“Jesus’ shed blood should cover you.” It was the voice of Apostle Edward Somah, his face tense, teeth held together, his two hands clutched the holy writ in a room with other members who continued to shout for joy during a revival to deliver a woman who had been under the control of powers beyond human control.
“This is the day the Lord has made,” Apostle Somah shouted, his body shaking violently. It had been two hours now since the deliverance began.
Apostle Somah moved back and forth, his teeth held together, his voice booming and echoing in the distance.
“Lord, this woman is under the influence of the enemy,” he said, his hands trembling, the entire edifice shaking to its foundation. “We cannot allow the devil the chance to win.”
“Amen! Lord may you show your power,” the almost thirty five members of both sexes, chosen for the occasion, responded in a chorus. “This is our time, and this is your time.”
The four-room shack turned into a meeting place of the Holy Redeemer’s Church sat at the crossroad of Sopoh and Union Streets, outside Monrovia.
Elizabeth Woyee, being delivered by the church, had sowed seeds in Apostle Somah, and was practically broke. The promised deliverance out of her predicament never happened and this deliverance seemed to be the end of her trust in those claiming to be messengers of God.
Apostle Somah had insisted that heaven’s work was slow but sure. Having been under a curse for the last eight years, Elizabeth Woyee had become the joke of women she had disagreed with on flimsy issues. Her presence at Apostle Somah’s church was the last to allow some men of God to take her for a ride. Her husband of ten years had left her and she was at the end of her wits. The gospel song, ‘Lord, give me a new day,’ was her best companion.
Behind her back, she was referred to as ‘a witch,’ and some had been brave enough to point fingers at her. She had had to live with the humiliation, and it had forced her to weep on many occasions. In a community where everyone seemed to know each other, Madam Woyee could not remedy her suffering.
A day before she began her ordeal under the authority of Apostle Somah, the twenty seven-year-old apostle who seemed to have more problems than what the woman was facing, had asked her, “You must confess and sow seeds in the Lord.”
The apostle had tasted extensive travel in several West African countries and had been successful with material things, that he claimed came from God. After six years of self-imposed economic exile, he decided to return home to live with the garb of God.
While in Ghana, he was blessed with overflowing abundance of human beings interested in the work of God. The difficulty in life created conditions in which the Almighty was looked upon for help in every endeavor, while the devil was blamed for all misdeeds, unintentional and deliberate ones, of course.
With fasting and prayers, Apostle Somah had been able to lead many of the sick back to health; those who claimed to have been possessed by demons had been cured, and on several occasions, when jesters had protested against his miracles, he had quoted from the bible the portion that suggested that those who believed would even move mountains.
Many had made testimonies, to confirm the apostle’s abiding faith in the Lord.
It was Ghana that his fame as a man of God and a miracle maker gained considerable ground, and his church grew with the damned coming in their numbers to be saved from the impending doom that they saw awaiting them in the hereafter. But he had had some misfortunes that resulted in the losses and even deaths of several women who had entrusted their future into his hands.
Now that he was back in the land of his birth, and now that he had come across many of the damned, Apostle Somah felt sorry for them. At crusades where he was besieged by those whose lives had been torn apart by witches and personal enemies, Apostle Somah had stood up for them and had gained considerable material success, for many had sowed seeds with personal but useful items. His belief is that there is joy in the house of the Lord.
Many had wondered what Jesus or God would do with a personal computer, a television or a mobile phone, but his servant, Apostle Somah had said that the Lord’s servant should not be deprived of the necessities of life, because sowing seeds in the Lord’s vineyard was tantamount to taking care of the Lord, and would often quote: “I was hungry, and you looked after me, I was sick and you cured me,” which went well with his audience.
Now, as Apostle Somah looked down over Elizabeth Woyee, tears dripping onto his chest, his mind on that wonderful scene when the Lord Jesus wept upon hearing of the death of his friend Lazarus, his dear friend and child of God.
