By Morenike Taire.
A previous Commissioner for Education in Lagos State, Teacher Idowu Sobowale, is the Chairman, Organizing Committee for the 50 th anniversary events of the renowned Shepherd Hill Baptist Church, Lagos. Being a noteworthy alumnus of Baptist Academy, the mom school of the church, the three-time Unique Consultant to numerous Lagos State guvs is most likely in the very best position to supply a peep into the month-long series of occasions too some background on the organization. Excerpts.
Teacher Idowu Sobowale.
What is the significance of the 50 th anniversary?
To be 50 is a significant accomplishment. Lots of churches began, they didn’t even do half of that prior to they evacuated similar to numerous organisations likewise have actually evacuated long prior to they turned 20 or25 And even for humans, 50 is beyond the average in Nigeria. So, it’s an event that must be commemorated.
Hill is among the most renowned Baptist churches. Why do you believe that is so?
Since one, the viewpoint of the church and 2, the place of the church.
Holding to the tenets of the creator of the church, the late Rev. Dr. J.A Adegbite, the church is centrally situated and whatever the Baptist Convention wishes to do, if they wish to do something main in Lagos, they do it in Shepherd Hill.
Even for outsiders? Does it have something to do with the structure?
Partially, due to the fact that there’s no other way you’ll pass without seeing the church.
What is the history of the structure?
Well, the structure was created by a designer who was a boy when he did it, about 25/26 years back. The one we were utilizing previously is the little church. That was the one that was developed as a chapel of the Baptist Academy in1963
So what is going to take place to that old structure?
It is quite in usage. The Yoruba Church holds there, the Indian Social work holds there.
You have actually belonged to Shepherd Hill for so long. What are the elements that kept you there?
When I was a trainee of Baptist Academy, I was connected to the creator, Rev. Dr. J.A Adegbite. I likewise enjoyed the church services.
I indicate, the significant elements are the ones that I informed you, trainee subscription of Baptist Academy and after that my association with Rev. Adegbite. And in any occasion, it’s not far from where I live.
So what part of the event are you eagerly anticipating the most?
Every part of it, however the 2 significant ones are the ones that are taking place on the 13 th of July which is the anniversary lecture, gala night and supper and on the 14 th which is the dance occasion.
What of the football match?
Each is very important. We have the football match on Saturday. On Friday, we have the check out to the Old Individuals’s House and Modupe Cole.
Every activity is very important however those are the 2 crucial. As in the anniversary of the facility of the church and the lecture offered by Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain and being chaired by Ambassador Christopher Kolade.
Are they members of the Baptist Church?
They are not members. They do not need to be.
So having existed for 50 years, what effect would you state Shepherd Hill has had on the neighborhood?
Without being needlessly immodest, I would state that the church has actually made substantial effect on the society. It has actually affected, in a huge method, the conduct and practices of members which has actually likewise affected those that the members relate with. Among such locations remains in federal government. The church has actually produced 2 commissioners that have actually served a minimum of 2 states of Nigeria; those that have actually served the parastatals and other arms of federal government. A a great deal of Nigerians have actually been affected.
Then in the location of principles and morality, the church has actually affected its members who have actually needed to serve. For instance, for a variety of years, the creator and previous principal of Baptist Academy, Rev. Adegbite, was selected Chairman of Standard procedure Bureau and he stated that any day a trainee of the Baptist Academy was brought prior to the committee for a violation, he would resign. To the magnificence of God, no member of Baptist Academy was given his committee while he existed.
What is the relationship in between Shepherd Hill and other Baptist churches?
Really cordial. We have an association of churches around our location; then we have a conference of Baptist churches. That conference has actually divided into 4, we come from the Lagos East Baptist Conference; so all the churches within that conference comply and relate carefully together. Not forgetting the concepts of the Baptist denomination. Then all Baptist churches over Nigeria fulfill at a convention as soon as a year, which is the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
There’s no other way you’ll speak about Shepherd Hill Church without discussing Baptist Academy.
In truth, a great deal of individuals believe Baptist Academy came out of Shepherd Hill; can you set the record directly?
It was when Baptist Academy moved from Broad Street in Lagos in 1959, a choice was required to discovered a chapel where the trainees would get spiritual guidelines that functioned as a location of praise and after that it was the chapel that changed into Shepherd Hill.
So in view of current spiritual and ethnic skirmishes, is Baptist Academy prejudiced to trainees?
For a long while, Lagos State federal government took control of all independent schools. However then, throughout Tinubu’s period, a committee was established to return all schools to their numerous owners and I take place to have actually been the individual that executed that policy. And prior to then, everyone from any state of origin participated in Baptist Academy despite spiritual limitation. When federal government took it over, obviously, it was open to everyone which status stayed even after the school returned to the objectives.
As a previous commissioner, what is your viewpoint about returning schools to the objective?
I believe it’s the very best thing to do, otherwise I would not have actually done it due to the fact that at the time we did the return, schools had actually actually gone low in regards to morals and discipline however with the return, a minimum of the previous owners or proprietors/proprietresses had the chance of checking out the policies and methods that they utilized prior to the federal government took control of. And in no time at all, we saw the distinction that the return had actually made towards the development or advancement of these schools.
A great deal of churches are getting associated with Nigeria’s politics. That is, pastors are speaking up. What is the position of Shepherd Hill?
The position of Shepherd Hill is that the church motivates anyone who has an interest in politics to head out there and play it. That’s the main position of the Baptist objective. Since if churches state individuals must not play politics due to the fact that of the mistaken belief that it is filthy, I have actually constantly attempted to describe that politics in and of itself is not filthy, it is those who are playing it that are filthy. So if Christians state due to the fact that politics is filthy, quote and unquote, then those who are most likely dirtier will supervise and you and I would have no factor to grumble. Similar To Alhaji Jakande asked me to chair the committee that moved students from personal to public schools when he ended up being guv and my own kids remained in independent school.
I had factor to decline the visit due to the fact that I had a UNESCO deal to go and develop my own school of mass interaction in Malawi and they had actually offered me my warrant to take a trip when that deal came and after thinking about the alternatives, I chose to accept Jakande’s deal and I discussed to individuals that cared to listen on nationwide TELEVISION and papers that I took that choice for a self-centered factor, that if I declined it due to the fact that of the appeal of foreign currency then someone else will perform that project. If that individual did it in a manner that will harm my kids then I’ll have no right to grumble. It is the very same thing for Christians however the whole time they have actually left it for other individuals to run their affairs today I believe they’re getting a lot better that they need to be out there and take on other individuals and if we actually follow the precepts of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, then it is they that should do things in a simply and respectable method.