THE church was already filled to capacity. The invited guests, family members, friends and well wishers, all gaily dressed, were awaiting the pastor’s marial blessings before they would proceed to the reception venue.
Then, the bombshell. The pastor who stood in for Rev. Johnson Achu, mounted the pulpit, collected the microphone, cleared his throat and thundered that the wedding could no longer go on!
The above fate befell Peter and Mercy on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at the Assemblies of God parish on 2/4, Bank Shonibare Street, Ojodu-Berger, Ikeja, Lagos. And the reason, an insider in the church told us, was that the bride was allegedly suspected to be pregnant.
Which perhaps explains why in spite of having undergone a pregnancy test prior to that day, the lady was again whisked away from the church, after the bombshell, to undergo yet another pregnancy test. But this time, in a different hospital.
Meanwhile, as soon as the wedding was called off, with the pastor asking all guests to go and eat and go home, the bride broke down in tears, while the groom tried to take things in his stride. “The bride wept profusely because the embarrassment was total,” added an eye witness. “But the groom tried to be manly about it.”
We were told that thereafter, the couple started trading blames as to what prompted their choosing the church in the first place. The bulk of the blame, however, was later heaped at the doorstep of the groom’s mother who worships there. We also gathered that what further ruined their day was the fact the pastor who had earlier given them the go-ahead for the wedding was not present when this happened, as it was a new pastor that came to join them.
Again, because the couple didn’t immediately know what the problem was, the bride also had to undergo another pregnancy test on Monday, August 16. However, as the coast becomes clearer, no one can tell what their next line of action would be.
In fact, when we got in touch with the still distraught groom later that Monday, he told us that, “It’s not a matter for the phone. You need to come to my house in Alagbole (Ogun State) so that we can talk about it face to face.”
He, nonetheless, confirmed our story. But declined to supply additional information except when we meet.
On Monday, August 16, 2010, ENCOMIUM Weekly visited the Assemblies of God Church, Ojodu, Lagos. We met the church secretary who identified herself as Stella. She confirmed the marriage cancellation of Saturday, August 14, 2010, but refused to make further comment on the issue since the Reverend in charge of the church, according to her, was not around. “I can’t tell you anything now since the Reverend is not around and he will not be back until next week Sunday. I was not even at the wedding, they called me that a wedding was cancelled and that’s all. If you had come a day before, during our Sunday service you would have had better information about the issue.”
Assemblies of God Church, headed by Rev. Ogbonna Osueke, does not support sex before marriage.
– This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, August 17, 2010