At 94, one of my Husband’s Legacies – Antioch – has found joy in a journey of 50 years…
‘Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family.’ Rev Mother Olive Sulola Adejobi
As we heartily celebrate the near-golden jubilee of our 50th Church anniversary, for me as a Pioneer, us as a congregation, immeasurable words of true celebration, having reached such a momentous milestone, no doubt, calls for introspection and jubilation. Fifty years, through the mixed grill of daunting challenges, downtimes, good times and memorable moments together, is a testament to our unifying bond and strong relationships as a people under one God. It is a testament to love, pure and simple, as was instructed the church by God.
At 94, it would have been thrilling for me to have seen guests, neighbours, family, friends and foes join from the United Kingdom, America, Ghana, Sierria Leone, Liberia and Togo, amongst many other countries where my husband left indelible footprints while preaching the gospel and planting churches all over the world, as we lift our voices in thanksgiving with a grateful heart to our Maker, but the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world has cut short the opportunity to gather under one roof;- a thing we take for granted. They may not have understood our stitch of pains and losses, disappointments, trying moments, times we mourned, and fought the good fight of faith. One thing is sure: they will join us in this historic and all-important celebration to praise our one and true God, who brought us thus far through it all, via a virtual service, except God wills a physical gathering anytime soon.
Going down memory lane, four thousand years ago, amid tragic suffering and death, Job asked the question of the ages: “If a man dies, will he live again?” Since the dawn of history, the subjects of death and the afterlife have been the great question of human existence. It’s a subject that everyone wonders about. What lies behind the veil of death? Is there really life after death? Is there a place called hell? These are some of the most-asked questions ordinary people have about death, near-death experiences, cremation, purgatory, hell, heaven, and our future bodies. What awaits us beyond the grave?
On the surface of the world right now, there is war and violence and things seem dark. But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening underground. An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called to a higher light. It is a silent revolution. From the inside out, from the ground up, this is a Global operation. This is a Spiritual agenda, God is in the know and He’s allowed it.
Statistics reveal that most people, after coming to faith in Jesus Christ, never share the Good News with anyone else. It is very instructive to note that these times are a strong reminder that God remains the ever-present and Supreme Being.
This is a clarion call for Christians and unbelievers alike to prepare the believer for the second coming of Jesus Christ, to inspire the unbeliever to seeking Jesus Christ now, with a view to getting saved, encourage the believer not to be weary, nor be asleep to the vices of the devil and not be caught off guard.
As we celebrate, we look back to our beginnings and realise just how much our lives have changed since when we have known God. Some of our beloved members, with whom we stood as we commenced our journey together, have passed on, while others are alive.
Day by day, minute by minute, second by second, we went from where we were to where we are now. The lives of all of us, of course, go through similar alterations and changes. The difference between the changes in our lives is only in the details. Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching comes the changes.
This is our one and only chance at mortal life – here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realisation that life is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. As a church, we believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. We choose to find joy in the journey now and positively pleasant memories for the future.
Said one well-known author: “Both abundance and lack (of abundance) exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”
With these joyful words, the Adejobi Royal Family extends it’s most heartfelt congratulations to members of the Church of the Lord (Aladura-Antioch Parish), the Primate, Prelates, Resident Ministers, past and present members whose commitment, faith, love and tireless effort have made this celebration a reality.
We greet and rejoice as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our parish. At a time as this, we vividly remember in 1970 when our late father, (Dr.) Emmanuel Owoade Adeleke Adejobi, laid the foundation and consecrated the temple which has hit its 50th mark on the sands of time. This is indeed a glorious day in the history of our parish because it is the culmination of much hard work, devotion, dedication and perseverance.
We thank God for the wonderful things which he has done through us and members of this enviably great assembly.
The members of the Antioch Parish surely deserve prayers, gratitude and admiration for their dedication to this parish. I also commend the parish Parochial Committee and all the good – dead and living – people who have sacrificed their lives, time and means for the wellbeing of the church of the Lord (Aladura), Antioch Parish. My late husband, Primate Emmanuel Owoade Adeleke Adejobi, has given us a good name, and to whom much is given, much is expected. We have indeed done a good job of it so far. We can only do more in immortalising the good name, memory and legacy.
Indeed, we have accomplished much in the past 50 years; however our collective success will depend on our response to the challenges of the future.
It is our most fervent prayer that Antioch continues to grow in its spiritual life, as we foresee a time when God will bless the parish with many more people seeking God’s love and mercy.