The Shepherd and The Hireling

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 
failed English
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 
of compassion...
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 
help such"
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 
year abroad
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 
about life
Pastors are very good at that
Helping you gain perspective when 
things are difficult
Encouraging you to keep up with hope 
and courageous
As soon as I got to his gate, i peeped 
through the gap between the gate and 
the fence
That was when i saw him doing his own 
I knocked on the gate
He opened
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 
registration details
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 
my case.
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 
hugged me 
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 
some sorts. 
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 
the world. 
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 
him sheepishly. 
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 
wrong things.
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 
no one. 
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 
Stay focused. 
Stay vigilant. 
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 
recent history. 
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!