RE-APPOINTMENT OF RESIDENT PASTOR:
As a rejoinder to advertorial made by the group which described itself as 'Concern Members' in the Tribune Newspapers on page 6, Friday 7 September, 2018.The Church unequivocally hereby disclaims the group. It is not a recognized group in the Church. The First Baptist Church Okelerin Ogbomoso as a well-organized Church has a recognized and a well laid down regulation for establishing and grouping of people as contained in the Constitution of the Church (see page 5: VI under Church Societies Nos. 1-4).
This group namely 'concern members' has made a lot of damaging claims on the Church and our Pastor. Innocent minded members of the public mistakenly swallow every information hook line and sinker. It will take a discerning mind to distinguish between reality and shadow. Therefore, for the sake of members of the public we hereby make this declaration:
The Church most sincerely appreciates all friends, genuine children of God, Nigerian Baptist Convention family and community of faith who want to know the truth and do not want the name of Christ to be dragged in the mud.
The Present Church Pastor, Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde assumed the pastorate of the church on 1st January 2000 and the church has had it so good. It has been moving from one level of glory to another. Trouble began as a result of very few people who thought that they could lord it over the church and the pastor. But the polity of the Nigerian Baptist Convention is not oligarchy but congregationalism.
The Church Pastor having intimated the Nigerian Baptist Convention in December last year about his retirement as stipulated in the Scheme of service; the Convention wrote the Church a letter dated 20th March, 2018 counselled and encouraged a befitting retirement for the pastor and that the church should call another pastor in order not to create a vacuum.
In the letter, it is quoted "you should make adequate plan to call another pastor, who will take over the leadership of the Church at the exit of the current Pastor to avoid vacuum." A copy of the letter under reference accompany this rejoinder.
The Church saw wisdom in the above counsel by the parent and regulatory body of the Churches in the Nigerian Baptist Convention. It held Church-in-conference meeting on 1/04/2018, Church Council meeting on 8/04/2018 and another Church-in-conference meeting on 15/04/2018 respectively where both Pastor's Search Committee and Retirement Committee were set up.
It is thus glaring that Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde did not impose on or look for any Pastor for the Church. It was also the Church through Pastor's Search Committee that looked for the Pastor. The Church through the Pastor's Search Committee worked independently to look for the Pastor.
This same group alleged that the Pastor is managing the Church as his personal estate. Is that really possible in a Baptist Church? The Church has different committees which take care of the different aspects of Church life. The committees are overseen by Church council. Both the Church council and different committees report their activities at the Church-in-conference. The Pastor has never run the Church as his personal estate. He is rather serving sacrificially in order to move the Church forward.
This same group who described themselves as 'concerned members' claimed that many left because of Pastor's un-pastoral conduct. The church is not aware of such and the church has grown in leap and bound. If there is any that have left, it must be because they cannot submit themselves to the teaching of the raw Word of God. The Church wants to place on record that the Pastor of the Church, Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde has zero tolerance for sin. Only those who allegedly left could also be the family members of the people who are disturbing the peace of the Church and could not stand the shame brought by shameless family members.
This same group claimed that Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde is a co-defendant in a case at High Court. This is another deliberate falsehood! We are not aware of such that our pastor is a co-defendant. Our pastor is not a party to suit HOG/34/2014. In fact, Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde as a good shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ did his best to ensure amicable resolution being an issue among members. Many respectable individuals intervened the court even encouraged reconciliation but they were not interested in that and were hell bent for the best reason(s) known to them.
This same group as it is characteristic of them alleged that families were broken, which family(ies)? Our pastor is a committed family man. He counselled the would-be couples in the art of a godly family. This statement is intended to deliberately defame our Pastor. He has never been instrumental in breaking any home. The claim is therefore uncharitable and should be withdrawn.
They also went ahead to talk of un-pastoral conduct. We are well enlightened enough as Christians and Church members. Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde is a man of proven integrity. He is a committed pastor. He is a very responsible Pastor whose caliber is not easy to come by in this present generation. He has never been involved in any un-pastoral conduct. The coming of Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde has been the best that has happened to Church in the recent time.
