Friday, 20 January 2017

How Children & the Anglican Church Celebrated Bishop Adebiyi’s wife’s 1st Year Memorial in Lagos

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The Children of Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi at the First Year Memorial Service of their mum in Lagos on December 31st, 2016
Saturday December 31st of year 2016 was a busy day for many reasons. First, it was the last day of the year. Secondly, it was the last Saturday in December—the last month of the year when events happen simultaneously e.g. weddings, funerals and birthday celebrations. Lastly, it was the eve of the annual New Year day celebration.  The day was pregnant with so many activities.
However, the esteemed family of Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, a retired and first Bishop of the Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Lagos West, had the day to remember their sweet mother, Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi who joined the saints exactly a year back. She died Thursday December 31st, 2015.

The book of Ecclesiastes 7:1 noted that “a good name is better than precious ointment. And the day of death than the day of one’s birth”. For the late Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi, her name was not only known for goodness in her living days. Her departure from planet earth last year, came with instances where grace and honor prevailed.  For instance, she was alleged to have battled a serious ailment which shook her life for six years and which made foreign doctors conclude that she was going to die before her 70th birthday. But funny enough, she surpassed scientific verdict and lived extra seven years and seven months before God called her home. She celebrated her 70th birthday on Monday, April 6, 2015 in London and to the hearing of her London doctors who gave the death verdict on her. Her death on the last day of 2015 bared lot of testimonies and great revelations as she was said to have visited all friends and foes-alike couple of weeks to her death to mend fences with all in a manner never ever seen before. However, her first year memorial service was going to be a thanksgiving event as her family shared good memories of her 70 years of existence and 46 years of marriage.
Guests from all walks of life joined the children and larger family of the Adebiyis from Aramoko Ekiti and Osi Ekiti as they shared the injunctions of same Ecclesiastes chapter 7:8 which says “The end of a thing is better than its beginning”. Mama’s good end could be deciphered from the expression on faces during her first year memorial service.
The officiating priests

The cream of guests—clergies, friends, families and well-wishers who throng the GRA-Ikeja Lagos based Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral under the auspices of Diocese of Lagos West for Mama Adefiola’s 1st Year Memorial Service were prompt and punctual as they arrived in their elegant attires and automobiles  for the event.    
The event started with an Opening Hymn which was taken from Hymn 512 of the Anglican Church, followed by Preparation for Penitence which is a special prayer of grace of errors for the deceased. This was conducted by a cream of priests of the Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral in conjunction with a team of visiting priests from other dioceses in Nigeria.  The choir of the Arch-bishop Vinning Memorial was in their best element as voices and instruments gave out the best of creative synergy.
Asabeafrika captures the crowd from a-top

The third item was the Epistle Revelation which was taken from the book of Revelation chapter 14:6-13 (The Proclamation of Three Angels) and the last verse declared in favor of Mama Adefiola’s hereafter “Then, I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on”. Yes, says the Spirit “thank they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them”.
The fourth item was the Gradual Hymn taken from Hymn chapter 347 of the Anglican Church.  The fifth item called Gospel was taken from the book of John chapter 14: 1-6 and the last verse says of Mama Adefiola’s last choice before Thursday, December 31st, 2015 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.
A Priest Conducting the Service
The deceased followed Christ till her last breath.  
Retired Venerable Loye Akinwande handled the sixth item which is The Sermon. The venerable who retired two years ago gave a very brilliant presentation and account of himself as a gifted teacher-preacher as he spoke about life after death and the beauty of a Christian life in a power packed 15 minutes sermon which left everyone humbled and sanctified.
The Preacher, Rev. Loye Akinwande speaks on Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi's virtues

Pulling his interjections from various chapters and verses of the Holy Bible, Akinwande described Adefiola as a credible Christian Woman who lived her life according to the tenet of the Church of Christ in the book of Proverbs Chapter 31 from verse 10-29 labeling her ‘the wise woman who build her own house’ according to the book of Proverb 14 verse 1.
The Preacher pulled the attention of Christians and visitors at the gathering to the good result of late Mama Adefiola’s 46 years relationship with her husband, Baba Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, pointing to her children, their spouses and grand children who were seated at the front row of the cathedral during the service.
Brochure of Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi's Service was hot cake at the event

