+ The birthday thanksgiving he never witnessed
THE death of Nigeria’s oldest preacher, Pa Samuel Akinbode Sadela, the General Overseer of Gospel Apostolic Church has continued to attract tributes from his teeming followers and leaders in the Christian world. Pa Sadela passed on Sunday, August 24, 2014, at 113 years, a development which was kept under wraps from public until Wednesday, August 27, 2014, when the church released a statement through their head of legal department, Pastor Adebola Onadeko.
And since the news was made official, church leaders and members of the congregation the centenarian left behind have been thronging the church headquarters on Soluyi Street, Gbagada, Lagos where Pa Sadela also lived till he died. A long queue of sympathizers were seen jostling to sign the condolence register.
When ENCOMIUM Weekly visited the church on Friday, August 29, 2014, some church members whom we spoke to eulogized the rare virtues of the late Sadela. “He was an iconic figure among the church mem-bers,” as rightly put by one of the members.
Pastor Adebola Onadeko described the late Sadela as a true follower of Jesus. “Baba was passionate about winning souls. He had love for everyone. He was passionate about the word of God. He asked us to go into the streets and preach the gospel. There is no mourning, rather we are going to celebrate him.”
One of the church members, Mr. Kayode Omotosho also poured out his tributes to the late Lord’s General, “He has gone to be with the Lord. He is surely in heaven smiling down on us.”
“How many private jets? None. How many educational institutions? None. Your rest is sweet, Pa Sadela,” declared Clement Dare Adeyemi.
According to Adebayo Olufemi Israel, “You have fought a good fight and won! You have finished your race, good night daddy.”
Continuing with the gale of tributes is another member of the church, Mr. Akinsola Tayo. “You are a true preacher. Despite spending 80 years in the ministry, no private jet. You have no private university, you have no luxury properties.”
HIS LAST HOURS
As if he knew the time was up, Pa Akinbode Sadela was acting strange in the early morning of Sunday, August 24, 2014. He was said to be singing and telling people around him it was time to go home. He requested to be bathed and dressed up after which he laid on his bed and passed on at 4.30 a.m in the presence of family members and church pastors. Members, who came to listen to his preaching on Sunday morning were disappointed when they were told he was resting upstairs. His chair had been removed.
THE BIRTHDAY THANKSGIVING HE NEVER WITNESSED
The late preacher would have been 114 on August 31, 2014. His date of birth is not known, but in his biography it was stated that he was born in August 1900. As usual, the church celebrates his birthday every August and Sunday, August 31, 2014 was set aside for the birthday thanksgiving. Members had bought their Ankara fabric for the day as they used to do before the news of his death hit town.
The Ankara fabric was, however, worn to church on Sunday, August 31, 2014 by members which signaled the third and final day of the church’s annual revival.
The burial programme will be rolled out during this week by his family. There have not been agreement as to where Pa Sadela would be buried. While some section voted for him to be buried in the church headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos, others want him to be buried in his hometown in Ondo State. Pa Sadela’s dream was to reach 120 years but he did’t get there. He bowed out to the will of God.
PA SADELA’S LIFE AND TIMES
The late Pa Akinbode Samuel Sadela was born in 1900, to Chief Olomolehin and Princess Adetiye Sadela, both of blessed memory. He was educated in Nigeria and the United Kingdom where he bagged a law degree. He didn’t practice. Rather, he became an evangelist of the gospel. He lost seven of his children of his first marriage consummated in 1934.
His second marriage to late Madam Julianah Anike Sadela produced two children, Deaconess Dorcas Abosede Adewunmi and Pastor Nathaniel Olubunmi Sadela. They are his only surviving children. His second wife, Madam Julianah died in 2001, at 62 and in 2007, he married 30 year-old Deaconess Christiana Sadela, who was with him till death.