Adeniji, Amos Oladosu
Amos Oladosu Adeniji was born in Iwo, Nigeria, into the family of Papa Daniel Akintayo Adeniji and Mama Adijatu Bamidele Adeniji of Motoku’s compound, Iwo, Osun State, on December 25, 1938. His parents were peasant farmers in Ajagba, a village near Iwo. He was the only child of his father but his mother had other children. His family worshipped Obatala, the Yoruba divinity of creation and he was considered a potential priest of the deity, but Adeniji accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1953 during the ministry of Rev. Olaniyan during an open air revival that was being held in his home town of Ajagba. Subsequent to his conversion, he renounced Obatala. He later preached to Prince Odeniyi and Prince Ogunmodede, who were traditional worshipers in Ajagba. Both of them were converted and lived and died in the faith, influencing their family members, of whom many are still in the faith today.
Adeniji entered District Council Primary School Bode-Osi in 1947. He proceeded to District Council Primary School Oke-Ola Iwo and District Council School Araromi Iwo, where he completed the Standard Six Certificate in 1954. He was then employed as a clerk under Mr. Tella, a produce merchant, at Ilawo near Ejigbo. He later secured a teaching appointment with the Baptist Day School Ilawo in 1956, and also taught at the Baptist Day Schools in Isundunrin and Songbe in 1958 and 1963, respectively. He resigned his teaching post in 1963 and moved to Ijebu (water side), in the present Ogun State of Nigeria, where he worked with another produce merchant.
Adeniji married Miss Rachael Olakunbi Babalola of Bara Alase compound, Ogbomoso, on March 19, 1961 at the Osogbo marriage registry, and the marriage was blessed with children, among whom are: Oluwakemi, Adekunle, Akintunde, Adenike, Adeyinka, Adeola, Taiwo, and Kehinde.
While he was relaxing under a tree in Ijebu (water side) in 1964, God called him to the gospel ministry in a dream which he later confirmed, after narrating it to his pastor. He was admitted to the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary Ogbomoso, in August 1965, where he obtained the Certificate in theology in June, 1968. While at the seminary, Adeniji was a student pastor in Olorunda-Olosan Baptist Church. During that time, God used him to minister to a Sango worshipper who later gave her life to Christ, which marked a turning-point in the life of the church. He also led the church in the construction work of a new building which was completed in 1968.
From 1968 to 1982, Adeniji was the pastor of First Baptist Church Mefoworade, near Ife, where he had been appointed pastor on July 1, 1968. His early years at Mefoworade were spent on reconciliation among church members and in broken homes. He also made tremendous contributions to education in the area by encouraging the community and surrounding villages to embrace education, and by providing accommodations for the teachers posted to the only primary school in that area. In 1973, he established the Baptist Modern School of Mefoworade, which was upgraded to a secondary school in 1977. Adeniji established cordial relationship with the Muslims and the Christians, which brought about an atmosphere of peace within the entire Mefoworade community, enabling the entire community to embrace the school he had founded. Many have been converted to the Christian faith in that school, and he has encouraged graduates of both schools to further their education. Many of them have later attended the Baptist College in Iwo and have become teachers.
Adeniji played a prominent role in promoting the health of the entire community. He took sick people to the hospital in Ile-Ife, Ilesa and Ogbomoso, and played a significant role during the cholera epidemic that ravaged the community in 1975. He did not rely on medical treatment as the only solution, but complemented it with special prayer meetings in the church, addressing the problem both medically and spiritually. Adeniji served as assistant moderator of the Ife Baptist Association for three years and as the pioneer moderator of the Ifeloju Association. He was also the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Mefoworade branch, for ten years. Adeniji left Mefoworade for Gusau on June 30, 1982.
Adeniji resumed the pastorate of First Baptist Church Gusau, Zamfara State, in northern Nigeria on July 1, 1982 and was there until December 1985. His selfless ministerial work allowed him to establish good rapport with the Hausa people of Gusau and its neighboring villages. This yielded a good result some years later, when the Hausa section of the First Baptist Church was established. As a pastor, he molded many lives after the example of Jesus Christ and restored many marital relationships through his pastoral counseling and visitation. He established summer holiday coaching for students during long vacations, and in 1983 he led the church to purchase an evangelism bus that was used to present evangelical sermons and songs around Gusau on Sundays. While in Gusau, he served as moderator of the Sokoto Baptist Association for two years, as chairman of the Bible Society of Nigeria, Gusau auxiliary, and as chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Gusau branch. On July 7, 1996, the [position of] “Royal Ambassador” of the church was named after him in recognition of his selfless services to the church. Adeniji left First Baptist Church, Gusau for First Baptist Church, Ode Omu in December of 1985. His stay in Ode Omu was brief, and he soon relocated to First Baptist Church, Sepeteri. However, his efforts in Ode Omu led to many conversions to Christ and these included the Muslim family of the church night guard. He left Ode Omu in the latter part of 1987.
From Ode Omu he moved to First Baptist Church, Sepeteri, Oyo State, and was the pastor there from December of 1987 to November of 1999. At Sepeteri, he penetrated the lives and practices of the traditional worshipers with the gospel message. He was used of God to impact their lives in a positive way, and many of them converted to Christianity. Among these was a young boy, Oludele Ojekalu, who is a son of Lagbookun (the head of all of the town masquerades) of Sepeteri, who [became a member of] the First Baptist Church, Sepeteri. He led the church to plant many churches within the area, including Oke-Agoro Baptist Church in Sepeteri, the churches at Aba Woru and Aba Ogunsipe, and many others in the neighboring villages. Many laborers who reside in villages around Sepeteri embraced Christianity because of his efforts, and he was also instrumental in the establishment of Ideal Nursery and Primary School in Sepeteri, and the construction of an ultra-modern parsonage for the church. He was also commended by the entire community for the role he played in making peace in the town. At Sepeteri, he served as moderator, Olorunda Baptist Association, for four years; chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Sepeteri chapter; member, Oyo West Baptist Conference; and chairman, Pastor’s Fellowship. Adeniji was described by others as a cheerful, kindhearted, loving, hardworking, and energetic preacher. Many people saw him as the person God used to help them become or achieve whatever they later did in life.
In addition to his pastoral duties, Adeniji engaged in farming, which he used to augment his meager salary. He succeeded in ensuring that members of his extended family, especially his mother’s family, became Christians, and many of them were converted to Christianity because of his kindness to them.
He died of chronic lymphatic leukemia on November 8, 1999, at the Baptist Medical Centre in Ogbomoso, and was buried on November 17, 1999, following a funeral service at First Baptist Church, Aipate Iwo. He lived a life that was full of challenges, but also of testimonials to what he had done. He left a legacy for his children and family members by helping to ensure that they live godly lives.
Victor Akintunde Adeniji
Death Certificate of Amos Oladosu Adeniji.
Program of the funeral service for Adeniji, November 17, 1999.
Mrs. Rachel Olakunbi Adeniji (wife), interview by author, September 17, 2009.
Mr. Olasupo Adeniji, (cousin), interview, September 27, 2009.
Pastor Noah ‘Tunde Olorode, First Baptist Church, Garki Abuja.
This article, received in 2010, was written by Victor Akintunde Adeniji, PhD candidate at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Leke Ogunewu, and the rev. Dr. Deji Ayegboyin, DACB liaison coordinator.
Adeniji, Amos Oladosu, Nigeria, Nigerian Baptist Convention