On the summer of 1992, cloud was gathering heavily, with the sky dark and pregnant with evening rain. While market women were quickly packing their goods and heading for homes, on the other hands, returning farmers from farm were hurriedly running for cover. Also, the little children were not left out, as they were dancing and jubilating for joy, in order to greet the arrival of the thunderous downpour.
The deluge began, with everyone breathing the sigh of relief.
Some elders, at their assembly, were huddling and discussing in eerie tones, about what is to take place, shortly.
Seated inside the Church premises were a middle-age man, bro. Meshach Balogun and a 23-year old dark good-looking young man, bro. Diran Ajao, captivated in intense conversation. “Having prayed about it for a long time, however, the Lord told me you’ll be the next President of our Baptist Student Fellowship (BSF), Okegboho Chapter, comes next year,” said bro. Meshach to the young chap.
Meanwhile, bro. Diran, being a newly born again, was distraught regarding the unpleasant state of the Church. Then, according to him, there was a lack of good role models, and even mentoring was poor. Moreover, young men and ladies were enmeshed in sexual immoralities, alcoholism, smoking, and pilfering. Likewise, the young school leavers’ aspirations were to settle down after graduation, from high school. Simply put, no hope of better tomorrow, whatsoever, for average youths, who were already lost into sins.
So, when bro. Meshach presented him the opportunity of leading the student wing of the Church, he jumped at it, since he earlier hungered for revival.
Therefore, the journey began as the first ever inauguration of the Okegboho BSF Chapter took place in 1993, under the able leadership of Reverend E. A Egunjobi. Furthermore, it was instituted by the Nigeria Baptist Convention (NBC) representatives who made the occasion colourful.
He cut to the chase. The first thing bro. Diran did to kick start his presidency was to set up his teams. His vibrant teams comprised of the following:
Secretary: bro. Joshua Okunade
Sister Coordinator: Sis. Mary Okunade
Choir Leader: Sis. Nike Oladokun
Evangelism Coordinator: bro. Joshua Ilori
Drama Coordinator: bro. Diran Ajao (he doubled as President)
The elder’s forum comprised of the following:
- Ademola Asinwa
- Josiah Alabi
- Elkanah Ajao
- Meshach Balogun
Firstly, he and his team members founded the Living Choir and the Living Drama in order to tackle the lethargy and secularity of the main Church’s Choir and Drama departments. This was undertaken to salvage the rotten state of the latter, which has left much to be desired of their original purposes of being a conduit for winning souls, rather than a mere sensational display and comedy.
Secondly, evangelism was given a high priority under bro. Joshua Ilori. Because there was a handful of members prior to taking over but later on there was transformation, in terms of numbers of attendance.
The mechanism used was to approach the promising chaps, who were unborn again, to wake up to their studies by organizing lessons for them. However, the teams achieved proportional success in this regards as the numbers of BSF members during week days meetings surged up, exponentially.
Some of the souls won were bro. John Adesola Oladosun, bro. Segun Alabi, bro. Joel Abilagbo, bro. Gabriel Ogunsola, bro. Benjamin Alabi, bro. Lekan Babalola, bro. Sunday Ogunyale, Sis. Lydia Gbemisola, Sis. Taiwo Okunade, bro. Muyiwa Ojebisi, bro. Sola Ojebisi, bro. Akin, bro. Lanre Adeyemo, Sis. Funmi Afolabi, Sis. Funmi Gbemisola, Sis. Charlotte Adedigba, bro. Solomon, bro. Robert Okunade, bro. Tunde Oladokun, Sis. Lydia Ajao, bro. Samuel Ajao, bro. Jacob Ajao (the biographer), Sis. Funmi Adedigba, Sis. Victoria Oladokun, Sis. Funmi Gbolagade, Sis. Naomi Gbemisola, Sis. Bunmi Alabi, Sis.Racheal Adetona, Sis. Nike Eniola, bro. Kehinde Alabi, bro. Taiwo Alabi among others.
Thirdly, they launched bi-annual and annual programs such as BSF Week, Film Shows and Christmas funfair. These are forums where youths are equipped and prepared for tomorrow.
Moreover, they established and conducted first ever English Services program where non-Yoruba speaking congregants could worship God.
Besides, other additional values to the Church are contributions of offerings to Church treasury every week.
Every achievement has its own crucibles and paid price.
While these infantile leaders were carrying out their part of the great commission, on behalf of the Church, they had so many enemies, both from the main Church and their respective parents, at home. The Execute Committee of the Church was uncomfortable with their rule of play over their authority – BSF to carry out some activities in the Church.
This row was serious to the point that their respective parents had to warn them that it was either to choose the Church or be kicked out of the Church if they didn’t desist from infringing on the responsibilities.
However, some matured elders saw how well-meaning these vibrant youngsters were and therefore supported them all the way. These people were Late Pastor S.B Babalola and Mrs. Funmilayo Ojebisi. In addition, the elder’s forum earlier listed above stood by them.
They deserve kudos.
In conclusion, this rise of Okegboho BSF Chapter, Igboho has birthed many valiant men and women in the vineyards of God, I.T industries, government ministries, educational sectors, media, politics, health industries, oil and gas industries and numerous others yet to surface. So, my sincere desire is that may we always keep the fire blazing by reproducing ourselves in others before the master’s return in Jesus name. Lastly, lets the offspring produced by this great revival remember the Mesopotamia people (at home) beckoning at them to come and preach to them one more time.