Ven James Adejuwo has been in the Diocese of Lagos West since 2005. He saw the evolution of the diocese and concludes there is every cause to thank God for the quality leadership in the diocese since its inception.
He said, “I have said it among friends that we have to be grateful that God made it happen for The Rt Rev James Olusola Odedeji to be our bishop. We are privileged to have somebody who knows everyone one of us. He worked under Baba Adebiyi and was able to continue from where Baba stopped. That is the joy we are celebrating today.”
Ten years after Bishop Odedeji’s enthronement, Venerable Adejuwon believes there is a lot to thank God for “God is the one in charge of the diocese. He has seen ahead and he knows who will fit in. I believe God arranged everything for the good of the diocese” he said.
On whether he had proved critics and sceptics wrong, he said, “Some people were unnecessarily agitated at the beginning. It is a tradition to translate a bishop from an existing diocese to the diocese just like it was done with the diocese of Lagos. In fact, Baba Adebiyi was first the bishop in Owo before he was brought to Lagos. But Bishop Odedeji was picked from among us in the diocese. He was never a bishop before then. That makes his election unique. I believe God has been merciful to Lagos West that the election and enthronement were done in such a way that it has been a blessing.
“Both of them are so unique. God decided to favour this diocese by allowing Adebiyi to lay the foundation and Odediji to build on it. Baba Adebiyi was a man with foresight. He loved the work of God. He took this diocese to an enviable position. Bishop Odedeji on the other hand knows how to select people. He is a builder. He loves big things for the Lord. For him, nothing is impossible. All you need to do is to put your mind on it. He is dogged and straightforward. He has people who are supportive.
“Look at the Bishop Court. The churches were not levied. He went into the project without taxing anybody. I think that is phenomenal.”
Adejuwon also disclosed that he has been so much favoured under Bishop Odedeji even though he is still at a loss on what he did to deserve some of the preferment.
“My family is grateful to him among others. He has impacted us personally. He has shown a lot of concern about my welfare. If I have a property I can call my own today, I can say he is the one who made it possible by the encouragement and advice he gave me”
Ven Adejuwon also recalled how he was battling with an ailment that was affecting the way he ministered. He had wanted to live with the ailment, a lump on his neck. But Bishop Odedeji encouraged him to undergo the surgical procedure which he had tried to avoid.
“To the glory of God, I went to do the operation because of the encouragement and support he gave and it was successful.
“Bishop is very much interested in the health of all the priests in the diocese. He says always that he is not interested in a befitting burial but a befitting life.”
Adejuwon said further that Bishop Odedeji has a way of impressing on all the priests to ensure they live a clean and upright life. He emphasises that we should by no means lose our integrity.
One of the unique traits of Odedeji according to him is the ability to call us all by name. “He knows us by name, knows our children and wives. He is a friendly bishop and at the same time firm. We are blessed to have him.”
The last 10 years according to Adejuwon are colourful addition to the diocese. “Today, the Primate of the Church celebrates us. It shows a lot about the impact and personality of the Bishop. And he has a noiseless and brilliant way of doing what he is doing.
His sermons are top-notch. He loves education. The fact that I am able to go for my MA and another MA and PHD is to his credit. He has a way of encouraging people to move on and study more. God has given him the grace to move us to another level. I am proud to belong to the Diocese of Lagos West. He takes care of our welfare.”
Adejuwon counsels, “We need to give him all our support, and also pray for him. Bishop should also find time to rest. He and his wife have been an inspiration. They should continue inspiring us.”