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Sound doctrine is vanishing 'Reverend Adeleke

Published by Tribune on Sun, 21 Dec 2014

First Baptist Church Tede celebrated its centenary anniversary recently. In this interview with OYEYEMI OKUNLADE, the pastor of the church, Reverend Olurotimi Ajeleke, relives his experiences as the leader of the church. Excerpts:Being the pastor of a church of 100 years, what are your experiences'There are lots of experiences, challenges, and stories to tell. In a church of 100 years where old people dominate, there were many beliefs and customs before I came in. I had to blend the old experiences with the new. It has indeed been challenging. Likewise, dealing with the old people, the middle aged, youth and children is another challenge that I encountered. The old ones will tell you what has happened before and the middle age will likewise say theirs, leaving you to make a decision. But all I went through has helped me to become a balanced minister.Were there times you wished you were not the church pastor'Yes. There was a time I was facing many challenges spiritually to the extent that almost every night, I had to fight battles in my dreams. Also during the day, many stories went round the town that I did things. I was alleged to have carried only the church youth along in my programmes. Ministers from other churches and well-meaning individuals asked questions about news they heard about me in town. I was fed up and desired to go to another place. I told one of my bosses that I had to go but he told me that ministerial work is not like office work. He said, 'You have to wait for the time of God. Keep praying.' He told me to develop courage and belief in God to see me through. If it were to be secular job, I would have changed it. I remained here because of the conviction I had before coming here. If there had been no convictions, I would have left.What is your assessment of the church now, compared to what obtained when you first came'Our fathers sang a song 'There is God's power as of old; we are the ones not serving God as of old.' Now going by that saying, it shows that the Christianity of our fathers was stronger. It cannot be compared with Christianity nowadays where we have a lot of teachings and diverse technological innovations which have bastardised Christianity. Christians of old were dedicated; they were never moved with whatever was going on around them. But in this age of technological advancement, the story is different. Even gospel artistes are not left out as the current state of the gospel music industry is not very encouraging. These days, we see people who dress anyhow and they claim they are serving God. Where do we find that in the scripture' It is obvious that sound doctrine is vanishing. This is the more reason we have to preach the faith of our fathers and work as they worked. Comparing the two, I will say we are miles apart. We have to go back to the Christianity as of old and aid the spread of the gospel with technological advancements such as social media platforms.So far, what is your happiest moment in the ministry'It is almost every day because I don't really count my challenges because Jesus told me in the scripture that I will face many challenges, but I should be of good cheer because he has overcome the world.In the next few years, where do you see this church'God answered my question of 'God, where are you taking us to'' when He said, 'I am taking you to another level of glory.' and immediately he gave me the scripture, Haggai 2 verse 9 'The glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former '' In the next few years, this church is will increased in glory by the grace of God in all standards.Can you rate the level of transformation of the members'When I came in as the pastor, it was a serious battle, the church being ancient. Introducing new teachings as against the traditions I met on ground was challenging. But at a point, we had a powerful teaching which led us into prayer. That was the time God started the work of transformation especially through the women. To the glory of God, members of the church are not the same as I met them. They are still growing.Before your assignment will be over in First Baptist Church Tede, what is your request from God'My request is that God should transform our youths. They have the strength to go for evangelism either in the village or city. If our youths are transformed, this will make it easy to extend the transformation to our fathers and mothers. Having received the complete change, they would stay at home and pray for us while we go out to preach.
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