|Monday interview culled from Vanguard Newspapers! Enjoy readers…||
|THAT high profile preacher of the gospel and lately presidential candidate of Fresh Democratic Party,
Reverend Christopher Okotie is remarrying to charming Stephanie Henshaw in a ceremony spread over three days in Lagos in the second week of August is no longer news.
That the twosome will jet out of the country for the month-long honeymoon in several European countries too, is no longer news.
What is news is that the ceremony will be devoid of the expected panache and fanfare and as such formal invitations were not printed.
The father-in-law is already in town for the ceremony which is billed to take place at the Ikoyi home of the in-laws, the Ikoyi Marriage Registry on Alfred Rewane Avenue, as well as the newly refurbished Household of God Church in Oregun area of Lagos.
Our reporter met the fiftyish groom on Monday in his church office and he was looking very athletic, bubbling with enthusiasm in anticipation of the D Day, saying that he had been taking adequate lessons on how to tie the Urhobo wrapper, something he admitted he had not done for God knows how long.
Recall that he was born in Ethiope Local Government area of Delta State to Urhobo parents. He hails from Abraka.
When our man Sam Eyoboka asked him what was special about his new found heartthrob, Okotie took a deep breath before saying simply that she was unique and that God had specially packaged her for him as a reward for years of steadfastness and the great task ahead.
His words: “Stephanie is the most unique individual that I have ever met in my entire life. I have known her for 19 years. When I met her, she was 19 years old. I have known her for that long. She is so unique that everytime that I look at her, when I talk to her, I discover more things about her. This is how I would put it. I think God just packaged her for me.
“God loves me so much and has done so many wonderful things in my life. When I met this woman and I think this is the point that I knew that I was going to marry her; I just realized that this is where I should have been from the very beginning.
That in my heart I believed that from the day Stephanie was born, God had already determined that she was going to be my wife.
“But you see that God has this plans, men, many times mess up. He had a good plan for Adam and
Eve and they messed it up. But so many things happened to me and to her; until we found each other.
It is still the power of the Almighty God, in the midst of all the vissititudes that we went through that we will still discover each other.
“That is the grace of the Almighty God, that is so overwhelming to me and that God has preserved her till today; through all the tribulations and all the things that she has to go through. He preserved her and kept her and if you see her now, she is the most beautiful woman in the world. So I thank God.
As a minister of the gospel, a lot of people have been asking if the Bible permits you to remarry after a failed marriage?
Some argue that the Bible says you must remain unmarried for as long as your spouse is alive…
The Bible doesn’t say so. It doesn’t say so. I think a lot of people don’t study the Word of God enough. There is a difference between a man who marries a woman and the woman leaves him and the one that divorces.
Divorce is a termination of a marital relationship; that is why God does not like divorce because when you divorce a woman she’s no longer your wife. But if a woman leaves a man and does not divorce him and goes to marry another man that is adultery and is punishable.
The only thing that breaks relationship is a divorce and even when there is a divorce, the Bible says you can remarry. There are so many people who are parading themselves as preachers of the Scriptures who do not know the Bible enough, particularly in the area of marriage.
They read a few things that Jesus said and the few things that Paul said and they don’t know how to align scriptures with scriptures and so they just get confused. Marriage is a beautiful relationship ordained by God.
But you can’t hold one person for it, if they say they don’t want to get married again. I didn’t ask Tina to leave. She wanted to go. It was her choice that she didn’t want the marriage any more and she decided to divorce me.
So God can‘t hold me responsible for something I didn’t do. And it’s been like a pain since she left. This is the second time for me now to pick it up from where Tina left because obviously that is part of God’s will for my life.
If she were to be here, I will not be remarrying or probably I would not have married in the first instance. So it’s something that I know is scriptural. Its wonderful and I look forward to it with all my heart.
What’s going to be your wedding gift to Nigeria?
I think is the re-establishment to a call to serve. I have been called by God to serve this nation. And any one who has listened to me and watched me, will know very clearly that it is so. And when you answer a call of God, you submit your self to His timing. And many times you may run ahead of your time like Moses.
But the call is a dial that enters, it doesn’t change. So I have been waiting and I will continue to wait.
I want to assure Nigerians that I have not abandoned that call, and that marriage is also preparatory for me, because I realise that for a man to lead a nation, you must have a certain sense of responsibility that is associated with a man who has a home and a family, and can carry out those responsibilities in the home.
Because the Bible says that if you can not take care of your home, how are you going to take care of your church.
So I think is also part of what God wanted me to do. To prepare me for the ultimate call of serving Nigeria and the level of government.
And I want to let them know that I am still determined in my heart to serve this nation and everyday I seek for the concept that will better the lot of the Nigerian people.
I have been listening to the voice of God and has been studying to prepare myself to make Nigeria to be superb even far better than what Barack Obama is doing in America today.
