On Sunday, the Board of Trustees of Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos announced Jimmy Odukoya as the Church’s new senior Pastor. Jimmy, the first son of late Pastor Taiwo Odukoya would replace his father who was the church’s founder and Senior Pastor, until his death. His sister Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun was also announced as associate pastor.

The announcement of Jimmy as his father’s successor has sparked reactions online. Some argue that the church was not a business and therefore, the founder’s son did not have to succeed him. This arguement has, however, been watered down, considering the legitimacy of Jimmy’s appointment.

An X (Twitter) user, Saint Dikachi had written “Family transition. Why not handover to another senior pastor that has served the dad”

In a rather strong expression of opinion, one Segs Adewole questioned the legitimacy of the church after Jimmy’s appointment.

“And who is the Jimmy Odukoya that is about to mount the pulpit in a place calling itself a church? The same man wears long hair, a thing which the Bible frowns against,” a part of his tweet read.

Jimmy Odukoya is not only an actor and Pastor Taiwo Odukoya’s son. Jimmy is also a pastor, alongside the many hats he wears. The fact that many only know him as a Nollywood Actor must have prompted the arguments online.

Jimmy Odukoya


In the video where his announcement was made, the church leadership made it known that the church carefully considered and prayed upon Jimmy’s nomination. He was thereby selected to succeed his father.

A journalist, Deborah Tolu-Kolawole, had this to say on X;

“Jimmy Odukoya didn’t just appear out of the moon to “succeed” his father.
Jimmy has always been a pastor and an actor. We have people who are pastors and who are also doctors, we have pastors who are also politicians; we have pastors who have chosen other paths of life alongside being pastors.
So why the outage against Jimmy ? Cause he was a son to the founder ? He is an actor or because he has dreads ?
I’ve even seen people saying that he was handpicked. You honestly believe the church didn’t pray ? Even if he was handpicked, are the members complaining ?”

Now that it’s evident Jimmy has stepped into his father’s shoes, one aspect that unsettles people regarding his newfound role at the pulpit is his appearance. Jimmy has crafted a distinct identity by allowing his locs to grow, cultivating a full beard, and developing his physique. Additionally, critics can’t help but notice his adorned jewelry.

Frequently, Nigerians perceive an appearance akin to Jimmy’s as a typical for a man of God, especially in a culturally aware society like Nigeria. Consequently, this has led many to question the authenticity of the selection process that resulted in his succession to his father.

This prompts the question: What should be the expected appearance of a man of God?

A typical man of God in Nigeria is expected to appear modest, in dressing, lifestyle and speech. In fact, some Nigerian churches forbid members of their workforce and the pastorate from grooming beards.

More recently, new generation churches and their pastors have begun to challenge the stereotypes attached to being a Christian or being a pastor. Many of them successfully merge being ‘cool’ with their spirituality. Hence, there are now more pastors with clean haircuts and a high fashion sense, actively in ministry.

Even in the midst of this evolving blend of appearance and spirituality, Jimmy’s look remains a point of discomfort for the majority of Nigerians. The primary factor behind this unease is deeply rooted in Nigerian cultural values. Many cultures within Nigeria have set standards regarding how men and women should present themselves, their attire, and behaviors. In contrast, Western countries may have differing norms; for instance, it’s commonly accepted for non-Nigerian men to wear dreadlocks and locs.

Years ago, Nigerians also had similar arguments over the looks of Popular American Pastor and Singer, Travis Greene, who pastors Foward City Church. Travis Greene wears a loc which he tints some of the time. His look did not seem too good for some Nigerians who have a different approach to what pastors and men of God should look like.

It would be great to consider what the Christain faith says about appearance here. Looking into the Bible, which is a primary guide for adherents of Christianity, one would observe that the Old Testament, particularly the Books of Moses, emphasized greatly on what men and women should wear and do. This is what informs the doctrines of many churches today.

However, according to the new testament the life in Christ is what is most important for anyone who is in the faith. This doctrine is what newer generation churches live by. Therefore, it is not impossible for find younger Christian men and women wearing jewelries, locs and trousers (for women), yet be spiritually sound.

For Pastor Jimmy Odukoya, what matters is the life in Christ. His communication with God about his appearance, even know that he is more in the public eye.

Don’t miss out on: BREAKING! Actor Jimmy Odukoya, Becomes Church General Overseer

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