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Diaspora Chronicles: My Experience with Nigeria Churches in America

Uloma Ezirim

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I have always been an advocate of the Pentecostal church and even when I migrated to the US, I continued attending a Nigerian Pentecostal church. However, a couple of years later, I am certain that you will not catch me dead in any predominantly Nigerian church again. My preferred choice is now multicultural Pentecostal churches, please see my reasons:

We carry our fractionalization and tribalism to the church
In the church I was in, we were split along ethnic lines with the Yorubas only listening to the senior pastor who was Yoruba and the Igbos listening to the assistant pastor who was Igbo. The other tribes chose any side that favours them based on the issue at hand.  The funny things is that my friend who attends an Igbo Anglican church in New York said their own church was split along town and state lines – Nowa people fighting the Mbaise people, Anambra people fighting the Imo people  and so on. That is when I realized that we really have not left Kansas.

The gossip
Our favourite past-time in church is gossiping about ourselves. The Nigerians not in the church and even the ones “jejelii” living their lives in Nigeria. Every once in a while, the gossip makes the church so toxic and threatens to tear it apart that a reconciliation meeting will be called, backed with prayer and fasting. This will result in some peace and quiet, after which the cycle of gossiping commences again. Sometimes these gossips emanate from things heard during prayer meetings and testimonies. My confusion is that, if one cannot find sanctuary in the church, where else can you find it?

The dressing
I have seen people I know who are pulling multiple shifts at multiple jobs neglecting their health and their family, so as to carry the latest Gucci bag to church. Sometimes, these same people need us to raise money for them or ailing family members.  Every church service is like a fashion show with members trying to outdo each other at wearing the most expensive clothing. I am not against dressing it up to come to church, but do that if you can afford the clothes on your back… and not wearing it now and spending the next 30 years paying for it.

The lack of accountability
Just like churches in Nigeria, those in America do not render accounts to its members. I am sure they are rendering to IRS, but as a tithe paying and offering giving member of the church, don’t you think it is fair that I know what the money that I put in is being used for?  Don’t tell me, “Don’t worry, you have given it to God and God will judge them if they misuse it” as that doesn’t mean anything. There are churches out there that are getting it right and are not waiting for God’s judgement day.
The church I currently attend is an example. Every 2 years, regular members are elected to the church board to assist the pastor in steering the affairs of the church. Once a year, a general meeting is called and all the church members are encouraged to attend and the financial account for the previous year is rendered. The plan for the coming year is shared. I have never been on the board, but knowing that regular members are part of the decision making gives me peace.
The funny thing is that for all the years that I have attended the board meeting, nobody has ever objected to how the monies were spent. That is what transparency and accountability does. Note that this church is multicultural, but has more blacks than whites in it… so I don’t think it is a black problem, but a Nigerian problem.

The songs!!!!!
You will wonder why I put so many exclamation marks? But it is because there are some songs we sing that are not spiritual, musical or anything, in fact.
Listen and sing along if you know it – Jesus na big man, Jesus na big man, who no know am call am small man, Jesus big man, who no know am call am small man”.  Nuff Said, you be the judge!

The time we spend there
I am a stickler for time and living abroad and not having support, means that my time is very treasured and precious to me. It is not amusing to go to church at 9 am and remain there till 2pm because the pastor is moved by the spirit and is preaching the “never ending sermon”. The church I go to now is exactly 2 hours from start to finish and I still leave spiritually satisfied.

There is something about how we Nigerians worship in churches, we immerse ourselves in the Lord, trusting him solely for our sustenance and this is not a bad thing. My relationship though with the Nigerian churches here in America is like a case of loving chocolates, but it wreaks havoc on your weight; so while I am still living here, like chocolate, I will only have it in small doses and only on special occasions.

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Story written by Kiki Daniel of Diaspora Chronicles.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Noriko Cooper

Uloma is a School Administration Manager. Her mantra in life is Laughter, Love, Relationships = Happiness. Uloma is very passionate about all things Nigerian and this is reflected in her creative expression. Join our community on www.diasporachronicles.com.

79 Comments

  1. CurvesAndEdges

    May 2, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Chop knuckle for this article. You expressed my sentiments totally.

    But if you’re the type of girl that only likes Nigerian guys sha….. Naija church might be somewhere to pop into once in a while

    • will

      May 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      i totally agree with you darl!

    • Ottawa Queen

      May 3, 2017 at 4:37 am

      In my church the yoruba women argue and quarrel amongst themselves on who to cook the jollof rice during special occasions. Jealousy on whose rice is sweeter. SMH!! It got to a point where the pastor had to announce at the close of one Thanksgiving Sunday that there will be no refreshment today. That’s when I knew shit got real.

