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Nollywood stars turned Pastors
Although, many have criticised their decisions to embrace Christ, blaming such decisions principally on the turn of events in their lives, it is not out of place today to come across celebrities who have become preachers of the Word.
From Eucheria Anunobi to Zack Orji, Ndidi Obi, Pat Attah, Ernest Azuzu and many others, it has been a steady influx of fire-brand celebrity Pastors into the Vineyard of God. But the question on the lips of everyone is whether these celebrities have found true happiness after all, and if they do, how much has the pulpit paid off, in place of dumping their flourishing careers in acting for the work of God. Like the Biblical saying, “When we come to the Word of God and we pray over His Word, when His Word shines on us, we are exposed and emptied of any other thing.”
Ex-President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria,AGN, Zack Orji can be described as “a gentleman without blemish.” This, no doubt informed his decision to become a worker in the Vineyard of God. Zack Orji ordained a full-time evangelist by Bishop Emma Isong of Christian Central Chapel International (CCCI).
He is said to have dedicated his time to preaching the gospel of good tidings across the nations of the world. The veteran actor has been spotted in such cities as Abuja, Nasarawa and Makurdi where he is engaged in various evangelical activities. But this, however, has not stopped him from storming the celebrity hangout, in Surulere to fraternize with his friends and colleagues in the movie industry.
In fact, Eucheria Anunobi’s conversion was the most talked about conversion to Christ in recent times. The actress who ruled the screen in the early 90s with her role in the film “Glamour Girls” has been trailed with many controversies and scandals, most of which bothered on her relationships and crashed marriage. But after many years of being in the news for the wrong reasons, Eucheria shocked her fans when she announced she had given her life to Christ. Few months after the announcement, UK was ordained at the Fresh Oil Ministry, Egbeda, Lagos, as an evangelist.
*Eucharia displaying her certificate after her ordnation
Interestingly, with her ordination which was performed by Pastor Psalm Okpe, Eucharia willed the power to preach as a pastor and she’s doing so, without looking back. Those in the know said, she already counsels youths in the church and travels at random to spread the gospel of salvation.
This, however, has not taken away some of the traits that made her fans term her “a bad girl” before her transformation. She is still flashy and daring. Just weeks after the ordination, Eucheria bought a brand new BMW X5. Severally, she has refuted reports that she has abandoned her acting career for the work of God. Instead, she pointed out that she would be choosier in accepting roles in movies.
Pat Attah? That play boy actor who broke the hearts of many ‘Nollywood babes’ during his time, and left as soon as the ovation was loud. The once-upon-a-dreadlock-turned clean cut actor, is currently based in Hamburg, Germany where he’s winning souls for Christ. Those in the know said, he does not preach in churches, rather he is now very much a born-again.
Many knew him before he left the shores of the country as one who was close to the ladies and in love with the bottle. Today, reading his posts online, one would acknowledge the fact that Pat is a new creature in Christ. He often uses social network sites including Facebook to deliver his sermon and messages to those who care to read them. But what we don’t know is how he has been faring over there.
Elizabeth Benson, popularly known as Liz Benson used to be the toast of many lovers of Nigerian films and TV series. Her journey into stardom began when she appeared on the set of the popular television soap opera, Fortunes, in 1993. Liz Benson played the part of Mrs. Agnes Johnson in the soap, which ran for about two years on the NTA. After that, she acted in various TV series and many movies.
In 1994, her role in Glamour Girls, a very successful home video that focused on prostitution, literally changed her fortunes. The movie shot her into prominence and soon, she became a subject of many scandals and controversies, forcing her to disappear from teh scene, in order to rebrand herself. But as luck would have it, she got married to her Bishop Great Emeya husband in 2009, at the Rainbow Christian Assembly in Warri, Delta State. She has since been ordained an evangelist in the church. Presently, she runs the church with her husband.
Charles Okafor who staged a comeback to Nollywood recently in Uche Jombo’s film, “Misplaced” after disappearing from the radar is also one of the actors that are winning souls for Christ. He used to act alongside Saint Obi, Zack Orji and Richard Mofe Damijo and has made a name for himself before disappearing from the scene.
The UNIPORT trained actor who starred in such films as Forest of Promises, Ocean Deep, Across the River, Between Love, Boiling Point, and Executive Connection, worked briefly with the Security and Exchange Commission, before resigning to go into full time acting. Recently, he was spotted at a filling station around Isolo area of Lagos, and from the way, he looked, the handsome actor has surely given up the things of this world.
Okechukwu Ogunjiofor is known to be the founder of Nollywood. He produced the film, Living in Bondage which gave birth to Nollywood. With the explosion of this movie in 1992, Nollywood prides itself today as second to the largest movie industry in the world after 20 years of its existence. But this man who started this innovation engage himself more in other aspects of movie production. He hardly features in movies but appears on special arrangement. He has since reconciled himself with his maker. Today, he is not only a preacher of teh Word, he is also House of God. He is also a motivational speaker and unknown to many, Paullo as he’s fondly called by his fans is an author of many Christian literature.