As regards the appointment of individuals and committees, the Church has a well-structured approach. Towards the close of the year, the nominating committee is usually appointed. It comprises representatives of all the societies in the Church. The nomination made by the nominating committee is normally presented to the Church for observation, scrutiny and final approval. How then can anybody alleged that Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde is the one appointing people into key positions? This is very unfair and unchristian.
That the church has been structurally and spiritually destroyed. Also that the fortunes of the church has nosedived. This is quite an unfair comment. This group of people should present the Church record in term of Church attendance, income, etcetera in 1999 shortly before the arrival of Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde and then we compare it with the level the Church has attained spiritually and physically.
Since the arrival of Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde, the Church has been moving from one level of glory to another. Lives are being transformed and people are being discipled. Individuals and families are being blessed. The infrastructural development in and around the Church are phenomenal. For the godly people, it has been the reliving of Samaria experience "And there was great joy in that city" (Acts 8:8). For the ungodly people, the sons of this world love darkness than light.
What else they alleged that our Pastor has been at the Centre of the crisis in the Church. Please ask these people, did Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde get involve in immorality? Did he tamper with Church money? Did he get involve in drunkenness? Did he slack in carrying out his pastoral duties? Who are the people troubling the household of God? Who are the people who are desecrating the place of worship? Who are the people who are causing crisis and hell bent to continue to drag the name of the Church in the mud? Who are the people whose trademarks are propaganda and falsehood? Those who complain and make excuses have Kolanut tree in front of the Church building as their worship auditorium. Anyone who visits the Church will see them gather there on every Sunday. The only time when they enter the Church auditorium is when they want to cause trouble. One thing about Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde is that he is a man of strong godly principle. Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde would not maneuver things to his advantage. He does not manipulate or play pranks with the Lord's business. He would not touch money and he would not allow people to play around with God's money. You can now understand why his godly lifestyle has attracted both friends and foes.
1. Rev'd Dr. J. A. Aworinde did not impose any Pastor on the Church. He did not set up any committee.
2. The Church took to the advice of the Convention because we believed it is the right thing to do.
3. It was the Church that set up the Pastor's Search Committee which was comprised of the representatives of Men Missionary Union, Women Missionary Union, Diaconate, Youth, Church Secretary, two representatives from the English Section of the Church and one member at large headed by an elderly deacon. The committee was duly set up. The Church followed due process and it is constitutional.
4. Also, it was the Church that set up the Retirement Committee. It was not the Church Pastor
5. Those who were opposed to the idea of having a Substantive Pastor who ran to the leadership of the Ogbomoso Bethel Baptist Association have been thoroughly tutored, educated and counselled not less than two times that it is the Church-in-conference that has the final say in a Baptist Church.
6. We want to state once again that people should stop defaming our Pastor. He is a man of proven integrity. We do not regret it for once for having him as our pastor.
7. By the grace of God we will do a befitting retirement for our Pastor. The members of the public will be duly informed and invited for He has served MERITORIOUSLY for almost two decades.
8. First Baptist Church Okelerin awaits the arrival of another godly Pastor. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OKELERIN IS NOT FOR SALE.
9. Finally everyone is enjoined to maintain peace for God will bring every work including every idle word both spoken and written into judgment.
Finally, the members of the public are hereby enjoined to ignore any information or write-up from the so called 'concern members' as the Church does not know them. The Church of God is marching forward and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it.
For and on behalf of First Baptist Church Okelerin, Ogbomoso.
MMU President Dn. Tunde Amole
WMU President Dns. Grace Oyedeji
Diaconate Rep. Dn. Dr. Bamiji Ayandiji
Youth Rep. Bro. Dapo Oyegbola
English Section Rep. Bro. Adegbola Alagbe
English Section Rep. Mrs. G. T. Alagbe
Church Secretary Bro. Idowu Odekunbi
A member at large Pa. Amos Ogunsola
Chairman of Retirement Committee Bro. Paul A. Akanbi
Chairman of Pastor's Search Committee Dn. S. A. Iyanda