      1
    • SANDY DAWIT

      March 18, 2018 at 6:19 am

      greetings.
      i read your story very interesting,. i attend many nigerian churches, including celestial. you are no different from those you are criticizing. judge not and be not judged. thanks am not a christian but i enjoy going to nigerian churches being with family and connecting with my roots.. today many of us has a concern for money, to live well and to not be poor, yet we do not know the heart’s of others. i love dressing well in expensive brand name designer items. when i go to church i do not dress to impress, i dress as i do because i like good quality top of the line products. dressing well in nice things has always been part of my family culture, as far back as my grand parents and i believe before them. regardless of some negativities you seem to see in the church yet some of us may get inspired by a message which will turn our live’s around. the pastors plays a important role in the lives of the people, recently there was talk in africa how we will fight and even kill during elections, how many goes to war fighting in support of a candidate, we even fight among tribes, said but non of us will stand up against our pastors, all that is a sign of our faith, sure corruption has made it’s way into the churches, . if we go to church looking for faults, we will find it. when we were the best of people we produced good leaders, the problem is not the pastor’s, the problem is us. we all have fallen short of the glory of god. maybe your soul seeks something different, maybe you seeking a white woman. the new church may not have the tribal differences, yet it has it’s difference. as long as the pastor is quoting bible, you can still benefit by the sermons if you clear your mind of seeking fault’s.

  2. Team oyinbo church

    May 2, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I have lived in US for close to a decade. I have never attended any naija church. At first, I wanted to change to naija church but after going to school with naija people. I jejely stick to my Max Lucado every Sunday. No gossip, no jealousy people. During summer, I wear my short. Nobody will look me somehow. If I like drive my jalopi to church, I will still park beside Range Rover and nobody will give me attitude. If I have offering I pay, if not I waka.

    1
    • otunba

      July 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Hello,
      Please I would love to ask if Team Oyinbo Church are welcoming and Willing to lend a helping hand to newly arrived Immigrants who are trying to settle down in the usa?

  3. Miel

    May 2, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    I couldn’t agree any more with your content. Since moving to the states I found my home church in a multicultural church.
    There are Nigerians there but no gossip or trying to out dress one another. Come as you are.
    I only go to a Nigerian church during New-Years eve and I remember why I like my home church.
    Not judging but we need to put some attitude asides in the church.
    I have friends who go to Nigerian churches and I hear them say ” did you see what so and so wore” I remind myself why I love my church.
    I once saw a Nigeria guy I know at my church and he said he is looking for a new church, that he is tired and the Nigerian-ism is too much in his church.

    • SANDY DAWIT

      March 18, 2018 at 6:50 am

      greetings.
      i like to share a experience i had at a church mostly ghanaians but a few nigerians. i am not a christian but i enjoy being with family, staying connected to my roots. i had great respect for the pastor, i liked his sermons and his knowledge of the bible.. i was homeless, my appearance looked bad, i was always carrying my luggage bag with me. the pastor often would say to me, nice i came to church, keep coming, he want to see me at church next sunday. not once did he offer to be a help to me. one day as i was walking, i saw a white guy get out of a taxi with suit cases he went to the church, which is a two story home that was bought and is the church, it has bedrooms and i recently found that the pastor son lives in the church, he goes to school and returns. the white guy was welcomed to stay there,he has since moved on. that really hurt me. one sunday morning a person at this church said everyone come up and hold hands with the person next to you as we pray. i did not want to go up because they worship jesus instead of god, i felt bad sitting with them looking at me, so i went up, the congregation knows me, there was a white man and everyone else african, i went to hold hands of one of the ladies, she moved away and went and held the white guy hand. that hurt me. she had on a short dress, the previous week she was holding a conversation with me in the back yard as lunch was being served. . another member of the church a friend of mine’s, i like and respect she said to me i want to see you at church sunday, how come you don’t come any more. i told her of those two incidents, hurt was seen over her face, seemed she was about to cry.. we must bring our children up in the way it should go and it won’t depart. i was sent to my own but they received me not. the things which was taking place during jesus day was signs of things to come.

  4. Dassah

    May 2, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    This is so funny. Jesus na biggy man????

    • Amaka

      May 10, 2017 at 11:56 pm

      It is well.

