Solomon Olabisi Ayinde Alade was born around 1897 in Kusu, a village just north of Saki (present day Shaki) in the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State. Alade was born into a royal family at a time when there were tribal wars in Yorubaland. When the Fulani war reached the town of Kusu, the inhabitants fled and took refuge in neighboring towns. Alade and his eldest brother escaped and went to Saki, finally settling in an area called Agbo-Ile Nla in Okesebe.
Alade’s parents worshipped Sango (the Yoruba god of thunder). At one point, Alade lived with one of his uncles, a Sango priest, and from him he learned how to cause thunder to kill those who offended Sango. A man of many trades, Alade was a carpenter, trader, bricklayer, laundry washer, and farmer.
On June 4, 1901, the board of the Southern Baptist Convention U.S.A. appointed Rev. Louis Mayfield Duval to pioneer a mission in Saki. After 1945 Rev. J. W. Richardson, a missionary pastor, and his wife Margaret, a missionary doctor, joined the group. Through the influence of this couple, Alade converted to Christianity. Alade worked for the Richardsons, washing laundry, while other new believers were employed as house help, gardeners, cooks, or messengers.
During this time he met Alice Adepata, who was a student at the missionary school for women, and whom he later married. Both became dedicated members of First Baptist Church, Oke Adagba, and during his time at this church Alade felt a call to ministry. Rev. Richardson mentored Alade and gave him a Bible education. Even before going for theological training, Alade was assigned to pastor a village church in Agbonle, not far from Saki.
Alade attended the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, and was trained as a lay pastor from 1957 to 1958. He served as a pastor at Baptist Church, Idiko-Ago from 1958 to 1962, First Baptist Church, Lanlate from 1963 to 1964, Kinnikinni Baptist Church, Saki from 1965 to 1968, and First Baptist Church, Ijaye Orile via Ibadan, from 1969 to 1982.
Alade was among the first indigenous pastors in the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo state to stand up to certain practices in idolatry. In those days, the people of Idiko-Ago were predominantly worshipers of Oro (a Yoruba divinity). During the annual Oro festival, women were not allowed to go out during the day because it was believed that any woman who saw Oro would instantly die. So women weren’t permitted to attend church services during the festival. With prayer, courage, and the help of the law enforcement, Alade was able to put an end to the practice.
Before his death, Alade prayed that his eldest son would be called to the ministry. However, not only his first son, but all three of his sons became Baptist ministers. The eldest, Rev. A. Adebimpe Alade, is the pastor of Gateway Baptist Church, Sanngo, Ibadan. Alade’s second son, Rev. Dr. O. A. Alade, is the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Ilorin, and his youngest son, Rev. Phestos K. Alade serves as pastor of First Baptist Church, Out (2008).
Alade retired in 1988 at First Baptist Church, Ijaye-Orile, near Ibadan. He died in Saki, his hometown, on August 9, 1992.
A. Adebimpe Alade
“A Brief History of First Baptist Church Oke Adagba, Saki” (N.pl: n.pub., n.d.)
Rev. A. Adebimpe Alade, Alade’s eldest son, eyewitness account.
Mrs. Alice Adepata Alade, Alade’s wife, eyewitness account.
Rev. Dr. O. A. Alade, Alade’s second son, interview with the author, February 21, 2007.
Rev. Phestos K. Alade, Alade’s third son, interview with the author, March 15, 2007.
Short biographical account of Ms. Gita Richardson Larson, daughter of Rev. Richardson, on Nigeria Faithful Works Web site at http://nigeriafaithful.org/Council.htm, accessed on 1/15/09.
This article, received in 2008, was researched and written by Rev. A. Adebimpe Alade, D.Min. final year candidate at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, under the supervision of Rev. Dr. Deji Ayegboyin, DACB liaison coordinator and president of Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, a DACB participating institution.