By SAM EYOBOKA & OLAYINKA LATONA
BARRING last-minute changes in plan, the body of late Timothy Obadare, a renowned evangelist and founder of the World Soul Winning Evangelical Mission, WOSEM, who died on March 21 after battling an undisclosed ailment, will be interred in a $25,000 gold casket.
Obadare, the blind Akure-based evangelist, the second officially recognized Apostle by the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, after Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola noted for his monthly Koseunti Crusade, until his death devoted most of his time teaching the Bible and winning souls for the Kingdom of God. He was in ministry for about six decades, eagerly committed to soul winning.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos during the week, the son of the late evangelist and the general overseer of WOSEM in America and Europe, Pastor Paul Obadare, the WOSEM founder will buried in his hometown, Ilesha, Osun State on August 17 in a 14-karat gold plated coffin like the one used for the burial late popstar, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
According to the son who had relocated to Nigeria to rebuild the father’s ministry “we want the world to know that the best is given to the one who has done his best for the gospel. If the world can celebrate a carnal man, the world should be able to celebrate a spiritual man better,” adding that “these people have planted seeds into people’s lives and touched lives positively. Not just ordinary lives, but people from the top to the bottom.
“Why can’t the whole world, our nation Nigeria, put all their resources together and say he (Prophet Oba-dare) is our own, we are going to give him the best?” he asked.
The gold casket used for the burial of late Michael Jackson was manufactured by the Batesville Casket Company of Indiana and it was the same model used for the funeral of Jackson’s hero, James Brown. It was said to have cost $25,000 while that of Whitney Houston was put at between $10,000 and $20,000. As the world’s largest casket maker, Batesville’s products have been used in many celebrity funerals, including those for Farrah Fawcett, Bob Hope, Wilt Chamberlain and Fred Astaire.
Giving details of the burial plan made by the several committees set up by WOSEM, CAC and the sons of the prophet, Pastor Obadare said the ceremonies would commence on August 15 with a service of songs in Ilesha, Akure, Ibadan and Lagos as well as a lying-in-state at Ilesha and an interdenominational wake keep service on August 17 preceding the interment at a mausoleum currently under construction at WOSEM Conference ground along Ilesha-Ife Expressway in Ilesha.
He therefore appealed to Christians, governments, public-spirited individuals, church leaders and believers to join hands with the children to give the fallen evangelist a befitting burial.
He acknowledged that the Osun State governor, Ruaf Aregbeshola had promised to accord him a state burial and had actually begun the construction of the road leading to Baba Obadare’s home in Ilesha.
Speaking on his recollection of the fallen Prophet Obadare, the younger Obadare said: “Baba would always say to you, I live my life to save some. He could not save the whole world, he was not perfect. But he reached out to as many as he could. That was his passion. He doesn’t care about life like that. Building houses, to him was nothing, having flashy things to him was nothing. He said to us that I don’t have inheritance here; I’m not giving you one. But I have inheritance there, if you can enter into that kingdom, you have made it.'”
According to him, the late prophet also desired to see the whole Church of God to be one. “You will never see Baba criticizing any minister. He would say they may make mistakes but pray for them and don’t allow anybody to know that they are weak. He wanted especially Christian leaders to come together. He believed that achieving spiritual goals in life cannot be done individually.”
To this end, Pastor Paul Obadare is also committed to the reunifi-cation of CAC and promised to work assi-dously to ensure the manifestation of that dream.
“I foresee it coming with a lot of prize to be paid. Meaning that the present leadership on both sides will have to give way. So the old people will give way to the young ones;” just as he assured that the his late father stood for will kept alive.
“We have been told even before he demise, that we should deviate from the calling, or else ewe want to go under, ‘but if you don’t, you will excel.’ We don’t want to go under, we want to go up and the only way we can do that is to get ourselves away from all the teething problems and face the real call of the ministry,” Obadare stated.
Also speaking at the occasion, founder of Living Waters Ministry, Rev. Ladi Thompson outlined some of the hidden legacies of the late prophet, saying that about “30 years ago I was an enthusiastic but extremely wary Christian and I was extremely skeptical about spiritual communications especially the issue of dreams because I had seen many good Christians destroyed by demonic dreams because they were not cautious to differentiate between the genuine and the counterfeit.
“You could imagine my surprise when I began to have a persistent recurring dream centered on a pastel blue Mercedes (flat booth). The details of the car were so clear and the voice kept telling me it was my car! I kept ignoring this recurrent dream until I drove my Peugeot 305 to Surulere one day and saw the same car live! Out of curiosity, I went to inspect it and was told by the mechanic that it was for sale. I observed a strong unction coming from the car and began to question my sanity until I discovered it belonged to Prophet Timothy Oba-dare!
“By the time I called him by phone to make an offer the prophet told me the car was no longer for sale, however, he threw some unnerving questions at me and mentioned a new church in the UK. He concluded by telling me that the Lord had told him that some young men would be sent to assist him in ministry. This was the beginning of a cherished relationship and I spent many weeks in his Akure home by invitation mostly filled with fasting, prayers and instructions. After a few little errands things moved on in life but I kept his strange instructions in my heart.
“I finally met his eldest son, Pastor Paul Obadare at a convention in the Ukraine in 2009 and we exchanged testimonies about life with his Dad. I did not know that it was all by divine arrangement because the situation that his father had briefed me about almost 30 years before unfolded rapidly. The instructions now made sense after 30 years and I moved swiftly to render the assistance required.
“It involved a trip to the USA where I was hosted by Pastor Obadare and ushered into the Prophet’s presence the very next day. I spoke with Baba as he is fondly called and concluded everything needed to execute his thrifty year old instruction. I spent only four days in the USA and returned to Nigeria to execute the mandate on the prophet’s behalf in a very sensitive issue.
“It is still amazing whenever I consider the ministration that transpired to serve on a mission with a 30-year old instruction. My closeness to the family is based on this prophetic encounter and I have since discovered that there are others like me who were bonded to the prophet by divine instructions. There is still a residue of such prophetic dealings that the modern church hardly understands but experience has taught us how accurate spiritual dealings can be.
“The prophet was larger than life in stature and reach of his ministry continues to amaze me. I believe he was the last of the titans that served under the revival started in the early 1900s with Joseph Babalola and others. The fact that his handicap was no obstacle to his success is also mind-blowing when you consider the African setting,” he stated.