Pastor Timi Adigun of MINE Teenage Ministry has reacted to the allegations that he sexually assaulted a number of the teens in his care.
It was claimed on Twitter that Adigun, who is the leader of The Ark Church, was involved in inappropriate sexual acts with his female teenage members for years.
The teenage ministry, an offshoot of his church, encourages sexual purity and even has a yearly “virginity day”.
However, while teaching them about sexual purity, he was not living up to his teachings.
The married pastor was also accused of molesting those who lived with him for over 5 years.
When Biodun Fatoyinbo's case went viral, Timi Adigun of Mine Teenage Ministry told his church members not to be talebearers or speak against a man of God.— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
Little did anyone know that he himself had been sexually abusing and harassing his female teenage members for years!
Timi Adigun runs a teenage ministry whose MAJOR core value is sexual purity. They run a yearly VIRGINITY day. If anyone should be caught in such a scandal, it should NOT be Timi Adigun. Not him.— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
"Oh, maybe it is not true".— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
Yes, maybe it is untrue but he and his wife suddenly shut down their church, The Ark, when news broke out. It may not be true but they cancelled all events till further notice.
May not be true but he has started another church lowkey in another name
It may not be true but comments are restricted on IG and people are getting blocked for asking questions.— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
May not be true but members are getting encouraged not to be "talebearers".
If you know anyone who was actively a member of the teenage ministry (whether teenagers or adults), please check in with them. I have spoken with a number of them in the last two months and those people are extremely hurt and broken. Too hurt.— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
The interesting thing is the members are only asking him to come out and address it. They want him to admit it, justice to be followed after and healing gotten for victims. That's what they are asking.— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
But he has refused to say NADA. He is even running giveaways on IG.
Oh, and his wife. The loving, meek, motherly Aunty Titi. His wife is also COMPLICIT. Knows about everything.— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
But well, they're talking about love on IG.
Jesus, you need to come back ASAP.
It is being claimed that the Popular pastor started the “Father Me” series where he encouraged people to submit to fatherhood, only for him to use the opportunity to allegedly molest those girls who took him as a father.
His female victims are reportedly “extremely hurt and broken”.
When his action was made public and members started demanding an answer, he reportedly closed The Ark Church and moved elsewhere to open another church.
The Mine Teenage Ministry which he superintends has also backed up these accusations via its official Twitter handle, and then claimed that his wife, Timilehin Adigun was aware of his actions and was “complicit”, shortly afterwards the post was deleted in a suspicious circumstances. But before it was deleted, a copy of the post was screenshot and it highlighted the Ministry’s official position in what looked like an ongoing internal power tussle in the Teenage ministry…
The official handle tweeted this some minutes ago. Now the tweet has been deleted. What is going on??? pic.twitter.com/NJT7bPw37s— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 10, 2020
Few days later the ministry released a more formal official position via its Twitter handle highlighting the ongoing internal power tussle in the ministry…
1. Based on the issue of sexual harrasment against Timi Adigun, the Coordinator of MINE Teenage Ministry, we hereby dissociate the message of the ministry from his actions— MineTeenageMinistry (@MINEministry) December 10, 2020
2. As a ministry, we stepped in to ask him to do the right thing, but our efforts were rebuffed.
3.Ever since the issue came up, he took over the social media accounts of the ministry, this is the only account we have access to.— MineTeenageMinistry (@MINEministry) December 10, 2020
4. We hereby announce to the general public that the message of sexual purity still stands irrespective of the action of the man that held a key position.— MineTeenageMinistry (@MINEministry) December 10, 2020
Journalist Akan Imoh also called him out stating that he and others investigated the allegation against the Pastor and everyone they spoke to ”confirmed” the story.
This is a Call Out!
1. I came back to Lagos some months back to find out that Ojodu Berger, my area was awash with rumours that one of the biggest teens ministry had scattered due to allegations of sexual harassment. This is a church that started in this area, and has grown to become the biggest teens movement in the country.