  5. blackbeatle

    May 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    my total sentiment

  6. El Chapo

    May 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Terrible article !!! Does not apply to all churches and definitely NOT the RCCG Dominion Chapel in Stafford ,TX that I attend. KUDOS to Pastor Bayo Fadugba for the good work he has done and is doing! And this is a Nigerian church problem and not just the ones in the US. Go to London, Canada, Ibadan, Dubai and it’s the same thing.

    • A Real Nigerian

      May 2, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Piss off. You’re just another mindless shill for that pretentious hypocrite called Adebayor or Adeboye or whatever.

    • bk

      May 2, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      Am sure some people who think and disrespect elders like you liked your comment. Are you for real?

    • God is good

      May 4, 2017 at 12:47 am

      It’s not a terrible article because majority of naija churches fall into the description.. But I’ve visited RCCG dominion chapel in stafford couple of times, my brother and wife are members. I’m proud of the work the pastor does. His preaching is short and straight to the point too. They try to help the community as well.
      Good church. No church is perfect.
      I personally prefer non Nigerian church.

    • Charles Ugen

      May 5, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Your RCCG in Stafford may be a shining example but mine is Aberdeen, Scotland is a shambles. The choir guys and girls are sleeping with each other and the parking lot is like a showroom of the latest cars in the market. Gossip is rife and everyone knows what everyone is doing. They do offer a free shuttle bus for students which is a good thing and do financial statement once a year but there is so much division between tribes which is a shame.

  7. Kanzi

    May 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I almost feel like I wrote this article. Exactly a week today, I attended my church’s AGM to review the fiinancials for the previous
    tax year. It gave me so much joy knowing that my church was not a one man show. Transparency and accountability are two key attributes that a vast majority of Nigerian churches lack. Since attending multi cultural churches upon relocating to the UK, I have vowed not to attend a solely Nigerian church. I will honour an invitation to a Nigerian church for events eg dedication and co but that’s where it ends.

  8. Frank

    May 2, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Another reason I don’t f**k with Nigerians and their bullshit. Everywhere you go it’s always the same Nigerian bullshit

  9. Chioma

    May 2, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Chai, my sister God bless you. Naija churches is a hotmess. What baffles me is with the amount of deliverance, binding, frying the devil and prayers they do the members remain the same. No growth whatsoever.
    I’ve seen so called deaconess in church who will do juju against another woman or to get a man. A deacon man who is openly committing adultery.
    No form of repentance and accountability. It’s just really weird.
    I gave up on naija churches long time ago, it’s too stressful. I wasn’t growing spiritually and I became more concerned of what others thought of me. The competition is to another level. Whose gele can touch the ceiling, testimonies of how God blessed them with a mansion, Mercedes just material things. What about testimonies of giving, helping others and making an impact.

    I go to an American church now, I wear my pant and Shirt. Two hours later I’m out while I think how much more of myself can I give to God and others.

    • Katygirl

      May 2, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      I miss wearing just my pants and shirt too. I have lived in the US for over 15 years and I’d always attended a multicultural church. Moved to Houston earlier this year and decided to try a naija church. It’s one of those big naija churches here, I like the church but still can’t forget the first day I went to this church.
      I felt so out of place with my shirt and pant. Hubby was like didn’t you know you have to bring your A game in a naija church. It’s exhausting abeg. I’m thinking of going back to a multicultural church where I don’t have to worry if I wore the same outfit 2 Sundays ago. I should be in church to worship God.

    • The real dee

      May 3, 2017 at 12:12 am

      Hi katygirl. I’m guessing you live in Katy. I know a multicultural church in Houston you’ll love. It’s called Houston Faith Church. Its on North Eldridge parkway.

      I used to attend a Nigerian church and I absolutely love the headquarters in Nigeria, but many of the American branches in Houston are a hot mess. The gossip, the fakery, the hypocrisy, sometimes the juju sef (all those prayer mamas that are doing
      Fetsish stuff by the side) infact I started feeling like my spiritual life was draining. Thank God the Holy Spirit redirected me elsewhere.

      I visited another Nigerian church once, that one was fashion parade, dressing competition, ride competition, sermon was watery, the entire service was one ceremony or the other. If we had round tables and food, I’d have thought we were in a Nigerian owambe.

      However, not all Nigerian churches in the US are bad, you just need to pray to God for direction to a good one albeit many of them don’t know what they’re doing.

