When Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and Anita Ebhodaghe announced their divorce, they left members of his church, Christ Embassy, shocked. But what led the seemingly perfect couple to divorce?
The Nigerian minister Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and his then wife, Anita Ebhodaghe, seemed to have the perfect marriage when rumors about a divorce started circulating in 2014.
The couple, which was married in 1991, had not been attending events together for a year. That made people wonder what was going on behind closed doors.
Members of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s church, Christ Embassy, reached out to him on social media to hear what was going on, but the minister did not give any response.
As the rumors continued, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome addressed them in May 2014. He said that Anita Ebhodaghe, who was also a pastor at Christ Embassy, did not share his vision of the church.
He also stated that he did not like that she was around people who did not believe in him and his church.
Anita Ebhodaghe leaves Pastor Chris’ church after divorce
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and his then wife, Anita Ebhodaghe, were separated in 2014. Two years later, the divorce was final.
After the divorce, pictures of Anita Ebhodaghe were removed from the church’s websites, and she is no longer part of Christ Embassy.
She made that clear in a message on her website in 2016.
“It has been brought to my attention that there are persistent rumors and misinformation about my marital status being circulated, and I would like to address certain reconciliation rumors with this statement. Further to the formal notification of the dissolution of marriage made by my solicitors earlier this year,” she wrote and continued:
“Please note that this has not changed, and I am no longer a part of Christ Embassy aka Believer’s LoveWorld or any such organization in any capacity. I am reiterating this to ensure that no one is misled by the false rumors or unfounded statements that show up and are spread from time to time on the internet. Any additional statement concerning me will be issued by my solicitors, who are my legal representatives, so please do not be deceived.
Thank you and God bless.
Pastor Anita Schafer formerly Oyakhilome,” she wrote.
The fact that Anita Ebhodaghe used the name “Schafer” in the message made people wonder if she had remarried.
She has refrained from commenting on the rumors about a new marriage.
Despite reports about Pastor Chris Oyakhilome remarrying, he has not found a new wife.
13 million church members worldwide
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome is the founder and president of the Christ Embassy church, which he established in Nigeria in 1987.
Over the years, the church has grown to have about 13 million members worldwide, mainly in Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa.
The minister has spoken in sold-out venues all over the world, including London’s O2 Arena, the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg and the Black Star Square in Accra.
Several of his family members are also part of Christ Embassy. Among them are his sister, Kathy Woghiren, and his brother, Rev. Ken Oyakhilome.
Kathy Woghiren serves as the director of the LoveWorld Music and Arts Ministry, the musical arm of Christ Embassy. She is also the director of LoveWorld Creative Arts Academy and the chairman of LoveWorld Records Label.
Rev. Ken Oyakhilome is the pastor of the church’s branch in Houston, Texas and a member of the Christ Embassy Central Executive Council.
Daughter’s wedding: Pastor Chris attends while Anita Ebhodaghe is absent
Out of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and Anita Ebhodaghe’s marriage came two daughters: Carissa Sharon Oyakhilome and Charlene Oyakhilome.
While the latter is very private, Carissa Sharon Oyakhilome is part of the LoveWorld Music and Arts Ministry where she is writing and singing gospel songs under the stage name CSO.
She married the Ghanian businessman Phillip Frimpong in October 2018 at the LoveWorld Arena Lekki Church in Nigeria.
While her father was present at the wedding, Anita Ebhodaghe did not show up for the wedding.
She has not commented on why she did not appear at her daughter’s wedding, but it has been reported that Carissa Sharon Oyakhilome and Phillip Frimpong held a small ceremony in London, which Anita Ebhodaghe attended.
On April 29th, 2021, Carissa Sharon Oyakhilome gave birth to her and Phillip Frimpong’s first child, Arielle Rachelle-Marise. She is Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and Anita Ebhodaghe’s first grandchild.
“So thrilled with boundless joy to welcome my new baby granddaughter, Arielle Rachelle-Marise. We are all full of praise to the Lord for His priceless gift and grace through Sharon & Phil, parents of the newborn. Glory to God,” Pastor Chris Oyakhilome wrote on his social media platform, KingsChat, after the birth of Arielle Rachelle-Marise.