Okay readers another article from odili.net
The romance between Rev. Chris Okotie and Stephanie Henshaw, will culminate in a holy wedlock this weekend.
Stephanie, a light skinned beautiful widow and mother of three, became Okotie’s sunshine, after his ex-wife, Tina supposedly walked out of her sixteen years old marriage. Chris Okotie’s marriage with Tina, contracted in 1984, packed up in 2001 with the world hearing only his side of the story.
His wife’s sudden disappearance from the scene was soon followed by a divorce, and a statement credited to Chris that his wife’s decision to leave him was because of her phobia for Nigeria and desire to live in America. Now her loss appears to be Stephanie’s gain, and the letter seems not only willing to tag behind the man of God, but stick very close to his heart, in his home and at last become his wife. Today, Friday, she will triumphantly be sealed legally, with the man of God as his wife at the Ikoyi Registry before the final church wedding on Sunday.
Not much is known about Stephanie Henshaw besides the fact that she is undeniably beautiful and has been trailing Chris long before now. Of late, however, some amazing revelations about her began to spring up and among the gist was that the Calabar-born Stephanie has an Igbo mother and is in her late 30s. She was once married to her late husband who happened to be Pastor Okotie’s best friend in school. Their marriage was blessed with a son who is now in his 20s but then her husband passed on. This circumstance led to Pastor Okotie stepping into her life in a bid to offer her succour until the day Stephanie suddenly disappeared and one day resurfaced with a new husband. The story has it that the man was already married and had two sons but Stephanie moved in with the man and his other wife until things fell apart and the centre could no longer hold. Their many differences led to unresolved fights, which brought Pastor Chris into the matter. However, when even the man of God could not resolve the differences, he soon advised divorce and Stephanie quickly heeded the advice.
Again, Pastor Okotie lent her his shoulders to lean on, lodging her into a Hotel in Ikeja and finally renting a house for her within Marwa Gardens, Agidingbi, Ogba. It was reported that her husband once stormed the hotel where Stephanie was, and on hearing that the man of God usually send a car to pick her for church, he came into the hotel, one day, and smashed the car. This did not in any way deter Okotie from protecting her as he rather brought a Chauffeured car to take her wherever she wanted, while putting a guard in her house. Soon, tongues started wagging as Stephanie started visiting Pastor Okotie’s house frequently. It was obvious that Pastor Chris had a soft spot for her and would rather have her stay at home all day. The heavy air was later cleared when during his birthday Okotie officially introduced her as his wife to be.
This announcement came as a shock to some of his female celebrities who have been hoping to fill the position of ‘Mrs. Okotie.’ Some of these ladies who are strongly rumoured to be on this list and whom the man of God has played a prominent role in their lives include: Sola Salako, who was the church’s head of administration for several years, and Okotie’s close aide, Vien Tetsola, a former miss Nigeria, Ure Okezie, daughter of former minister, Dr. Okezie, who has since married top singer, Soul E, and Rose Elisanma Ideh, who became a frequent visitor at many of Okotie’s church event, and who played a major role in his last presidential campaign. Many of these women quit the church while some have reluctantly returned with the hope that Okotie would one day wake up from the spell of the Calabar beauty. One of the reasons why many thought Stephanie was disqualified was not just that she is a mother of three, Pastor Chris has been the family pastor during her two marriages and Stephanie’s second husband was said to be Okotie’s oldest church member.
Well, despite all odds, Stephanie has gotten her victory and is today being crowned the first lady of Household of God. Earlier on, when Pastor Chris was accosted by a group of press men, he made known his intention on the marriage and remarked that one of the things he loved in Stephanie is her ‘angelic’ beauty. He also said she has an understanding and a humble disposition which she had displayed by keeping a low profile in all the years she had married a public figure. One thing is certain, come this Sunday, August 10th, Pastor Chris Okotie is certainly saying ‘I Do’ to the love of his life, Stephanie, at the refurbished Household of God Church. If there is one thing to describe the man Chris Okotie, it is a fact that he loves fame. His pursuit of fame led him from the stage, to the pulpit and finally to the slippery pole of politics in 2003, when he declared he heard a divine revelation that “The Lord spoke to me that I will be President.” It was a vision he said he saw back in 1999. Either that divine inspiration or the Nigeria system failed when he contested for the presidency on the platform of Justice Party (JP) in the last general elections.
Ever since, he never quite believed he lost in the contest. He believes he was a victim of a fraudulent electoral process. His ideas about politics are congenial to his faith and dream up in his vision, which only him can tell. It continues to propel him to launch a fresh campaign for the most coveted political office in the land. It’s through Nigeria FRESH Democratic Party, with slogan Fresh, Responsibility, Equality, Security and Hope (F.R.E.S.H.) that he articulates his philosophy for governance.