2. Pastor Timi Adigun, who founded MINE teens ministry was being accused of having abused not one, not two, but several girls in his ministry. This is a ministry that is built on the idea of sexual purity. In fact their biggest programme is tagged ‘Virginity Day’ where they have marches all around the country and even abroad to promote sexual purity.
3. I was shocked. In fact, I felt cold. This is because I so much respect this man, and his ministry. I have been a teen leader/counsellor in this area for close to 15years, and so, I feel deeply connected to this issue. I have taken teenagers to this ministry and confidently told them to join that this place would be best for them. I have invited him to my local church before to minister, and even pushed that he be invited to our national camp. So, nobody can tell me I’m that this isn’t my concern.
4. So, when I started hearing the rumours, I took steps to investigate. I had meetings with some of the top leaders in the ministry. I joined hands with two other journalists and we investigated the matter. We spoke with everyone who mattered, even up to the former pastors. Everyone confirmed the story. They were even urging is to go ahead and publish. We even created a Google form for former members to register their displeasure. You need to see the anger on that form.
5. The very annoying thing is that this man doesn’t seem like he cares. He just wants to move on. The last I heard is that he has started another church/ministry. Something called ‘Haven of Love’. Actually, MINE Teens Ministry was closed without any proper explanation. The church was also closed too.
6. You just throw teenagers into confusion. There’s too much anger on the streets. These guys have been hitting up my DM, and I wasn’t even a leader or a member of the ministry. They are confused and angry. Can you imagine, you’ve been telling these kids not to have sex till they get married, but then, you’ve been doing stuff with them in secret. Do you know how they would feel? Do you know how many of them are going all around looking for revenge sex?
7. Some of these teens can’t even tell their parents what went wrong. If parents hear, that’s the end for some of them. They will never be allowed to go out again. For some, it’s back to their boring parents churches where the messages are not targeted at teenagers. I remember one time, when I was still an executive in church. I and another teen leader went to see the mum of a girl we were trying to bring to church. The mum looked at us and shook her head saying we were young boys, and she can’t release her daughter to us. She asked us if we had heard of Timi Adigun and MINE Teens Ministry. That that’s the only church she can allow her daughter go to. Well, we sha carried our legs and left. Because she was right. We were just young boys. Who would want to leave their daughters with us. But look at where it ended. The place parents trusted.
8. If you’ve worked with teens before, you’ll know how frail they are. That is a very tender age for them. They want to be led right. Right now, they are just wondering the streets looking for what next to do. This was a ministry they called home. Right now, the flock is scattered.
9. It is things like these that make outsiders mock us as Christians, mock our pastors and our faith. These issues need not be swept under the rug.
10. What we are asking for is simple. We want Timi Adigun to come out and give an explanation. He can’t keep silent. See, to be honest, if you people know the respect I have for him ehn. I’m so willing to forgive him. That’s me, who’s not even a core member. Now, imagine, those who are his followers gan gan. All we want is for him to explain to us. Are these things true or not? Why was the church closed down?
11. If these things are true. These are what we want:
— An admission of guilt
— Public steps to change
— Therapy/Counselling for the girls involved
— Handover of the church leadership
Please, share this post as widely as possible. It needs to get to him.
Pastor Timi has now responded to the allegations.
He said he is “deeply sorry” to everyone his “actions and inactions have hurt”.
He added: “The truth is, I was involved in inapproprite behaviour with females over a couple of years.”
He continued: “I went against the sexual purity message I preach and believe in.”
He, however, stated that “there was no sexual intercourse with any” of the girls and “none was a minor.”
He exonerated his wife, saying: “My wife did not know about these actions while they happened.”
Read his full apology below;
Timi Adigun has just posted an apology on his personal Instagram account. What this is supposed to mean or where the church plans to go from here, I do not know but here you have it. pic.twitter.com/bYN8G5pyId— Her Excellency (@Orifunke) December 11, 2020