Rev. (Dr) Oluyemi Ayankayode Ilupeju is the Pastor of Good News (formerly Adelabu Street) Baptist Church, Surulere, Lagos. He has been serving in this capacity since July 1,1988.
Rev. Ilupeju obtained a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering in 1982 from the then University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife). After his National Youth Service programme, he won a scholarship in 1984 to do a Post-Graduate Diploma in Electronics at the Philips International Institute of Technological Studies, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
My first Sunday as Pastor of the Church was July 3, 1988, and my first sermon was titled “The God Who Speaks”. The text for the sermon was from Hebrews 1:1-4. The purpose of the sermon was to make the congregation know that we serve a God who is not only alive but who also speaks to His people. He has a view about everything and it is the duty of His people to find out what His will is from His word and to do it. I wanted the congregation to know that I intended to lead them to discover the will of God from His word and then join hands together with them to do as He commands. My induction as Pastor of the Church took place on Saturday, August 6, 1988 at 44, Adelabu Street, our worship centre. It was something of a novelty for a Baptist Pastor to be inducted within a few weeks of the commencement of his ministry in a Church. Some are made to wait for years before this public recognition of the Pastor is granted. It sent a positive signal that these were a very serious minded group of God’s people. The mother-Church, Surulere Baptist Church, was well-represented and they printed the programme for the occasion. I got the key of the Church from Rev. S.O. Daramola, the Pastor of Surulere Baptist Church, as a symbol of formal transfer of Pastoral leadership of the Church to me.
I enjoyed the fullest cooperation of both Deacon Onosode, from whom I took over as Pastor, and Bro. Clinton Peters, who was the Church Secretary at that time. Both of them assisted me in settling down among the Church membership, and I got to meet the Church officers and several other members of the Church through them. At my resumption of duties as Pastor, the Church met on Sunday mornings for Sunday School, Baptismal Class and the morning worship. She also met on Sunday evenings for Church Training programme and the evening worship. The weekday meetings included the Baptist Men’s Fellowship and Women’s Missionary Society meetings on Mondays and the Prayer meeting on Wednesdays. The Lydia Auxiliary was a very strong group made up of active young ladies in the Church. They regularly produced a magazine that served as a medium of communication for the Church membership. The leadership of Children’s department was the ministry of the women of the Church and they organized themselves to minister to our children. The Church had a choir and a paid organist who met twice a week to rehearse their songs for the Sunday morning worship service. The Church did not have a Church Council or a Diaconate at the beginning of my ministry. The Church Council was constituted not long after I resumed but the formation of the Diaconate had to wait for almost three years. The practice that I met was that the Pastor and the Church Secretary officiated together during Church worship services. This changed after the first Deacon of the Church was inducted.