Special Apostle Temitope Adeniyi, chairman of the Ipaja/Ayobo Local Division of the Lagos State chapter of the Cherubim & Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria has obviously raised the bar for would-be leader of the Unification in that axis.
Oba Arole, as he is fondly called, has surely written his name in gold and in the right side of history.
Of course, some other chairmen before him had set the road for him to follow, but Elder Adeniyi has indubitably built storeys on the achievements of his predecessor.
For two days, last week (Friday, May 21 and Saturday, 22 May, 2021), he led other members of the division to stag the first ever Annual General Conference of the Church in that locality. It was an event many who participated in it would remember for quite a long time to come.
Being the first of its kind in the division, the conference was themed ‘Re-Orientation’ as captured from Nehemiah 2: 17-18 and was held at the fairly capacious Holy Ghost Temple of God C&S Church at No. 1-3, Bisi James Close, Atan Kekere, Off Ayobo Road, Ipaja, in the state.
There was no doubt that Apostle Adeniyi had the support and cooperation of eminent Seraph elders in the locality for the kind of success recorded during at the two-day meet.
In truth, Elder Adeniyi would always consider himself lucky as he got strong support from the likes of Baba Aladura Henry Odunayo of Palace of Grace C&S Church, SGRM Prophetess Funmi Litan, Primate Olusegun Rufai, Baba Aladura Soyinka and many others all key leaders at the division.
Of course, the event was graced by several key officials of the Lagos State chapter of the Unification led by its vice chairman, Special Apostle Segun Adio, the General Secretary, Evang. (Dr.) Rotimi Odugbesan and Treasurer of the chapter, Apostle Femi Akinpelu among others.
Not a few chairmen of other federating local divisions in the Lagos State chapter of the Unification were on hand to show solidarity to their own.
After initial opening ceremonies with prayers and hymn rendition by selected members of the divisional Central Choir, Vice Chairperson of the division who was the chairman of the Planning Committee of the conference, Queen Capt. Christiana Olabode opened the Day One with her welcome address where she gave kudos to the leaders in the division for their backing to hold the first ever such gathering in the locality.
The next speech was delivered by the leader of the host of the division’s Secretariat and host for the conference, Prophetess Litan, who took participants down memory lane about how the Unification gospel started at Ipaja/Ayobo area of the state. Prophetess Litan used the opportunity highlight the steps that had been taken over the years to have all children of Orimolade come together at the locality, while she thanked God for having been part of it all till today.
In his speech after that of Prophetess Litan, Chairman of the Local Division of the Church, Apostle Adeniyi (Oba Arole), who was all smiles and full of appreciation to all that contributed to the eventual realisation of the conference, saying, “To the Glory of God, during this second term of our tenure, we put heads together, rubbed minds and exchanged ideas which in turn birthed this ‘New Dawn’. This would not have been possible without the support of some of our Baba Aladuras and wonderful elders as well.”
Apostle Adeniyi, while welcoming participants and guests to the event, also used the occasion to commended men and women Seraphs at the division who had shown him ‘immense support’ since he came to the saddle there.
He also highlighted some of his achievements since he came on board as chairman of the division notable among which were, launch of a bimonthly vigil among federating churches at the division, introduction of issuance of Certificate of Membership for member churches, introduction of debates during Easter period among churches and many others.
The divisional chairman also prided himself as having achieved to get stronger collaboration with the larger Ipaja and Ayobo communities one of which took his team on a visit to the paramount ruler of Ipaja, His Royal Majesty Oba Israel Kolawole Ajani Egundupe (Ilufemiloye I), the Olu of Ipajaland as well as a familiarisation tour of the divisional police headquarters where a robust discussions was held between the leadership of the police force there and the Unification Church in the locality. For sure, it has been successes for Oba Arole since his ascendancy at the local division.
Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Cherubim & Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, Snr. Supt. Apostle Dr. Joseph Adagba was naturally billed to declare the two-day conference open. He was, however, not on hand to performed that assignment as he was engaged in another compelling church duty at his church headquarters in Lagos Mainland.
Ap. Adagba was, nevertheless, represented by his deputy in office, Special Apostle Segun Adio, who read his principal’s speech and also declared the conference open. Apostle Adagba used the occasion to sing praises of the leadership of Ipaja/Ayobo local division for what he called ‘significant innovations’ that had brought to the development of the church in the locality.
He said, “I want to remind you all of our stand in the Lagos State chapter: the Holy Bible is our official manual, while the C&S Unification Church of Nigeria is our home. As constituent churches are allowed to participate in OAIC and CAN meetings and programmes, you are expected to come back home to your and contribute your quota to the development of your church’. With these words of advise, the first Annual Conference of Ipaja/Ayobo local division of the Unification Church was declared open.
Then followed the two lectures that had been slated for the conference. First to deliver a lecture was a member of the Ecclesiastical Council of the National Unification Church and Spiritual Head of Progressive International Church Aladura, His Grace Baba Aladura S. A. O. Adeoye JP, a tested and trusted hand in the matter of the doctrine of the church.
Of course he did not disappoint his audience when he took to the podium when he tore asunder the topic given to him which was ‘Re-Orientation’ of members of C&S church. In about 50 minutes, Baba Aladura Adeoye delved deep into the scripture to impart on his listeners on what the C&S church was established to actualise as well as what needed to be done to build on current efforts at lifting the status of the church at all levels.
