The Diocese of Lagos of the Anglican Communion has conferred on Bishop James Odedeji an episcopal award of excellence. The award was presented at the just concluded 2nd Session of the 35th Synod of the Diocese in the presence of the Bishop of the Diocese Rt Revd Ifedola Senasu Okupevi
At the presentation of the award, an enchanting citation of Bishop Odedeji was read.
Apart from being the Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, Odedeji was the Supervisory Bishop of Lagos Diocese for a period of about eight months after the demise of Archbishop Humphrey Olumakaiye.
He played the role of navigating the ship of the diocese pending when a substantive bishop in the person of Rt Revd Ifedola Senasu Okupevi was elected.
In the citation leading to the presentation of the award, the diocese said the award was to specifically celebrate Bishop Odedeji and his wife Dr. Lydia Odedeji for their exemplary service and noble statesmanship while serving the Lagos diocese.
“They both played once in a blue moon role of Supervisory Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos until the election and enthronement of the new Bishop. Bishop James and Lydia simply came out of obscurity and in humility, did a wonderful job.” the diocese noted in the citation.
Tracing Odedeji’s background, the diocese observed that the Bishop and his wife were fore-ordained to fill “an inter-Testamental gap ” in the history of the Lagos Diocese.
Bishop James Olusola Odedeji was the best overall graduating student of the 1993 graduating class at Immanuel College where he first had his theological training. He won 16 laurels including the Best Excellent and Leadership Quality prize.
He was Chaplain to the Pioneer Bishop of Lagos West Diocese, the Late Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi. He was Curate at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church which later became a Cathedral from 1997-2003.
He displayed uncommon brilliance, hard work, and unwavering commitment to duties which earned him a preferment as a Canon of the Cathedral in 2003, Archdeacon in 2007, and Dean of AVMCC from July 2010 – 10th October 2010.
That was the position he held till January 9, 2013, when he was elected as the second Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West.
Demonstrating his commitment to both faith and education, James Odedeji obtained a Master’s in Religious studies from Lagos State University (LASU) in 2016 and a Doctoral Degree from the same institution in 2014.
Bishop Odedeji is not only known for his religious leadership but also for his academic prowess. He is a distinguished Preacher, and an accomplished Intercessor and has been a Guest Speaker in various fora both within and outside Nigeria.
He has actively participated in Church Administration and has chaired several Committees within the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
Tenure as Supervising Bishop
The Lagos Diocese noted that Odedeji’s “tenure as Supervising Bishop was marked by superlative and impressive records of tremendous spiritual and physical growth.
“His ability to manage two huge dioceses with superlative ease and uncommon success is worth studying. He displayed great humility and wisdom during that period. He shuttled between Ikeja and Marina for those periods and yet did not abandon his primary responsibility.
“In the Lagos West Diocese, his primary assignment, he initiated a long list of physical projects including the towering Diocesan Multipurpose building
“The complex is situated in the exclusive area of Ikeja Lagos. it includes a magnificent Bishop’s Court, an Administrative Block, a Bishop’s Chapel, and Chaplains’ Quarters.
“Odedeji has also been able to grow the Lagos West Diocese from 100 Churches he inherited to almost 700 and still counting.
“His love for education is unparalleled. In just 10 years he mentored 14 Priests and 4 clergy wives who have successfully obtained their Ph. D.s in a record time.
“His amiable wife, Dr. Mrs. Lydia Odedeji is Chief Matron at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). She is a holder of two Master’s Degrees from LASU since 2008. She is a renowned educator and a Doctor of Philosophy from the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 2021.”