Archbishop Obembe’s demise: loss to us, gain to heaven-Bishop Akinola
The Apostolic Presbyter of International Communion of Charismatic and Apostolic Ministries ICCAM., Bishop Dr. Taiwo Akinola has described the demise of Archbishop Olanrewaju Obembe as a great loss to the church and the Pentecostal body in Nigeria, noting however that his departure is a gain to heaven.
Akinola made the remark at a special press briefing on the funeral arrangement of the late archbishop today June 4 at the Great Grace Cathedral, El-Shaddai Bible Church, Dolphin Estate Ikoyi, Lagos.
Until his death, Archbishop Obembe was the General Overseer of Eshaddai Bible Church and the Apostolic Prelate of ICCAM. He was a one-time Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter and a well-known speaker in conferences and church programmes both in Nigeria and abroad. He died on May 1.
Bishop Taiwo who was a close ally to the late Archbishop and founder of Rhema Christian Centre, Ota Ogun State, said at the press briefing that Obembe who had three PhD degrees “was a notable charismatic Archbishop, and perhaps the first Cardinal of the Pentecostal movement in Nigeria. Through the various arms of the gospel ministry in which he was involved, he served meritoriously on various committees both at national and global levels representing the interests of Christians, particularly the Pentecostals.”
He noted that before the demise of the Archbishop he conducted the ground breaking event for the proposed Charis University, which was being planned to be mainly a university of technology.
He said, “The proposed university, for which large expanses of land had been acquired at the Lekki zone of Lagos, aims at promoting Christian values while focusing on science, business and technology. He labored tirelessly to attract investors to Nigeria because of his desire to alleviate the suffering of many Nigerians by granting tertiary education at affordable cost to the people. He also expected that the investors would fund various projects based on property development, agriculture and transportation.”
While noting that Archbishop Obembe’s death is a gain to heavenly host, he said, “it is a loss to many of us who saw him as a leading light and a pathfinder for many Christians who have the apostolic vision to serve the Lord in their generation. He was a thoughtful leader in his time who spoke boldly the mind of Christ to both the lowly and the highly placed. He was heard, seen and acknowledged by men in power and authority as one promoting the cause of Christ and Christians. He was an eloquent speaker, an erudite scholar, an accomplished author, and undoubtedly, a great motivator.”
The late Archbishop according to him had “an unusually large heart that encompassed all, and he never withheld anything that could be beneficial to anyone, even at his own detriment. He loved simply, he loved wholly and forgave easily. To many of us, he was not only a leader but also a father. We proudly call him father because no other appellation suits a man who led others by carrying them on his shoulders to achieve or attain greater heights of success at no gain to himself.”
He then disclosed that the burial ceremony of the late Archbishop would kick off with a special El-Shaddai Night of Worship on Monday, 10th June, 2019. “The first Night of Tributes by body of Christ and anchored by El-Shaddai Bible Church comes next on Tuesday, 11th of June 2019. The second Night of Tributes also by the body of Christ will be anchored by ICCAM on Wednesday, 12th June 2019. Service of songs will hold on Thursday, 13th of June, 2019. All the above events shall take place by 5pm daily. And, all these events will climax into the Funeral Service and Internment, which will hold on Friday, 14th June 2019, beginning at 10am. All the events, except the internment, are scheduled to hold here at El Shaddai Bible Church, Great Grace Cathedral, Osborne Road, Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.”