  10. Tolulope

    May 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Nice article.
    Please can someone write something about ‘My Experience with Nigeria Churches in Nigeria’?
    Thanks

  11. BukolaA

    May 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    American church :
    Wear comfy jeans and T shirt
    Service is amazing and straight to the point
    It’s not always about binding and casting and asking and asking
    It’s about being thankful
    There’s outreach to help the poor and less fortunate .
    It’s more about GOD God and God
    No one looks at you funny if you don’t put money in the offering or you aren’t called forward to tithe
    There’s so much more ……I think Nigerian churches have forgotten what churches are for
    It’s about God, the community, family, lovignqnd caring for one another in our own little way.
    When I go to church I shouldn’t feel judged , I should feel welcomed and loved .

  12. Naija Singer

    May 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    You got the song wrong dear… here goes:
    Jesus na biggie man, Jesus na biggie man, who no know am call amu small man, Jesus na biggie man, who no know am call amu small man:: (at least 2ce)?????

    • Uloma Ezirim

      Uloma Ezirim

      May 3, 2017 at 7:34 am

      You are a very funny pelzin @Naija Singer lol.

  13. Engoz

    May 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I go to a Nigerian church, but I do not blame any person that rejects to be a member of a Nigerian church. It is a microcosm of Nigeria. The day I found out grown ass women were bickering over how some women received aso-ebi and some didn’t, I realized how mad these sets of Nigerians naturally are. Asoebi is a do or die affair. The pastor banned the distribution of asoebi in the women’s ministry, lmao. Most of the wahala is from this ‘ministry’ anyway, lol. Workers are not permitted to wear traditional as well. You can wear what you like as a member though. My pastor does all he can not to project the church as just Nigerian but open to all.. My sisters and I laugh that it’s still a naija church. The other pluses are my pastor is a stickler for time (although some stubborn people still do ‘special thanksgiving’ eventhough we all deliberated that for birthdays everybody born in that month would be prayed for at the beginning of the week). So minus this thanksgiving, 2hrs we are done. There’s also accountability and transparency with the funds. They even send us letters every year to show how much we have contributed. The pastor also banned speaking any language other than English on church premises long before I joined the church, I think it helped because I don’t see tribalism. But you never know.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      May 2, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      Your church sounds like my church in many ways. The choir isn’t allowed to sing in any Nigerian dialect, workers who’re serving in a front facing role on a Sunday (mainly the choir) aren’t allowed to wear trado outfits, our pastor is a serious stickler for timekeeping and only speaks and preaches in English, with his goal to make it more of a reflection of our diverse community, rather than solely Nigerian.

      Beht, will our peepu gree? Mbanu. Dem go still try to inculcate typical Naija behaviour inside the place, ? The leadership can drive as hard as they want but where a multitude of Nigerians are congregated….. Especially the ones who left Naija without any real desire to imbibe new and improved ways of behaving…. ? We just carry our many trademarks wherever we go.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      May 2, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      And we also have annual general meetings to review the church’s accounts + income & spending. Which was very surprising to me as I’d never been in a church that did that.

    • Engoz

      May 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      ‘Beht, will our peepu gree?’

      Buhahaha. They won’t gree o. Our songs are sung in English except on very rare cases and it has to be interpreted on the projector and sung in English as well. All of these is not because we are running away from our ‘culture’. Major conflicts arose from these issues before bans were put in place, lol. I am able to survive Nigerian churches because God has blessed me with the special gift of keeping these people at arms length, lol.

  14. So true!

    May 2, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    It’s as if I wrote this article…….
    I have also stopped attending Nigerian churches too, in fact, African churches in general. I only go there on special occasions. The last point was the major reason – TIME!

    Where do I even start? I used to go to a Nigerian church that starts at 12 noon and ends at around 4:30 pm. Bear in mind that it takes me at least an additional one hour to and fro ride to the church. After service, I will most likely stay around for one ‘meeting’ or the other. Mind you, I am a student with lots of assignments and weekend study plans and I also work part-time. So imagine my Sunday virtually ‘wasted’ (may God forgive me). The fact that the church is in the middle of the day doesn’t help me because there is not so much time for me to be productive in the morning and I’m already exhausted in the evening after church service.

    I had no choice but to stop going there because I noticed that I used to feel resentful when I got home after church. I should feel blessed after church service not angry at the pastor. So I decided to change church abeg.

    I now go to an international and multicultural church where the service is only 2 hours. My new church usually offers snacks and drinks after service to create an environment for members to interact and get to know one another. I usually stay for 15 – 30 minutes max to socialise before I waka go home. It’s such a pity that Nigerian churches are so bad at time management.

  15. Cocolette

    May 2, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I find points 1,2,3 to be very true but I’m too used to the Nigerian kind of fire prayer to abandon my Nigerian church even though I miss the calm sermons from my former predominantly white church.
    The way Nigerians dress to Church to kill dey weak me mehn!!! If you don’t know yourself, your self esteem go wreck!

