#BounceExclusive: Automatic Tithing! ATM At Bakare’s Church Sparks Controversy
Pastor Tunde Bakare preaches that the Bible is the eternal and inviolate word of God.
But on some non-spiritual matters it appears he is willing to change with the times.
The Latter Rain Assembly has over 20,000 members and it was founded 28 years ago. Sermons are available as podcasts and technology has been accepted and embraced.
Bakare appears to have waded further into the 21st century than most fishers of Nigerian souls.
This can be seen with the use of Point of Sales (POS) machines to collect offerings and the installation of an Automated Teller Machine in the church.
The move has been raising eyebrows in some quarters of society with some members of the public arguing that it could be another method by the church to squeeze money from the pockets of its members.
Many believed Bakare came up with the idea just after he kicked off a multi-billion church building project, but noticed that few people seemed to keep cash in their wallet for the collection bag.
Located in Oregun, just beside the NNPC Filling station the proposed project “The Citadel” is the new ultramodern worship center of The Latter Rain Assembly.
The state of the art building consist of a 5,000+ auditorium, annexes, atrium, library, food court and other facilities. The structure sits on a 3-level basement parking, retaining walls with ground floor and additional 4 suspended floors and galleries with a helipad.
The controversy over the installation of the ATM in the church was first raised by a member who went online to express his displeasure with the move.
The member with the name Che Oyinatumba had wrote on his Facebook wall: ATM on wall of Bakare’s Church, inside there are POS for offering. I am inside the main auditorium, seeing him live and not watching projector. Malachi 2:7 is his chant for today. Oya, let me concentrate
See Oyinatumba’s post:
When our correspondent visited the church on Akilo Road on Tuesday, Pastor Bakare could not be reached and none of the senior members of the church was willing to speak concerning the matter officially.
However, a church member who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity defended the move, noting that there was no controversy over the matter.
"I like the idea. I mean it's convenient and I don't have to rush to the bank in the morning before church.
"I can just use the one in the church if I need the cash for a tithe or offering."
He said people have misunderstood the good intention of the church as the ATMs also serve people resident within the community.
Checks by Bounce News revealed that the two ATMs in the church are the only ones in the neighborhood of over 500,000 residence.
Other ATM's are either in Ogba or Guinness bus stop. A distance of about 1.5kms.
A probe by Bounce News further revealed that a number of churches have installed POS and, ATMs on their grounds to offer 'more options' to members of their congregation who may want to make their contributions to the churches.
These are the realities of our times.