The Bishop of the Lagos West Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, The Rt Rev James Odedeji has said it will be difficult to forget the good works of the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese, The Rt Rev Awelewa Adebiyi.
He made the remark while ministering at the one-year memorial service for Bishop Adebiyi held at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday, April 27. The memorial service took place exactly 10 years after the late Bishop retired. He would have been 80 years if he was alive.
Bishop Adebiyi was the Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West from 1999 to 2013 when he retired. He died on Thursday, February 10 2022 at the age of 79.
Odedeji who was a one-time chaplain of the late Bishop described him as a man with uncommon credentials.
He said, “Bishop Adebiyi impacted his generation positively. He cannot be forgotten in a hurry for how he lived and allowed others to live. He respected men irrespective of their status, creed, and ethnic affiliation. He related well with the young and old. His passion for the youth and those who are less privileged was unparallel. We are all living witnesses to how he touched lives and how he made himself available for other people.”
While commending the children of the late Bishop for sacrificing time to be at the one-year anniversary, he said, “Your dad left a good legacy. He did so much for this diocese. We are grateful for the solid foundation he laid. He meant so much to us. To some he was their teacher, to some, he was their pastor. For some of us, he was our destiny helper, and yet to many he was liberator, a church planter.”
Making copious reference to the scriptures, Bishop Odedeji said the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
He noted that the essence of remembrance service is to look back and ensure that the departed is not forgotten. “We have two types of memorials. We have the memory of the righteous and the memory of the wicked.
“We can’t but remember Baba for being so accommodating, for his forgiving heart, and ingenious ability to reconcile with his adversaries. There is hardly a day that we don’t remember him in the diocese. Anytime we had anything to do in the diocese, we always go back to how it was done 15 years ago when he was in our midst.”
The Anglican bishop noted further that at the end of the day, what will matter will not be the material things that we acquire as humans. “What will matter will be the impact we made in the lives of people. Many think gathering assets, investments, and property is what life is all about.
“The question is: In whatever you do, do you fear God? Do you love your neighbour and keep the Lord’s command? Papa’s life should be an example for all of us. We are going to leave all that we gathered in life. When you fear God and love humanity, you will be remembered for life.”
He said heaven does not respect the Archbishop or the Bishop. “The only thing heaven respects is the life we live while here on earth. Rev 20v12 makes it clear both small and great will be judged according to what they have done.”