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Ven Tunde Owoyele: Why Anglican Diocese of Lagos West is soaring

by Church Times

He is about the oldest serving administrator in the diocese of Lagos West of the Anglican Communion; having put in 35 years into priesthood. But Venerable Tunde Owoyele’s boyish disposition belies the giant in him.

He was there at the beginning of the Diocese when it was carved out of the old Lagos Diocese. Beyond that, Owoyele has been instrumental in the execution of many projects in the diocese. There is no parish of the church where he served that he did not leave his footprint even against all odds.

He told Church Times that what keeps the Lagos West Diocese going is the strong foundation it had and the grace of having quality and committed bishops so far.

“The pioneer bishop and the officers of the diocese were men of excellence. They were committed to evangelism, church planting, and infrastructural development of the diocese. This has helped the diocese to keep growing and making giant strides.” he said.

But that is not all. “We have been fortunate and blessed to have Bishop Olusola Odedeji taking over from Bishop Adebiyi. He was the right person chosen to succeed Baba Adebiyi. And I had the privilege of having foresight about this. I told the incumbent bishop before he succeeded Baba Adebiyi that he was the one I saw on the throne because God gave me the revelation. His appointment did not come as a surprise.” he said.

The unique thing about Bishop Odedeji according to him is that he carries everybody along in his policy decisions. “We have quality people as officers in the diocese and we have a great leader. His relationship with the clergy in the diocese is second to none. The big size of the diocese has been a plus not a minus. Some naysayers were expecting there will be an implosion in the diocese because of its size. But rather, what we are experiencing is the bombshell of joy, happiness, and progress.”

The diocese according to him has also been having an increasing level of spirituality. “There is godly competition among the archdeacons, people are coveting good works and good gifts. The priests are updating themselves academically.

“While priests are in school, they are still being paid their salaries. Some of them are even assisted by the diocese to write off their school fees. The diocese is indirectly affecting many other dioceses in the Church of Nigeria because they now copy some of the programmes we do like the Jesus festival, covenant seed, and many others.”

Ven and Mrs Tunde Owoyele


Owoyele: God makes project execution easy for me

Owoyele who served as the founding chaplain for the women’s guild in the diocese for 13 years has a lot of stories to tell about his service in the diocese. He had the grace of being involved in the planning and implementation of the City of God, a project of the Women’s Guild located in Ipaja, Lagos.

Beyond that, he has helped in the physical infrastructure of many of the churches he served starting from St. Andrews Ogudu which he built from scratch. And then to St Paul’s Ojodu where he was able to complete some projects in a short space of time and also to CKC, Pedro where he dedicated five projects in one year.

His tenure at St Andrew’s Church, Ipaja was also remarkable. When he mooted the idea of a new church building, some of the leading figures in the church came to discourage him. But he was adamant. To the glory of God, he ensured the construction of a new church building within one year of his time in the church.

He was posted to Christ Church, Agege where he was able to put up another gigantic structure in record time for the church. He was transferred to Bola Memorial Anglican Church, Ikeja, and then Church of Pentecost FESTAC where God used him to expand the church building in less than one year.

According to him half of the former church building was added to the existing one. He was in that church for six years from where he was moved to  All Saints, Ikosi Ketu still doing exploits.

On the secret behind some of the projects he has carried out in all the churches he served, he said, “It is the wisdom of God that we deploy in all these churches to do the projects. If people believe in your leadership, they will support you. I am open with the finance of the church. We also go by direct labour to do many of the building projects. That helps us to conserve funds.

“People are always afraid when you initiate projects. But when they see that you’re resolute, they will be supportive. I got to St. Andrews Ipaja in January 2006. And I told them, by November we will be dedicating the new church building. Many did not believe me. But we were able to accomplish it despite the opposition. We simplified the project and also simplified the finance.”

Owoyele spoke glowingly of Bishop Odedeji describing him as a giver and a gift to the diocese of Lagos West. “His level of spirituality is high. He wants to be led by God before doing anything. His tenure has been peaceful. He is open to learning. He does a lot of consultations.

“He can ask more than 20 people before he embarks on something and he emphasizes training a lot. He is the type that gets things done without making noise. He knows how to draw opposition to himself. He believes everybody can be useful to the gospel. He has a high taste for projects. He wants a good life for the people around him and for himself. He is known for the saying, A befitting life is better than a befitting burial.”


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