Worshipers made the day a special one with their appearance
All for Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi's One Year Memorial Service
Worship in session
The preacher advised Christians to live their lives doing well to their fellow men and try as much as possible to copy the good deeds of Christ as whatever one does while living will be the hallmark of testimonies after death. Stressing his sermon with elementary points from the book of Psalm 90 verse 9-10 “For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years, and if by reason of strength, they are eighty years, yet, their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away” Akinwande believes death as the ultimate end of every creature should be joy rather than pain for Christians.
Women stormed the church for Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi

Venerable Loye Akinwande urged Christians to take a cue from Mama Caroline Adefiola’s life as she lived an upright life which enabled her to raise upright kids, an upright home and left behind an upright legacy which is set before many to see”.
The Priesthood of Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial Cathedral Church

The Adebiyis in a tete-a-tete at Mum's first year memorial service
Other important dignitaries at the memorial service are Dean Emeritus of the Anglican Church, Most Reverend Adebola Ademowo (OON) who represented the Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh. Others are Reverend (Dr.) Babatunde Adeyemi (Badagry), Rt. Reverend Babatunde Ogunbanwo (Ijebu—South/West Diocese) Rt. Reverend Oluranti Oluwole Odunbogun formerly of Ile-Ife Diocese and Reverend Samuel Oludele Ogundeji aka Baba Olowe (Proverbs) from Egba West Diocese.
The Adebiyis celebrating  mum one year after

Legion of mama’s family from Aramoko Ekiti and her husband’s family from Osi Ekiti  in Ekiti State—South West Nigeria joined the congregants to celebrate her first year memorial service.  
Worshipers stormed Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial for the service

Female Worshipers at the service
The Church was filled with guests from all walks of life
Sundry activities like Nicene Creed to Intercession, The Peace, Offertory Hymn, The Eucharistic Prayer, Ablution Hymn, Post Communion Prayers, Thanksgiving, Prayer & Benediction, Notices, Diocesan Anthem and Closing Hymn characterized the Memorial Service of Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi. The event ended few minutes after mid-day as the crowd dispersed after refreshment.
The Late Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi

What we miss without Mama in 365 days—Children
I miss my mum’s jokesFisayo Adebiyi
Mama's son, Mr. Oluwafisayo Adebiyi speaks with the GDA

Mama’s Son, Mr. Oluwafisayo Adebiyi a United States of America based Priest from Anglican Church, Diocese of Trinity, USA told Asabeafrika what he missed without mum in the last 365 days “Well, it is too hard to put it into words but we thank God that God has kept us for this one year, it has been a trying time but we have found our comfort and our encouragement in God, that with what we have known about God, He is the God that takes us through whatever we pass through. We trust God that whatever the future holds, He would continue to hold us”
The Adebiyis

On what Fisayo misses about mum, “It is beyond words”, he looked into this blogger’s eyes and spoke further “it is totally beyond words. Do I want to talk about her company, her jokes, her friendship, her leadership? The love she sowed is beyond what I can describe but we have her in our hearts. Her memory is what we are sharing and that is what we are carrying around with us”
The Adebiyis during the service for their loving mother

Elderly women at Mama Adefiola's first year memorial service 
Appreciating guests who took time to show up at his mum’s first year memorial, Fisayo added “I am grateful. We thank God for them, we thank God that not only do we appreciate her but other people appreciate the grace of God upon her life. We are grateful to everyone for showing up and being a part of this service”.
I miss Mama’s Cordiality—Tunde Adebiyi
Mama's son, Mr. Tunde Adebiyi speaks with the GDA

The Adebiyis
For Mr. Tunde Adebiyi a United Kingdom based clergy, he put it this way to this blog “We thank God, we thank God. At least it was a good year and we really thank God that she laid a good legacy behind. And we can rejoice that she is in a better place today and that is what counts”.
Mama's Son, Mr. Tunde  Adebiyi having a Bible reading for Mum
On what he missed with his mum’s absence in the last 365 days, he reacted “Her cordiality and care that is what I miss most. I missed mama for her cordiality and care”. Giving an advice from mum’s life Tunde said “You should always live your life in the way you want people to remember you. That is the best thing I think you can do in life”
I am fortunate to have come from her womb—First Child
The Scion of Pa Peter Awelewa Adebiyi dynasty, Mr. Adeboye Adebiyi speaks with  the GDA

