By Sam Eyoboka
FOUNDER and Presiding Bishop of Rhema Christian Church & Towers International, Bishop Taiwo Akin-ola last weekend marked his diamond jubilee at his Sango Ota, Ogun State church headquarters which attracted friends, relations, church members and well wishers from across the globe who expressed appreciation and admirat-ion for all he has accomplished for Christendom.
Leading the pack of seasoned clergy-men who extolled the virtues of the Apostolic Presbyter at Christ Global Network who taught Electrical/Electro-nic Engineering in two Nigerian Poly-technics for 13 years, were three Pent-ecostal archbishops, Joseph Imarhiab-he Ojo, Joseph Olanrewaju Obembe, and John Osa-Oni, the first African woman to be consecrated bishop, Bola-nle Odeleke and controversial Proph-etic-Apostolic pastor cum politician, Tunde Bakare.
Ojo, former National Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN and founder of Calvary Kingdom Church, CKC, congratulated the cele-brant as he clocked 60, pointing out that Bishop Akinola’s life “continually impacted positively upon so many people. What God has used you to do in the network of Churches and in the Body of Christ cannot be quantified.”
The founder of El-Shaddai Bible Church and one time Lagos PFN chairman, Archbishop Obembe in his tribute, said the world would have been incomplete without the presence of “our amiable, uncommon, resourceful and product-ive servant of the Most High God, Bishop Taiwo Akinola.
“As the apostolic presbyter of the In-ternational Communion of Charismatic and Apostolic Ministers, ICCAM, he has displayed exceptional qualities of humility, honesty, integrity and industry. He is a well grounded biblical minister of the New Testament; not engaging in frivolous and mendacious heresies. He has been a faithful husband, father, bishop, pastor, teacher, coach, mentor and evangelist. He’s a kingdom focused man of God who is planting churches strategically all over the world,” Obem-be stated.
On his part, Archbishop Osa-Oni of Vineyard Christian Ministries, con-gratulated the celebrant, saying his “doggedness, resilience and commit-ment to advancement of God’s king-dom for these many years of our rela-tionship together have been heart war-ming and worthy of reference and co-mmendation.”
Drawing inspiration from Psalm 84:7, the cleric wished the celebrant many more years of exploits in the advance-ment of the kingdom business.
Also speaking, founder of Latter Rain Assembly and one time, Vice Presid-ential candidate of CPC, Pastor Bakare expressed confidence that the cele-brant would continue to even greater heights, saying that “bottom line eva-luation of a well lived life is not how much money you have because you are taking nothing out of here.
“Unfortunately many of the people, in-cluding leaders, spend all their time pursuing things that they will leave be-hind. The bottom line evaluation of a well lived life is not pursuit of know-ledge…Solomon said as the making of books does not end, much study is willingness of the flesh but the bottom line evaluation of a well lived life is a life that fears God. Solomon said let us hear the conclusion of the matter, fear God, obey His commandments, this is the whole duty of man.
“My attraction to Bishop Akinola is his fear of God. He knows that there are some things that I will not even pander or yield myself to but I saw his humility and I saw the presence of God. The last time I came here, the theme of his conference was; ’Come all things are now ready;’ I turned to one section here, it lasted six months at the Latter Rain Assembly…iron sharpens iron. I pray that he will live long in health with wealth and he will serve God all the days of his life and be a blessing to humanity and finish strong in Jesus mighty name,” Bakare prayed.
Bishop Odeleke of Power Pentecostal Mission also wished Akinola long life and all that God wants him to do in ministry. ”He will be able to do well be-fore the Lord in the name of Jesus. When you are sound in health, it will be easy to do the work, so I wish him more sound health.”
According to her, it’s not easy esta-blishing a church in Ota. “For anybody to establish church in Otta and it’s growing like this, we need to thank God for him. He’s doing fine, and I pray he will do more. I wish him happy birthday and more years to come,” she stated.
Asked to state how well she knows the celebrant, Odeleke said she has known him since the 90’s, maintaining that he’s a ”gentleman, very humble, lovable, he loves everybody and respects elders of which I am one. He has a very good wife. When your home is good, then your message will be rewardable be-fore God, because if you are just preaching well outside and your home is not working, then that person needs to be preached to again. But their home is peaceful and they have good children so I respect him for that.”
Bishop Odeleke used the opportunity to counsel younger ministers, saying they should be more humble. ”You don’t start ministry by being gorgeous without being gorgeous inside. I know ministry work is not easy, but it is not human, it is divine and because it is divine we must be as much as possible like God. So, I want upcoming ministers to look at what happened when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and she went to visit Elizabeth, the wife of Zachariah. When she got there, the foetus inside Elizabeth lept up and they began to prophecy so the new meets the old.
“Mary the younger went to Elizabeth. I want all upcoming ministers to respect their elders, no matter how big your church is or how much money you have; you met some people. If we did not pave the way, you cannot come in. When I got here to Otta in 1990, the place wasn’t like this then.
“But today there are so many churches and I thank God for that. They should respect people that have been there. You cannot say because you are a bishop today, people have been bishops before you. We must be humble because whatever we have is given to us by God.
“So my advice: do the work first, let the work speak for you, not you broad-casting and shouting from place to place. There are many of that outside, God will keep them, educate them some more and make them humble.
Bishop Akinola, who was born again on April 4, 1977, is the President/founding pastor-general of Rhema Christian Church & Tower International with headquarters in Otta, Ogun State and branches worldwide. An evangelist and a teacher, he was anointed for signs and wonders who ministers in seminars, conferences and churches across the globe. He has since been engaging grace to make full proof of his ministry to the greater glory of God.
Born on September 22, 1958 to a deeply pious family of Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Akinola of Gbogan in Osun State, Bishop Taiwo Akinola is the convener of a ministerial association called the Christ Global Network, which aims at focusing ministries for timeless im-pacts both now and in successive gen-erations.
He is author of many Christian liter-ature, some of which have become re-commended texts in some Bible Schools in Nigeria and in mainland Europe while his weekly television programme—-Freedom Across the Airwaves—-has also been of trem-endous blessings to many testifiers.
An electrical engineer by training, Bishop Akinola lectured in Polytechnics for about 14 years before answering the sweet call of God to raise and nur-ture Jesus’ People at the Rhema Christ-ian Church worldwide, as its Presiding Bishop. He is married to Pastor Eliza-beth IretiOluwa and they are blessed with four children—-Opeyemi, Oluwa-Joba, TiwalOluwa and JayeOluwa.