The Shepherd and The Hireling
When I met late Rev. Dr. S. O Abegunde of
the University of Ibadan Baptist Church
at his Bodija Estate resident that Saturday
morning, he was washing his clothes by
It was 1999
I had written WAEC in 1998 and somehow
I was supposed to register for the
Examination in 1999 but my
mother couldn't raise the money
I remember crying for several weeks
from January until March when the
registration for WAEC was ongoing
My mother tried her very best
Life was very tough that year
It was as if the wind of life was
determined to throw my family into
the bottomless pit
I ran to relatives
One of my aunties who had some
money showed me the three thousand
Naira I needed and said "I can give
you this money but i don't think it
would be fair if I did so.
Didn't your parent know you will
be writing WAEC this year?
Labour is not supposed to catch
a nine months long pregnant woman
by surprise. If i give you the money I
will be endorsing irresponsible
behaviour, your parents need to know
how to plan and cater to their children.
Will i be the one to pay for your younger
brother next year?"
I remember standing at her shop at
Bashorun Market and looking very stupid
I had thought relatives were supposed
to treat each other with a certain level
When i got home and reported what
transpired to my mother, she said
"When the heaven is shut against a
man, even friends will mock rather than
My mother left the house later that day
We were squatting at an uncompleted
building at Bodija Extension
My father was going through a difficult
Things were just crazy
My mother left home that same evening
It was a Thursday, when she got back
she told me
I should go and see Rev. Dr. S. O. Abegunde
first thing on Saturday morning
I had thought the good old man was
going to sit me down and tell me
Pastors are very good at that
Helping you gain perspective when
things are difficult
Encouraging you to keep up with hope
As soon as I got to his gate, i peeped
through the gap between the gate and
That was when i saw him doing his own
I knocked on the gate
I insisted I was going to wash the clothes
He told me there was no time
He gave me his card and some
He said i should find my way to Deaconess
Ayoade's House immediately
He said he had spoken to her
He said i should report to her with my
passport photograph and WAEC
Just like that
I ran home (5 kilometers away) and got
all that i needed
Then I ran and
jogged to Deaconess Ayoade's house
I met her at home
She collected the details and told me I
have to go back to Baba Abegunde's
house and thank him
She was a principal, WAEC registration
for her school had closed when
Rev. Abegunde spoke to her about
When she made some
inquiries from other principals about
late registration, she found out
Iroko Community Grammar School
was still registering students.
When she told Rev. Dr. S. O. Abegunde,
he paid the exorbitant fees immediately
This was on Friday, a day after my
mother went crying to him and by
Saturday morning I was dropping my
passport photographs and other details
I danced back to Rev. Dr. Abegunde's
house with joy
I met him just as he was about driving
to church for a meeting
I prostrated with tears streaming
down my face
He came down from his car and
He said "I know your family is going
through a lot, I don't want you to be
discouraged. I want you to be strong.
Read your books and pass this exam!
You must be a success.
I studied as if i would die
I passed that WAEC in flying colours
I always imagine the course my life would
have taken without his timely intervention
When i gained admission into the university
and needed "Admission fee" of N25,000.00,
Baba Abegunde (As i fondly called him)
asked my mother to talk to the head of
the Men Missionary Union of the church
That was how my admission was settled!
I was taught love by Baba Abegunde's
actions towards me, I was taught how
to snatch good children from the jaws
of wickedness circumstances that
could bend their paths towards
GSWMI will be starting an Academic
scholarship scheme for Indigent
students in 2021
This scheme will be named after
the Late Rev. Dr. S. O Abegunde in
appreciation of the role he played
in my life as a Father and a mentor
I had made inquiries about Baba
Abegunde in the last few weeks
and I was told he had gone to be
with the Lord in Chicago in 2018
May his soul
rest in peace
I will also mention Professor Okedara
(The first Vice-Chancellor of Bowen
University and His wife Professor Mrs.
