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INTERVIEW: CAC Olushi @50: We will continue to maintain our spirituality and originality by God's grace- Olushi Zonal Superintendent, Pastor Olajide

 

Pastor J.B. Olajide


The Zonal Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church, Olushi Zone, Pastor  J.B Olajide in this exclusive interview with CAC News speaks on the journey of the church, the plan to build a modern cathedral and other interesting issues. EXCERPT !

 

A thousand mile begins with a step. Kindly tell us briefly how CAC Olushi started

We give God all glory, honour and adoration for what He has done in the past 50 years and He’s still doing it in our midst till date. The coming of our Father in the Lord, former General Superintendent of CAC Worldwide, Pastor A.O. Ade Olutimehin to Lagos District as the Superintendent was the beginning of another round of revival in a predominantly Muslim / Traditional set up. Baba Olutimehin an Evangelist, Prophet, Teacher and Pastor was God sent and well prepared for His assignment. It was his diverse gifts of the spirit that brought about Midweek service in Lagos - First of its kind that attracted congregation from all denominations to meet at Ebute Elefun, the General Headquarters of Christ Apostolic Church. Following closely with this was the conversion of Evangelist (Mr.) J.K. Solomon- a police officer of Obalende Police Barracks. This became the spark that ignited city wide revival crusade in Lagos Island. The revival started from 28,Olowu Street, Ebute Elefun moved to Obalende, to Onola Playing Ground and finally to 64A,Olushi Street, the present location of Olushi Zonal Headquarters, Lagos.


Cuts-in: I learnt that the place was initially planned not to be a worship centre, how true is this? 

It is true. This place was initially designed as the residential apartment for the Ministers and workers of CAC Olowu, the General Headquarters. However, it soon became a bee-hive of activities where people with diverse problems converged to see the Prophet for prayers, Counseling etc. These inconveniences experienced by Baba Olutimehin changed the planned purpose of mere residential abode to an informal place of worship. Within a short time the Board of Elders of CAC Olowu finally resolved to have an Assembly at Olushi and so, the seed of this growing Assembly was sown. That ended the first era.


Who was the pioneer minister of CAC Olushi?

Due to the rapid growth of the church, the authorities of CAC Olowu saw the need to station resident Minister to take charge of the church.  At the end of December 1969, Evangelist D.O.Olagbenjo was sent to Olushi as the first Evangelist. The first service he had with the church was December 31st 1969 to January 1st 1970 cross over service. That is when CAC Olushi formally became an Assembly. Evangelist Olagbenjo was later ordained as a Pastor. He is now late. As the church began to grow, Late Evangelist Oduyole joined Evangelist Olagbenjo in managing the affairs of the new church.

CAC Olushi had another minister known as Evangelist Olomoniyi between 1975 and 1977. He continued the work of nurturing the new Assembly through its growing years. He worked hard and was ordained Pastor like his predecessor before he left in 1977. Evangelist J.A. Babalola continued from where Pastor Olomoniyi stopped. His period witnessed the construction of the present Olushi Assembly and Mission House. The theme of his last sermon before moving out to Olowu in 1978 was "E dide, eje ki a kuro nihin yi" meaning “Stand up and let us leave this place”. He later returned as the first ordained Minister in charge in 1981 and was transferred in 1989.He had Evangelist, who later became Pastor P.O. Idowu under him then as a Teacher. CAC Olushi also had Evangelist Oyelopo in 1981. He started his ministration in 1981 after completion of the building but left almost immediately to become planter of CAC Ikotun.  After the late and former Regional Superintendent of CAC Akinyele, Pastor E.T. Ogunyinka was transferred to Olushi on the 1st of December, 1989 as full time Pastor. He was a firebrand and no-nonsense Minister of God; very much focused towards getting the “Sheep” to the eternal Home. He also had Teacher Idowu (later Pastor) under him.


I also gathered that the crisis of CAC affected CAC Olushi. How did this happen? 

It really affected the church. The crisis of 1991 prompted the church authority to formulate a Seven Man team led by Teacher (now) Pastor M.O. Olorunpomi  to manage the affairs of Olushi till January 1994 when he was appointed as Secretary to then LDCC Chairman - Pastor Faniyan. The teams members are:- Teacher Olorunpomi, Elder J.A. Fashina, Pastor Onabanjo, Elder J.O. Oyekan, Elder Erivona and Mr. Sunday Oyeleye.

After that period, the church authority posted Pastor S.O. Ogundare to Olushi. He started work at Olushi in January 1994 as Minister in charge. Teachers under him included Teachers Olorunpomi and Olabode (both now Pastors). He was appointed as a District Superintendent in December 1994 and left in April 1996 to plant his own church. Pastor S.D.A. Ajanaku took over from Pastor Ogundare in April 1996. He became Centre Coordinator in July 2002. He worked with Teacher Akinola who was ordained as Pastor and was transferred in September 2001.Pastor Ajanakku left in September 2001. Pastor J.O. Adebari was transferred to Olushi to work as Curate with Pastor Ajanaku in October 2001 and left 10 months later i.e. August 2002.

We also have Pastor J.O. Ojo on November 18 2002 and left 6th August 2004. Other ministers who have worked at Olushi are Pastor D.O. Adekunle, Late Pastor E.F. Ogunleye and Pastor Tunde Layole. 


When did Olushi became a District headquarters?

CAC Olushi became a Centre in October 2004 and became a full fledge District in May 2005. The assembly became a District during the tenure of Pastor E.O. Ajibada and he became the first District Superintendent. He joined Olushi assembly January 2003 became an Acting District Superintendent in 2004 and confirmed in January 2005 while he left in late 2009. His curate was Pastor E.O.B Adeleke who joined him in 2006 and left in July 2009 for CAC Tinubu.