Mr. Adeboye Adebiyi is the scion of the Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi dynasty. The international business man who gave votes of thanks at the service told Asabeafrika how he felt being Mama’s child “I feel elated and I can say I am very fortunate to have come from Mama’s womb. I just want to thank God for her life and I will continue to thank God for a life well spent”.
The Adebiyis in Church

The first child of the Adebiyis told Asabeafrika things he missed about mum “I miss her caring spirit, her love, her support and her prayer for the entire family. We have really missed her greatly”.
Worshipers and Clergies sat side by side during the event

Adeboye shared the perception of the preacher on the good life his mum lived “We want to thank God for the testimonies shared about her and that is one of the reasons why the sermon today is very inspiring that, whatever you do will always live after you. And that is the reason why we need to do well even when you are alive so that when you are dead, you can be celebrated”.
Mama's age grade storm church for her first year memorial service

On how Mama raised him from cradle he said “What she instilled in me especially, is the fact that one need to be upright, and that you have to protect your name, that Oruko rere, o san ju wura ati fadaka lo”.
He gave a quick wish to his beloved dad “Well, I wish him well and we pray that God will grant him the strength that he will work on his feet again by God’s special grace and that God will prosper him and give him long life and prosperity”.
I miss mum’s word of counsel—Ronke Fatile, 1st Daughter
Mama's First daughter, Mrs. Aderonke Fatile speaks with the GDA

For Mrs. Aderonke Fatile, Mama’s first daughter who is an aviation expert, she has missed quite a lot with her mother’s absence in 365 days, this she told Asabeafrika “I have missed her words of encouragement, counsel, I have missed her smile and I have missed her prayers”.  “I thank God and at the same time when I looked back to last year, it was so dark but God has helped us and so, I am thankful for that”.
The Adebiyi storm altar for prayers

On the greatest virtue mum instilled in her “Mama taught me to be sincere wherever I find myself and to be honest and to persevere”.
The GDA at the event

Like her elder brother, Mrs. Fatile gave a quick wish to Dad “I pray that God will continue to encourage him in the state he is. God will be with him and spare his life”.
She thanked lovers and well-wishers for coming “I want to thank as many that are here this afternoon because it is the last day of the year, a very busy day and yet, people are able to come. I thank everybody”.
I missed everything about her—Daughter-in-law
Mama's daughter-in-law, Dr. Omowunmi Adebiyi Speaks with the GDA

Dr. Omowunmi Adebiyi from Ilawe-Ekiti is married to Mama’s third son, Dr. Wemimo Adebiyi. She told Asabeafrika how she feels about Mama’s demise “I feel great that she has gone to rest. I thank God she was a wonderful mother, she wasn’t just my mother-in-law. She was a wonderful mother that made life easy for me. I could not have wanted more. So, I really thank God she has gone to rest”.
The Adebiyi and a lady admirer (L)

So, how did Mama Adefiola impacted her? “She tells me ‘take care of your home, take care of your children. Make sure you guys have your family altars everyday as much as possible. Pray in the morning, pray at night, love your children, love your home, everything was centered around the home, mostly. And the other aspect to her was ‘do the work of God, and do it selflessly and passionately’
Some elderly couple didn't stay back home. They were there for Mama Adefiola

A Lagos Business Man & his wife at the memorial service
On what she misses most about Mama’s demise in the last 365 days “I miss everything about her” the pretty lady began with a radiating look on her face “I miss her voice, her work, her music, her bible reading, her prayers, her cooking, everything; her organization. There is nothing about her that you will not miss. Everything is missing but we thank God”
The Adebiyis in Church

Dr. Omowunmi who confessed to Asabeafrika that her mother-in-law is in heaven gave her appreciation to all who came for the program “I want to say ‘God bless them for their coming and God will give them someone that has a spirit like hers; someone that will keep their home for them”
I miss Mama’s Keyboard lessons—Grandson
Mama's grand son Oluwaferanmi Fatile speaks with the GDA

Oluwaferanmi Fatile is one of Mama Adefiola’s grandkids. He is 16 years and a student of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in Lagos. He remembers his grand mum for so many things and this is how he put few of them to Asabeafrika . The 16 years old registered his displeasure with Mama’s death by saying “We have been trying to live and move on without her because dead people exist in past. We have to look forward and move on. It is like a vacuum, actually, in the family for us to lose her because she was a very great and nice person but there is nothing we can do. When God calls us we have to yield. So, we have been trying our best to live without her; doing what we know she would have loved us to do. And one day, we will all meet her in heaven”.
Some Pretty Ladies in the Church for Mama Adefiola Adebiyi

