The lead pastor of Fountain of Life Church, Lagos, Jimmy Odukoya, has defended his decision to wear dreadlocks, saying it does not affect his pastoral calling or violate the Bible.
Jimmy was last Sunday announced as the senior pastor of the church by the ministry’s board of trustees following the death of his father, Taiwo Odukoya in line with his wishes.
Shortly after his announcement as new pastor, social media users widely commented on his movie roles as an actor and his dreadlocks and looks generally.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Jimmy explained that several personalities in the Bible had long hair and beards.
He maintained that people’s personal opinions about his dreadlocks differ from what constitutes sin.
“As for my dreads, that matter is long. People don’t know that everything i do, i can back it up with scripture, everything I do is in the Bible. Let’s look at the Bible, do you want to tell me that long hair is wrong? You know God told Samson not to cut his hair. It’s still the Bible. That means, long hair is not a bad thing.
“About beards, the Bible said when they were torturing Jesus, they pulled his beard from his face. If Jesus did not have beards, which beards did they pull.
“Pastor is wearing earring? Go to the book of Exodus when the children of Israel left Egypt, they wanted to do golden calf, Aaron collected rings, earrings from the sons and daughters of Israel. If you like short hair, no problem,” said the pastor.
Jimmy maintained that regardless of his acting in Nollywood and Hollywood, God called him and he considers the new position a big responsibility.
Highlighting his pastoral journey, he said he started out pastoring the youth church of the ministry founded by his father since 2012.
” I was ordained as a minister since 2009, its not today. Then I was ordained as a pastor in this church, 2012. So 2012, I was the lead pastor of the youth church till about 2020,for those who know, they know and for those who don’t know, no problem but I’ve been in this ministry as a licensed minister since 2009,” Jimmy added.
The cleric maintained that nothing shakes him anymore having lost his parents, aunty, grand parents; describing them as the closest people in his life.
He eulogized his later father saying he embodied energy and vitality despite losing his two wives, his mum, Bimbo and his stepmom, Nomthi.
“I think through it all, my father, when he remarried, he said let’s move on with life but that one too, died.The constant in all of these is my father, he was a strong man, he was full of life and energy,” Jimmy said.
On whether he intended to abandon acting for full time ministry, his response was “once an actor is always an actor,” adding God will figure it out for him.
As announced by the board of trustees, Jimmy’s installation as his father’s successor will take place on September 30.