Pastor Oluwafemi Kehinde Ojo is the son of Pastor Olubunmi Ojo the Retired Assistant General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God who passed on a couple of weeks ago. He is the Pastor of RCCG House of His Glory, Salt Lake City, Utah in the U.S. He is also an Assistant Zonal Pastor. In this interview with Church Times, he shares the story of his father and his growing up. Find below
How was growing up like in the house of parents who were pastors?
It was any other child. My parents were wonderful. They brought us up in the fear of the Lord. I was the only son in the family. But that did not make my father pamper me. He treated me just like any other child. My siblings are all females and that kind of rubbed off on me. Many of my friends while growing up were girls. But even at that, we were just friends and nothing more. The kind of discipline and character formation we were exposed to as children did not allow anyone of us to misbehave. I think we were fortunate in the sense that my parents were both pastors and parents to us. So we have this pastoral care and parental care. Not everybody has that opportunity.
Growing up as the only boy among girls, did that affect the way you were treated at home?
I thank God for my father, he did not pamper me. He handled me with iron hands. He never allowed me to be spoilt. He did not give me breathing space and did not allow me to come behind in every area of life. Apart from keeping watch over me at home, he handed me to some pastors in the RCCG and asked them to keep watch over me outside. Pastor Sola Adeyeye and a host of others were asked to follow up on us his children. We had no reason to misbehave outside. If you don’t want trouble don’t be involved in things that will get you into trouble. That was the silent rule at home. But I can as well say that growing up among girls made me know how to cook. My mum specifically taught me how to cook.
So what did you set out to do as a young man?
Music. I always loved music. I had always wanted to be a musician. I come from a singing family. My father sings, my mother sings. All my siblings sing. I was born into music. My parents happened to be in the choir. I have been music director. So naturally, I just gravitated to love music because that was what I saw all around me. When I follow my parents for choir practices as a kid, I would also gather those of the same age as me and begin to teach them songs. In fact, we used to mimic the adults who were singing and would copy their songs and teach them in our own way while they were practising. So it is not much of a surprise then that I had to study music. I have led choirs and composed songs. These are things I did right from age six. I still do music.
Do you live on music?
No. it’s just a passion. Of course, I studied music. But then I am into business. My upkeep largely depends on my business preoccupation. But music is my love.
What are clear memories you have about your father while he was alive?
I have a lot of things to say about him. Some of the things will put me on an emotional level. He was a loving father. He was a disciplinarian. He was time conscious. He was a good record keeper. He was detailed in his assignment. He worked so fast on his assignment and ensured that all that needed to be done were done quickly. He aimed at success in everything he did. He was a philanthropist who helped a lot of young people through their studies. He abhors injustice and frowns at anything illegal. He does not like debt too. He was a man of faith. He believed in God’s provision. Above all, old age did not stop him from working and planning ahead. He sings a lot. A lot to remember about him. I have so many lovely memories of him.
So in specific terms, what are the sacrifices he made concerning the church that you would like to talk about?
My father made a lot of impact in the RCCG. He started from being a member, worker and became sub-minister, minister and praise worship leader in the time of the founder of the mission, Baba Akindayomi. During the time of Baba Akindayomi he was ordained as a pastor and transferred to Mafoloku in Oshodi. He built the sanctuary under 21 days. Not only that, he was transferred to different places within Nigeria and outside. We usually go with him on those transfers. He also became AGO for education and church growth and planning. He was a member of the governing council of the RCCG. He served in so many capacities in the RCCG.
He gave his entire life for the purpose of the gospel and the mission. He succeeded because he was able to rally support and mobilise people for the work of missions. When he became a full-time pastor he made greater commitments. There was a time he was transferred to Oshogbo. When we got to Oshogbo the missions could not afford the rent for the parish where he was pastor. He had to add his own personal funds. For years he was paying the rent for the church accommodation with the support of some people in the church.
So how did he pass on, what were his last days like?
In passing to glory of my dad, I can say he saw where he was going a long time ago and he was set to go. He prepared for the transition even when his mother was alive. We had to keep reminding him that since his mother was alive he could not afford to leave her behind. We told him he had to bury his mother. The implication then was that he could not afford to die if his mother was still alive. When he turned 80 in 2019 his mother died and he buried his mother. So it became clear even to us that he could go anytime. He was feeling sick and went to hospital. A lot of tests was carried out on him and all the tests came out negative. He was in the hospital on Tuesday night. By Friday morning, I prayed for him on the phone. He asked for my mum and asked for the time and he said he was going home. We did not know he was talking about his eternal home. Those in the hospital were trying to encourage him that he would be okay. He turned his eyes away from them and began to thank God. He passed on at around 4 am.
What kind of conversation did you have with him?
I was glad to call him on father’s day. We just exchanged pleasantries and shared thoughts. But then he began to delegate a lot of things. Then, we did not pay attention to the things he was doing. On father’s day, I called him and we joked and talked. He was sitting on a couch and we were greeting him but he was just waving. He was full of life until his death. He was a strong man both within and outside. He was full of God’s grace.
How then would you want him to be remembered in the RCCG family?
The only way he could be immortalized is for those of us coming behind to continue in that trademark of excellence that he left behind. We should not forget the ancient landmark. My father is one of the many pioneers of the RCCG, I want to encourage the young pastors to follow in the steps of those gone before us. They dedicated their lives for the work of the ministry. The work of AGO was done with honesty and passion without partially. They helped all those who came their way without prejudice. The kind of passion that they had for Christ was simply incredible. So the only way to remember people like that is to live the life of Christ they lived.