Is there any one-to-one impact Mama made on Feranmi in her life time? “Yes” he answered with a bright expression on his face before speaking further “What she really wanted me to do better was to study. She was keen on my studies and mostly my key board (Piano) lessons. So, sometimes she gives me hymns to learn about on the key board. She was always guiding me on that”.
Youths stormed church for Mama Adefiola's First Year memorial

I miss her humor loaded phone calls—Adedayo Adebiyi
Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi from London speaks with the GDA

Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi is Mama’s Second son; he is a Priest from Milton Kings, London. He shared his feeling with Asabeafrika concerning Mama’s 365 days anniversary “I feel happy and glory be to God. I know that the last one year has been a trying time but God has been faithful and He has been there for us. Even though, we know that Mummy’s passing was a big loss but at the same time, we know that everything is in God’s plans and so, we are grateful to God”.
Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi

On what he missed about his mother in 365 days “I just miss her sense of humor. That is one side that people don’t really know about Mummy. She was a very funny person. And to miss those (phone) calls that I know will be laced with humor and with Godly advice, I have missed her very much” he said with a tint of regret in his voice.
Adedayo gave words of appreciation to the Church, friends and well-wishers “It is to say thank you to everybody.
The Adebiyis
People have stood with us for the past one year and it is to say ‘thank you to everybody that came out’ and my prayer for them is that they will continue to experience joyous things in their lives”
Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi in a selfie spree with admirers after the service

Like his older brother Adeboye and sister Ronke, Adedayo gave a quick wish to Dad “It is the grace of God that has sustained him in the last one year and it is to say that He should continue to hold unto that grace because that is the only thing. Without God I don’t think he will be here today. So, he should just continue to lean on God”
Some young ladies stormed the service for Mama Adefiola's remembrance

Mama is a woman of many parts—Son-in-law
Mama's Son-in-law, Reverend Olabode Daramola speaks with the GDA

Reverend Olabode Daramola is the married to Mama’s second daughter Oluwatinuwe, a lawyer. He is the Priest in charge of All Saints Anglican Church, Ikosi-Ketu, and for him, Mama’s death is a huge loss. He spoke to Asabeafrika on so many reasons Mama Adefiola remains the best mother-in-law in the world “Well, one year after she left, her position is still a great vacuum to fill in the home because we all miss her very much. And definitely nobody can wear the shoes she wears in the family.
The Adebiyis at the Service
She is a wonderful and amazing child and woman of God. That is who Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi is; and I am sure today, she is fondly remembered by everybody”.
On what he missed about his mother-in-law; “We all miss her, and most importantly, we miss her traditional African cuisine. The soup, the juices that she makes, you know she is such a wonderful woman, and most importantly, she is a woman of so many hymns. When you are with her, singing is so easy, playing of the keyboard and singing hymns is such a fantastic thing to her. I love Mama Caroline Adebiyi as a mother-in-law. I wish she is still around so that I can do much more for her but now, that is no longer possible”.
Reverend Olabode Daramola and his precious wife, Barrister (Mrs.) Oluwatinuwe Daramola (Nee Adebiyi)

Reverend Daramola said the best decision he ever took in life was to have married Mama Adefiola’s daughter, Oluwatinuwe “Well, in Oluwatinuwe which is my own wife, I see a mother. Any time I looked at her I see her mum in her because she is very caring and loving. And of course, sincerely I don’t have a wife, I have a sister. And I don’t have a mother-in-law, I tell people, I don’t have a father-in-law, I see my mother and my father in the family that I am being married into. So, I thank God for the grace”.
An elderly couple at the Service

Lagos Big Boy Kay Lord stormed Church for Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi
Giving gratitude to guests who came for the first year anniversary of his mother-in-law, Reverend Daramola said “It is such a busy day because of the New Year celebrations. In fact, a lot of people will be very angry because a lot of people might not just know there is a service. We tried as much as possible not to bother people because we know that it is 31st of December. People will want to be with their family but for every one that is here, we just want to thank them. We wish them well in life, and even as Mama is fondly remembered for all the good things she has done, may we all be well remembered in the name of Jesus. And one thing, let us love God, obey Him and serve Him”.
Worshipers at the December 31st event

I wish I can be like my mum—2nd daughter
Barrister (Mrs.) Oluwatinuwe Daramola (Nee Adebiyi) speaks with the GDA

