Bishop Oluremi Obembe: The dawn of a new era
Bishop Mrs. Oluremi Obembe has been installed as the Presiding Bishop of Elshaddai Bible Church, the ministry her late husband left behind.
Oluremi Obembe is the widow of late Archbishop Olanrewaju Obembe who died on May 1 and was buried on June 14.
The installation ceremony of Bishop Oluremi Obembe was done on Sunday June 16 at the Dolphin Estate, Lagos, Nigeria headquarters of the church.
The event attracted members of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCAM) led by Bishop Taiwo Akinola, pastors of other branches of the church and a number of friends and well-wishers. The former General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church Nigeria, Dr.Wilson Badejo preached at the event.
By her installation, Oluremi Obembe has joined the league of widows of church leaders who took over from their husbands after their demise.
Widows who are General Overseers
Examples of those who are occupying such office include, Rev. Nkechi Anayo Ilupotaife whose husband, Hayford Ilupotaife was assassinated in 1995. She is the General Overseer of Victory Christian Church Satellite Town, Lagos.
Archbishop Margaret Idahosa also took over from her husband, Archbishop Benson Idahosa as the General Overseer of Church of God Mission shortly after the death of her husband in March 1998.
Also in the league is Pastor Mrs. Roseline Oduyemi who is the General Overseer of Bethel Worship Centre of All Nations known as Wonder City. Her husband, Gabriel Oduyemi died in 2005.
Rev Mrs. Janet Onaolapo also fall into that category. She is the presiding pastor of Abundant Life Gospel Church based in Lagos. She took over from her husband, Kola Onaolapo shortly after his death on October 14 2012. The church under Janet Onaolapo has experienced tremendous growth since the death of her husband.
Sermon at the installation
In his sermon at the installation of Bishop Oluremi Obembe, Rev Badejo called for cooperation of the church members with the new overseer noting that a new chapter has just opened for the church.
Picking his sermon from Ecclesiastics 3v2, he told the congregation that there is time for everything noting that the passage of Archbishop Obembe was a culmination of his time on this side of eternity.
He encouraged Bishop Oluremi Obembe to be strong and be determined to take the church to a higher level. “You need to be strong and take courage. The task could be enormous but be assured that God who was with your husband will also be with you and strengthen you.”
A member of the ICCAM who preferred not to be named told our correspondent that there was a need to do the installation so as not to create a vacuum in the ministry.
“The church of God has to move on. We thank God for the great work that Archbishop Obembe did while he was on earth. The only way we can immortalize him is to ensure that what he labored for does not disappear. That is the way I see the installation of Bishop Oluremi Obembe.”
Bishop Oluremi Obembe: Tribute to her husband
In her tribute at the burial on June 14, Bishop Oluremi Obembe had described her husband, the later Archbishop Olanrewaju Obembe as a man who knew God and did great exploits.
“He preached that once God has said it, He will do it. And he held to the promises of God tenaciously. He was a man of God who constantly had God in his corner watching over his back. That is why I referred to him as a man that “God is partial to”
Bishop Oluremi Obembe recalled in the tribute how she initially turned down the offer of her late husband for marriage. She said, “Over 33 years ago, the then Brother Joseph Olarewaju came suddenly into my quiet life with a statement, “I am a man in need”, I asked, “What need”, he said, “I need a wife. I said, “get one” he said, “you are the one”. I told him to walk out of my house. He got up immediately and said, “I am happy that I have delivered the message that God asked me to give you”
Bishop Oluremi Obembe however said after he left, “the spirit of God started dealing with me”. She no longer had peace until she said yes to the request. They were married five months later. The marriage lasted for 33 years.
It is expected that the bond between the duo would inspire her to keep on with the work her husband left behind.