Why Fiolina left Apostle Elkana’s church in a huff


The last time we differed and Fiolina went back to her place was when I caught her with Apostle Elkana, praying in a not-so-prayerful manner.

Photo credit: John Nyagah | Nation Media Group

Like all wives, Fiolina, the happy, lucky laugh of my envious life, has always been closer to God than I. She has always been a steadfast member of Apostle Elkana’s THOAG (The Holiest of All Ghosts) tabernacle assembly, and has served the church in various capacities, including chief usher, secretary, youth leader, Sunday school teacher, among others. I have never really liked her deep engagement in church affairs for, deep down, I have never really trusted Apostle Elkana, and it is not for what you are thinking.

In fact, if you have been following our rich history, you will remember the several times we have quarrelled with Fiolina over her excessive involvement in church affairs at the expense of me and the family. In fact, the last time we differed and she went back to her place was when I caught her with Apostle Elkana, praying in a not-so-prayerful manner. That never moved her far from church, even after she returned.

So, when I rejoined church fully last month, I was very sure that I would get lots of support and encouragement from Fiolina, and that she would guide me and help me move closer to God.

 “Are you serious?” she exclaimed the day I told her that I was now born again and ready to serve God. I told her I was serious and that she should always remind me to keep to the straight and narrow path to heaven. Initially, she supported me and advised me, but in her eyes, I could read that she thought this was just a passing cloud, and I would soon be back to my old ways. She would suggest Bible verses to read every day, and whenever I read any part, she would be quick to help me interpret it and apply it to the real world.

Problems started the day Apostle Elkana co-opted me to his church’s Exco (executive committee) and told everyone that after him, I was the senior-most person in the church, his deputy of sorts. He would call me later, saying he had something to discuss with me.

“Your wife, Fiolina, is an acting member of Exco, though not fully,” he started, and I wondered where the conversation was headed. “I think it will be unfair for both of you to sit in Exco. I suggest that we drop her.”

I asked him why.

 “It is simple: conflict of interest. It is not good for a man and his wife to be in Exco. Many people will start calling us a family church.”

Without seeking my opposition, he asked me to go inform Fiolina that she will be dropped from Exco and her position taken by me.

That evening, I waited until we had supper before I broached the topic.

“I need us to discuss something that affects us and the church,” I said.

She told me to proceed.

“What!” she exclaimed when I told her that we planned to remove her from the Exco.

 “What is the reason? Give me a good reason.”

I told her it was about conflict of interest and the need to practice good governance.

“Do you Apostle Elkana and his wife are both in the Exco? Is that not conflict of interest?” she asked.

I told her that I would ask Apostle Elkana that. She then started laughing loudly. I asked her what she was laughing about.

 “It is just funny”, she said, “that you, who joined the church the other day, you who cannot quote any Bible verse. You, who still goes to Hitler’s secretly, is considered a better Christian and deserving to sit in Exco at the expense of me; a born-again Christian who has served God and the church for over seven years. You and Apostle Elkana must be smoking something.”

 “No, Fiolina, I have been a Christian all along, and also, I no longer go to Hitler’s,” I said.

 “Maybe say you no longer go there openly,” she said. “I am your wife, and I know everything you do, everything. Just because you hide does not mean no one knows. Do not act like it didn’t happen.”

I promised to call the Apostle to ask him about his wife sitting in Exco. I called him immediately. After preliminaries and finding out about each other, I broached the topic of why he wanted to drop Fiolina from Exco but keep his wife if we indeed were talking about good governance and avoidance of conflict of interest.

“So, you haven’t been here for even a month, and you want my wife dropped from Exco, right?" he asked me. “You and Fiolina are mere members of this church. We founded this church together with my wife, and she really worked hard and earned her membership to Exco. In short, Dre, this is our business. My wife and I are the owners, while you and Fiolina are employees. We cannot be treated the same. Am I clear?”

I couldn’t tell Fiolina that, and just said we agreed to discuss the matter further with the Apostle the next day.

“Did you convince your wife?” was the first question Apostle asked when we met the next day. I told him I had started the discussions but had not finished.

 “What kind of discussions are you having with her? You were merely to inform her that we were removing her from the Exco with immediate effect.”

He laughed loudly when I told him that my wife was a mature woman with whom I needed to discuss and convince, not just inform.

“That’s not true, Dre. Women are just big children. You don’t reason with them, you direct them.”

Last Tuesday, when he heard I was in school, he passed by, and as we talked, he removed Fiolina from the Exco WhatsApp group.

Within minutes, Fiolina started calling me incessantly but I did not pick up the phone. I arrived home to find a raging Fiolina.

“So, why were you seeking my opinion if you were going to remove me, anyway?” she asked.

I tried to tell her it was not my decision, but she told me everyone knew I was the deputy of the church, and the only person Apostle Elkana listens to.

In protest, she exited all the church’s different WhatsApp groups. Last Sunday, to my surprise, she did not accompany me to church. Later on, I would learn that she went to a new evangelical church in Mwisho wa Lami market. She came back on Monday evening.

 “Nimewaachia THOAG yenu na Elkana,” she said when I asked where she had been. We haven’t talked since then.