Home Church Anniversary & Convention The Light Chapel @ 50: How we sustain the vision, legacies of the founder- Pastor (Barr.) Adaramola

The Light Chapel @ 50: How we sustain the vision, legacies of the founder- Pastor (Barr.) Adaramola

0 comment

Jesus is Light Ministries (a.k.a The Light Chapel) recently celebrated 50 years of its existence, which saw the 87-year-old widow of the church’s founder, Pastor Mrs. Emily Morenike Olaojo (JP) stepping down for Barrister Bayo Funso Adaramola as the new general overseer of the church founded in 1973 in Kano by a wealthy business magnate,  Apostle B.O Olaojo. Christian Benefits in the below interview profiles the church’s new general overseer and legal practitioner, Bayo Adaramola, who shares how the church sustains the vision and legacies of the founder since his transition to glory in 2005. Excerpts.

 Please, how may I introduce you sir?

I am Pastor Bayo Funso Adaramola. I am a legal practitioner, a notary public and a Certified Management Consultant. I am married and blessed by God with children.

Briefly, share with us your upbringing, including your salvation encounter

The call of God upon my life is unique because I am not a son of pastor. My father was an Anglican, so I grew up attending the Anglican Church. At some point, I was attending the Cherubim & Seraphim Church (C&S) movement in Kano through my mother’s influence. Around 1984, the now late founder of this church, The Light Chapel, Apostle B.O Olaojo and his wife, Pastor Mrs. Emily Morenike Olaojo (J.P); who are friends to my mother, started inviting me to the church in Kano. My mother also attended the church’s special programmes. It was in this church I saw the true meaning of salvation and realized that in all the churches I had attended I had never really encountered Christ. In that year 1984, the apostle organized a programme in the church and invited as guest minister a great man of God from Ibadan called Apostle Ebeneme (now of blessed memory) of Faith Clinic, Ibadan. It was in that service I eventually accepted Jesus Christ in my life.

How will you describe your walk with Christ since then (1984) till now?

It has been exciting. I found a genuine peace in Christ. God delivered me from fear and anxiety. I got a new understanding of God’s presence in all that I do. That makes me to be bold, courageous and fearless. I am not afraid of Satan, witches and wizards. I always tell them Christ is in me. I boldly declare Christ everywhere. When I finished from University of Maiduguri I was using my mother’s car to preach the gospel where lots of believers were afraid to identify themselves as Christians because of Kano been an Islamic fundamentalist state. I was not afraid of putting gospel stickers on my car and everywhere. When some of my colleagues in the legal practice heard that I have become a pastor they said Bayo has left practice. He is now a pastor.

Looking back now, are you fulfilled been a pastor as a practicing lawyer?

I am fulfilled been a pastor called out of many to serve Jesus. I have no other desire. When I joined the ministry I didn’t have that thought that I would be a pastor because I am a lawyer. I was just doing my best serving God in the ministry. But when God decided that I was qualified to be a pastor and with my personal experiences that God was leading me, eventually God had His way in my life and I became pastor.

God has now called you to a higher service with your recent appointment as the new general overseer of The Light Chapel by the church leadership. Share with us the process leading to your appointment as the church’s new general overseer.

It is not possible for any ministry to exist for 50 years without the hand of God in that ministry. The Light Chapel has the manifest presence of God in all its affairs. Nobody sat anywhere to do some positioning. Everything just fell into place by the divine design of God. At a point I became the most senior pastor of the church in Nigeria. Those who were ahead of me in the pastorate have relocated abroad. Our immediate past general overseer, Pastor Emily Olaojo (JP) is now based in the U.S. Pastor Emmanuel Alabi, one of our three assistant general overseers is now based in Canada; overseeing the Canadian church. At a point the ministers said we needed an arrowhead to lead the Nigerian church. So, being the most experienced pastor of the church in Nigeria, I was appointed the National Coordinator. In four years, God helping us; because it was not a man’s project but God’s design, people started seeing new changes in the church, and also in the running of the church. When my mother in the Lord, Pastor Emily Ola-Ojo; now 87 years old, decided that it was time for her to step down and hand over to the next generation, with the Holy Spirit leading her, and with much prayers and counseling, she decided I should become her successor as the general overseer of The Light Chapel International.

Please, share with us the vision that birthed The Light Chapel 50 years ago?

This commission came into existence through a vision that God gave to the founder and our spiritual father, the now late Apostle B.O Olaojo whilst he was in another church in Kano. God revealed to him that that church was shrouded in darkness. In that revelation God led him to certain place. When he got to that place he saw a bright light. And that place became the beginning of this ministry some 50 years ago. Although after he saw that vision he didn’t immediately start a church. He just started a prayer meeting in Kano in 1973. He was a businessman. He was not a trained pastor. God called him and said to him; go to that place I want you to start a church there. Initially, he didn’t understand what God was saying. So, when he started he was looking for people to run the church for him. He was getting professional pastors while he was just on the side running his thriving business. Along the line, God revealed to him again, no, this was not what I told you. I didn’t tell you to start a church and put some people there to run it. You are to be in charge to run the church. It is your work. It was a painful instruction to him because he was a multi-millionaire. He was into frozen fish business. He was the first and the major frozen fish dealer in Kano and the entire north in those days.Pastor Bayo Funso Adaramola, General Overseer, Jesus is Light Ministries (a.k.a The Light Chapel)

Specifically, what is the mandate of the church that God gave to the apostle?

