Olaoluwa Baptist Church celebrates 30th anniversary. Akala, Maigida, Debo Gbadebo others honoured

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Ayoola TAIWO

Ola-Oluwa Baptist Church, Randa Area, Ogbomoso from February 4 to February 9, 2020 celebrated its 30th anniversary with fanfare and adulations unto God.
It was a celebration of God’s mercy, wonders, kindness, love and beautiful things done amidst them over the years; members were overwhelmed with ecstasy and the moments would linger long in their memory.
The memorable occasion featured variety of programmes including anniversary lecture delivered by Rev’d. Dr. Thomas Niyi-Oyo, president of Ogbomoso Baptist Conference; praise night; drama night featuring viewing of Abejoye Part 3, a film by the Mount Zion Drama Ministry; reunion service; and thanksgiving service.
Furthermore, Strong-Tower Baptist Church, a preaching station founded by the church was inaugurated during which Rev’d and Mrs. Taiwo Agunloye were commissioned as under-shepherd of the new church.
The reunion service, the highpoint of the anniversary consisted of conferment of awards which were in three categories – Lover of Kingdom of Christ Award, Merit Award and Pioneering Award.
Eight eminent personalities bagged the award of Lover of Kingdom of Christ Award among whom were Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, Dr. Samson Adegoke (Maigida), Prince Debo Gbadebo and Mr. Peter Adebayo Egunbiyi.
For the Merit Award, 16 members received this award, they are individuals who had meritoriously served the church at various times, while three others were conferred with Pioneering Award, these included Rev’d. Dr. J.A. Aremu, Rev’d. Kolapo Ojo and Dn. S.A. Olojede.
The anniversary cake was cut during the thanksgiving service to commemorate the event.
In his welcome address, pastor of the church, Rev’d. Dr. Olusegun Ige lauding the commitment and devotion of the pioneer members, stressed the church was committed to the kingdom’s expansion.
“It’s now thirty years of mission and evangelism. Thirty years of growing the body of Christ. Thirty years of meeting the needs of those who are in need. Thirty years of preparing members for the second coming of Christ. We give all glory to God. This would not have been possible without the full support of the church members, various leaders of units, various committees and all the organs of the church.”
Ola-Oluwa Baptist Church which began as “The preaching station of Ori-Oke Baptist Church,” was founded in the evening of February 4, 1990 by Ori-Oke Baptist Church, Taraa, Ogbomoso with 250 persons worshipping during the first service held on the first parcel of land acquired for the church. Reverend E.O. Fanibe was the under-shepherd at the mother church at the time.

Services subsequently began in the residence of Chief Timothy Ogundare, who however remained a member of the mother church; the first morning service on February 11 was attended by 24 persons consisting of nine adults and fifteen children. That way the journey took off humbly.
After six months of rotating deacons from the mother church to deliver Sunday messages at the new church Dn. S. A. Olojede was assigned the duty on a permanent basis which he performed diligently until student pastors from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, NBTS started to take charge.
The church came to be known as Ola-Oluwa Baptist Church on November 17, 1991 and was organized on December 3, 1995. Pastor J.A. Aremu was called to the church in November 1993 and he served until 1996. His departure in the wake of completion of his Seminary education brought Pastor D.A. Akano on a two-month vacation service following which Dn. Olojede resumed leading the church. But in 1997, (then Pastor) Kolapo O. Ojo assumed duties and he was in the church till May 1999. More land was acquired during this time and the foundation of a new auditorium was laid on December 12, 1998. All along the church had conducted its services in a plank auditorium.
Also, the church planted a preaching station at Balogun village near Iresaadu. Brother (now Deacon) Emmanuel Ayoola Amao emerged the church leader in May 1999 following the departure of Pastor Ojo.
On August I, 2000, Rev’d Olusegun Ige took the mantle of leadership and the church began a new phase of growth and development. The new pastor focused on physical development and spiritual growth. The new church building was roofed and worship commenced therein in December 2001. A fund raising programme held in 2002, through the instrumentality of Prince Debo Gbadebo, who was then on the board of Oodua Investment Company, generated substantial amount devoted to the completion of the church building. The church founded and adopted more preaching stations just as deacons were ordained at different times.
Another fund raising organized in 2008 saw the church building being completed, it was an architectural masterpiece with mosaic walls. An evangelism bus was also donated to the church by Otunba Alao-Akala.

Today, the church has pastor’s residence, children auditorium and nursery and primary school. However, the auditorium of the church was discovered to be leaking in 2016, towards finding a solution the idea was mooted to kuku construct a gallery to make more space for worshippers, a dream that has materialized to the glory of God.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary, Strong Tower Baptist Church, a new daughter church was inaugurated at Yaku on an eight-plot of land.
Meanwhile, in a chat with The Insight, Deacon Amao who once led the church submitted that Ola-Oluwa Baptist Church (a.k.a. The Wealthy Family) started in response to the charge of the Nigerian Baptist Convention for the founding of new churches to expand the gospel, noting he was a foundation member.
Saying from about 27 pioneer members the church had grown in membership to over 1,000 including children.
Dn. Amao said of the years of Rev’d Ige, “He is the first full time pastor. He has brought a turn around. When he came, only two members or so had cars but God used him to change the story as he encouraged members to become focused. People have become house owners, he is doing everything under God’s guidance to bring the best out of everybody. And members are generally having progress in their personal lives.”
On how Rev’d. Ige became to be appointed as church pastor he emphasized it was God’s plan. “His coming was God’s choice, were it for us to decide we would have gone for someone else. Lord spoke to us to choose him, I was the church leader at the time, we faced challenges before choosing him.”
He enthused about the upgrade of the church’s auditorium saying it was a manifestation of the vision of God for the church.
“We decided to restructure the auditorium and now we have added gallery to it and carved out offices. We never indeed had that intention at the start, we just wanted to reroof the building because it was formerly made of planks which had started to cave in. But God used the pastor to make the gallery. God used him for the vision to manifest, I will say the church auditorium metamorphosed from a kiosk to a cathedral, and we have had several daughter churches.”

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