By Shola Akingboye, 27th February 2022
It was all thrills and frills as the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Saturday led his other siblings to celebrate the 90th birthday of their mother, Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu.
Family members, friends and well-wishers gathered at St. Mathias’ Anglican Church, Orogun, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to praise and give thanks to God for His divine mercy and favour over the Governor’s mother who has continued to serve God and humanity.
Wife of the Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu; members of the State Executive Council led by the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu, among several other dignitaries within and outside Ondo state attended the church service.
Governor Akeredolu who is the first child of the family, took the Bible reading from Psalm 92 Verses 1 to the end.
In his sermon, the Bishop of Ibadan North Diocese and Archbishop of Ibadan Province, The Most Rev. (Dr) Segun Okubadejo, who congratulated and rejoiced with the celebrant on her 90th birthday celebration, said God has been very faithful to her.
While describing Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu as the Dorcas of our time and a woman whose life is a model to all, Bishop Okubadejo added that she is like a tree planted by the riverside.
He observed that clocking 90 years in the face of enormous challenges, including economic and social insecurity, and in a society where life expectancy is low, is a milestone that must be celebrated with praises and thanksgiving offerings.
Bishop Okubadejo described the occasion as a gracious and glorious day, not only for the celebrant but for all who have joined to celebrate her on the special occasion.
According to him, it is a thing of joy to see Mama’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren gather to celebrate her as it was said in the Bible, stressing that the occasion was to praise and give thanks to God because she has enjoyed the favour of God.
He prayed to God to continue to sustain the nonagenarian great grandmother in good health, adding that the transforming favour, love and grace of God are still sufficient for her as she continues with the journey of life.
“At 40, you celebrated the Peace of God, and we thank God the same peace is still with you till today. At 50, you celebrated the Love of God and we thank God you are still lucky God still loves you. At 60, you celebrated the Mercy of God, and if not for God’s mercy there is no way you will be here today to celebrate 90, but we thank God for that.
“At 70, you celebrated the Grace of God, God has been so faithful to you. At 80, you celebrated the Praise of God and till today we thank God the praise has never ceased from your mouth, you are still praising God; and today, at 90, you are celebrating the Wisdom of God. If I want to be generous Mama, at 100, you will celebrate the Glory of God. We want to be more generous Mama, at 120, you will celebrate the Excellence of God”, he added.
In his remarks, Governor Akeredolu thanked all the Archbishops, Bishops and other church leaders as well as guests for the honour done the family.
Akeredolu who appreciated God for the grace his mother has received so far, also noted that the aged mother has lived well.
In separate interviews, some of the children of the celebrant including Prof. Oluwole Akeredolu, Dr (Mrs) Modupe Adeyinka, Pastor Kola Akeredolu and Oluwafemi Akeredolu, appreciated God for keeping their mother alive in good health to celebrate the exceptional and landmark 90th birthday, saying not too many people will live up to the age.
According to them, Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu went through a lot to ensure all of them got to where they are today, describing her as a strong pillar and true mother who deserves the best.
The children also prayed to God to grant more years for their mother in sound health.
Highlights of the event were thanksgiving, taking of Holy Communion, the Akeredolus’ family harvest, prayers for the celebrant and the Akeredolus.