Conflict Resolution in Selected Christ Apostolic Church Congregations in Yorubaland, 1990-2000
The study examined conflict resolution in selected Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) congregations in Yorubaland between 1990 and 2000 A.D. It also identified the impact of the conflicts on the CAC congregations. In addition, the study examined the impact of the conflict on the general populace. This was with a view to unravelling the causes of schism in the CAC. The data were collected through interviews and church archival materials. Interviews were conducted with four church dignitaries who were directly involved in the conflicts in Yorubaland. Fifty CAC members consisting of five youths, ten men, ten women and twenty-five Pastors were purposefully selected to determine the negative and positive impact of the conflicts on the church. Church archival materials collected from various factions were analyzed. Archival materials of memoranda written by District Officers of Oyo Province during the formative period of the church were analyzed using phenomenological method. The results showed that causes of conflict in the Christ Apostolic Church included the violation of the church doctrine on monogamy; proven allegations that some prominent members were also members of secret cults; leadership struggle; and ethnic rivalry. Others were the refusal of some members' to yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit; establishment of private ministries within the CAC, which weakened the powers of the central administration; and the suspension and proscription of some ministries within the CAC. The conflicts led to division in the church and the emergence of various factions. In the view of the public, the CAC had deviated from the original plan and vision of its founding fathers. Conflicts resolution strategies adopted by the church included abrogation of monopolization of power by few members; developing good interpersonal relationship among leaders; educating church members to know and defend their rights; dialogue; prophetic consultation; and following biblical injunctions on living in peace with all men and women and forgiving one another. The study concluded that the conflicts in the CAC were largely traceable to leadership tussle and the inability to yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. With this understanding after seventeen years of conflict, the CAC was able to restore peace following the conflict resolution strategies adopted by the church.