, Nathan Street, Yaba, Lagos. As he was entering the church, prophet Omoboajo, the minister in charge, who had never met him, pointed at him and said, “Young man, God loves you and has a good purpose for your life; but why are you giving Satan a chance in your life?” He was immediately caught and arrested by the power of God and began to make confessions before the congregation. The Holy Spirit dragged him to the altar in the front of the church. After having confessed, he surrendered his life completely to Jesus Christ and accepted him as his Lord and Savior. He went home and publically brought out all of his charms to prophet Omoboajo, to be burned. He has been a member of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church since that day.
Amazingly, he resigned his job at the Nigerian Railway Corporation the next day, telling everyone that he felt the call of God on his life and that he couldn’t waste any time in answering God. That was how he was converted and began his ministerial assignments. He started working under Captain Abiodun and Omoboajo under the Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Society of Nigeria. When they saw his fervent commitment and the manifestation of God’s power in his life, he was sent to Ibadan to join Onabanjo, to help with the growth and development of that branch of the church. This happened in 1959. It was not long before Onabanjo developed a hatred for him because of his opposition to diabolical powers and his preaching against them. The case was reported to Captain Abiodun and Omoboajo, and they asked Onabanjo to resign and leave the church, but he refused. Instead, he continued to threaten Ewulomi, but it did not disturb him. If anything, he went about his work with even more commitment to God. When Onabanjo realized that nothing terrified Ewulomi, and that he was adamant and even more fearlessly committed to his work, he resorted to physical assault and personal confrontation. In spite of all that, Ewulomi still refused to be intimidated by Onabanjo. During this whole time, the people loved him and gave him their full support because of his eloquent preaching and because of the signs and wonders that always followed his ministrations. The church continued to grow numerically, financially, and spiritually because the hand of God was on him, and was coupled with his own commitment and dedication.
The hatred reached a peak when assassins were sent to kill Ewulomi. Inside the church, they tied him up by the legs and hands, intending to burn him in the middle of the church. Before that, they had beaten him mercilessly, hitting him with all kinds of weapons until he became so weak that he was about to pass out. He then pretended to be dead, and when the assassins saw that his body was not moving any more, they left, saying, “We don’t need to burn him, he is already dead. Stupid fellow, let him continue to preach and lead the church in heaven. The task is accomplished.” They then left, closing all the doors and windows of the church. Unfortunately for them, he had heard every bit of their conversation, including information about where they had come from. God preserved him until evening, and when people came for the service and broke open the door to gain entrance, they saw him lying on the floor. He was quickly rushed to the hospital for treatment, for he could neither talk nor move. Later, he was moved to a hospital on Odu Street in Surulere, Lagos, for better treatment. When he recovered and got well, he went back to Ibadan to continue his work at the same church. At that time, Captain Abiodun and Omoboajo took the case to court, winning the case four years later, in 1964. Consequently, Onabanjo was asked to leave the church, to stop having anything to do with it, and to stop calling himself the pastor. After that, Ewulomi became the full minister in charge of the Ibadan church. His evangelistic zeal, coupled with power for signs and wonders, helped him to establish more branches of the Cherubim and Seraphim Society in Ibadan. In 1966, he was called back to Lagos to help establish a branch in the Ajibode area of Surulere, in Lagos. That church was established at 2 Ajibode Street, Surulere, Lagos, with Ewulomi as minister in charge.
Around 1970, captain Abiodun and Omoboajo had a clash which led to their separation. Omoboajo left Abiodun and started his own church, and Ewulomi decided to go with Omoboajo, for reasons best known to him. The new church of Omoboajo and Ewulomi faced a lot of persecution from occult practitioners at Apata Street, where they first started. When they wanted to relocate, they were faced with the problem of obtaining land. At that point, Ewulomi gave the church some parcels of land which had belonged to his mother, and the church began afresh there. Shortly after the establishment of that church, there was a disagreement between Omoboajo and Ewulomi which led to their separation as well. Ewulomi left Omoboajo and went to Ibadan, to his own church in the Oke-Bola area. During one of the worship services there, they received a revelation concerning what the name of the church should be. In that revelation, the church was named “Cherubim and Seraphim Paradise of Nigeria.” The church began to grow, with branches all over Ibadan. The first branch of the church in Lagos was located at 21, Ige Street, Iyana-Ipaja, and it spread across the city from there. There are also branches of the church in Benin-City.
Ewulomi’s great knowledge of the Scriptures made him a preacher of the Biblical message to C&S churches. Also, miracles were said to occur wherever he ministered, which led to tremendous growth and expansion of the church. The church later adopted “Saint Ewulomi Cathedral of Cherubim and Seraphim Paradise Church of Nigeria” as its name. In 1979, when Omoboajo died, his group came and apologized to Ewulomi and brokered peace with him. They asked that the two churches be reunited, which was granted. The two churches came together then, using the name of Ewulomi’s church as the name of the new church. Ewulomi was chosen and ordained as the first primate of the church, and he worked tirelessly for its expansion. He also trained and brought up some people who are now pastors and leaders of churches under the C & S Church group. Prominent among them is Omololu Apata, the prophet and founder of Divine Ewulomi Cherubim and Seraphim Evangelical Church, Mende, Maryland, Lagos.
Ewulomi fed the destitute and helped the less privileged and the children. He gave himself to doing this because, as he said, it was what he found Jesus doing in the Scriptures. He was a mentor, an administrator, and someone who loved people. There was a fluent style to his preaching, and he was always at home with the Scriptures, to the point of being able to recite the entire Bible by heart. This attribute led him to win a Bible contest that was held among preachers of different denominations in the 1980s.
Ewulomi was faced with many challenges, especially when he abandoned idolatry and yielded his life to God. For many years, every member of his family had deserted and rejected him, and he also faced persecution, humiliation, and embarrassment from them. His sister, the first born of his father, was very bitter and violent, and even harassed Rev. Amike, who had first preached to him. He was persecuted within the church also, even to the point of nearly being killed. The occult practitioners also persecuted and threatened him, to the point of completely expelling his church from a certain street, which he accepted in order to restore peace there. Also, he only had one child from his first marriage. In all these challenges, Ewulomi was not deterred. He trusted his God and zealously continued to work for the Lord in his vineyard.
On July 17, 1994, he asked his driver to take him to a mountain for prayer. Having reached Ibadan, he could not talk anymore, and the driver did not know where they were going. In the midst of this confusion, the driver drove him to his church in Ibadan. He was immediately rushed to Oluaroye Hospital, Oke-Ado, in Ibadan, by the church members, but he died on the way to the hospital. He was sixty-four years old.
Ewulomi believed that he had discovered God’s purpose for his life and he committed his entire life to realizing that purpose. He did not waste a single minute in doing what he felt God wanted him to do, as though he knew that he would not live a long life. What he achieved for the body of Christ is now speaking for him, even though he is gone. His life is a lesson to those that are still living: we should not waste any time in doing what God wants us to do.
Samuel Olugbenga Oladiran
C. A. Akande, (apostolic mother), Cherubim and Seraphim Paradise Church of Nigeria.
E. N. Amike, (Rev., apostolic mother), Cherubim and Seraphim Paradise Church of Nigeria.
A. O. Fabunmi, (most senior apostle), Mount Bashan Cherubim and Seraphim Church.
S. O. Ogundare, (Rev. Dr., primate), Saint Ewulomi Cherubim and Seraphim Paradise
Church of Nigeria.
This article, received in 2010, was written by Samuel Olugbenga Oladiran, a student at Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Leke Ogunewu and Dr. Deji Ayegboyin, DACB liaison coordinator.