It was a moment of sober reflection, delight and emotions after the Assemblies of God Church, Itedo Lekki, bade their host pastor of 25 years, Reverend Okereke Odii, alongside his wife and children, a warm farewell for an impactful tenure in the parish.
In over two decades, Odii grew the membership of the church from zero to over 350. This, according to the church, is courtesy of his resolute to remain steady, tenacious and resilient in serving the church.
This was the thrust of his send-forth ceremony and launch of his second book, The Story Behind The Glory, as he left for the AGC Addo under the Addo Section, where he hopes to put in the work for God and the souls thirsting for His salvation.
Resonating the words of the members, the District Superintendent (DS) of Lekki District, AGC, Rev Sunday Brodrick outlined one of Odii’s attributes as being prayerful.
He emphasised, “His ministry is much more about prayer. Secondly, he’s very humble and teachable; the deacons can correct him.”
According to Brodrick, another admirable trait of Odii is how he treats his members as his children.
The DS pointed out that the newly transferred Reverend accommodates, loves and is interested in the success and prosperity of his people. “So, when they are having a hard time, he takes them to the mountain and prays with them almost every month,” says the DS.
Brodrick, however, drifted towards the leadership in the nation as the general election gathers momentum. As a leader, my appeal to other leaders is to be patient with the youth.
He recommended that the youth be empowered with education and scholarship for those who wish to further or given skills in entrepreneurship for those whose dream resonates with them and give them financial push to start. “With that, I’m too sure, the rate of crime and youth restiveness will subside.”
Consequently, the DS cautioned Nigerians to watch the characters of the presidential candidates during the polls. He stressed the need for Nigerians to find out what the person has done in the past, and his antecedents. “We shouldn’t look away from the character in 2023.”
He cautioned against ethnicity rather than competency, integrity and track record as vital attributes the nation and churches need.
While acknowledging grace from God as his source of guidance, Odii said his newly launched book; The Story Behind The Glory, captures his ministerial journey so far.
“It is not all that easy,” he admitted, as he recounted his days of training at the Bible School, Iperu. “As pastors, we met a lot of people from varying backgrounds. So we were coached to manage people. That helped me in my 25 years here.”
Odii chanted the words of the DS who said persistence, perseverance and grace kept him this far.
For his wife, Pastor Mercy Okereke, “what kept me in this ministry for 25 years is the grace of God, persistence, despite the challenges. When you persevere, you will get results. If you have a target, a focus, and a mandate and remain consistent you will come out strong.’’
The chartered accountant expressed delight in the ministry and the grace they have received from God together.