S.B. Olaye multipurpose hall: The making of a symbol of unity in C&S Church

by Church Times

It’s the latest of all the buildings on the Seraphim Land, Maba, just before the Redemption Camp along Lagos Ibadan Express Road. But it’s the cynosure of all eyes. It’s a big, beautiful and breathtaking architectural masterpiece designed for multipurpose use.

Third from left: Supreme Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, His Most Eminence Prophet Dr. S A Alao, Head of the Gospel Church of C& S, Orile, His Eminence Baba Aladura Reuben Olorunfunmi Basorun and some other leaders of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church at the commissioning of the S.B Olaye Multipurpose Hall

Baba Aladura Olaye

Named after Baba Aladura Solomon Olaye, the hall has an interesting trajectory. Long before it was conceived, Baba Aladura Olaye had always worked for the unity of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church.

After working for years with Coca-cola, he was persuaded to head a faction of the church called,  Cherubim and Seraphim Gospel Church, Orile, Lagos. He took up the challenge and agreed to serve full-time.

His vast knowledge of the Bible was unparalleled. Even at age 90, he was noted for his dexterity in quoting the scriptures off-hand and preaching for hours on his feet.

But the C&S Gospel Church which he headed joined the unification in the year 2000. This was in line with the quest to bring all the different groups in the church under one umbrella.

Pa Olaye who passed on in November 2003 deployed all resources at his disposal to see to the success of the unification initiative. He was supportive of the building committee of the Unification Church. He also laboured night and day to see to the expansion of the church as one body.

Long after his demise, his labour seems to be yielding fruit. So far about 60 different constituent assemblies have joined the unification at the national level while hundreds are at the state chapter levels. Several splinter groups are yet to join, but efforts are being made to bring them on board.

Some church officials of the church and participants at the inauguration of the building on February 23

The conception

The greater burden was however how to make the Seraphim Land truly represent the unity of the church. The site boasts a number of buildings. But attempts to have a multipurpose hall became a big challenge for the church until God used the Olaye family to come to the rescue.

Chairman of the Building Committee of the Church, Elder Apostle Akin Owolabi told Church Times that the multipurpose building was conceptualised in 2008.

But its foundation was laid on June 20 2009. By 2011 however, the Olaye family; basically children of the late Baba Aladura Solomon Olaye wrote to the church after the church’s convention promising to partner with the church on the project.

The family made a yearly commitment to the project until it became a reality. But the beginning was tough. The unexpected happened in  2013. Some land speculators sacked the church from the land.

Owolabi recalled that the land speculators swooped on them unexpectedly while they were on the site. Both members of the church and members of the Olaye family had to scamper for safety as thugs and hoodlums took over the land.

Rather than pay back in their own coin, the church took the matter to court. Work stopped on the land. It was back and forth; in and out of the court premises.

Front view of the S. B. Olaye Multipurpose Hall

Legal battle won

But as God would have it, the church won the legal battle and gained the legal right to the land in March 2014. It however could not continue work on the land until January 15 2015.

Even at that, the project was stalled due to the paucity of funds, It was still at the foundation level.

Owolabi said the Olaye family later came back to renew their commitment. “They took over the construction and brought it to a conclusive end. It was named after late S.B. Olaye and was formally handed over to the Church on Thursday 23 February 2023.” Owolabi said.

It’s a multipurpose hall in the ecumenical centre of the church known as Seraphim Land. Several other buildings are on the premises. But the S.B. Olaye Multipurpose Hall stands out.

Apostle Owolabi described Baba Aladura Solomon Olaye as a great leader in his lifetime. “He was a great leader, a motivator, a pro-active religious leader. He was a great patriarch who had a full understanding of the word of God.”

Some worshipers inside the magnificent hall at the dedication service


Why we donated the building-Olaye Family

The founder of Ayoola Foods, Mr Segun Olaye,  who is one of the children of the late patriarch described his father as a committed church worker who was passionate about God’s work and His word. “My father cherished the word of God so much. He did not get himself involved in any other thing apart from God’s word. If anybody had a challenge and went to him, he would point scriptures to the person and would encourage the person to pray. Nothing more.”

The building according to Ayoola Foods proprietor is a way of giving thanks to God and also to immortalise the memory of his father.”We the children felt it was important we support the project. Our father was a front-runner in the church.

“He came from a Muslim background and joined the church during his early years of marriage when he experienced the miracle of God in his life. He remained in the church throughout his life. The building is to primarily serve the people and also serve as a memorial for our late dad.” Olaye said.

The engineer in charge of the site, Mr Adeniran Idowu says the building is a multi-million naira project. “Apart from the main hall which can take thousands of people, there are four other smaller halls in the building which could be used for several other functions like conferences, seminars and business meetings. It’s a great project that will be of great value to the church,” he said.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by top leaders of the church including the Supreme Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, His Most Eminence Prophet Dr S A Alao and Head of the Gospel Church of C& S, Orile and His Eminence Baba Aladura Reuben Olorunfunmi Basorun.

Alao declared the hall open for use while dedicating it to God. He prayed for the Olaye family thanking God on their behalf for being a blessing to the church.

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