Okedara for their love and kindness to
me and my family in my formative years
The Christian community is the greatest
gift to humanity all over the world
Only God knows how many destinies
were rescued from destruction by the
timely intervention of the church and
believers (regardless of denomination)
I say boldly all over the world that I
am a product of the church of the
Lord Jesus Christ and I know thousands
who will say the same
Correcting His Sheep
In the last couple of years, I have
watched Mr. Ifedayo Olarinde, a man
popularly called Daddy freeze in the
media cycle, the self-acclaimed leader
of the "Free the sheeple" movement,
stand up to what he perceived as
injustices in practice and doctrine by
popular church owners in this country.
He volunteered his platform as an OAP
to achieve this.
In fairness, I give him some credit for
this because, not too many people would
be willing to endanger their source of
income in such manner and for such a
This write-up is not about an assessment
of whether what he's doing is right or
wrong but about how he goes about it.
I have watched him pour vitriolic attacks
on those he perceived to be in error of
His language is acidic, demeaning and
venomous some of the time.
I have noticed his rancorous and spiteful
He called a man who is old enough to be
his father "a bald-headed fowl", for instance.
Where does abuse or body shaming fit
into making things right?
And to think that he can't stand criticism
himself. He once called people who
disagreed with him "bastards".
He abused them without a care in
I should think if one is willing to point
out the spec in another man's eyes,
he should be willing to remove the log
in his own eyes first....
And as expected, he leads tonnes of
followers who follow him sheepishly.
He leads what is called "free the sheeple"
campaign but, ironically, people follow
Many who follow him have also learned
to use caustic languages and mockery
while trying to correct a perceived
erroneous teaching or practice.
Friends, I need to call our attention to
one truth that many ignore.
Any attempt to correct errors that is not
rooted in a desire to restore but to put
people down is not of God.
Correction in the church is not the work
of carnal people.
It is the prerogative of the spiritual.
Please read this scripture:
"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in
any trespass, you who are spiritual
restore such a one in a spirit of
gentleness, considering yourself
lest you also be tempted.
Galatians 6:1 NKJV.
This verse is loaded. It speaks to a
few things which I hope to itemize here:
1. Christians can go wrong and do
2. When they do, they are meant to
be restored and not to be mocked.
3. Restoration is the exclusive preserve
of those who are spiritual.
Having allowed fruit of the spirit to
dominate their lives, they can be used
by God to restore their erring brethren.
Carnal minds, no matter how many
scriptures they quote can't restore
Rather, they damage people further.
4. Correction has to be done in the
"spirit of meekness/gentleness".
Mockery is neither a gift nor a fruit
of the Spirit.
5. While trying to correct a perceived
wrongdoing or wrong teaching, you
may also slip into errors if you aren't
This is why people sometimes become
what they fight.
The devil is deceptive and eternal
vigilance is ours to observe.
At the moment, there are mockers and
baby atheists in the airwaves who join
to criticize the going-ons in the church.
They are clearcut church-haters.
They use scriptures to attack the church.
They aren't working for Christ.
They are keen on on "scattering" the sheep.
You will know them by their fruits.
Friends, If what you truly desire is the
restoration of the church to the apostolic
doctrine and true pattern laid down by
the early church, then watch your back.
Don't fall into the condemnation of
It is not everyone that agrees with
your position at a given point in time
that is gathering with Christ.
Please don't get it twisted.
This is not an attempt to defend a
popular preacher in Nigeria who said
the most uncharitable things I have
heard coming from the pulpit in
I will never defend such indecorous
inanity, no matter where it is coming
I am for the truth, no matter who says
it and I'd stand against falsehood,
regardless of the religious stature or
popularity of the purveyor of it.
Mark those who proudly and shamelessly
stand by such display of pulpit vitriolics
wrapped in religiousity.
They are another ministerial disasters in
May Christ find them on time.
It is a new day!