The ancient town of Iseyin, in Oyo State, stood still as Rt. Rev Olufemi Babalola was inaugurated as the second Bishop of Diocese of Ajayi Crowther, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
The sleepy town came alive as hundreds of well wishers across the country converged to witness the inauguration of ministry of the former Secretary of Christian Council of Nigeria.
Babalola's enthronement was held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Okutapemo, Iseyin, on Saturday, September 9.
The 60 year Old's inauguration followed his consecration as a new bishop alongside others by the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, at the Archbishop Vine Memorial Cathedral Church, Ikeja, Lagos, on August 27, 2023.
While taking the Oath of Canonical obedience, the new bishop promised to respect, maintain and defend the rights, privileges and liberty of the church and diocese.
He pledged to rule with truth, justice and charity, adding that he would show himself “in all things an example to the flock.”
Addressing the church’s Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Guild after his enthronement, the Bishop expressed gratitude for their steadfastness and assured them of his commitment to their development.
Wife of the Bishop, Prof. (Mrs) Babalola, while speaking with CEOAfrica, described their enthronement as the fulfillment of a journey that started many years ago.
She pledged to cooperate with her husband to achieve their set goals, particularly in the areas of adult education, free primary education, primary healthcare delivery, youth development and capacity building.
Prof. Babalola, who is also the Vice Chancellor of Chrisland University, solicited the support of the members of the diocese, urging them to be open-minded and be expectant of what God would do through them at the helms of affairs of the church.
In a congratulatory message from Ogunsua of Modakeke, Oba Joseph Olubiyi Toriola, expressed delight at the emergence of Babalola an indigene of Modakeke, as a Bishop, noting that he has been recognized for his accomplishments.
He urged him to be much more inspired to make his new assignment a mission to impact on lives and inspire long-lasting sweet memories.
“From those days of old in Anglican Church, I have watched your comportment, devotion, seriousness, steadfastness and selfless services to the church. I have always has this believe that you will reach beautiful goals in the future. This is the Lords doing and it is marvelous in our hearts. It’s such an incredible opportunity for you and all of us,” the monarch stated.
Speaking with our correspondent, a friend to the new bishop, the Presiding Bishop, Chapel of Victory International Church, Bishop Ayo Odunayo, stated that Babalola has shared his vision with the church, advising him to keep his eyes on the vision and retain his faith in the Lord.
Mr Cyrus Babalola, the Bishop’s first son, in his reaction, said his father was deserving of the position, describing him as a hardworking and committed man.
A well wisher, Mr Kehinde Adegbulu advised Bishop Babalola to keep on reading the word of God, stressing that it is through the word of God he can be successful in the assignment given to him.
The Osun State born cleric until his election was the Vicar and Archdeacon of St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Inalende, Ibadan, Oyo State.