The Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos, Rt Revd Ifedola Senasu Okupevi presiding over the 2nd Session of the 35th Synod of his Diocese, witnessed the eulogizing of the immediate past Supervising Bishop, The Rt. Revd. Dr. James Olusola Odedeji. The citation started with the maxim that for actions and events, there is always a day of reckoning. Performers call it the D-Day, Business professional and accountants say it is the Great-Day, the eschatological powers describe and allude to it as Judgment-Day while Human Resource practitioners call it the Day-of-Rewards. ‘Today is that Day and the Day is today’.
As we gather under God to celebrate visionary leadership, extol exemplary service, appreciate noble statesmanship and confer deserving honors on a couple that stood in gap at a most critical point in our chequered history. While still struggling and groping in the haze occasioned by the unexpected sunset at noontime of the Late Archbishop Humphrey Bamiseyi Olumakaiye, the See of Lagos, in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) on 30th October 2022, leadership responsibility was laid upon the shoulders of one of His appointed servants, a highly accomplished individual, in a neighborhood Diocese, with a rich background in theology, the incumbent Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, The Rt. Revd. Dr. James Olusola Odedeji and his amiable wife, Dr. Mrs. Lydia Olukemi Odedeji; played once in a blue moon role of Supervisory Bishop of Diocese of Lagos until when the election and enthronement of the new Bishop would take place. Bishop James and Lydia, simply came out of obscurity and in humility, did a wonderful job.
Born approximately 55years ago in Eko Ajala in Osun state, Nigeria, to the Late Venerable David Ademola and Mrs. Comfort Odedeji, a youthful energetic workaholic of uncommon propensity and gangling friend. Father James Odedeji and his amiable, Consort, Nightingale Lydia Olukemi Odedeji were predetermined vessels of God, prepared, pre-destined and fore-ordained to fill an inter-Testamental gap in our Diocesan history, took up the additional role as Supervisory Bishop of Lagos, in addition to the big job of leading the big Diocese of Lagos West and discharged that role with uncommon doggedness, motivational tenacity, uncommon dexterity, sacrifice, humility and sagacity. As a rare breed, a highly cerebral James Olusola Odedeji completed his own theological education demand emerging as the best overall graduating student of 1993 graduating class, winning 16 laurels, receiving awards for the best excellent and leadership quality prize. In his young days as the Chaplain to the Late Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi of Lagos West and Curate at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church which later became a Cathedral from 1997-2003, he displayed uncommon brilliance, hard work and unwavering commitment to duties which earned him a preferment as a Canon of the Cathedral in 2003, Archdeacon in 2007 and Dean of AVMCC from July 2010 – 10th Oct, 2010. That position he held till Jan 9, 2013 when he was elected as the 2nd Bishop of Diocese of Lagos West. Demonstrating his commitment to both faith and education, James Odedeji obtained his Masters in Religious studies from Lagos State University (LASU) in 2016 and a Doctoral Degree from the same institution in 2014. Bishop Odedeji is not only known for his religious leadership, but also his academic prowess. He is a distinguished Preacher, an accomplished Intercessor and has been Guest Speaker in various fora both within and outside Nigeria. He has actively participated in Church Administration and has chaired several Committees within the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
Now as living witnesses to how Bishop Olusola Odedeji’s tenure as Supervising Bishop was marked by superlative and impressive records of tremendous spiritual and physical growth, but more importantly how he was able to aptly combine managing two of our Dioceses with such superlative ease and uncommon success, displaying great humility and wisdom. While shuttling between Ikeja and Marina, he did not abandon his primary responsibility. The long list of physical projects he initiated are infinite, from the huge towering structure of the Diocesan Multipurpose building, arguably the best in the Country, in the exclusive area of Ikeja Lagos, which includes a magnificent Bishop’s Court, an Administrative Block, a Bishop’s Chapel and Chaplains’ Quaters in palatial array. From the conservative 100 Churches he inherited to almost 700 and still counting. In continual education initiatives, Bishop Odedeji in just 10years mentored 14 Priests and 4 Clergy wives who have successfully obtained their PHDs in a record time. His amiable wife, Dr. Mrs. Lydia Odedeji, Chief Matron in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), a holder of two Master Degrees of LASU since 2008, a renowned educator and a Doctor of Philosophy from the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 2021.
Today therefore, we are gathered to celebrate excellence and reward hard work. Bishop James Olusola & Dr. Mrs. Lydia lives and careers are eloquent testaments to education, hard work, commitment and tenacity of purpose. We can go on and on and on.
My Lord Bishops here present, Mama Lagos, distinguished delegates, I present to you, a man of multilateral character, a highly regarded spiritual faithful pastor, compassionate achiever, a pontifical father, a wise teacher, The Rt Revd. Dr. James Olusola Odedeji and Dr. Mrs. Lydia Olukemi Nightingale Odedeji.
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