CAC Olushi had his crisis period. Since no church of God is ever out of crisis, a 3-Man caretaker Committee led by Pastor Joe Folorunsho (Seconded by LDCC) managed the new District Headquarters for three months while the church administration was placed on hold for that period .His team included Bro. Sola Oyeniyi, Bro. Segun Okeleye and Bro.Tokunbo.  Normalcy returned and the caretaker committee was dissolved, leaving with observable and tremendous achievement, despite the short period.

In 2009, Pastor S.I. Obafemi became the second District Superintendent. Normalcy having returned under Pastor Folorunsho's short stay, Revival Programmes, Midweek Service, Counseling, Family Week Programme, Marriage Committee, and 40th Anniversary Committee. etc. have enlarged the coast of CAC Olushi. Olushi was elevated to Zone from District by the Authority of CAC Worldwide in 2011 and Pastor Obafemi was the first Zonal Superintendent. I took over from him in 2017 as the second Zonal Superintendent and God has been helping us till date.  


Tell us the programme scheduled to commemorate this year’s 50th anniversary

To God be the glory. We are planning two programmes: the first one is a week revival starting from Monday 16th to Saturday 21st August, 2021. We are holding trio service on Sunday 22nd August, 2021. We are hosting the President of CAC Worldwide, Pastor Samuel O. Oladele, Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving and N150 million fund raising for the ongoing church cathedral.  


What is the theme of the anniversary?

The theme of the anniversary is “Come let us build for the Lord.” 


How do you feel that you are the Zonal Superintendent of CAC Olushi zone when the church is celebrating her 50th anniversary?

I feel so good and I thank God for this priveledge. I also want to appreciate the Authority of CAC Worldwide. My promotion and transfer to Olushi zone was least expected. I was promoted from District Superintendent to Zonal Superintendent when I never expected it. I am very happy that God is doing this great thing in my time because I know except the Lord build the house he that builds buildeth in vain. It has been in the plan of God that it would happen this time and I thank Him for making it my time. 


Can you tell us few of those things God has helped you to achieve since the last four years?

Presently, I have spent four and half years and I can tell you that God has done tremendous things in our midst. By the grace of God after I settle down here in Olushi and seeing all that is on ground, we built a church on part of our land in Imota Ikorodu and I have posted a minister there for the work of the kingdom. Also, we started a Nursery and Primary school which is not flourishing. We built an overflow round the church which cost nothing less than N2.5 million. We bought official car for the Zonal Superintendent. The vision of having Olushi home-built cathedral came during my time. 


Cuts-in: What is the motive behind this project?

Olushi Assembly has not built her own worshipping Centre in Lagos Island. This raise the question: if land is more easily available and cheaper to build elsewhere, why has Olushi not considered that alternative? As a Board, we sat down, reasoned and analyzed that that Olushi has earned her name and identity both in CAC worldwide and in Lagos, we saw that a movement from the present location will create a new church and the old name and identity will be lost. We also thought that with the problem of community in Lagos, more than 50% of congregant may not go to a new location and that the battle for the heart of Lagos Island must remain our focus with the presence of evangelism in the domain of the spiritualists. No more, no less. 

On that note, it was resolved that our dream Cathedral shall be built in Olushi street God helping us; and it will include a multipurpose hall, the English Assembly, offices, the mission house and such other facilities.

I am glad to tell you that all the preparatory works towards our Cathedral have consumed about N25 million to date. The work done includes (a) Documentation, Drawings and approval (b) Pilling of 62 out of 99, each between 20m to 25m deep (c) consulting and supervision (d) Building the Carcass for the Multipurpose hall, the English Assembly and offices as can be seen outside.


What does it means to the church to be 50?

The celebration is biblical. Jubilee is a year of celebration in the Bible. It is a great and thing of joy that we are celebrating our 50th anniversary. 50 years is not a joke. It is not a joke for somebody to survive for 50 years in this kind of society. It calls for celebration and jubilation. 


How do you feel that something like this is happening in your time?

I feel so good and great because I believe that God has brought me here to use me for something that will last longer. 


Can you tell us some of the foundation members of this church who still are parts of the church till now? 

I want to tell you that they are few because of the condition of the place we are. Lagos Island is a commercial centre where people come and go. A lot of people have come and they have gone. Despite that we still have some and one of them is Pastor Fashina who was ordained last year. He was Baba Ijo of Olushi. I was told that at a very young age, he was posted to Olushi as a Sunday School Teacher. We also have Elder Oluwayomi who is also a foundational member. There are so many people who are also foundational members. We are still maintaining our spirituality and originality in Olushi. 


What is your message to the members of the church as you mark the 50th anniversary?

I want to every member of the church that they should maintain their spirituality and originality. They should stand for what people know them for. Living in Lagos Island is like living in a place where there is throne of devil. You can find every bad behavior here in Lagos Island and that is why I am imploring all our members to make heaven their target. 


What should the world expect to see in Olushi in the next five years?

In about a year or two, the world should be expecting to see a befitting structure that glorifies the name of the Lord in Olushi. The project is ongoing and I know God can do it. We are appealing to people to come to our aid so that we finish this project on time. 


What is your advice to Christians in time like this?

Everybody should know that we are in a perilous time and the end is at the door. No peace anywhere in the world. I want to advice Christians that we should be heavenly conscious. Everybody needs to be prepared for the kingdom of God. 


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