Pastor Fireman is the General Overseer of Sign Fireman Miracle Crusade…a church quite popular among Nigerian celebrities. His real name is Ofuche Ukoha and he’s from Abia State. He wedded his young bride in his church on the 28th of April.
The controversy surrounding Fireman’s ministry lies mostly in the ‘signs and wonders’ he performs during his service, the miracles being astounding and outrageous in one breath.
A church flyer I was clutching showed a Sister Effiwatt testifying on how “the Man of God” raised her from the dead “instantly;” a Brother Olamide said he was cured “from seven years of total madness;” while Brother Okafor narrated how he went from abject poverty to owning his own house.
When Sunday’s Healing and Miracles session began, it was no different.
Fireman set the ball rolling by likening the power of God to electrical power which can be converted to sound, mechanical, light.
“If you need healing, the power can turn into healing. Now if you need money, the Bible says the power can turn into wealth. The power of God is the multi-purpose solution. Whatever you need, all you have to do is receive power,” he said then added, “Before I came to the service today, the Lord assured me that he’s going to heal at least 70 profound people.”
Claps and cheers erupted and then, the miracles began.
Fireman moved to the first man, who said he fell and hit his leg and ever since has been walking with aid of a stick. Suddenly, the man dropped his stick and began to walk.
The congregation cheered.
He moved to the next man, who said he hadn’t walked for two and a half years, and hugged him. The man rose, started to walk, at first gingerly, before racing across the altar, jumping up and down.
Again, there were cheers.
And then as if a thought just struck him, Fireman paused, called Pastor Chigozie, one of his junior pastors and offered him a Jaguar – which he said was bought for Fireman by a member a week ago.
The congregation rose from their seats to clap and cheer.
“The moment I count from one to seven, the first 12 people to stand up, your lives shall change forever. Seven out of you, within the next 60 days, you will touch your first million,” Fireman announced.
He began to count and when he got to seven, everyone in the church stood up abruptly. I thought of all the things a million bucks could do in my life and leapt up from my plastic seat.
The miracles continued, gradually taking the semblance of a stage play, except that the congregation believed it was not.
A young woman began to roll on the floor of the altar, screaming, “She must serve me. She must serve me or I’ll frustrate her life. She must serve me.”
The pastor approached her.
“Are you ready to leave her?” he asked addressing the ‘demon’ inside the woman.
“Never,” the demon retorted, laughing maniacally.
A man in a grey beard walked towards the pastor, wagging a finger at his face and said, “You can’t do anything. I challenge you.”
“You challenge me?” Fireman asked.
“Yes. Who are you?” the grey-bearded man replied.
“You want to know who I am? I’ll take strength out of you!”
The pastor blew into his microphone thrice and the man collapsed in a heap.
“That is who I am,” Fireman declared.
The congregation cheered.
The man- judging by his accent, a Ghanaian- appearing remorseful, slowly rose to his feet and the pastor informed him that the cause of his problems were his grandfather but that he, Fireman, was going to send the “demons” back to the grandfather.
“Take a phone and call Ghana. In the next five minutes, he (the grandfather) will have a stroke,” Fireman said. “I’m not the first to do it. In Mark, Chapter 5, Jesus allowed demons to enter pigs.”
A woman told the pastor that her “pikin has been missing since one month.”
The pastor patted her on the shoulder, “Angel don find am. Now go.”
The woman walked away.
If I had thought that the Healing and Miracles session was a dress rehearsal for incredulity, the testimonies were a class act.
At 10:10 a.m., they began.
Fireman took up his seat on a cream coloured upholstered chair at the altar, allowing a junior pastor to run proceedings.
The first lady narrated how after the ‘Man of God’ blessed” her, she moved from having no job to getting six different offers in two weeks, including a phone call from a firm she never applied to.
The junior pastor asked her to step forward, turned to the congregation, pointed to Fireman and said, “I want 25 people to hold a seed of N1, 000 and come and drop at his (Fireman) feet. As you are returning to your seat, something must happen.”
Dozens of worshippers dashed towards the altar with their ‘seeds.’
Another member narrated how she used her “last N200 to sow a seed” the previous Sunday and how, six days later, “God surprised me and I’m laughing now.”
The junior pastor called for people to bring N200 to the feet of Fireman.
“Sow like a fool. Something must enter your hand. Your financial position is about to change. The person holding your money would release it after today.”
A crowd trooped towards the altar to drop their money at ‘Daddy’s’ feet.
The next testimony was from a woman who said that she had been barren for eight years but two months after she began attending the church, “the thing enter.”
Again, the junior pastor’s voice rang out from the altar.
“If you are here this morning and you are looking for a fruit of the womb or you know someone looking for a fruit of the womb, pick up a seed and come and drop here. The God of Fireman will surprise you.”
This time it was women that thronged the altar.
The next two testimonies sounded plain absurd to me: One lady claimed that after she was blessed by Fireman, she went to the market and the money in her purse “refused to finish.” A second lady testified that after her own blessing, the N100 notes in her bag turned to N200 notes.
“How’s that possible?” I asked the woman, nursing a baby beside me, my mouth half open.
The nursing mum smiled, “There’s nothing God cannot do.”
Culled from: www.premiumtimesng.com