It was indeed a fulfilling event for the congregation of The African Church Bethel Cathedral, Ikorodu, as the church successfully hosted its 2021 joint Children and Adult Harvest.
The joint harvest, which was held at the Cathedral auditorium located at the Aga junction, Ikorodu, on Sunday, October 3, was themed, “Harvest of Fulfillment’, while His Grace, The Most Revd. A.A. Odufuwa, Archbishop, Ibadan Province, delivered the sermon at the special service from Psalm 126: 1 – 6.
The Rt. Revd. Hezekiah Adeleke Adetoro, Chairman/Vicar, Cathedral Council and the Bishop of the Lagos West Missionary Diocese, presided over the service.
The harvest committee, under the chairmanship of Olola Olusegun Iluyombo, introduced new ideas into this year’s harvest event, notable among which was ‘The family Harvester of the Year’, with the family of Late Prince Emmanuel Adekoya Ogunlewe emerging as the first family in the cathedral to be so honoured.
Ogunleye’s family are expected to handover the trophy to the Anibaba’s family which has been announced as the next ‘Family Harvester of the Year’ in 2022.
Another initiative was the ‘Garage Sales’ which allows members of the Church and others the opportunity to buy used clothing materials, shoes and household items among others at cheaper prices.
Olola Iluyombo, the Harvest chairman, in his message during the service, thanked the Church for the support for the committee and added that new innovations were introduced into this year’s Harvest celebration to make it unique.
He also appealed to the invited guests to donate generously towards the development of the Church.
“I welcome you to yet another eventful harvest tagged: ‘Harvest of Fulfillment’. This year’s theme was curled from the book of Psalms 126: 1-6”, he said.
“This year’s Harvest programme is unique in several aspects.
“It marks the year when church family members are recognised as Chief Harvesters, and the Ogunleye Family has been picked as the inaugural recipient of the honour.
“Secondly, aside from bazaar sales, garage sales comes in as another innovation.
“Despite the economic and social challenges confronting the nation and individuals, we have every reason to appreciate the Almighty God for His grace and mercy”, Olola Iluyombo added.
“On behalf of our Lord Bishop and Vicar, the Rt. Revd Hezekiah Adeleke Adetoro, the Church Management and the entire congregation, I want to thank our invitees and very respected guests for accepting to honor our invitation despite their busy schedules.
“I want to place it on record that we have received tremendous support from our numerous sponsors and the entire congregation.
“Without such robust magnanimity, what we are showcasing today couldn’t have come to reality.
“I want to particularly appreciate my Committee members for teaming up with me, despite our perceived challenges, to have a good outing. I pray that God of Bethel shall reward us all adequately.
“The Clergy and the choir are equally recognised for their dedication to service.
“On a final note, I want to appeal to our guests to donate bountifully as we use the proceeds for assessment, evangelical bus, completion of burglary proofs inside the church building…etc”.
Prince Bayo Ogunleye, the Otunba Baba Ijo of Africa Church Bethel Cathedral, Ikorodu, and former Vice Lay President, Lagos West Missionary Diocese, speaking on behalf of the Late Prince Emmanuel Adekoya Ogunlewe’s family, said that the family was pleased to be the first family to be honored with the ‘Family Harvester of the Year’ award.
He added that the Ogunleye’s family, both home and in the diasporas, would continue to support the Church’s developmental efforts.
Otunba (Dr) Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle, the Permanent Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) who was the guest of honour at the joint harvest, said that he was pleased to return to the church where he started from.
“It is a thing of joy for me to come back to this sanctuary today. My family is one of the proponents families that built this church and contributed immensely to its development.
“I used to be a member of the choir with my friend (the chairman, harvest committee) and I am proud to announce that the way my mother brought me up in the way of the Lord, is still part of me to today”.
He said that he did not only attend the church but also started his primary education at the church’s school.
“I also attended the African Bethel Primary School at Ota Ona. That is my foundation and today, I am a PhD holder”, he said.
After the well – attended service that lasted for several hours, members of the congregation also actively participated in the bazaar sales within the church premises. The bazaar is an important aspect of the annual harvest celebration.
The garage sales, where clothings and other materials were displayed for sales, was held simultaneously with the bazaar.
Children also enjoyed themselves in their section where a bouncing castle was provided while there was an anchor on ground to engage them.
Other guests that attended the service were Odofin A. B.G Obayan, Hon. Vice Lay President, Lagos West Missionary Diocese, Rtd. Gen. Olumuyiwa Okunowo, the Chairman of the day, Mrs Oluwayemosi Ajasa, Aunty of the day, Engr. Billy Hassan and Mr Adekunle Alausa (a special guest) among others.
Golden babies for the 2021 harvest celebration among who were Olamidotun Deborah Okeowoz, Malojadesola Isabella Osho, Queen Adebimpe Emmanuella Shodope, Prince Adeola Ayomokun Ajenifuja, Obama Aderola Emmanuel Adelabu (Jnr.), Rereloluwa Omokerede Onafowokan, Motilade Adeteleola Alagbe, Oluwafunmito Rachel Iluyombo, Tiaraoluwa Maryann Dada, David Feyikemi sOtesanya, Taiwo Michael Onafowokan and Kehinde Mary Onafowokan, were also in attendance.