By Jimoh Bashir
For Reverend Samuel Aboyeji, it was a story of ‘a Prophet honoured at home’, as sons and daughters of Edidi, led by the Eledidi himself, His Royal Highness, Oba Gabriel Aboyeji, Aretujoye II and his Chiefs and Baales came together to celebrate him on his inauguration as the 5th General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Nigeria.
The reception ceremony, held at the Hall of Victory Comprehensive College, Edidi was organised to celebrate their son, for attaining that height in spiritual world, and for putting the community, Edidi in the international map of recognition.
The achievement was no doubt, seen as a great feat by Edidi community, which is largely an agricultural settlement in Isin Local Government Area of the state, as both the Christian and Muslim communities troop out to honour the General Overseer and his wife, Rev. Samuel and Rev. Olabisi Aboyeji.
The Kabiesi, Oba Gabriel Aboyeji thanked God for the height attained by Reverend Aboyeji, a feat which he says, will lift the community, both spiritually and physically.
He commended the sons and daughters of the community for coming out enmasse, to honour the General Overseer and his wife.
He led a special prayer session for the Reverend and his wife, and for the community, even as he advised him not to forget his root.
The Bishop of Igbomina Diocese of Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev Emmanuel Adekola said that Rev Aboyeji is an illustrious son of Edidi, and that they have to celebrate him, as Edidi is part of Igbomina Diocese.
‘Even though he belongs to Foursquare Gospel Church, the body of Christ is one. Honour to one is honour to all. It’s a thing of joy to have a son of Edidi as the General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church. It’s a great thing that God has done for us in this community.
He charged the Christians in Edidi to join hands to enhance the course of Gospel.
The Chief Imam of the community, Iman Abdulquadri Sakariyau, while also praying for the General Overseer, said that God Almighty does His things the way He wants, adding that the good things happening to Edidi during the reign of Oba Aboyeji was because he encouraged unity and oneness.
He described the appointment of Rev. Aboyeji as General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Nigeria as a good omen for the community. He commended all religious leaders in the community for their sacrifice, and for promoting the work of God.
The President of Edidi Progressive Association, Chief (Engr) Moses Olatunji Oladimeji said that the achievement of the General Overseer is worth being celebrated.
‘Edidi has been blessed with Professors, Directors, General Managers, Administrators, Principals, Lawyers, Engineers and others, but this is the first time we shall be blessed with the Head of an international Church. Praise be to Almighty God’, he said.
He seeks the Reverend’s support for prayers and assistance in executing projects in the community.
‘Edidi is still developing, and we want to draw your attention to many developmental projects which we are pursuing, which includes rehabilitation of our only secondary school, which we pray to God to transform to higher institution of learning, building of a Town Hall, improvement on our water project and construction of the palace of Eledidi. We fervently need your special prayers and assistance to execute these projects’.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Professor Emmanuel T. Jolayemi said that the community is largely an agricultural settlement that has placed education topmost.
‘Many of the citizens have gone out of the community for greener pastures but never forget home. This largely resulted into our son, Rev. Aboyeji having to come back home from Lagos for his secondary education’
‘We welcome our son and daughter, Rev and Rev (Mrs) Samuel Aboyeji and their entourage to our community, Edidi, where the current General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church International hails from.
The Foursquare Church, officially named the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, is a Pentecostal denomination that resulted from the dynamic Evangelistic Ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson, who opened the historic Angelus Temple on Jan. 1, 1923.
In Nigeria, the Church started in October 1955 through the endeavours of a missionary couple; Rev and Mrs. Harold Curtis from USA. The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria currently has about 4032 churches spread over 154 districts and 824 zones as at September 2018. The Church in Nigeria has also reached out to neighboring countries and had established in the Republic of Benin, Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Cote de voire and Central African Republic. Most of these churches in the west coast have been nationalized.
The Church is currently in about 160 countries of the world.
While reacting, Rev Samuel Aboyeji commended the Kabiesi, all the Chiefs and Baales, Elders, representatives of both Christian and Muslim Communities as well as sons and daughters of Edidi, both at home and abroad, for the honour done him and his family.
He described the reception as a landmark honour that he and his family will forever cherish.
‘I am a product of so many years of God’s grace’, he said.
‘I feel great for the honour done me and my family. You know Jesus himself had a community, that’s why they call him Jesus of Nazareth. Every man has a root. I feel elated that I am been honoured by my community.
‘This means to me that I have to do more, and that I have to continue to promote the name of the community. It also means to me that, since the day I was appointed, I always pray that every son and daughter of Edidi must get to the number one spot of everything they are engaged in’, he added.
He pledged to support, and continue to pray that God brings help to the community from unexpected sources.
Born on December 26th, 1960, into the family of Mr Caleb Aboyeji Bankole and Mrs Rebecca Ebunlomo Bankole, both of blessed memory, in Edidi, Isin Local Government Area of Kwara state, Rev. Samuel Aboyeji attained his First School Leaving Certificate from St. Andrew’s Anglical Primary School, Edidi in 1974. He bagged his West Africa School Certificate from Victory College of Commerce, (now Victory Comprehensive College), Edidi in 1979.
He was born again as a teenager under the Ministry of Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) and a Chapel Prefect of the school. He grew spiritually as a product of the revival that swept across the campus fellowship in the 70s, and was the Prayer and Bible Study Secretary of Unilorin Christian Union Alumni Fellowship (UCUAF). His commitment to the Lord and his work made him to serve the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with Faith Liberation Hour Ministries, the forerunner of Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) as one of the pioneer Pastors in Ilorin.
Prior to being elected as the fifth General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, he was a Senior Pastor of the Church’s Olu of Warri’s palace branch since 2001; Warri District Overseer since 2006 and Mid-West Religion Coordinator since 2011, where he was rated the best District Overseer of the Church for three consecutive years.
He is also a member of the Board of both the Home and Foreign Mission and the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Church.
Reverend Samuel Aboyeji joined the Foursquare Gospel Church in 1988. He served as a Sunday School Teacher, House Fellowship Coordinator, General Sunday School Superintendent and Assistant Minister between 1988 and 1989 in both the Shomolu District Headquarters Church and the Akoka Zonal Headquarters Church from where he became the Senior Pastor of Foursquare Gospel Church Ajiun Ladilak of Obanikoro Zone in 1999. He was ordained a Minister of the Church in 2001.
Rev Samuel Aboyeji is married to Rev (Mrs) Olabisi Aboyeji, a qualified Medical Laboratory Scientist, who has been in the Ministry with him since 1993, and they are blessed with four children, Iyanuoluwa, Iyinoluwa, Ifeoluwa and Ireoluwa.
Rev Aboyeji and his wife were accompanied to the ceremony by a large number of the Church’s Elders, Board members, Zonal Coordinators and other officials from virtually all parts of the country.
Among the Elders and community leaders who graced the reception are Engr Niyi Adeyemi, Alhaji (Chief) Idris Sanni, Dr. Femi Atoyebi, Engr Ayo Olayioye, Alhaji Kashim Sanni, Madam Florence Adewumi, Alhaja Alimat Oyebanji, who is the Iya Suns of Edidi, Alhaja Aishat Sekoni, Barrister Bayo Atoyebi and Madam Lydia Adekeye among others.