Barrister Iyabo Oluwatinuwe Daramola, a legal practitioner is Mama’s second daughter. She shared her loss without Mama in 365 days with Asabeafrika “I want to thank God for this one year, for the grace of God upon our family, particularly for our father and for giving us the grace to pull through up to this time. I want to thank God because we have the opportunity to look back and say ‘to God be the glory’. And today, remembering her has brought a lot of memories, particularly her character, her humility, her Godly character, her soft spoken nature, the way she relates with people, relatives, church members and the fact that even though, she was a wife of a Bishop, she never put that in her head, she didn’t flaunt it.
Mama's Second Daughter, Barrister (Mrs.) Oluwatinuwe Daramola (Nee Adebiyi) with her kids
She was a humble woman to the core. And she is an example of the woman of Proverb 31 and it just shows that the memories of the righteous will never be forgotten and this is also a call to those of us that are her children, to carry on with the good memories, with the kind of examples that she has laid for us. For us to follow it, particularly in knowing the Lord, in bringing our family to know the God that she serves; even till her death, which she continually say, that ‘as for me and my house, we will not forsake God’, we will serve the Lord. That is her watch word and it sticks with us till this moment”.
The Adebiyis and a grand child of the great woman

Some of Mama's daughter-in-laws at the First Year Memorial event
On the biggest philosophy she earned from her mother that still works for her, she answered “It is hard work. You can never be around her and be idle. Hard work and the fact that you can only be successful through the Lord Jesus Christ and He is the only source of blessings and strength and that is something that I can never forget”.
On weather mum used to spank her or not, she answered “Of course, that is part of the discipline, and in discipline, she also advised us, she taught us and when we grew older and the issue of caning was not there, we were able to talk one-on-one and we discussed issues pertaining to our lives, to our families, to our marriages.
Happy Beautiful Ladies at Mama Adefiola's event
So, it has been a great challenge, being able to step into her shoes, even right now, and as I look at my children, I wished and pray that such attitude, that such character; I will be able to exhibit it to them more than what she has deposited in my life as a woman and a child of God”.
The Adebiyis with Well-wishers after the Service

A Message to Daddy…
Barrister Oluwatinuwe Daramola (Nee Adebiyi) gave a quick wish to her Daddy, Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi who is the Pioneer Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West (Anglican Communion) “It is just to tell him that the God that saved him till this moment that protected him up to this time, he should continue to trust in that God. And it is only in God he can find strength, he can find encouragement. That is my word for him, that he should continue to rely on God and he should thank God for those of us around him, particularly his children. For the fact that we are alive, we are celebrating the life of his wife and all the children are around his table. I mean this is the prophecy of God’s word to us, that ‘your children’s children will surround your table’. It is a good thing because this is also coming to reality. It is not that he is burying any one of us; we are the ones doing that. And I pray that God will continue to strengthen him, He will give him long live, that you are not going anywhere. We want to see you vibrating, shining, getting more encouraged and rejoicing when you see us around you. And I guess that is the best encouragement”.
The Church's keyboardist in his element 
Mama will always give the choir food when her husband was in charge of Arch-Bishop Vinning —67 yr old Choir
Asabeafrika captures the Overview of Worshipers at the December 31st event
Meanwhile, Pa Ezekiel Olanrewaju Ilesanmi (JP) a 67 years old male Choir Member of the Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral in Ikeja has described the late Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi as an epitome of kindness who was too kind to a fault when her husband presided over the GRA based cathedral. Speaking to Asabeafrika after the event, Pa Ilesanmi said in Yoruba dialect “Mama da si wa, won daa si gbogbo wa. Mama da gan ni. Mama lo ma n se gbogbo ounje fun choir nigba ti won da church yi sile” (Mama is nice, she is so kind to all of us. She was the one who normally cook and give food to the entire choir in when we started this church).
The interior of the Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral and Worshipers during the service
Pa Ilesanmi described the late Mama Caroline Adefiola after great Biblical Women like Dorcas. He added “I don’t know where you work or who you write for but this woman we are remembering today is a very kind woman. In those days, no matter the amount of trouble you take to her, she will solve it. If we ask for food ten times, she will cook it for us. She treated the choir like her children. She never made us hungry. We really missed her. We will surely miss her”
A Happy Team of Women arriving for Mama Adefiola's First Year Memorial Service

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