Bishop Sola Ore: Glorious passage of an apostle of love

Bishop Sola Ore, Chairman of Lagos Chapter of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria passed to glory on October 26, 2020 according to a statement by the General Secretary of the PFN, Rev. Toyin Kehinde. Here is a piece by Gbenga Osinaike shortly after Ore became chairman of the PFN.  The piece was first published in September 2014. Find below.

bishop Sola ore
Bishop Sola Ore

 

He stands out in a crowd. His defining features are his height, his grey beards and an almost expressionless look. You perhaps won’t be able to decipher when he is angry and when he is not. He is a jolly good fellow.

For Bishop Sola Ore, Chairman, Lagos chapter of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, a Christian should radiate love. “I have love for love. Right from when I gave my life to Christ in 1980, I discovered that the Lord poured His love into my heart. I love to stay around people. I remember in those days as a young believer, my sitting room was a place people came for fellowship. In that group what we used to do was to share the word and share biscuits and drinks. It was an atmosphere of love. It was just a fellowship but then some brethren thought I was going to convert it to a church. But I did not have that intention.”

That early understanding of the need to love followed him all the way through as a believer and then a pastor. Born to parents who attended Cherubim and Seraphim church, Ore recalled that his mother used to operate the prophetic gift. “My mother was a prophet and was well known in those days. She loved the Lord and served Him so well. But she did not understand the idea of being born again. So when I gave my life to Christ, she did not like it. In those days Pentecostal churches were called ijo elekun: the church where people weep. So, it was not popular to be born again.”

 

Ore, however, remained resolute. His first attempt to accept the Lordship of Jesus was in 1974 but the second attempt which happened at a crusade organized by the late evangelist J.K. Solomon in 1980 put a final seal to his quest to know the Lord. He became born again and had to drop his old ways of life. “The effect of God’s word on me was immediate. I dropped old habits almost immediately. I remember going back to the office on Monday because the experience happened during the weekend. My friends made a jest of me, saying I would still come back to join them in the world. But it was difficult for me to go back because the experience was real”

 

What further strengthened his salvation was the discipleship programme he passed through. “In those days when I gave my life to Christ, we had to attend Bible studies every day for two months. With that kind of teaching and grounding, it was difficult for anybody to backslide.”

 

The early years of his salvation were quite exciting. “A brother later introduced me to Deeper Life Church, Redeemed Christian Church and Christian Life Church and asked me to start attending any. I chose RCCG. By then, Pastor E.A. Adeboye was the parish pastor of that branch. I think there were just two RCCG churches in Ilorin. He was the pastor of the one I attended and then was also a lecturer at the University of Ilorin. His life was a challenge to me.

 

“I felt if a man of his status could so much love God, I had no excuse. He was simply an inspiration. It wasn’t long after I joined that he was made the General Overseer of the church. But my mentorship under him was a worthwhile one. I remember going to his office at the university campus to ask all kinds of questions. And he would spare time to answer me. He was the one handling the Bible study sessions in those days.”

 

One of the daring questions that Ore asked Pastor Adeboye was why RCCG members were not retaining beards. “I asked him because I was just curious. He told me it was not a sin but that keeping beards sometimes makes you look like a Marxist. It was that understanding that made me to keep my beards when eventually I became a pastor in the church. But what shocked me was that some young men in the church took after me and started keeping beards too without me telling them to do so. I had to shave my beards then because I didn’t want to appear as a rebel. When I shaved my beards they also shaved theirs without any instruction from me.”

 

That happened many years after he had left Ilorin for Lagos. But during his Ilorin days ministry work was not a tea party. He recalled that he was once part of a seven-day dry fasting programme, which led to a series of revival programmes and manifestations of God’s power in Ilorin. There was a great revival in the church in those days and it got to a point that the elders in the church felt threatened but Pastor Adeboye who had then become the G.O would occasionally intervene. He would counsel us to be obedient and respect the elders while not ignoring our spirituality.”

 

He recalls, “There were great servants of God like Bishop David Oyedepo, David Bakare, Isaac Omolehin, Moses Rahman, Charles Achonwa, Kola Onaoloapo and a host of others who were doing exploits for God in Ilorin. Then Bishop Oyedepo had a ministry tagged, Faith Liberation Hour Ministry which attracted believers from all denominations. It was quite impactful. That was before he began the Living Faith Church.”

 

At a point, Ore had to come to Lagos so he could write his ICAN exams. “I did not plan to live in Lagos because for me Lagos was too wild. But I had to come because I wanted to write ICAN. When I got to Lagos I was not active in any fellowship. I just wanted to serve God. But then I remember going to greet Pastor Adeboye and he asked me which of the parishes I was attending. That was what made me start to attend RCCG again. I joined the model parish on Adeniyi Jones and took the back seat but not long I was fished out and rose to become Area pastor covering the whole of Badagry, Ipaja and Festac area. Then RCCG had state and area. I had a wonderful time in the RCCG.”

 

Ore, now a grandfather was the pioneer pastor of RCCG Love Assembly in Festac, which is now known as Victory House. He put in a total of 18 years in RCCG before the Lord called him out to start afresh. “It was not easy for me to leave RCCG because it was a place where I was loved and doing well. But when the Lord called me to start a fresh work for him, I had to obey but it took a while. Initially, my wife objected to the idea of full-time ministry work.”

 

She, however, reasoned with her husband thus giving birth to Love Aglow Ministry in Festac in May 1998. I remember going to pastor Adeboye to get his blessings. I had initially told the then state pastor who informed pastor Adeboye of my decision to leave the church. I went to pastor Adeboye eventually and he prayed for me. He prayed like this, “Lord if it is your will for him to leave RCCG for a fresh work let me be happy whenever I see him afterwards. But if not, let him not follow his flesh”

 

He said further, “I had been taught never to rebel against authority right from my early days in ministry. That guided me when I was in RCCG and when I was leaving. I did not take people from the church apart from my family members. I was also careful not to announce my exit apart from telling a few people who were close to me. So we had to start from scratch. I prayed that the RCCG parish I left behind would continue to grow and God has answered that prayer.”

 

Apart from being a chartered accountant, Ore also holds a degree from International Miracle Institute in Florida, USA. He describes his new position as the chairman of PFN as God’s own work. “I did not lobby for this position. As a matter of fact, when a top pastor mentioned to me that I was being considered I told the person I was not interested. But after consultation, I had to accept the offer because I see it as an opportunity to serve.”

 

He explains that the best way to go in life is never to compete for anything and never to compare yourself with another person. “I have also discovered that the work I am doing in ministry is the work of God and not my work. I cannot claim joint ownership with God. I believe a pastor should keep on preaching the truth. The church may grow slowly but it will grow strong”

 

On his vision for the PFN, he says, “My passion has always been with the grassroots pastor. I will ensure that we initiate programmes that will enhance their lifestyles and make their ministry to be more impactful. I also believe that it’s only Jesus who can make right the wrong in the body of Christ. But from our own end, we will ensure that the body of Christ is one.”

Postscript

Bishop Sola Ore was Chairman of Lagos State chapter of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria from August 2014 till his passing to glory on October 26, 2020. He had a legendary sense of humour. He radiated love and led by example always encouraging members of the body to work within the limit of their calling and not be overly obsessed with material possession. He was always promoting love, collaboration and concern for the unity of the body of Christ.  During his time as the PFN chairman, he ensured priority was placed on missions while also ensuring that members do well in their various areas of calling. He would be sorely missed by the Church.

 

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