In the last 24 hours, a popular Nigerian-born UK pastor, Tobi Adegboyega, has come under intense scrutiny and criticism for attending Davido’s O2 Arena concert, vibing to his songs while spraying him wad of pounds at a London restaurant.
Before now, the cleric famous for donning designer apparel, bold gold jewellery, and choice cars was popular in the UK, where his church is domiciled.
Following the viral video, the question on the lips of many is who this pastor, whose ostentatious and unconventional lifestyle has sparked outrage on the internet.
Indeed no preacher in recent times has attracted as much attention as Mr Adegboyega, the leader of the NXTION Family, better known as Salvation Proclaimers Anointed church or SPAC Nation.
His church has been described as the fastest-growing church in the UK.
Mr Adegboyega started his pentecostal ministry, SPAC Nation, predominantly with youth members in 2008. The church prides itself on feeding its flock more than mere gospel but turning them from the nadir to the zenith of life.
It was previously situated in Croydon, South London, but no permanent church location exists.
The church holds its Sunday services at expensive hotels and Conference suites, which seems more like a rap concert than a conventional church gathering.
Interestingly, as unconventional as the church is, the sophisticated man of God seems no different from his church, as he has been enmeshed in all manner of controversies.
On May 20, 2020, Mr Adegboyega stepped down as Lead Pastor of SPAC Nation and handed over to Samuel Akokhia and Damy Balogun.
Defending the move in a video posted on the church’s Twitter account, he tweeted: “Handing over to the next generation is what Africans or churches must now learn. How do we talk about leadership without actually putting people in leadership and let us see their mistakes and how they grow?”
“I’m handing over a church that started with three people when I was 25 and has grown to over 1,000 people. It grew from the corners of Peckham when people told me that there’s no way we could grow.”
Who is Pastor Tobi Adegboyega
Mr Adegboyega hails from a family of pastors; he said his father and brothers were pastors during an interview with Praise Talk in London.
He said that he delivered his first sermon at eight.
Like many Nigerians who seek refuge beyond the shores of Nigeria, Mr Adegboya left Nigeria after training as a lawyer.
He went to London to seek a doctorate before God called him to become a pastor.
The celebrity pastor is also a cousin to British star actor John Boyega, with whom he reportedly shared a room when he arrived in Peckham South London in 2005.
In one of his interviews with Praise Talk, the pastor said that before he answered God’s call to be a pastor, he was into drugs and many other vices before God saved him.
His past antecedents inspired his church’s focus; he once stated that he initially created SPAC Nation for young blacks in London who were once criminals, prisoners, and gang members.
He also provides mentorship for people who have no family in the UK and suffer from depression. His famous members include Armstrong Martins, a former X-factor contestant, and Jade Edwards.
The church, described as a young, dynamic church, has over 55 per cent of young worshippers.
The dandy pastor has an exquisite taste for luxury as he often dresses head to toe in superfluity designer wear from head to toe, such as Guchi, Wesvetton, and Dior. He also rocks expensive pieces of jewelry
Like his high taste of fashion, Mr Adegboyega also has a high taste for luxury cars. He owns a Rolls Royce and a Lamborghini with a personalised number plate.
In 2017, Mr. Adegboyega bought an eight-bedroom house with its swimming pool worth 2.5 million Pounds at a private estate in Soho, London. In addition, he accommodates over 20 young homeless ex blacks in London, many of whom are allegedly ex-convicts.
The pastor also claimed to have similar size properties across London where he provides sundry aids for vulnerable young people, which his pastors run oversees the houses.
Speaking of his pastors, Mr Adegboyega has a group of young pastors below 30 years who work with him in his church.
His pastors, like him, live luxurious lives and drive expensive cars in London.
A BBC Panorama investigation accused Mr Adegboyega and other church leaders of financially exploiting church members.
Panorama interviewed members of the church who accused the church and suggested Adegboyega be held accountable.
The panorama later released a video of Adegboyega, quoted to say he believed it was “no big deal for members of the church to give at least £1,000 a month to the church, and that he needed to make £1 million monthly”.
Also, a church member, Nino, claimed the controversial pastor asked for £20,000, who said he needed it for an investment. At the same time, the church denied these allegations.
Again, in 2019, SPAC Nation was accused of pressuring youths to sell blood.
In January 2020, his church was accused of financial exploitation and fraud by Croydon North MP Steve Reed, but as of February 2020, the police said they would not launch a criminal inquiry.
Many other allegations of financial misappropriation, fraud, domestic abuse, sexual abuse have been raised against his church, SPAC Nation, and pastors of the church
A fan = Pastor Tobi Adeboyega of Spac Nation UK. https://t.co/KNFXhx4hzn
— Ozzy (@ozzyetomi) March 9, 2022
However, Mr. Adegboyega, in an interview with Sphere news, said that he started investing in cryptocurrency and a chain of African Food businesses in 2016.
He also noted that he is into Property Development, where he buys old and dilapidated buildings, renovates them, and sells them. Then, he said he pulled all the profit into the church.
On why he splurges on choice cars, the pastor in the same interview said he never bought or owned those cars.
Instead, he said they were businesses owned by people in the church he was advertising. Further explaining, he said, “If I drive them, I speak about them or their businesses, and people will patronise them. That is what has been happening. For example, the guy who designs for Louis Vuitton sends me stuff all the time and says, “just wear it” and talk about it.”
Reaction to viral video with Davido
The social-media-loving pastor addressed the latest controversy on his official Instagram page on Thursday.
The pastor responded to the backlash where he said that people insisted that the police probed him for spraying bundles of pounds notes for Davido.
He said he should have sprayed more if he was younger and urged people to focus more on themselves instead of him.
He said, “I think Nigerians should focus on inquiring about why the government and churches threw them into endless, perpetual poverty.”
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