By Wilson Adekumola
Pastor Samuel Temitayo better known as Bari Jesus has said he was an ardent follower of Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister when he was in the world.
Born into Christian family over four decades ago in Oyin-Akoko, Ondo State, he attended Baptist Primary School in his home town, then Ajuwa Grammar School, Oke-Agbe before he proceeded to study Biochemistry at University of Ilorin. He is an assistant pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG,) Communion Area and Bread of Life Parish, 35, Alowonle Street, Dopemu, Lagos.
Recounting how he was inspired by the Fuji maestro, he said, “I am an ardent follower of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister music from my childhood. Among all the albums my father used to buy then it was the only one that I had interest. I later developed passion for his style of music and philosophical words that cover all facets of life.
“When I was growing up, any time I felt bored or upset I turned to his songs for inspiration. I could not just help but resonate with the unique way he coined his words. I emulated his songs to the extent that I got his style and sang in that direction. I did this till I got to the university. Some people erroneously believed I was a Muslim. They called me ‘Omo Alhaji Agba” meaning son of the Fuji maestro. But then I got born again in 1999 at the Redeemed Christian Students Fellowship (RCSF) where I worshiped while in school but my involvement with Students’ Union activities being one of the executives reduced my commitment to Christ.
“My memory of Barrister Ayinde could not be totally wiped out despite my new way of serving the Lord. When I left the university I rediscovered myself and rededicated my life to Christ. It now became almost impossible for me to sing in my usual way. I struggled with it. I began to think of how I could use this talent for God. In the course of this an idea crept into my mind that I could transfer the Fuji genre into gospel songs. What I now did was that each time the inspiration came I would re-mold it with the scriptures. It got to a time that I got the gospel lyrics for all Alhaji Agba songs. That was when I started feeling comfortable singing in the midst of my brethren, he disclosed”.
Bari Jesus as he is fondly called has impacted lives and won many souls with his Fuji-like gospel songs. He believes he has a tool that he can use as catalyst for soul-winning. But that did not happen until he ministered at a crusade and witnessed how many people submitted their lives to the Lord. That experience made him decide to use the the gift during evangelical outreaches. This is evident in the crusade his parish held at Agege Stadium in 2013.
“At a time I asked myself what can I do for God with this gift? I remember that I have been part of ‘Let’s go a fishing’ team in RCCG where I worship. I notice that each time we had a soul-winning crusade it was predominantly full of usual participants. I thought of what we could do to attract more members. It occurred to me that I could use that my style of music for this purpose. I called some of my members to share my vision with them and when they saw it was a good idea they encouraged me. That was how we went to open air crusade in Agege stadium in 2013. To my utter dismay, some social miscreants trooped in as they noticed the peculiarity in the songs because of the Barrister Ayinde tone I employed. Believe me sincerely, when altar call was made, about fifty-five people surrendered their lives to the Lord.
“That was when I realized that I have a powerful tool in my hand to win soul for Christ. I decided to take it serious. To be candid, after the event, parts of the songs were taken to Radio station, Faaji FM to be precise. When it was played I was invited for a chat. In fact, I was surprised when people began to call in that they had missed Barrister and I should produce an album for them. I ruminated over this because it has significant bearing on my live. That was how I recorded my first album titled “Reality of Praises” in 2013 and the second one “Jesus Dimension in 2015 with one single “No Shaking Nigeria”.
On his advice to upcoming gospel artistes, the gospel singer who is also a Project Manager and Professional consultant, said, “Whoever wants to venture into gospel music must first experience salvation through Jesus Christ. You must allow Christ to rule over your life. You must deny yourself pleasure of this world because these are the things that will not allow you to flow in the spirit. Any one that sings gospel music ought to know that he or she is into evangelism. They must allow their songs to reflect what they preach. I observe that a lot people are gospel artistes because of the financial gain. Unfortunately, some of them cannot even sing without the influence of alcohol and this is due to the absence of Christ in their lives. But the key thing is that you must be inspired by God”. He advised.
The acronym ‘BARI JESUS’, which many people would think was supposedly carved out of Barrister Ayinde is just a mere coincidence. According to him, BARI JESUS means Be Advanced and Responsible In Jesus. Pastor Samuel Temitayo is happily married and blessed with kids.