An elder of The Apostolic Church, Shomolu Area, Lagos, Emmanuel Olalere Oladunjoye, turned 70 on January 21. He was joined by family members, friends and the congregation, at the Shomolu Headquarters of the Church for a thanksgiving. HAMEED YEKINI reports.
For Elder Emmanuel Olalere Oladunjoye, January 21 was a day of double joy: he joined the septuagenarian club and launched his dream project – a foundation aimed at improving the standard of education of the less-privileged.
Oladunjoye, decked in a white lace Agbada with his wife in Iro and Buba of the same material, radiated joy through out the event. His children and grandchild were not left out; they completed the happy family in their uniform Ankara dress.
While the church hall was decorated with purple and brown, the cake was superbly decorated in shades of purple and cream.
In attendance were the clerics of the church, Pastor Lawrence Ojo and Pastor Paul Oloruntoba; members of the church presbytery; the choir; family members; in- laws and well wishers.
The event began with an opening prayer by Pastor Ojo, who ushered the celebrator into the hall. He asked a member of the congregation to read I Corinthians Chapter 1 verse 12.
Oladunjoye expressed gratitude to God for His mercy upon his family. He urged the congregation to have faith in God, saying: “With God all things are possible. If not for His mercy, we will not be here today but because he has already planed today and scheduled it for us, that is why we are here.”
He listed the challenges he has faced and how he survived them. He also spoke about how he lost her first wife, Emily, and how he latter married the present wife and what inspired him to establish Emmanuel Oladunjoye Foundation.
“Many children want to go to school but there is nobody to sponsor them. I am saying this because I am one of the victims. I am from a very poor family. My parents could not afford to send me beyond Modern School. And, before I could complete my education, it was with pains,” he said.
He continued: “Since I have gone through this pain, I have vowed to give my children the best education and I thank God that I was able to fulfil that. As for the foundation, I am happy that, today is the day that I have been hoping for. I thank God that I am alive to celebrate two things at a time. But I believe I am not the one who commenced the foundation, it is God’s wish.
“My prayer to the Almighty God is to grant me more years and give me good health to continue glorifying Him. My message to my children and people is to have faith in God and love everyone. They should try and help people when they know that people around need them. Most of you are not doing it for today but for tomorrow,” he said.
The celebrator’s son, Olayinka, described his father as a loving and caring man who loves his children and puts God first in whatever he does.
“He is hard working, caring and loving. He is a man of the people and man of God. There is no where you will go in The Apostolic Church throughout the nation that you will not hear people mention his name for the wonderful things he has been doing for the church,” Olayinka said.
He continued: “My dad hates being disappointed when he expects much from you. He’s equally disappointed when you fail to live up to standard; he hates lazy people.”
Oladunjoye’s daughter, Mrs Olubukola Oyetunji, noted how fashionable her father is. “He is very fashionable. He is a simple man to move with. Once you meet him, talk and relate with him for few minutes, you will get to like him. He is a pleasant and respectful man. As regards age, he respects everyone regardless of their ages,” she said.