Baptist Church mourns as ex-General Secretary, Rev S.T. Ola Akande, dies at 94

Rev (Dr) S. T. Ola Akande

The Baptist Church is mourning as the former General Secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Dr S.T. Ola Akande, died at the ripe age of 94.

The Secretary General of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev (Dr) Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, announced the demise of Rev Ola Akande, on Thursday.

Ayokunle, who is also the President, Christian Association of (CAN), wrote: “Baba S.T.Ola Akande, former General Secretary, Nigerian Baptist Convention, has changed address today at a ripe age of 94.

“Rev. Samuel Titilola Oladele Akande has answered the glorious call! Baba relocated to the great beyond a few minutes ago after a brief illness. Good night baba. May God console and comfort the Nigerian Baptist Convention and his immediate family.”

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Akande, the third indigenous General Secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, held in high esteem by the Baptist family both within and outside Nigeria, in his lifetime, was fondly called “the Archbishop of the Baptist Church of Nigeria,” as he served the Baptist Convention from 1951 to 1991 in various capacities.

Born in Awe, Oyo State, on March 31, 1926, to Pa Oyetunde Akande of the Onsa-Olapeleke’s Compound in Awe; and to Susainah Ayannihun, his mother, Akande attended the A. M. E. Zion Primary School, the Salvation Army School, and the Aggrey Memorial Primary School, Ghana, before returning to Awe in 1937.

On his return, he attended Awe Baptist Day School in 1938 and later left for Ghana in 1943 to complete his secondary education at Adisadel College in 1949.

The Baptist Mission in Ghana, under Reverend W. N. Claxon, offered him a conditional scholarship to enable him complete his education after his mother’s death in 1948.

In 1959, while serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Fiditi, in the present Oyo State, the Nigerian Baptist Convention awarded him a scholarship to study at the Wayland Baptist College, now Wayland Baptist University, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, from 1959 to 1962.

In 1969, while serving as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, he secured another scholarship from Union Theological Seminary in America for his postgraduate studies in the New Testament. He was in America from August of 1969 to December of 1973.

Upon his return to Nigeria in December of 1973, Akande taught at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. He served as an associate professor at the seminary until December of 1976 when he was invited to become the pastor of the Oritamefa Baptist Church in Ibadan.

Akande served as the president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention between March 1977 and April 1979, and was later announced and the General Secretary of the Convention.

It was while in Ghana, that Akande met his wife, former Miss Comfort Olalonpe Kehinde, the. Both of them met on his first day at Suhum, and during their stay together in the area, they developed a relationship that culminated in their marriage on December 13, 1956.

The marriage is blessed with five children who presently hold various responsible positions. It was said that Akande’s achievements could not have been realised without the prayerful support, devotion, and unwavering faith of his wife, who has been described as someone who believes that the duty of a Christian wife is to support her husband in prayer. She was also said to be a continual source of courage and encouragement to him.

In 2018, the Oyo State Government named the popular Bashorun-Ashi, Bodija road as Rev. S. T. Ola Akande Way.