More information about Bishop Dag Heward Mills and his parish, Lighthouse Chapel, has been revealed.
Bishop Emmanuel Oko Mensah, one of the pastors suing the church, has disclosed that Bishop Dag attempted several times to persuade him to leave his wife.
He claims the Bishop went so far as to suggest that his wife is an impediment to his ministry work and that he should divorce her solely because she wanted to leave her job and work with the church.
Okoh Mensah claims he entered the church right after graduation from high school. That was his only job, and he gave it his all, working ridiculous hours that placed a strain on his marriage.
On top of that, the church, which was sucking up all of his time and not treating him well, wanted his wife to leave her job at SNNIT in order for her to attend the church.
When she declined, things began to go downhill.
Oko Mensah claims in a complaint filed at the Accra High Court that he was “unduly threatened by the Founder of the Defendant church to leave his wife because she was considered to be a stumbling block” to his job as a pastor.
Oko Mensah told the investigative journalism website The Fourth Estate that if he had marital problems and sought help from Dag Heward Mills, all he could say was to divorce his wife.
He says he even once told him that he should let her go and he would marry him to another woman.
“In 2018, when I was in Ouagadougou [Burkina Faso], I was called to come and move my family from the church premises. I moved my family and went to have a meeting with Dag before going back. Then he said, ‘Has your wife joined you?’ I said no. He said, ‘She is fighting your ministry; divorce her.’’’ Oko Mensah narrated.
He said that because of how little he was earning from his full-time church work, his family would go bankrupt if his wife quit her job to join him in the church. But no one knew, and he was relentlessly forced to leave her.
He remembered one instance in which Dag Heward-Mills openly insulted him in the presence of other senior church officials.
“Oko Mensah, you followed buttocks, you followed breast. I hope you are getting it to touch.” Heward-Mills sneeringly said.
Oko Mensah said that in the end, he had to choose between the ministry and his wife, and he had no alternative but to choose the latter.
“I resigned from Lighthouse because the leader, Dag Heward-Mills, told me to divorce my wife.” he said.
Oko Mensah has filed a lawsuit against the church, not only over the supposed neglect and embarrassment about his union, but also for failing to pay his social security payments for any of the years he served as a low-paid priest.