“I am a sinner,” Elizabeth Woyee told the man of God. The apostle then lifted his head and looked into the heavens, as if for some spiritual support, when the woman added, “It’s been hard on me.”
“I know,” the apostle said, “but I am seeing a revelation about some dark moments in your life and about a woman that I think is your sister.”
“My sister,” she said, and she began to cry, “I am guilty for causing her death.”
“The Lord is aware of your deeds,” the apostle said, “it is true you have said you killed your sister and now you are bearing the burden.”
“Yes,” she said, her head bowed in shame, tears filling her eyes, “I have not found life easy. There are more problems daily.”
“I know,” the apostle said, “now the Lord can heal you.” After her confession, the chance was open for her salvation from the abyss.
She was thereafter accepted by the church and the next day Apostle Somah began the process of invoking his Lord to free her from the curse, and what the apostle said was hanging overhead.
The apostle, supported by his church members, began to invoke God’s mercy upon her. The woman collapsed and shook involuntarily. One moment her body would lift from the floor and dangled in mid air, and the next moment, it would move towards the members, who were singing and praising the Lord.
“Ebalalalalalllllalalalalalalalala,” Apostle Somah chanted repeatedly, beads of perspiration formed on his brow. “Ebalalalalalalalallalalalalalalallalalal.”
“Amen,” the members cried in unison.
“I command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” the apostle shouted, as if to someone before him, “to release this woman and let the Lord’s will be done.” But as the man of God ordered the spirit to leave the woman’s body, she would respond in a man’s voice. The apostle would then spring a sizeable amount of holy water on her, and the trembling would suddenly cease.
This went on for two hours, and it was evident that the apostle would continue the battle till victory was won, or he would accept defeat.
The Holy Redeemer’s Church had lately won the hearts of people in the area as a representative of the true God, and Apostle Somah had been credited for casting out demons, spells and other ailments that had baffled medical science.
Now he must fight to deliver this woman under the devil’s control. The success of the deliverance would make Apostle Somah. But believing in the works that had been entrusted into his hands, Apostle Somah knew his personality, wrapped up in calmness and faith, would only survive after he had subdued the enemy.
Though it had been two hours since the prayers began, there were signs that the Lord was answering his request, and the devil or the enemy in the woman’s life was being defeated.
After a continuous back and forth movement, incantations and repeated instructions of, “Holy Ghost fire” and “I beseech thee…I beseech thee,” the woman at last lay calm, and her breathing began to soar higher and higher to the delight of all present.
Apostle Somah said, in a mild prayer, “Lord, for eight years this soul has been under the control of the devil. Now is the day you have made to let the devil know that you’re the king of the world.”
“Amen,” the congregation said in chorus, “Our Lord is able.”
Then a woman raised a popular song of the church, her voice shrill and picking up power, echoed the popular hymn:
“He didn’t have to do it, but he did…” and the rest of the congregation responded. The drums beat and hands clapped for thanksgiving.
There was a shout from a woman above the echoes of the others and the apostle, who had momentarily moved away from the patient, rushed to her assistance, reciting some verses from the holy writ. The bible was still clutched in his right hand, and a rosary of a cross, which had hung around his neck, now dangled on his left hand.
His face registered what could be described as pain, but it was evidently clear that he was communing with forces beyond the power of men. And he was almost beside the woman when he began to recite, “Owawawawawa….”
It was then that a scuffle at the entrance to the church was noticed, and three men, possibly plain clothed police officers, entered the building. After some difficulties, they got the apostle’s attention and sought an audience with him. Apostle Somah, after approaching the Lord in prayers, raised the popular song, “Papa Lord da you ooo…” before informing the congregation the tragedy that had befallen him before the three men took him away in handcuffs.
In was reported in local newspapers the next day that a notorious self-styled man of God had been nabbed by police officers in Monrovia. The arrested man of God, the news said, was wanted in several West African countries for the deaths of several women. He was also accused of making away with several thousands of dollars.
The name of the alleged man of God was Apostle Edward Somah.