    • Engoz

      May 2, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      I’m yet to see this dressing to kill though you people refer to. I hope it’s not the extremely tacky shine shine dressing and heavy jewelry I see you people are calling ‘dressing to kill’, lol. The dress sense is extremely lacking in style and taste in my experience.

    • bk

      May 2, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Exactly my thought too.

    • Gia

      May 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      extremely tacky shine shine dressing and heavy jewelry

      CHAI!!!!!!
      See finishing!LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  16. Adamazi

    May 2, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Truthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    This is the same issues that plague the meetings here. Once they start their nonsense I waka and will not look back. These days I just stop by on invite if I can.

  17. o

    May 2, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    My own is timing. Some Nigerian churches must draw their service like draw soup. My local parish (RCCG) is notorious for it, and to think you will still wait for one meeting or the other after service. I’m not proud to say this, but when I travel abroad, I don’t go to church. Those are the few Sundays I have as ‘off’ in a year. They will still find one meeting or conference for workers on public holidays. Lol.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      May 2, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      El Oh El. You just reminded me of this fellow who was “talking” to me once and he called one time I was out of town during a weekend, asking where I was going to church for Sunday service. The shock & disapproval in his voice when I caustically replied with “none”, ehnnn. ?

      Some people are just rooted in the belief that marking register every Sunday is one of the signs you’ll make Heaven. That’s probably why they delight in prolonging church attendance with all those plenty after-service meetings ?

  18. Nkechi

    May 2, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Who ever that wrote this, God bless you. As if I’m the one that wrote it. Exactly why I left Nigerian church and keep saying it that I don’t think I can attend Nigerian church again

  19. Typical Nigerian

    May 2, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    My goodness the gossiping. Choi! I haven’t been attending church and I am not remotely motivated. My flat mate who is a CHURCH WORKER at RCCG has talked about everyone including the Pastor and his wife. Nothing good comes out of her mouth and I have often questioned her rudeness and bad mouthing, in her words “I am hitting the nail on the head”. Nothing positive comes out of her mouth and I don’t see that as anything Christian like. The other thing that I got confused about is the role of the church in obtaining papers which we know is hardly ever carried out legally. Should the church get involved in supporting all these arrangee paper situations that we all to be wrong? Is it okay for the pastor to pray for members obtaining papers illegally? Since when is wrongdoing justified in the house of God? Abeg…

    • Sisi

      May 3, 2017 at 12:52 am

      Omg you brought up a topic I was thinking about, not too long ago a similar incident came up in and I was seriously assessing my former pastor’s (who I love and have deep regard for) naevity in judgment or deliberate action?

      I left that church as I was getting extremely frustrated with the exact points you raised. I was a worker as well which made it more difficult, every Sunday brought on bouts of anxiety coupled with my own personal challenges church became another source of my problems rather than a place of sanctuary and fellowship. Had to leave before I had a mental breakdown. Growing up in such a church is one thing – trying to adult in one is a different story. I love my new church – I feel free and can focus on God and that is major for me

  20. Ms.IJ.Madu

    May 2, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    I’m no longer religious (thankfully I live in Holland where that’s not a big deal). You have stated the reasons why my parents prefer to go to a multicultural church rather than a Nigerian one.

  21. Lailatu

    May 2, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Honest article. You forgot to add the ones that will see vision on you. After one dragged me round church saying he had a message for me,I ran back to my Catholic Church where you get the message with out any drama. You also get coffee and doughnuts after mass.

    • D

      May 3, 2017 at 12:20 am

      I went back to Catholic Church too and the peace and relief I felt was second to none . After I told one of the elders in my former Pentecostal church what she was doing was wrong so she won’t greet me one on one but would greet me when people are around to give a bad perspective of my person if I don’t respond which I mostly don’t cause am not a hypocrite I believe in let’s address the elephant in the room and not hide behind religion,so I left.people heard different version of what happened but I don’t care,those who know I keep it real 100% still chat me up till now others I could care less about what they think.

    • Uloma Ezirim

      Uloma Ezirim

      May 3, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Yes Lailatu, we get tea and cakes at ours too. lol.

  22. Mystique

    May 2, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    This article cracked my up big time…….LMAO. Naija for life ??????????

