Updated: Oct 15
A former President, Supreme Faction of the Christ Apostolic Church who changed the theological understandings of the denomination, Pastor Gabriel Oladokun Olagunju is to be laid to rest at his pep project, Emmaus Theological College, Olodo Ibadan on Friday 26th November 2021.
Patmos Media Line learnt the scholastic Pastor who cherished most digging into the word of God passed on 29th August 2021 before his family at his private residence close to the chapel of the Theological College he founded.
A Patmos Media Line investigation on the Pastor shows that everywhere he was posted to; he attracted more learned and unlearned people to the church through stimulating Bible Study programmes which made the CAC authorities thrust their Bible outline design on his lap.
A fiery preacher and astute teacher of the word, God made him to disciple the juggernauts of the CAC fold and did not die like powerful Biblical Elisha who did not reproduce himself.
We sought for a special biography of the great teacher of the word exclusive to Patmos Media Line from his family.
Biography of Pastor Gabriel Oladokun Olagunju
He was born into the family of Pa Daniel Olagunju Tanimomo in November 16, 1923 in Ajiwogbo Village, Lagelu Local Government, Iyana-Offa in Oyo State and Madam Mirian Ogungbaroye of Koloko Family, Oke-Offa, Atipe, Ibadan. Pa Daniel Tanimomo is from Odo-Ye, Oje Area, Ibadan.
Baba, Prophet J. O. Adedeji was the one who brought the Tabernacle Church (now known as CAC) to his hometown at Ajiwogbo Village. His whole family received Christ and started the Church in their living room. They were taught about first fruit and thus, his father gave him as a first fruit to God. He was the only surviving son of his parents.
Pastor Gabriel Oladokun Olagunju bore his father’s name instead of Tanimomo. He preferred to be called ‘Lagunju because they were 3 that bore the name Olagunju at school and there was a need to be able to distinguish them apart from each other. He grew up as a farmer but through the help of God and deeds of hard work, he trained himself up tp standard 6 at the following schools:
1. Seventh Day Adventist School, Erunmu
2. Idi-Ito School, Erunmu
where he gallantly passed the prescribed certificate examination. He was employed as a young teacher then by the Western Government of Nigeria in 1954 and worked as a teacher in Ikoyi Environment. It was during this time that he met late Pastor J. O. Dairo who was also a teacher then. His last station before God called him was Awala near Ikoyi, Osun State; the village of Prophet G. A. Oyelami of Alasepe Mountain in Ikire. The two met and became friends, were called the same time and trained at the same place. They were also posted to the same area in Iwo, Osun State.
Call into the Ministry
While he was in the teaching service, God called him to the ministry of His Good Tidings in 1959. Thought it was not easy, he submitted to this divine call and started on this vision by undergoing a period of tutelage under Pastor Akinbowale at CAC Ikoyi. Both Baba and Prophet G. A. Oyelami started training at the same time under Pastor J. O. Akinbowale.
After a short while of brief training, he was posted to Ikonifin; his first station, under Iwo District as the Church Catechist from 1959-1961. In this capacity as the Catechist, he was transferred to other stations which include:
1. CAC Asa under Iwo District 1961-1963
2. CAC Ago-Igbira under CAC Odo-Ona, Ibadan 1963-1964
3. CAC Agbokojo, Ibadan 1964-1967
4. CAC Oke-Igbala, Idikan, Ibadan
5. CAC Oniyanrin, Ibadan
Having being on the field for quite a while, Pastor G. O. ‘Lagunju proceeded to ECWA Theological Seminary, Igbaja between 1967-1969 to develop his spiritual theological knowledge. He also went to West Africa Adventist Theological Seminary, Ilisan-Remo. He also attended UAMC Theological Seminary, Molete, Ibadan.
He gained a lot of opportunities to travel abroad but financial constraint denied him these opportunities. He was able to attend these theological seminaries with the help of his wife who was a government teacher then. She was behind his ministerial successes.
After his graduation, the Church authority posted him to School of Prophets and Evangelists under Prophet/Evang. D. O. Babajide, the second General Evangelist of CAC Worldwide in Ilesa from 1969-1971.