As was planned, several participants requested further clarifications on matters they felt unclear about and they, no doubt, got more than they bargained for from Baba Aladura Adeoye who was greeted with a standing ovation at the end of his lecture.
Next to deliver his lecture was Prophet Moses Olusegun Rufai, Spiritual Head of the Zion Mission of Moses Olusegun Rufai World Outreach C&S organisation.
Prophet Rufai, a renowned lecturer with many first class universities in Nigeria, kept his listeners spellbound when he grabbed the microphone to speak. After he traced his rich historical journey in the church and in the corporate world, Prophet Rufai laid bare what he considered the impediments to the advancement and development of the C&S Church in Christendom.
He did not mince words to castigate those he said were bringing the name of the church into disrepute while he also took pains to educate Seraphs on the ways to worship God without necessarily getting entangled into things ephemeral. He also took several questions from the audience, while Apostle Adio moderated the session.
At a point, a goodwill message from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was delivered by its chairman in the local government area of the state, Primate Dr. A. Olaiya.
The Day One of the conference did not come to an end without recognition and presentation of awards for some outstanding personalities who, Baba Aladura Odunayo said had been of immense assistance physically and spiritually to the local division.
Among those decorated during the investiture ceremony at the event were His Royal Majesty, Oba Israel Egundupe as Royal Patron, Baba Aladura Henry Odunayo as Life Patron, Rev. Apostolic Mother Olabisi Adeniyi (Mama Aseyori) as Special Adviser to the division and Prophetess Funmi Litan as Life Matron.
Though he could not make it to the event, the Member representing Alimosho 01 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Bisi Yusuf was also honoured as Patron of the local division.
Of course, chairman of the Lagos State chapter, Snr. Supt. Ap. Adagba was also honoured with a beautiful award plaque for what organisers called his ‘support’ to the division.
Each of the personalities that were honoured with awards responded to the honour done to them by the division, but notable among the comments was that of the traditional ruler of Ipajaland, Oba Egundupe.
In his comment, the monarch commended the Cherubim & Seraphim Unification Church in the locality led by Apostle Adeniyi. The monarch reiterated his resolve to continue to partner with all religious groups under his domain once their motives were for the development of the community and the advancement of the people there.
Oba Egundupe, however, charged the C&S Unification leadership in the area to always rein on their members to remain law-abiding and promoters of peaceful coexistence among residents of the community.
In his usual self to bring development and robust engagement to the local division and his environment, Baba Aladura Odunayo had the privilege of the FLOCUS group (to which he belongs) at the Day One of the Conference where a few of them members also added their voices to the issued raised at the event.
Day Two of the event witnessed presentations of reports from various officers of the local division which included the financial standing of the division as at today.
The Day Two of the conference also saw various federating zones under the division, including its Wings, also giving their accounts of stewardships to the teeming participants who still turned out for the second day of he conference.
One thing is clear at the conference: it was that the Apostle Adeniyi-led Executive of Ipaja/Ayobo Local Division of the Lagos State chapter has set a record that would take a milestone to meet in the division (let alone surpass). At the end of the second day of the events, many participants expressed their gladness for the innovation brought to the division by its leadership, while they yearned for such educative and interactive engagements every year.
Among personalities that graced the occasion included Evamg. Dr. Rotimi Odugbesan (General Secretary of Lagos State chapter, Special Apostle Yinka Olawale (Assistant General Secretary I of the chapter), Apostle Femi Akinpelu (Treasurer of the Lagos chapter) and a large delegation of the chapter’s Good Women Congress. Bro. Muyiwa Odedina, Chairman of the chapter’s Youth Fellowship was also there.
Some divisional chairmen that solidarised with their colleague at the event were Special Apostle Oyebade of Agbado/Oke-Odo local division, Sp. Apostle R. Obisanya of Ojokoro division and Snr. Supt. Appstolic Mother M. D. Adeoye, Chairperson of Igando/Ikotun Local Division of the Unification.
Also, a large delegation from Mosan/Okun Ola local division, led by Special Apostle Oniyintunde (Ajagorah) was part of the history made there.
Immediate past chairman of Kosofe/Ikeja local division, Supt. Apostle Bosun Dawodu, Lady Ldr. Susan Adeniyi and Sister Bukola from Rabbi C&S church, Owode Onirin were all there.
There were also representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of the local government area in attendance and was led by Elder Apostle Olaiya, who was predecessor to Apostle Adeniyi in office at the local division.
Several notable Spiritual Leaders in the division were also part of the event. Some of them were first Chairman of the Unification in the locality, Primate Fisayo Usman of Oluwagboremi C&S Church, Baba Aladura Dr. O. Shoyinka of Oke Ayo Afahlaitufalaiyeh Spiritual Church, Baba Aladura Adesuyi Ogundare (Opa Alade) of Oke Ayo Olorun Sogo C&S church, Queen Capt. I. O. Fashola of Divine Grace of Christ (Holy Mary Cathedral), Elder Hassan, a former chairman of the division and Elder Taiwo Ojomo (Baba Lesekese), among several others who graced the event.