  23. Motunrayo

    May 2, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I understand that this is the norm in most churches but I’ve found myself in a nigerian church that is very different from the one mentioned in this article. We find people coming and complaining that we are not Nigerian enough for their taste. We get financial updates once a month, the pastor is very time conscious, he does not encourage traditional songs so that people who are not Nigerian can feel included (pisses off people who want to dance to Jesus na biggy man sha) and my go to outfit to church is comfy jeans and a nice top. I think most of this is also because of where we are based, you find most Nigerian churches in locations with high Nigerian immigrant populations follow the stereotypical behavior listed in this article. I’ve attended parishes in Maryland and Texas and vowed never to go back.

  24. Frank

    May 2, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Another reason I don’t f**k with Nigerian churches out here. They are as messed up as churches in Nigeria.

  25. aj

    May 2, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    LMAOOOOOOOOO this article is spot on. I went to a Nigerian church in US one time not really wearing my Sunday’s best and they said the holy spirit revealed to them that I have financial trouble. can u imagine? Funny enough I have worn very casual clothes to a mostly white church and did not get any kind of revelation of my financial situation from anyone. Thank you for reminding me not to go to any Nigerian church for the foreseeable future.

  26. Well you are wrong

    May 2, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Please write about Catholic churches,so we are sure it’s not based on the mindsets tailored towards ethnicity.

    I will attend a Nigerian church anyway,RCCG ,Winners and deperlife ministries are with solid foundation.

    • McKay

      May 3, 2017 at 11:11 am

      I believe the author is writing about Nigerian founded churches not specifically a particular church. Of course Catholic and Anglican churches in Nigeria do have their issues as well.
      The most important thing as my mama used to say, ‘go where you’ll find your God and be filled with the Spirit and do not allow the weaknesses of your fellow man draw you away from your goal.

  27. Jokers

    May 2, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Please go to any church you like,God will always fill his church.Pull them down hate filled children,after all Senegalese​ jollof is better than Nigerian.Shioor

    • Fisayo

      May 3, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Weird thing is…you totally sound like the one who’s “hate filled”.

  28. person

    May 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    This article is so on point. The first Nigerian church I attended had a womanizer pastor who was begging to sleep with me after using style to collect my number in the name of welcoming new members. Second one was all abt contribute this and that money blablabla. I left in the middle of service. I cant go back to any Naija church in this America biko. I have sm1 constantly inviting me to one and when I say no he tells me “aah these oyinbo churches cannot pray the kind of prayer we need o. you know we are from Africa and the spiritual problem is very serious” lol. I stick to my “American church” where I can dress comfy and just be myself – nobody cares if you wear jeans and slippers. Also no extra long services. Aint nobody got time for that.

    • aj

      May 3, 2017 at 12:33 am

      lmaoooo you dont mean it! chai na wa for that pastor ooo.

  29. nwa nna

    May 3, 2017 at 12:12 am

    I once had the urge to attend a Nigerian church in diaspora but thank goodness I steered clear.. Gossip and over religiousness, I can’t deal with.
    Infinite hours of Sunday church service, no bueno.. Our hypocrisy carries right into our churches, I don’t have time for the look at me attitude or people acting like their shyte don’t stink because mine does 😀

  30. Ethio

    May 3, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Choi! So you people carry this our sentimental Nigerianness to the diaspora too? Negodu “Imo people fighting anambra people” Lmao!

  31. aj

    May 3, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Where is ATL’s Finest? I want to see her input on this!

  32. Ajala & Foodie

    May 3, 2017 at 2:00 am

    Aww you peps are not helping AT ALL!!! I am trying to push my hubby to allow us visit Nigerian churches a little bit more (really so we can make friends from our fellow country people). My hubby no wan gree, for the person that mentioned Dominion at Stafford TX, we have visited your church and while it is better than some other RCCG church we have had the misfortune of visiting. The competitive spirit is still very much present and felt even for us as guests. We have visited twice. The last RCCG we visited though left such a bad taste in our mouth. I have not experienced anything like that before in my life. People telling LIES in church, blatant, bold and terribly constructed LIES that even the biggest dullards can see is a lie just in a bid to keep up with who????
    I have since gotten over it but my hubby is not ready for another RCCG visit and me I want 9ja friends. I have never attended (regularly) a 9ja church or even an African American Church (not my taste). Nevertheless, I know that’s where I need to be to meet more Nigerians. My church is too big and the Nigerian population too small. This write-up and the comments are not encouraging at all.

