Special Apostle Akin Owolabi Jpil is one of the opinion leaders in C&S Unification Church of Nigeria.
A former Secretary General of the Unification Church, he is presently chairman of the Building committee of the Church also the Chaplain of the Chapel of Restoration, at Maba.
He shared his experience so far with Omololu Olubode of Seraph News in this interview.
Can you share with us the history behind this Chapel of Restoration?
It is a good story to tell, Anybody that was around on the day of the anniversary would just believe that some of us are workmen working on the foundation. So it was.
We give God the glory. It progressed by 2018. We have completed the walls and what remained was to roof the building. Then, we were trying to source for funds.
That very fantastic architect, Odejimi, who built MOU e-Library at Omu-Aran gave us an estimate for the roofing. Then he had just completed a similar project at Omu-Aran. He liaised with our own architect, Bolade Edun, and he said if we are able to raise N12 million we will be able to do the roofing.
I thought of what to do and I said to myself, within my family, myself and my children and in-laws, we should be able to raise N 1 million but where will the remaining N11 million come from?
We later came to this ground to take the video of how far we had gone with the project. I sent the video to 21 Seraphs. As I talk now, from that 2017 till date, I am still expecting their response.
So, we started the Crossover vigil here under that one room apartment in April 2018. In the process of that vigil, the spirit of the Lord spoke through me. I never knew how it came, that the month of May was going to be a spectacular month in the history of the Chapel of Restoration. It was delivered and went away.
That month on the 8th day, an Ecclesiastical Council meeting was held at Shodipo House here. Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi attended that meeting with her husband and her architect. She came for MOU because Prof. Sanni was there and some other members of the Supervisory Committee of MOU. We were talking and I was standing defending MOU recapitulating the processes we had gone through then, the Secretary General of the church, Dr. Tunde Ogunkunle, pulled me by the garment and he said ‘Alagba’ mama asked which building is over there?’ Then I said well it is a Chapel being organized by five families and we are stocked. We are still sourcing for funds to do the roofing.
There are then, Mama Ajayi asked her architect, David Majekodunmi if the project can be completed in one month.
He responded that ‘yes it can be completed’. That was the turning point in the life and history of the Chapel of Restoration.
A few minutes later, after I was through with my submission on MOU, the architect pulled me out of the meeting and we came to the uncompleted building. He said to me, ‘am sending my engineer here on Tuesday. Tell your people to allow him to conduct some tests.’ That was all.
By September of that same year, this structure stood solidly as an edifice to behold, all to the glory of God and to the magnanimity, selflessness, commitment and philanthropic attributes of Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi. It was like a dream. It was never contemplated, at least in this dimension.
I know there is nothing God cannot do but it was highly monumental and I give all glory to the Most High God.
How would you rate the first virtual service we held to mark our 95th anniversary?
I will say all glory to the Almighty God. A school of thought says there is beauty in ugliness. Even as bad as COVID-19 is perceived worldwide, it has exposed humanity, particularly Christendom, to other ways of accessing and worshipping God and this is one of such ways.
In our past anniversaries, we never reached people in the Diaspora and all over the world, but today under this most feared COVID-19 pandemic, we are here in this chapel where we still worshipped God and all Seraphs all over the world had the opportunity to watch the proceedings online. That is the beauty in the ugliness that I have spoken about.
We give God the glory. It was a fine service. We worshipped God in the beauty of His Holiness. It couldn’t have been better. We give all glory to the almighty God.
What are your expectations this time next year?
Because we keep trusting God, because we rely on Him, because this is a praying Church, one thing is only certain: it can only get better.
It can only get bigger and I am trusting God that we will be moving from heights to heights, from strength to strength and all to the glory of God.
I am trusting Him that by the time we converge next year, it will not be under the enslavement and encumbrances of COVID-19 pandemic.
We will be celebrating as free worshippers and to attract as many people as possible within the neighborhood in a very convivial environment. I pray the Lord will not forsake His Church.