Talking Drum

The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary Ogbomoso hosted the Christmas Enrichment Programme on Tuesday, November 23, 2023, at the Multipurpose Hall, themed “Celebrating Christ the King of Kings.” The program, anchored by the NBTS Chaplaincy and the Faculty of Church Music, created a highly colourful atmosphere, signalling the onset of the yuletide season. Children and adults alike were adorned in radiant attire, creating a mix of worship and festivity.

The event commenced with a warm Orchestra prelude of “St. Louis”, and formally began with a call to worship followed by an opening prayer. The Chaplain reminded attendees about the purpose of the gathering – to celebrate Jesus, the King of Kings, in line with the theme. The Seminary President, Rev. Prof S. Ola Ayankeye, then extended a warm welcome, encouraging everyone to embrace the festive spirit of Christmas. The ceremony included multiple readings of the “Holy Story” from books of the Bible – Isaiah, Matthew, and Luke. Music played a central role with renditions of Christmas carols like “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by different singing groups such as the Choral Ensemble, the WTC Choir and the Hymn Club.

In a short drama ministration, the ‘Acting Doves’, the drama group of the Seminary, urged the audience not to forget God in the midst of their busy lives. The Faculty of Education presented a Christmas variety emphasizing how to relate to Christ the King of Kings—honouring, serving, thanking, following and living for Him. Seminary children, comprising children of faculty members, students, and staff, sang; reminding all of Jesus’ birth on Christmas day, cleverly incorporating his name as an acronym. A well-coordinated SIBAO* choir delivered a hymn titled “Celebrate Jesus Christ the King,” and the Choral Ensemble presented “Glory to God in the Highest” by Lloyd Larson.

A notable moment was the rendition of “Sovereign Creator” by a group of international students. The song was written by Pastor Tawe Sayoh Bless, a Cameroonian student in the Faculty of Church Music. Pastor Bless shared his thoughts, “We trusted God that people were going to be blessed, and we thank God that was the outcome.” He attributed the popularity of the song to the blessing of God and the simplicity of its message. The NBTS Ogbomoso faculty members were not left out of the musical ministrations.

The General Faculty Choir, with Pastor Victoria Oyenike Ayano as conductor and Rev. Dr Samuel O. Auda as keyboardist, accompanied by other instrumentalists; led a medley of songs. The first song was the 1864  penned hymn ‘Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne’ by Emily S. Elliot, with its background in Philippians 2:5 – 11. The Faculty members’ rendition culminated in Irawo Didan (meaning shining star) depicting the birth of Christ, the bright Morning Star; with the Seminary President, Rev. Prof. Stephen Oladele Ayankeye, supported by Dr Omolara Abosede Areo and Mrs Dorcas Afolake Olaleye leading the vocals.

As the programme drew to a close, Dr Ademola Oyeniyi delivered his charge from the already-read versions of the ‘Holy Story’ with an additional reading from Revelations 11 emphasising that Christmas without Christ equals crisis. He reinforced the Faculty of Education’s charge to honour, worship, serve, follow, and live for Jesus as the true meaning of Christmas. During the offering, the Dundun Ensemble, featuring traditional instruments like the gángan and local talking drums, captivated the crowd with indigenous rhythmic music. Before the benediction, Rev Prof. Ayankeye conducted the lighting of candles in a solemn and symbolic manner. The President, symbolizing authority, lit the first candle, followed by key officials, who then spread the light throughout the crowd.

The hall, initially pitch dark, became illuminated with flowing candlelight, accompanied by the songs “Carry Your Candle” and “Silent Night” led by Dr Mrs Yeside Odiase, the Deputy President Administration.

The testimonies of attendees, especially Seminary children like Tobi David and Precious Alawode, highlighted the joy derived from the local music and the candlelight moment. Tobi shared, “I enjoyed the local music that was sung in my language because I could dance with it. I also loved the candles.” Precious Alawode echoed similar sentiments: “I loved the candlelight moment the most; it was so beautiful.” An MDiv student could not hide his enthusiasm, commenting, “In my years in this school, this has been the best cantata we ever had.” The Dean of the Faculty of Church Music, Rev. Dr. Ademola Oyeniyi, expressed gratitude for the impactful event, affirming, “We give glory to God for all that has transpired. It was awesome – to God’s glory.”  Indeed, it was an awesome night, and all glory belongs to God, for the opportunity of a glorious celebration of Christ, the King of Kings.

By Debo Odunlami

For Advancement Office


*SIBAO is the acronym for Smith International Baptist Academy, Ogbomoso – the secondary school of the Seminary.

April 4, 2024

You May Also Like …