At 71, Augustus Olakunle Macaulay, professor of theology surely didn’t bargain for the heartache he has had to suffer lately. Macaulay, who grooms pastors at the United Bible University (UBU) , a theology school in Ojodu Lagos, happens to be the father of the infamous gay pastor, Rev. Rowland Babajide Macaulay, who has been in the news lately. http://nm.onlinenigeria.com/templates/?a=13777&z=12
Rowland’s ministry, House of Rainbow – touted as the first ever gay church in Nigeria – operates from an apartment at Block 145 Jakande Estate, Isolo in Lagos . The church is home to homosexuals, bisexuals, lesbians and ‘trans-genders’, who gather regularly in worship, albeit covertly.
During his sermons, Rowland maintains always that being gay is “totally acceptable” in God’s eyes. He misinterprets the Bible by quoting several portions to justify homosexuality and lesbianism, which the holy book actually forbids.
After P.M. News exposed the gay church in its 12 September, 2008 edition – the outcome of four weeks undercover coverage of its activities – the pastor and his congregation disappeared, due to wide public condemnation that trailed the revelation. Rowland, a 42-year-old UK-trained lawyer reportedly travelled abroad, apparently to escape the heat generated by the scandal.
While Rowland is relaxing abroad, his septuagenarian father has been the one bearing the brunt of his (Rowland’s) ‘sins’. Reason: the gay church – House of Rainbow – before it ran into a hitch, held a programme to mark its second anniversary inside a hall at the theology school which the elderly Macaulay co-founded and is currently the Director of Studies.
For hosting the gay’s church anniversary, the theology school has since been associated with the sect, thus tainting its image. But Prof. Macaulay has swiftly denied any relationship between the theology school and the gay ministry. He also denounced recent newspaper reports (P.M. News not included) which insinuated that the UBU was the gay church’s permanent place of worship.
At a media briefing called by the university on Tuesday, Prof. Macaulay distanced himself and the school from the gay church. He explained that, the hall in question is usually rented out to other churches for their programmes, so House of Rainbow merely hired it for its anniversary programme. And at the time, no one knew it was a gay church, otherwise it would have been denied the use. According to Rowland’s father, until the media exposed the church’s actvities, he never knew his son is the pastor of a gay church, even though he knew he was gay.
The gay pastor’s father later answered questions from reporters, where he condemned Rowland’s gay practice, and described the trauma his defiant second son has brought him and his family
Q: Why did the United Bible University allow the House of Rainbow, a gay church hire its hall for worship?
A: I do not know that House of Rainbow is a church of homosexuals. Prior to the holding of the 2nd anniversary service here, I did not know his church was for gay people; but I know he was gay. I mean, being a gay doesn’t mean that he should pastor a church of homosexuals. Because I’m a father to Rowland; I counselled and prayed for him, and I tell him to make his church a church of all people; because I’ve never seen a church of prostitutes or of armed robbers; I’ve seen a church of God ! So I do not know – and I’m saying it in the open – that my son’s church was that of homosexuals. My position is very clear; I’ve made it known to my son, to my family, and to everybody, that I stand against homosexuality and lesbianism. I’m a Bible teacher, the Bible condemns the act; and I keep what the Bible says.
Q: Any proof that you sincerely allowed the church’s programme without knowing it was for gay people?
A: I would show you something that would convince you (brandishing receipts and application letter by the gay church) that House of Rainbow paid N20,000 for the two- day programme. The normal fee is 15,000 per day (N12,000 for rent, and N3000 for cleaning,); but House of Rainbow said they would clean, so they had to pay N12,000. But, because he is my son I told him to pay N10,000 for each day.
Q: Do you regret allowing the gay church use your hall for its programme?
A: I do not regret; because I did it with plain mind. I did not support House of Rainbow as a church of homosexuals. I had the impression that it was a church for all people. And the invitation I got was that of the 2nd anniversary of the church, and that was the impression I had before I allowed it here. If I knew it was a church of homosexuals I would never have allowed it. I had the impression that his church preaches Christ, and that is what my child tells me every time. I tell him: preach Christ, evangelise, and bring people to your church, and he assures me that is what he is doing! And I still believed him that that was what he was doing, until the media reports came out.
Q: At what point did you discover your son was gay, and what have you done to dissuade him from the practice?
A: I got to know about it in 2003 when I went to London . I went into his room and I found some books that looked funny to me; and I called his brothers and sisters and reported it to them. They knew about this before me, but they were all afraid to tell me. When I eventually knew, I rebuked him as a father; I did not talk to him for a month while I was in London; but when I considered it that I would lose him to Satan if I allow him to go, I called him back, and ever since that time, I’ve been talking to him . I want you to know that since 2003, the issue has turned my family upside down, and I’ve never been a very happy father. I don’t pray it happens to you, you would appreciate what I’m saying (his voice now laced with emotion). Ever since I decided that I don’t want to lose him, I brought him back to myself; and I’ve been talking to him, every time I see him I talk to him, I pray with him. I’ve been praying for him and counselling him, and I believe strongly that one day, God will touch him, and he would change.
Q: Since the scandal broke, have you seen Rowland, what steps have you taken?
A: That is a saddening thing that is difficult for a father to say. I have not seen my son. It’s been very embarrassing to me since the report. I was not around, I was away to Owerri, and I went from there to Uyo; I spent about three weeks there. I didn’t even see the papers until I came back to Lagos . So it’s a very sad thing; I’ve not seen him, he has not called me.
Q: With the trauma Rowland brought you, do you regret having him as your son?
A: I still maintain that Rowland is my son, I cannot deny him because he’s a gift from God. I respect him as a son but I don’t support what he’s doing; I don’t regret anything. Rowland is a son I respect, he’s an intelligent person; but I don’t support what he’s doing. So, there is a difference between loving my son and loving what he’s doing!
Q: Do you think Rowland’s upbringing in London influenced him to his gay tendencies?
A: It’s difficult for me to say; he’s the only person who can answer this question. Because believe you me, it was in 2003 I got to know about this thing and you can see how frustrating that can be. I won’t be able to answer this; it’s still a riddle to me.
Q: What kind of training did you give your son as a father?
A: Well, if I have five children and I train them and my first son is a chartered accountant with Cambridge University , and he doesn’t misbehave, and the third son is an engineer in London and he doesn’t misbehave, why do you want to blame me for just one person that is influenced by the western world that allows all these things?
Q: Tell us about Rowland’s family?
A: He has a son, Tosin, who’s 16 years old; he’s in London . He had him from the wife he married (declined to give the wife’s name, and didn’t say if they are still married).
Q: Where is Rowland’s mother and what’s her feeling about the whole matter?
A: The mother? I think you want to send her to her early grave. The mother is in London , I wish you could understand what my family is going through; the elder brother told me he would never talk to him. I still have that problem to solve. It’s a very serious matter.