It was a bright shiny day with light showers of rain towards evening of Wednesday, 20th September, 2023, after the Holy-Spirit reviving experience of the Ministers’ Conference, making ministers better vessels for honour. God made a way and the timing was accurate to pay homage to the new king of Ogbomoso land –former Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor, His Royal Majesty Oba Afolabi Ghandi Laoye, Soun of Ogbomoso land in his royal palace in Oja’gbo area, Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
The President of NBTS and his entourage, who were at the palace by the scheduled time, met a crowd both inside and outside the ground floor reception of the palace. Having completed his business with the people on courtesy call scheduled just before the Seminary troupe, the team was ushered into the monarch’s presence. To the admiration of the Seminary team, before introduction went far; the monarch asked that all others not related to the team excuse him. This provided a less rowdy atmosphere, preparing the ground for the worship with royalty.
The king’s Secretary introduced the group to the monarch who motioned to seats for all to sit down. Having been introduced individually by the Seminary Public Relations Officer, Rev Kola Alade; the monarch gave special seats to the NBTS President and Deputy President Academics. Thereafter NBTS President greeted the monarch, appreciated the role of the forebears of the king for their hospitality in the establishment and growth of the Seminary; appreciated the good relationships of the past leaders, and told the king a bit of the history of the Seminary. Furthermore, the President expressed the mission of the group – to show solidarity as ‘occupants’ , to pay homage to the new king and to appreciate God for answers to prayer in granting Ogbomoso land a Christian king. He also chipped in a message from the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Dr Israel Adelani Akanji.
The king then addressed the team. He appreciated the roles of the Seminary, Bowen University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital (LAUTECHTH) in the growth of Ogbomoso township. He emphasised the role of the Seminary which attracts visitors and has been instrumental in training and sending missionaries to West Africa, Africa and the world. He promised to keep up the good relationship between the throne and the subjects and expressed his desire to visit some time. He also mentioned willingness to help with contacts for good equipment for the medical ministry in BUTH and LAUTECHTH.
Describing himself as a retired pastor turned shepherd; in the fashion of a homily with the focal point being a challenge to understand the changing times: the lack of interest in Christ and things of God by the younger generation; he challenged that the curriculum, expression, and method of sharing the gospel must factor in characteristics of young people. He challenged the group to ensure that as ministers of the gospel, younger generations are reached for Christ and ministers do not insist on old ways which may repel, rather than encourage younger ones to love and serve God. He challenged the Church to learn from the Holy Spirit the things to come and to prepare for them (John 16:13). He challenged the church to not miss the right time to make a change lest the young generation be lost.
As in any worship experience, the whole group sang. The first stanza and refrain of ‘To God be the Glory Great Things He has done’ was led by Rev Dr Mrs Yeside Odiase, an accomplished voice specialist, and soloist. The Deputy President Academics offered prayers for the Monarch and his leadership – for wisdom, protection, cooperation, blessings and other things. There were exchange of gifts in kind – water from the king to the visitors and a copy of a book on the history of NBTS among other things from the NBTS team to the king. Photographs were taken and the team departed with a sense of accomplishment of not only having paid homage to the monarch but also of having had a time of worship of the King of kings with the new king.
Those on the Seminary team were Prof Stephen Ola Ayankeye (President), Rev. Mrs Susan Ayankeye (President’s wife); Rev. Prof. Simon Ishola (Deputy President Academics), Rev. Dr Yeside Odiase (Deputy President Administration), Rev. Prof. Olusola Ayo-Obiremi, (Deputy President Advancement), Rev. Dr Dele Oluwole (Registrar), Pastor Christopher Ishola (Bursar); Rev. Dr. Olaide Ajeigbe (Chaplain) Rev. Dr Esther Odunlami (Director of Student Affairs), Rev. Olusoji Ojo (Actg Director of Commercial Services), Rev. Kola Alade (Director of Development and PRO), Pastor Seyi Ojelade (Advancement Officer) and Dcn Phillip Adetoye (Driver).
By Olusola Ayo-Obiremi, PhD