By Eric Teniola
IN attendance at the enthronement were the deputy governor of Ondo state, Chief Agboola Ajayi, Ondo state Commissioner for Information, Mr.Yemi Olowolabi and those who made the enthronement possible, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, Mr. Wole Okunfulire, Mr. Gbola Akinola, Sir Olu Okeowo, Dayo Egbeyemi, Otunba Solomon Ayodele Oladunni and others. Also present were Bishop Ephraim Adebola Ademowo and his wife, Mrs. Ranti Ademowo, the Bishop’s mother and his wife Professor Motunrayo F. Olumokaye, who is from Ondo city in Ondo state and the Bishop’s elder brother Henry Kole Olumokaye who is the Olu of Onisere in Idanra local government.
Present also were Idanre elite including Justice Sunday Akintola Akintan, CON, former Chancellor of Akure Diocese and retired Justice of the Supreme Court and his wife, Chief Babu Akinbobola, Barr. Ebun Ayo Olagundoye, Capt. Olu Olumogba, Chief Biyi Akinseye, Chief Lanre Akin-Deko, Engr. Leye Kupoluyi, Dr. Kola Ademujimi, Mr. Adeyinka Olumide Fusika, SAN, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, Mrs. Folake Adegunleye, Mr. Fioye Adegunleye, Mr. Fred Ogunjuboun, Mr. Smart Ladi Fadayomi, Mr. Tayo Akinseye, Mr. Agnes Omodunke Agunloko, Olatubi, Mrs. Mary Ibinrinola Ayinuola, Mrs. Omokunle Olaniyi, Mrs. Victoria Ajibade, Pastor Tunde Ogundiranhun, Prof. Adex Emmanuel Adegbeyeni, Prof. Yomi Akinyeye, Mrs. Akinfeleye, Chief Folu Lawrence Olamiti and Venerable Dr. Ayo Agboola who is in charge of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Idanre.
There was a resounding applause by the congregation when the Provost of Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina Lagos, Very Reverend Adebola Ojofeitimi announced the welcome of Bishop Olumokaye.
Idanre is a Christian community. At present there are thirty churches in Idanre Arch-deaconry Anglican Communion. They include St. Paul’s Church, Odode, Idanre, St. Andrew’s Church, Alade, Idanre, Christ’s Church, Idanre, St. John’s Church, Atosin, St. Stephen’s Church, Oke-Anifon, St. James’ Church, Opa, St. Joseph’s Church, Ofosu, Our Saviour’s Church, Owena, St. Peter’s Church, Aponmulona, St. Peter’s Church, Iwonja, St. Stephen’s Church, Owomofewa, Holy Trinity Church, Ayede-Irowa, St. David’s Church, Igboepo, St. Luke’s Church, Egbeda-Owena, St. Mark’s Church, Ajegunle-Arun, St. Matthias’ Church, Abababubu, St. Mathew’s Church, Bamotula, St. Thomas’ Church, Aseigbo, St. Augustine’s Church, Olokuta, Holy Trinity Church, Farm-Settlement, All Saints’ Church Owobamibo, St. David’s Owa Aroloye Memorial Church, Idanre and St. Michael’s Church, Ala-Elefosan.
When Reverend Charles Phillips brought Christianity to Idanre in 1895, his job was made easy by a few Idanre indigenes who had gone out to Siloko to work with some Timber contractors where they had learnt how to read and write. Before returning home, they were converted to Christianity. They were Obadiah Betiku and H. John Akinbola Paale. On arrival home, they had started to teach people how to read and write. These and their class formed the nucleus of the early Christian convert in Idanre.
The first church building in Idanre was put up at Igbore, Oke Idanre around June 1908 with the blessing of the then Owa of Idanre, Oba Towurojoye Arubieefin 1. It was a small church- 22ft by 15ft. In 1910, the Igbore Oke-Idanre Anglican Church was affiliated with the Anglican Church, Ondo by the Revd E. A. Kayode. Those baptised included Papa John Akinbola Paale, Joseph Bajulaiye Lona, Peter Ogundiranhun, Madam E. Lamoju, J. Adeuti, Madam Alice Olasetere (my grandmother, who later became the Oloro of Idanre), Madam Lydia Todun, Madam Marian Doyin, Lydia Todun, Sarah Oluwadenu, Phebian Ogundirahun, Phebian Kemisade, Comfort Daun, Abigael Bolaki, Alice Oboyiwola, Esther Labu, Ruth Omobamiwaye, Alice Ibosunpola, Marian Maja and others. Chief Akinjo brought the Catholic mission to Idanre in 1937 while Chief Akindolire brought Baptist mission to Idanre in 1957.
The following have served as Vicars to St. Paul’s Church Idanre: Mr. E.D. Oduwusi (later Rev), Mr. Samuel Aderin, Mr. D.O. Olamiti, Rev. M.O. Obadofin (later Archdeacon), Rev. D.O. Aroso (later Archdeacon), Rev. J. Jaiyeoba (later Archdeacon), Rev. Canon M.A. Olupona (later Archdeacon), Rev. E. A. Orimoloye (later Canon), Rev. T.A. Oni (later Archdeacon), Rev. J.O. Babalola (1st Curate), Rev. I.O. Oluwafemi (Curate), Ven. M.D. Dare, Revd. A.A. Agboola (Curate), Ven. J.O.A. Ajayi, Ven S.A. Borisanmi, Rev. E.O. Ayodele (Deacon) (Curate) and Revd. J.O. Adeleke (Curate).
It is to be hoped that Bishop Olumokaye will take Lagos Diocese to a greater height.