    • Manny

      May 3, 2017 at 3:00 am

      Don’t be discouraged. I’ve attended a multicultural church, a predominantly white church and a Nigerian church at different points in my life. They all filled different needs. For the past 2 years, I have attended a RCCG. I loved my oyinbo church but I yearned for Nigerian-ness. I wanted Nigerian friends. Not that my non-Nigerian friends weren’t good but sometimes you want friends that have similar experiences as you. Anyway, I decided to start attending a RCCG and even joined a house fellowship.
      Yes, if I look and listen enough, I see all those competitiveness, showing off etc. But I don’t listen and I don’t look except to amuse myself. I sought out good people and trust me, not every Nigerian is shallow. If your antenna works well, you can tell who is not worth it from a mile off. I wear my jeans to church. I don’t care. Yes, my church has a lot of young people and they dress well but I can’t kill myself. I do what I want to do. I have cut off gossip and yes, I have also listened to gossip. What is life without some gossip?
      Maybe you can start by alternating. Go to a Nigerian church once a month, make eye contact with people, introduce yourself. Your friends will come.

    • slice

      May 3, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      How did you get all these from one or two visits tho.

  33. Team oyinbo church

    May 3, 2017 at 2:45 am

    Please don’t push him. I tried to push mine to but he refused. After few years, I was happy he refused bcos most of my friends that are attending naija church always come up with different pathetic stories. Even the bibleland(Sunday school) for kids, you can’t compare the content of oyinbo church to naija church. Nigeria churches are just ‘eating’ the tithes, they don’t build good standardized program for kids.

  34. bunmi1

    May 3, 2017 at 4:01 am

    I got to the States early this year and i can tell you the level of hypocrisy in RCCG is alarming!
    Unnecessary and irrelevant celebrations, little time for spiritual matters and list goes on…

    Ensure your relationship with God is firm and pray always irrespective of the church you attend.

    There is no church in heaven. There is a saying in yoruba which goes thus…. ‘Orun lo mo eni ti oma la’ in lay man’s explanation ‘Heaven knows its true candidates’

  35. Godspower

    May 3, 2017 at 4:18 am

    This writer has hastely generalized his/her experience. There are still churches with Nigerian pastors that are still rendering account and uplifting members spiritual lives. Unfortunately these churches and there pastors are not on the television and Internet. We must not give up on serving God because few churches and so called men of God are not getting it right. Do a diligent search for the right place where God is truly worshipped because not all places of worship are places of true worship. I have attended church services in Nigeria, South Africa and the United States where Nigerian pastors are presiding ministers and was blessed. One thing I noticed is that many Nigerians that travelled abroad do out of frustration and desperation start churches with knowing the basic tenets of ministry. They end up bringing the name of the Lord into disrepute.

    • Uloma Ezirim

      Uloma Ezirim

      May 3, 2017 at 10:46 am

      True Godspower but remember the writer did say her current church is getting it right. It is well with all of us.

  36. Tobi

    May 3, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Bless your heart, Uloma.
    I can relate. I’ve attended my fair share of Nigerian churches that had me vowing to never go back.
    I now attend RCCG Jesus House DC, which quite frankly is a breath of fresh air.
    They keep to time, don’t sing old school or unscriptural songs that have me cringing in my seat. There’s quite a lot of transparency.
    It’s not perfect of course but I can tell you that it’s LEAPS and BOUNDS better and more practical.
    So, if you’re in the DC or MD area on a Sunday, try it out.

  37. Chan

    May 3, 2017 at 7:50 am

    True word. In a church in London, the visiting Nigerian pastor based in the US was berating the church members who had BMW X5s and other luxury cars for not coming to the airport to pick him up. Pastors now feel like demigods. No humility whatsoever

  38. Tee baby

    May 3, 2017 at 8:07 am

    This is a great article and I couldn’t agree more with Kiki’s points. There are far too much cultural themes being applied in Nigerian / African churches that it makes one wonder if it is a deliberate attempt to keep non-natives out! If you are in a that feels like a cult and you get palpitations at the thought of even mentioning leaving to another church and servitude is the main lingua franca,then I sugYevaluate your position

  39. why?

    May 3, 2017 at 8:17 am

    BN you’re so rude and unfair………if I have to take time out of my busy schedule to write down a comment, you better post it! This is why I stopped commenting. I wonder what your criteria for approving comments are because I didn’t say anything wrong. Your attitude really sucks! You need to get over your damn self. Jeez!

  40. Nuna

    May 3, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Thank God I attend the Catholic church. All this unnecessary headache is not for me abeg

  41. Anonymous

    May 3, 2017 at 9:04 am

    If you must succeed abroad, stay away from Nigerian churches.

