Lagos-based The Arc Church has reportedly closed shop until further notice.
The said development followed several accusations of sexual harassment levelled against Timi Adigun, the coordinator of MINE Teenage Ministry and pastor at The Ark Church.
Adigun, 35, is also the editor of MINE Magazine – a free Christian teenage magazine that preaches sexual purity.
Earlier on Thursday, several posts surfaced online accusing Adigun of sexcapades with teenage girls under his mentorship and tutelage.
Akan Imoh, a public relations expert, who lives close to the church in Lagos, claimed that he confirmed the allegations after investigating alongside two other journalists.
In the Facebook post that went viral, he also claimed Adigun was nonchalant about their findings.
“So, when I started hearing the rumours, I took steps to investigate,” he said.
“I had meetings with some of the top leaders in the ministry. I joined hands with two other journalists and we investigated the matter.
“We spoke with everyone who mattered, even up to the former pastors. Everyone confirmed the story. They were even urging us to go ahead and publish. We even created a Google form for former members to register their displeasure. You need to see the anger on that form.
“The very annoying thing is that this man doesn’t seem like he cares. He just wants to move on. The last I heard is that he has started another church/ministry, something called ‘Haven of Love’.
“Actually, MINE Teens Ministry was closed without any proper explanation. The church was also closed too.
“You just throw teenagers into confusion. There’s too much anger on the streets. These guys have been hitting up my DM, and I wasn’t even a leader or a member of the ministry.
“They are confused and angry. Can you imagine, you’ve been telling these kids not to have sex till they get married, but then, you’ve been doing stuff with them in secret,” Imoh wrote.
Rather than respond to the allegations, Adigun, through his wife, Titi Adigun, reportedly cancelled some programmes and suspended the MINE Teenage Ministry’s activities indefinitely.
“A lot is happening in this ministry presently as you might have gathered,” Titi wrote on the church’s WhatsApp platform via her number, which Premium Times claimed to have verified.
“Pastor Timi and I apologise for everything said and done wrong. Please forgive us.
“In line with this, The MINE Nation’s Activities are put on hold indefinitely, for now. Worship Fiesta 2020 is cancelled. The MEET 2020 is cancelled. The Ark Church would have her last service on Sunday,” she wrote.
A close associate of Adigun, who asked not to be named, said he had changed his known number when the allegations became public knowledge.
“He changed his number when this sexual harassment case started,” the source said.
In a thread posted via its Twitter account, MINE Teenage Ministry confirmed the allegations against its coordinator.
“He’s a sexual predator. Before he was found out, he’d just started the ‘Father me’ series where he encouraged people to submit to fatherhood, even while molesting those who have lived with him for 5+ years,” the organisation wrote but later deleted the tweet.
In subsequent tweets, which were not deleted, the group said Adigun’s defence, when quizzed, was that the girls also enjoyed the acts, and no one loves the girls as much as he does.
When asked to take a break, the organisation claimed, he remarked that he has been doing it for years and no one knew, so why would he stop preaching now when people still get saved despite his acts.
“Together with his wife, Timilehin Adigun has instead taken to Instagram to do giveaways and creating a positive image of himself, not even a month from when the story broke out of his many excesses,” the church wrote.