Colour Symbolism in a Nigerian Church: The Case of Prophet/Evangelist Abiodun Oladele of the Overcomers’ Evangelical Ministries International (Ori-Oke Asegun)

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume IV, Issue XI, November 2020 | ISSN 2454–6186

Colour Symbolism in a Nigerian Church: The Case of Prophet/Evangelist Abiodun Oladele of the Overcomers’ Evangelical Ministries International (Ori-Oke Asegun)

Oluwasegun Peter ALUKO, Ph.D., Adenike Oluwabukola IREYOMI
Department of Religious Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

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Abstract:- Colour holds a specific significance in the life of people and plays a certain role even in the environment. Most people place emphasis on the colour they make use of in an everyday affair. On the religious scene, colour is also an important element in the day-to-day activities that churches place great emphasis on the kind of colour being used. One of the many churches is the Overcomers’ Evangelical Ministries International with its leader being an ardent user of a specific colour. Thus, this paper examines the colour symbolism in white and the charismatic leader’s preference for the white colour. It also assess the impact of the usage of the white colour on the charismatic leader and the church at large. The approach being employed for this paper is the descriptive phenomenological approach.


In most church buildings in Nigeria, one of the most eye-catching symbols is colour. This is because colour is the fundamental building block of visual symbols (Yu, 2014). Symbols, be itobjects, images, sounds,actions, gestures, utterances, and almost any other medium have a specific meaning they stand for(Eller, 2007, p.55).The meaning a particular colour gives to one person or a particular Christian denomination may be different from another based on interpretation and perception. And, just as a particular colour may have different meaning to different people, so also a particular colour may be more preferred to another colour. Thus, it could be rightly said that colours hold significance for people around the world; they hold meaning in religion and various cultures (Colour Symbolism and Culture, n.d.).
Many Christian churches in Nigeria have one colour or the other that gives them a specific identity. Once people come across the colour(s), it is very likely they are able to predict rightly the kind of church that makes use of such colour(s). This is because colour differentiates one church from the church. The case is not different from that of the Overcomer’s Evangelical Church International, whose leader and founder place much emphasis on a particular colour. The use ofthe colour white is very conspicuous in the church that one could say it has now become a major defining identity of the leader of the church in particular and the church in general. Just as Hutchings (1997, p.55) was able to note rightly that colour is not a quality of an object, but a perception and as such, can symbolise anything