The mandate is to bring the word of God to all souls in the remotest parts of the world. That is why rural evangelism is core in our church. We have branches in places where people ordinarily will not want to go and plant branches because they don’t see anything coming out from there. We fund those places hundred percent because of the mandate to take the gospel to the unreached. Most of our innermost rural areas are still without the light of the word of God. They are still deep in traditional practices because of the inadequate knowledge of the word of God in those places. That is why our focus is to spread the word of God to those places where it is unlikely the word of God has reached. That is the mandate of this ministry.

Aside taking the gospel to the unreached places, what are the regular in-house programmes of the church in line with the mandate of this commission?

God also gave the founder the mandate to start what we call Compassion Day service. It is an interdenominational service for all comers every Tuesday in all our branches. The purpose of the Compassion Day service is to reach out with love to as many people that are in need; the poor, the suffering, those in spiritual bondages and to pray to bring deliverance to people and ultimately lead them to submit their lives to Christ.

Briefly share with how the church was planted in Lagos and the last moments of its founder  before he passed to glory.

The church was planted in Lagos in 1984 on God’s direction to come to Lagos. Before then, the church headquarters was in Kano. The church pastors and leaders first moved down to Oshodi in Lagos, rented a place there and started holding revival programmes and God prospered the work. Along the line, God led the founder to the present site of the church headquarters at Agodo Egbe, Lagos. He acquired the lands of the church headquarters in Agodo Egbe with his personal resources and donated them to the church. He was a businessman of means. On his last moments before his transition, as we know life is full of challenges. Along the line, as he became more involved with the church he became less involved with his business. The challenge of lack of integrity and disloyalty from some of his lieutenants arose. There was a shaking and God prevailed but the stress was too much on him. It was just natural that he became too weak to continue the work. When this was noticed he was advised to seek medical attention abroad. We prayed and did all we could humanly do for his recovering, unfortunately it was not the will of God for him to continue the work; that it was time for him to leave and he left in 2005.The late Apostle B.O Olaojo, Founder, Jesus is Light Ministries (a k.a The Light Chapel)

What more can you say about the late founder of the church, Apostle B.O Olaojo?

The late Apostle B.0 Olaojo was a very generous man. He was a total example of dedication to helping people. He so loved to support people that even some of his family members often chastised him that he was doing too much for the church and the needy. As a very wealthy business magnate in fish business in Kano, he regularly shared cartoons of fish with bags of rice to the needy. This was what motivated him to start the Compassion Day service in all the church branches. He was a very generous man. I was a beneficiary of his generosity. He also instituted a bursary scheme through which he was giving bursary (financial) support to parents who have children in higher institutions but were struggling in their finances. He put the children of such parents in his bursary scheme up to higher institutions. I was a beneficiary of his bursary support for two years up to my final year in the university. When I came to Lagos for my Law school he further supported me.

What are some of the legacies that he left behind that the church is sustaining till now?

The biggest legacy he left behind is Jesus is Light Ministries. Yes, as a human being, he dabbled into a lot of endeavours. I told you he was a man of means. He had properties everywhere. But none can be compared to the legacy of this work, Jesus is Light ministries. This alone confirms his apostleship till he passed.

Leadership succession is often a dispute in lots of Nigerian churches. How was the leadership succession at The Light Chapel when the founder passed on?

The truth of the matter is that every transition is a time of test.  It is not possible for everybody to approve of a person. Some would say yes; some would say no. But where God has a hand in it everything will line up. Everybody will accept the will of God. That is what we have seen here. We don’t have acrimony, divisions or complains. Although some people may say let us do it this way, once God speaks everyone submits to His will. When daddy passed that was exactly what happened with mummy becoming his successor as the next general overseer of the church. When daddy passed we believed God spoke to us to allow mummy to take the mantle. And once it was announced by the church leaders; this is what God said that she should take over the entire church accepted. Mummy successfully led the church as the general overseer for 18 years before stepping down at the church’s recent 50th anniversary for the next generation to take over. As the general overseer, she tried her best. She was instrumental in keeping the church one. In the 18 years of her leadership everyone was committed and devoted.

As the church’s new general overseer, what is your main focus in the office?

My focus is to continue to position the ministry in line with the desires of Christ Jesus for His church. My focus is to lead the church into been a true example for the world. And to do that we must live from the inside to imbibe the love of God. You can’t be saying you are working for God if the love of God is not in you. God Himself is love. If you don’t have love it means you don’t have God. So, the basic or the bottom line is for you to have God. If you have God, love must be seen in your life. This love is what the world lacks, and that is why we see so much wickedness going on in the world. If there is love, you won’t want to cheat your neighbor. If you have love, you won’t want to sell away the future of your country or of your establishment because of greed and corruption. Love is the basis. I don’t want to be remembered for anything other than I love God and His people.


You may also like

Leave a Comment

@2022 – All Right Reserved. Christianbenefitsmagazine.com.ng