Tears, encomiums, tributes flow as Odukoya goes home
It was an outpouring of emotions at the two days burial ceremony of founder,the Fountain of Life Church, Pastor Daniel Taiwo Odukoya, who died on August 7, in the U.S. at the age of 67years after a protracted illness.
The event that began on Friday, September 8, with a service of songs was tagged, ‘The General Goes Home’. Several activities common to such solemn assemblies, like Bible reading, worship, hymns and tributes flowed freely.
It is interesting to know that his first three children of the five are all pastors, and so, it was not surprising that they did not only partake of the activities such as worship and Bible reading but in a pastoral manner encouraged the congregation in different ways that no else did.
Odukoya’s first daughter, Pastor Tobi Enuha, had the first Bible reading. The heavily pregnant lady read from the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three from verse one to eight. The chapter basically consoles the living, saying there is time for everything on earth and the time had come for him to go.
In her tribute, she encouraged people not to mourn the life of her father, but rather, celebrate him like the Bible said in 1st Corinthians 15, that death is only victorious over those who do not know God, but for those who do, they are victorious over death through Jesus Christ so,“I am confident that my dad has made the ultimate transition to glory and I see him praising and worshiping God.”
She sang a short chorus of a song she said kept coming to her mind as she pictured her father, “come and join me sing halleluyah, Jehovah Jireh has done me well.”
She encouraged people to serve God genuinely as nothing they do for God is a waste of time or effort.
“My dad was able to accomplish all he did because he lived a life after Gods heart, with the Holy Spirit as his partner. He took on the scripture in Acts 17 that said, in him we live, we move and have being so everything he did was by the leading of the Holy Spirit. I want you to know today as children of God that nothing that happens in our lives catches God by surprise. I hear people talk about a sudden death, I see people confused that men of God are not supposed to die. Surely God has no rival and no equal so no one and absolutely nothing can take a man who served God with all his heart in all his life if God did not permit it to happen.
“My father said this is the year of the Holy Spirit so this strong relationship with the Holy Spirit is the legacy my father has left and if you do not work with the Holy Spirit, I will advise it’s about time you did. Working with the spirit of God and what happens in our lives goes hand in hand. This is why you always will find my father at the feet of Jesus.”
Pastor Jimmy Odukoya took the stage next and with the same disposition, he said, “the general has gone home but we are here that means the world continues, and the last time I checked, a lion cannot give birth to a goat so whether the devil likes it or not, out of the bellies shall flow rivers of living water.”
He said his father was a sign that you could love God totally, unashamedly and God has given him rest. “Look around you, the fruits of pastor Taiwo are much. So, just like God was with Moses, he shall be with us, as he was with Pastor Taiwo, he shall be with us.He says he will never leave us nor forsake us.”
Pastor Taiwo was known to be a man of worship and so his last daughter, Pastor Toluwani Odukoya-Ijogun, decided to pay him tribute by singing some of his father’s best worship songs.
Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Day Star church preached the message for the service of songs and he did begin with commending the children for encouraging all in a way no one would have done.
He went ahead to talk about Pastor Taiwo’s kindness and other attributes to his family and by extension, his ministry.
“When God led us to start Christian Day Star Centre, in our period of transition, we decided to attend a midweek service at his church and after the service they took us to their office we told them how God had called us to start something new and they gave us a cheque of 60 thousand naira, in 1995 it was no small money.”
Pastor Adeyemi then began the message by quoting First Thessalonian four 13 to 18, let’s encourage one another with this words.
He said Pastor Taiwo was not dead but sleeping and what he is experiencing on the other side is
pure joy, love and peace that no one on earth can experience.
According to him, God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and not the God of late Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because he is not the God of the dead; he is the God of the living.
“It is the same thing Jesus said when Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus died, when he got there, he said, they were not dead but sleeping.”
He said, “When you have the light of God and see life from God’s dimension, that changes your perspective to life.People tend to say life is short but when you look at it from Gods dimension, eternal life is not short, it is time that is short.”
He warned that of all the things you achieve on this planet, it is the ones that add value to people that will count for you in eternity, all your certificates, houses and other things will remain useless.”
“We didn’t come here to cry but to celebrate the transition of a general. So if you see us celebrating, we are only tuning into what is happening in heaven,” Adeyemi said.
First Vice President of the Living Faith Church Worldwide and the Senior Pastor of the Abuja Church, Living Faith, Goshen City, Bishop David Abioye preached at the funeral service which was on Saturday September 9, and he enjoined all to live a selfless life so that they can live on even in death as Pastor Taiwo has done.
He was so sincere that even the press had nothing negative to say about him. All tributes came in the same way with the same words which shows how consistent pastor Taiwo was, in truthfulness, integrity, sincerity, humility, hardwork, selflessness, tenacity, totally non materialistic, dogged with the things of the kingdom, forgiving misgivings and foolishness easily, and more. He was a man his family and spiritual followers were proud of his life he gave to raise them.
Bishop Okonkwo of TREM, who is also Pastor Taiwo’s spiritual father summarised everything everyone said, which was, “Pastor Taiwo was a very good man. With him, what you saw is what you got. We are grateful for his life and the legacy he has left behind.”
He prayed Gods protection over the children pastor Taiwo left behind and the final interment was a very private one for only the family, while a thanksgiving service held at the church auditorium on September 10, to bring to an end the life and times of Pastor Daniel Taiwo Odukoya on earth.
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