Pastor G. O. ‘Lagunju was ordained as a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church in December 13, 1971. After his ordination, he was transferred to CAC Pastoral Institute, Agege, Lagos, as a Lecturer between 1971 to 1975. Some of his students there were Pastor Johnson Adewale Ale; Pastor Gabriel Ojo Durojaiye; Pastor John Oluwafemi Oyebanji; Pastor George Oludoye Fadipe; Pastor David Adeyemi Laraiyetan; Pastor Augustin Adebayo Awelewa; Pastor Michael Oloruntoba Agbaje and Pastor Godwin Chukwumeka Osuigbo.
When he left the institute, he was posted to CAC Agbokojo, Ibadan as an Assembly Pastor from 1975-1986 from where he was transferred to CAC Oke-Ife, Agbowo as an Assembly Pastor from 1986 to 2008. By the grace of God, Pastor G. O. ‘Lagunju was promoted to District Superintendent of CAC Agbowo (when a district was created in 2008) and also promoted as a Pioneering Chairman of CAC Oke-Ife Agbowo coordinating Council in 2009.
Due to the exigencies of that period in the mission, a need arose for a Sunday School lesson to be written. The CAC Supreme Council appointed Pastor G. O. ‘Lagunju as the National Sunday School Superintendent, a post he combined with the Chairmanship of CAC Oke-Ife Agbowo DCC from 1993 to 2009. Pastor G. O. ‘Lagunju was appointed by the CAC Supreme Council as the General Superintendent of the mission from 2009-2013 and by the grace of God, he was also appointed as the President of the Church in December 1st, 2013, a position he held until his retirement on 31st December, 2018 from active service of the Lord.
Marriage and Family Life
After the death of his first wife, he remarried to Mrs. Elizabeth Mosunmola (nee Ladipo) of Ile Odenlo, Popo, Osogbo in Osun State, a younger sister to Chief Duro Ladipo. They met when he was a Catechist at Asa, Iwo while Mama was a teacher at Methodist School, Asa; with the help of his friend, Prophet G. A. Oyelami. The marriage was conducted by Pastor M. B. Oyeyemi at CAC Olugbode, Odo-Ona, Ibadan in 1964. The marriage is blessed with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 1988, the then CAC Authority appointed him as one of the lecturers who will train pastors who were about to be ordained at Akure. Amongst those he lectured were Pastor E. O. Odejobi; Pastor B. O. Akanmu and Pastor Anu Ojo.
1. While in CAC Agbokojo, Ibadan, God assisted him in reconciling a stubborn rift that had highly given the Church Authority concerns that the move of God may prevail in the Church. The reconciliation was followed by peaceful co-existence of the members and construction of the Assembly building.
His writing of a monthly magazine called THE TRUTH inspired a lot of people and also helped his ministry. The magazine was distributed free to all CAC Churches. His weekly Bible Study and Sunday school teaching attracted a lot of people to his ministry.
2. He received a divine direction to start a Bible College which he started at CAC Ita-Baale, Olugbode, then he moved to CAC Irefin. With the help of Pastor J. O. Akindele, the then District Superintendent of Irefin District, Irefin Church, he was given one (1) acre of land to establish the Bible College for free at Olodo where we are today.
3. While he was at CAC Agbowo, God gave His backing to his ministerial work that impacted the members and subsequently drew the University of Ibadan to the Church. His writing of the Sunday School at a time like that caused a maturing unifying factor and force that kept the mission moving and sustained in the Lord for the needed growth.
Unity of the Church
Pastor G. O. ‘Lagunju says someone starts a thing and someone complete it. He emphasized that it was God who gave him the privilege to commence the reconciliation process of CAC reunification to the stage we are all witnessing today.
Baba does not like to tell his life’s story because it is a pathetic one which makes him cry. Whenever he tries to tell anyone, he cries and that’s the end of the story. Baba’s hobbies are writing, reading and teaching.
Baba rested in the Lord on Sunday 29th August, 2021 at exactly 10.00am in the presence of all his children, and his immediate junior sister at a ripe age of 98 years.