    • Observer

      May 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

      I can’t agree more with this statement. They can pull you down and I am talking from experience. They will take your time and your money and still want more. I can write a whole book on my experiences but will leave it to another day. The worse is when the Pastor is referred to as ‘our Mummy’ and Daddy, yet you are the one expected to open your purses and bless them always…. infact, I cant go on. The matter pains my heart. Also, when their birthdays have more celebrations and relevance than the reason whey we go to church., Jesus.

  42. Churchgoer

    May 3, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I totally agree with this article. When you walk into a Nigerian church abroad, consider yourself transported back to the motherland. The drama that pervades the church at home duplicates itself here too. As for the shout out for Jesus House DC. I will never step foot in such a church again. What breath of fresh hair? It’s the same annoying drama where people put up a show. I attend a multic cultural church and could not be happier. Spread your wings Nigerians in diaspora.

    • I Just Waka Come

      May 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Chill lollll. ‘Breath of fresh air is subjective’. You have no idea what her previous experience in her other church was like. For example, if you were living under a bridge, ‘face me I face you’ would be like a mansion now, gerrit?

  43. I love Shea butter.

    May 3, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Religion matters,Nigerian Christians and Muslims are so guilty of these. Even asalatul you can write a book over it. It’s a pity some don’t worship anymore we go to churches or mosques for pics,competition and gossips. “Only God knows who worships Him” I think religion issues happen everywhere. There’s this soap opera Greenleaf. You guys have to watch it. To know what i’m talking about!For me I pray at home,read my holy book and God answers my prayers. No qualms! I can’t stand drama abeg!

  44. Idomagirl

    May 4, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I could have written this article.
    I wasn’t even in America, but this was my experience too.
    I refused to attend any predominantly Nigerian church, apart from the things you listed, some other things that annoy me: the eye service/worshipping of the pastors and their wives. Ugh.
    Also the self-righteousness and the judgement.

    The multicultural church I attended was so simple, from dressing to the service to the way we related with the ministers and everyone else.
    In that church Jesus was fully the centre because all this extra nonsense that Nigerians bring isn’t present to distract you.

  45. Jyde

    May 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Very nice article. I have attended 1 or 2 Naija churches here in CA and I do not see myself going back there. I attend an Oyinbo community church and I am awed by their love to humanity and faith in God. To pray the Naija way, I watch CLAM every Wednesday live on Youtube. Always a great balance and mix of both worlds.

  46. Ch

    May 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Definitely a Nigerian thing no matter where you are. I attended a multicultural church (people from different African countries) in So’ton while I was doing my Masters and it was wonderful. Fast forward to when I moved to London after I got a job and I attended a Nigerian Pentecostal church (predominantly Yoruba). Stressful is an understatement. There was so much bickering among people, people sleeping with each other unashamedly, gossiping, accusations and counter-accusations, etc. The drama was just too much for me to understand, my spiritual life was suffering. After about 18 months, I started looking for another church but it was such a relief when I had to relocate to Nig.

  47. Xtie

    September 14, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    This is an interesting article, I came upon this as I was researching for a church to attend and become a member.
    I am born again, came to the US about 12 years ago. I got born-again In RCCG, and started attending one here, however there was only one parish in my neighborhood. I did not like it at ALL, just like you described and more!!! There is always someone selling outside the church, you only get invited to parties if you have been wearing “owanbe” and looks rich even though majority are doing caregiver job and pay with credits. The pastor was my main reason for leaving, if you have a good job like a doctor he will give you position within 2 weeks to encourage to stay and of course big tithe. I left for a multicultural church for 7 years, but lately I have been thinking of going back unfortunately there are RCCG everywhere now with mediocre Pastors, they can’t preach a damn thing. I believe in pastor Adeboye, unfortunately there is too much autonomy given to the pastors and using RCCG logos. The every 5 km parish of RCCG is not working here in on my opinion, there should be new leadership in North America. Half of the parishes I know have an average of 10 people or less and you have children sometimes leading the choir. I have decided to go to a First Baptist Church that is multicultural, I won’t have a choice if I was living in Nigeria, but I do now.

    I know there are some Nigerians churches that are good, we just need deliverance from Nigerian mentality, bad environmental and social norms we have grown accustomed to, making heaven should be the focus. IT IS WELL!

  48. Washabi

    May 13, 2018 at 6:38 am

    It is such a real description…
    And what about some naja pastors in Italy trying to make money out their own countryfellows. Most of them concerned about the religious form of spirituality but really connected to God during the week. The pastors don’t do that much to stop their flock to do wrong things.
    And many still using juju to ruin people and this is a practise that comes from the darkness of Satan.

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