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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tribute to Bishop Oluremi Obembe; a woman with a touch of excellence


How do you say good bye to a person who you have known for over three decades, worked closely with and share some common principle in ministry and then God called her home suddenly without a clue or warning?

For me this is more of rhetorical question that need no answer, it’s a question that was borne out of the pain of losing someone so dear to you and yet you can’t do anything to bring her back to life.

As human being, we feel pain in many different ways. Some when in pain goes into a muted shock that word cannot express; some laughed, and show some signs of temporary insanity because of the fact that the pain of the loss was huge to bear. Some feel numb as if blood has ceased to flow in their veins while some others will go ballistic in expressing the impact of the pain with stringent weeping that rings down the hollow.

I may not be able to describe how I felt in my initial reaction to the news of your sudden demise, an early morning call from my brother, Obafemi Oyeneye announcing your sudden translation to glory brought out a warm tear drops from my teary eyes and the shout of Jesus! Jesus!! Jesus!!! rang out subconsciously.

This was neither a good news nor one expected in anyway because there was no report of you being ill not to talk of being hospitalized neither were you ripe of age in man’s estimation to qualify you for death at this time.

The previous Sunday it was said that you came to minister to the flocks in your usual down to earth teaching of the word, bumbling with life at the Ogudu church where I had served for many years with you and later with other brethren.

I was told you were at the Valentine get together organized by the youth of the headquarters church the previous Monday with excitement while on Tuesday, you were at the Lagos state government secretariat following up on the matter of the ministry.

The trend of your activities prior to your demise showed the kind of person you were; full of life and action, a restless soul that you are, trying your hands in many areas of endeavors. A soul who have set the pace for hard work and who believed in doing things right no matter the cost.

At the inception of the Ogudu church around 1994 or thereafter, you had shown tremendous desire to pastor a church with a distinction from the rest of the parishes of El-shaddai Church. it was your belief that what is worth doing is worth doing well.

Coming from the headquarters church in Ikoyi, and having relocated from Surulere where I used to reside to Ogba Ikeja; Ogudu church was the nearest place for me to worship and we struck a chord that brought us to work together to ensure that the church take the life of its own.

On my own I decided to volunteer to come around every Tuesday to work with you in the church in my quest to ensure the burden of ministry is lighten on you so that we can have a church filled with love and divine power.

The first thing that amazed me about your dedication to the work was the huge investment you made in purchasing books that would enhance your knowledge and other ministry helpers to realise the church of your dream. We engaged in constant research to ensure that the flocks drink the best of the sincere milk of the gospel each week.

Soon, the church began to attract quality people from around Ogudu, up to ketu and even Maryland and as far as Ojodu areas as a result of your dynamism and the content of your messages.

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In no distance time, the distinction of Ogudu church, which is also known as Breakthrough Cathedral became apparent among the group of churches under the El-Shaddai Life Ministries.

The Ogudu church was nicknamed ‘the foremost church’ a title well earned and deserved. But this spark up controversy within the ministry and became something used against you because some people felt that how can a mother be so passionate about one of her children and showed open favoritism.

How can I forget your passion for a church that demonstrates the practical biblical lifestyle. My wife till today still talk about the ‘Possibility Class’ you organized for expectant mothers which held every Thursday to help them journey through pregnancy with ease and faith in their heart.

Many non members of the church keyed into this vision of yours and the great opportunity which later translated to a huge interdenomination service and blessing to many families who would have incurred huge expenses to go through the experience of child bearing.

The bond of love among the brethren of Ogudu church till date was the remnant of the seed you sow years back which has became an oak tree till date.

Yes, you have your weakness; your tenacity and unrepentant commitment to what you belief and ready to sacrifice personal comfort in pursuant of what you think is best. Your stubbornness in holding on to what you think is right regardless of what other think about such.

These had brought you in conflict with others within the ministry. Largely misunderstood and misrepresented because of your impatience with mediocrity.

But largely, you’re a good woman who believed in hard work and detest indolence both in the secular and spiritual circle. You model hard work, entrepreneurship and love for things of God to many.

Together we fought many battles in the ministry. I could recall years back when we pioneered a newsletter for the Ogudu church and it was unjustly criticized, your southing word to assuage what you thought could be a discouragement for me was inspiring.

Since the departure of our leader, the great Bishop Joseph Olanrewaju Obembe, you have held forth creditably, kept the fire burning and set a new pace for the ministry to the admiration of many brethren both past and present.

It was still very tough for some of us to come to term with your sudden demise; I still struggle to see you in the past, the person I can no longer see in the flesh. Your transition has left a huge gap in the ministries that is yet to overcome the pain of the exit of its Prelate.

What can we as human being say to this; God has the final say and we don’t have the capacity to question His decision to take you home at this time. We can only take solace in the good works which you were known for and the memory we shared while you were still on this side of the divide.

To borrow from the word of Apostle Paul; You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith. Now there is in store for you the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you on that day—and not only to you, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Good night Mummy Obembe, we shall meet at the feet of Jesus on that day where there shall be no tear, pain or sorrow. May the Lord be with your children, both biological and spiritual and especially the church you left behind.

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