Women in Leadership and Musical Authority in the Celestial Church of Christ
Gender study is a multi-disciplinary phenomenon just as gender imbalance and inequality cut across all facets of human life. The academic searchlight has beamed on gender studies in many aspects of human endeavours but with little or no attention on musical and administrative authority in the Christendom. Socio-culturally, Nigeria is male-dominated and this situation plays itself out even in Christianity. The study looked closely at the activities of women in Celestial Church of Christ (An African indigenous church), with a view to determining their involvement in music and music making leadership in the church. Data for the study is were collected through oral interview and participant observation. Key informants, drawn from selected church leaders, male and female choristers were interviewed. The findings revealed that the role of women in African culture as supporters of men rather than leaders also reflect in the activities of the Celestial Church of Christ. Only in exceptional cases are women (who demonstrate noticeable talent in singing) are allowed to lead praise songs. Men are always in charge of musical activities such as playing of musical instruments, choir and song leadership etc. It was noted that the cultural background and orientation of the churches and their leadership go a long way in determining the balance between culture and religion.
Keywords: Women, Leadership, Musical authority, Independent church, CCC