By Lekan Babawale, Jos
Youths of the First Baptist Church, Jos Plateau State has honoured the Pastor of the Church, Revd. Sunday Abolarinwa Fabunmi, a former National Vice President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention Youth Conference, NBCYC, Mr Ilufoye Akande and an oil magnate, the Chief Executive Officer of OYEVICH Oil and Gas, Mr Victor Oyediran Emmanuel.
Other recipients of the awards were, a business entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of Shardoc Investment, Deacon Michael Odeyale, the second Chairman of the Youth Fellowship of the Church who was also the best sword driller in the Nigerian Baptist Convention in 1956, Deacon Abraham Oladipo Oladokun and the only female former Chairman of the Fellowship, Mrs Comfort Kikelomo Oyadiji.
The awards were presented on Friday at the Chuch auditorium during the Award/Appreciation and Variety Night organised by the Youth Fellowship of First Baptist Church, Jos as part of the events marking the 2019 Baptist Youth Week Celebration.
Also honoured at the elaborate event were all former President’s of the Fellowship, selected former leaders, Patron/Matron/Advisers (including former ones), and the first Marshall of the Royal Ambassadors, Nigerian Baptist Convention, NBC, Deacon Bayo Oyeniyi.
Equally unveiled during the programme was the Fellowship’s 2019 Youth of the Year, Bro Sheyi Mafolasire who was announced by the Matron of the Fellowship, Mrs Esther Akinlotan having been selected by the President. The Fellowship also unveiled its beautifully designed new uniform, a colourful sky blue with a touch of red and deep blue on its collar.
Parts of the activities on the night were presentations from various groups and individuals.
Speaking with CityMirrorNews after the event, the President of the Fellowship, Bro Jide Afolabi said that Friday, June 7, 2019, will definitely have a special place in the history of the Baptist Youths especially, Nigerian Baptist Convention Youth Conference and First Baptist Church, Jos Youths in particular.
He said, “It was a night where heroes and martyrs were remembered and honoured. It was an award, honour, appreciation and variety night. It was a night we appreciated our forgotten heroes and martyrs.
The essence of this night was to appreciate those who have contributed in no small measure to the growth of the Fellowship from 1972 till date. Without their efforts, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“You will recall that the Fellowship launched its book titled, ” The Reflections: History of the Youth Fellowship of First Baptist Church, Jos 1972-2019″ on Sunday.
“You can read the contributions of those we awarded and honoured tonight in that book. I recommend it to every Baptist especially, youths and those interested in Baptist Churches development in Northern Nigeria.”
Afolabi noted that it was important to know where we are coming from so as to be able to determine where we are and where we are heading.
“History is important and honouring these Generals-of-Faith is imperative while they are alive. You know as Africans, we only celebrate our heroes when they are long gone but for us, as we celebrate those that have gone to be with the Lord, we equally celebrate those that are alive.”
He thanked God for the success of the programme and congratulated the awardees and honourees.
Speaking separately on behalf of the awardees and honourees, Mr I.A Akande and Deacon A.O Oladokun appreciated the Youth Fellowship and its leaders for counting them worthy of the awards and honours. They prayed that God will continue to uphold the Fellowship.
Surprise award at the event was the exemplary leadership and selfless service award given to the President of the Fellowship, Bro Jide Afolabi by his colleagues.
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