As the Apapa District Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, Rev. Michael Kolawole Ogunbola, recently retires from the leadership of the church after 18 years of service, his expression was that of joy and contentment.
The send off service and award ceremony for retiring District Superintendent held at the AGC Zion’s Gate, Festac Town Lagos also coincided with “The Father’s Blessing” of the District.
The Father’s Blessing is a day dedicated to blessing the entire church and it also witnessed the recognition of over 111 members including ministers for their outstanding performances to the growth of the district.
The award categories were: Posthumous Recognition Award for pioneers of the District; Input in the District; Leadership; Outstanding Contributors in Manpower Development, Land Donors, Project Funding, Long Service, Missions – Antioch of our time; and Outstanding Performance in Women’s Ministry (WM). The recipients of the awards received plaques and medals as symbol of jobs well-done.
According to the church, while the father’s blessing is a biblical order throughout the Bible that gives an outgoing father the right to place his prophetic wish on the next generation, the award was a show of gratitude to major players for their contribution in major landmark achievements attained by the district.
The occasion was particularly a very special moment for Rev. Ogunbola and his wife, Evangelist Esther, who had both served the church for 18 years.
The retiring Superintendent, Rev. Ogunbola, described his 18-year sojourn in the vineyard of God as good and bad, noting, “It has been sweet and bitter and at times horrible.
“As a leader, you must understand that you are there to satisfy and meet the needs of people; help people to stand on their feet; give hope in times of discouragement and also to give strength to the weak. That has been my experience over the years”, he added.
Recalling his journey so far, he said, “There were times I felt like giving up on the journey, he noted, adding, “you see when those you trusted and depended so much suddenly begin to show signs of mistrust, you become weak and also you are made to ask the question, ‘Can I trust people again?
“Such situation can be so devastating and so discouraging but I resolved that it is Jesus that is my model and the Lord helped me and I was able to weather the storm”.
As he leaves, he said, “My greatest joy is that I am leaving. The Bible says the end of the matter, is better than the beginning. A man who starts a journey is still looking forward to so many things he cannot see.
“But a man who has finished his journey is only looking back to remember those things he encountered. I always tell collogues that there are three major things involved in this journey.
“Everyone started at different points; nobody could tell what could become of each journey. Some started but had to drop off along the line because they couldn’t just continue; other wanted to continue but the system said no, they don’t fit in, further still, others are not told to quit but death comes on their ways and cut short their journey.
“In my case I am happy that I didn’t run away , my leaders didn’t tell me that I didn’t fit in and death couldn’t stop me. Now, I am on my own stepping out, I mean that is a thing of thanks to God.”
On what next, he said, “It is as the Lord directs. Whatever He tells me is what I will do next.”