Many great events develop from humble beginnings. The humble beginning is often underrated at first. This is so because the human mind has its own limitations. The remarks just made are borne out by the little significance accorded to the SECOND – now EMMANUEL Baptist Church, Ilorin, on 22nd January 1967, when some people got together and worshipped in the private house of a member. We praise God. Emmanuel Baptist Church, Ilorin, has its humble beginning. Many members who later joined the church are ignorant of the humble beginning of the Church. This is written to present the beginning and growth of the church that is now twenty-five years old. Knowledge goes with light, as much as ignorance and darkness associate.
The light thrown by this write up will dispel the darkness of ignorance among the members of the church. It will also provide information to the public at large on the growth of the Christian church on earth. It is self-evident, and the reader will agree with me, that no man can write this kind of history without consulting some of the witnesses to the beginning and growth of the Church. Some of the members who founded the church are still alive. They provide the primary source of history. Now that a lot of people have received divine blessings through being members of the church, we can well repeat the wise saying: “For if we are patient with faith, big things can result from small things”.
As mentioned earlier, this write-up is being published on the occasion of the celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin. We are grateful to a number of people who have worked hard to make the publication possible. Chief among such people is Mr. J. Abiodun Omoniyi. He compiled the drafts. Our Church Typist, Miss Ajayi Aiyeniko, also deserves praise. She typed the manuscript. To Deacon S. B. Oyedeji who is the Chairman of the Church History Committee with all members of that Committee is due our gratitude. Deacon D. A Ologunde carefully went through the drafts and did the necessary corrections and editorial work. Mr. I.F Ade Aweda also assisted in the editorial work. We owe all these people a lot of gratitude. To conclude, we must remember that people make history. Some people take a decision. They translate their decision into action.
Hardly had the members taken the decision when they carried it out a part of a building belonging to Mr. D.B Adewojo was to serve as the place of worship. At 10:00am on Sunday 22nd January, 1967, about twenty-five worshippers – adults and children inclusive – turned up for a worship service in Mr. D.B Adewojo’s house at Sabo-Oke for the inauguration service Mr. J.S Osunsna preached the first sermon. He thereafter served as the church Leader. Thus came into being a second Baptist Church in Ilorin. Those who attended that first service included Messrs J.A Adeyemi; J.A Awotula; F.A Durodola; D.B Adewojo; Z A Olawore; Paul Babatunde; A O Olaniran; S.O Olaoye; J.S Osunsina; J.B Aremu; David Adewojo and Mr. Soyale. the women members in attendance included Mrs. Awotula; Mrs. Adewjo; Madam Salamotu; Madam Adewojo; Madam M. Olawore; Mrs. R.O Adegboye; Mrs. Durodola and Mrs. Aremu. The Second Baptist Church later adopted the new name Emmanuel – GOD WITH US” ( Isaiah 7:14 Mathew 1:23).
The Second Baptist Church later adopted the new name Emmanuel – GOD WITH US” ( Isaiah 7:14 Mathew 1:23).
On 6th February 1967, the new congregation sent two representatives, namely, Mr. J.A Awotula and Mr. Z.A Olawore, to Reverend L.A Akinpelu, the Pastor of the First Baptist Church Surulere, Ilorin, to inform him that another Baptist Church was being founded at Sabo-Oke, Ilorin. the two-man mission was received with mixed feeling by Rev. L.A Akinpelu the Pastor of the First Baptist Church Surulere. The two-men, erstwhile members of the church he was pastoring surprised him with the information. there being no open confrontation among the members of the Surulere-based congregation, Rev. Akinpelu did not anticipate their mission. Were they representing a break-way group?
The delegates explained, rather apologetically, that their decision had been motivated by the need to solve practical problems on the one hand, and by the spirit of evangelism on the other. The Pastor’s initial non-enthusiastic surprise did not last long. He welcomed the move and gave words of encouragement which the delegates took back to sabo-oke. Rev. L.A Akinpelu did not stop at sending back words of encouragement to the young Baptist church at Sabo-Oke. He initiated steps to support and stabilize the young congregation. He constantly visited the Church. He also appointed members from the First Baptist Church to worship with the new congregation. On occasions, the visitors from the First Baptist church preached the sermon in the worship service at sabo-oke on Sunday.
Mrs. Akinpleu, the Pastor’s wife, often turned up in the worship service. She was usually accompanied by one other woman from the First Baptist Church. Her husband also mandated Pastor Okanlawon to attend the worship service and occasionally preach the sermon. Thus was the foundation laid for the co-operation and love that have since existed between the first two and leading Baptist Churches in Ilorin. Ilorin area was part of the Ogbomoso North Baptist Association in 1967. The second – (EMMANUEL)- Baptist Church sent Messr J.A Adeyemi and D.T Mofobi as her delegates to the Ogbomoso North Baptist Association meeting held in ikoyi via Ogbomoso in December 1967. Earlier in that year, the young Church had held her first church business meeting on Sunday, 2nd July 1967 during the 10:00 a.m morning worship service. In 1969, the Agbebi Baptist Association was Organized. Ilorin area was regrouped with New Association. By the time the first Associational Meeting of the Agbebi Baptist Association was held in Offa, on 12th April 1969, the congregation at Sabo-oke, Ilorin had adopted the name EMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH. And that was the name put on the record of the Association.