By By Sam Eyoboka & Bose Adebayo
National President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, chairman of CAN in South West, Archbishop Magnus Atilade, National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Dr. Felix Omobude and other gospel ministers have expressed shock at the demise of the founder of the Christ Gospel Apostolic Church, CGAC, Rev. Samuel Sadela who died at the age of 114 years on Sunday.
Speaking in separate telephone interviews, Oritsejafor, Atilade, Omobude and the others thanked God for the impact-full life Sadela lived, standing for the truth and righteousness till the end, lamenting that the old man departed when his wise counsel is needed most.
The CAN president expressed sadness that Pa Sadela had depart at a time when his wealth of experience on the pulpit is needed most, noting that the old preacher was a man of integrity and fairness who had mentored hundreds of ministers in the vineyard.
He’ll live long in memories of those who know him —ORITSEJAFOR
Oritsejafor also expressed his condolence to the biological family of the fallen hero, his church and Christendom in general, stressing that Baba, though gone “but will live long in the memories of those who were privileged to know him directly as a non-compromising preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ and one who devoted his entire adult life winning souls and encouraging evangelism.”
We are encouraged by his stewardship in the Lord’s vineyard—ATILADE
Also speaking, Most Rev. Atilade told our reporter that Pa Sadela had lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation by upcoming ministers of the gospel as he spent over 70 years on the pulpit, saying “we are encouraged by his stewardship in the a vineyard of The Lord.”
According to him, Pa Sadela’s death at this period is regrettable, not because he is not of age, but because it is coming at a time when his wise counsel is needed to address some of the challenges in today’s Nigerian Church.
Stating that Pa Sadela represents the last from the old block, Atilade wished his immediate family the fortitude to bear the huge and irreparable loss, noting the man will be missed by a whole generation.
Our prayers will continue to go to his family—OMOBUDE
The PFN president, in his submission, said: “I thank God he lived a good life. We condole with his family and the church in general for the life he lived. Our prayers will continue to go to his family”, describing the fallen grand old preacher as a gift to Christendom, having spent over 80 years in ministry, serving God passionately for such a long time.
According to Omobude, for him to have served God for such a long time without blemish was commendable, saying that “the life of a man does not consist in the abundant of riches, but the life he lived.”
Rev. Samuel Ogedengbe, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State governor on Christian Religious Matters, said Sadela had fought a good fight as a minister of God, describing him as a wonderful man of God and that he learnt under him.
‘He was a wonderful man who touched many lives’
“He was a wonderful man who touched many lives. He had lots of challenges, but he was focussed and never deviated. Young pastors should emulate him and not deviate from the word of God,” he said.
Pastor Ezekiel Mayowa of the Deeper Life Bible Church described the late Sadela as a very strong and revered man of God who kept the standard of the Christian faith with strong fervour, conviction and character.
He did not retire until he died—MAYOWA
“He did not retire until he died, ministers of God should know that there is no retirement from the work of God until death,” he said.
Sadela was born in 1900 and has spent about 84 years preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sadela, who established over 180 branches of the GAC world wide was said to have died in Abeokuta, Ogun at about 4:15 a.m. on Sunday. He was said to have been rushed to Abeokuta to enable the daughter who lives there, to effectively look after him.
Sadela is survived by a son, Pastor Nathaniel Sadela and a daughter, Deaconess Adewunmi, who is married to the general evangelist of the church.
Pastor Nathaniel, who heads the Ikeja branch of GAC is touted to be his replacement, but the burial plans have not been announced by the church yet.
Rev. Sadela was born in the last Saturday of August, 1900 at Ifon, Ondo State, South- West Nigeria. His parents were Chief Olomonehin Sadela of Imoru (Second in command to the Olumoru of Imoru) and Princess Adetiye Sadela, a princess in the Adaniker ruling house in Ifon.
It was not difficult for him to remember the year of his birth because it was the year the District Officer (a white man) under the colonial rule assumed duty at Ifon.
Hence he was fondly called “Aboyinbode” (which means born the same year the white man arrived) by his parents, relatives and friends from childhood till he became adult. Though, his father came from the Olisa Chieftaincy House of Imoru, he was living at Ifon at the time of his birth.
His grand -father – Adidi was a warrior of repute, but Reverend Samuel Sadela is a warrior of Christ Jesus.
In 1902 as a toddler, little Akinbode was said to have been taught how to read the Holy Bible by the angels of God. Surprisingly, he could not read any other book apart from the Bible by then.