Methodist Church Nigeria Ketu Circuit- Lagos, Nigeria
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IN THE BEGINNING
Ketu is a Town that is a sub-burp of Lagos city. It is the most prominent and mostly populated town in Kosofe Local Government Area.
The location used to be an extensive farmland belonging to the Awori. The land was eventually sold by the Balogun family to land speculators around middle 1960s and early 1970s. It was mainly a residential area.
Ketu is also made up of other settlements like Kosofe, Orisigun, Owode, Mile 12. Oluwalogbon, Ikosi Aiyedere, Olorunda, Agboyi 1,2,3, Alapere, Osogun. Ojota used to be part of Ketu, until the Oworonsoki expressway was built to separate it. Today Ketu is a big town spreading across Kosofe Local Govt Area, Ketu-Agboyi Local Council Dev Area and Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Dev Area.
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN KETU ENVIRONS
Before Methodism came to Ketu, there had been in existence some Christian Denominations. Notable among them are:
The Baptist Church – It has a large piece of land with a Cathedral size church and a big Primary School at Kosofe Ketu.
The Apostolic Church – This Church had a Secondary school on an extensive land with boarding facilities. She also had her Nigeria and West Africa Convention Ground Located at Olorunda Ketu.
The Celestial Church of Christ – This also had large landed properties in Ikosi Ketu, where the International Headquarters of the Church was located.
Anglican Communion – This Church was present with a Church and primary school at Agboyi
Methodist Church obviously came to Ketu after the above denominations with no land, but few Methodist families were ready to start a Church. This was in early 1970s.
THE START OF A METHODIST PREACHING STATION AT KETU
HOLY SPIRIT LED Rev A.T.Ola Olude (MON)
In 1972 Late Revd (Dr) Olude was inspired by The Holy Spirit to start a preaching station at Mile 12 area in ketu. He was at that time The Minister –in-Charge of Johnson Memorial Methodist Church Ikorodu.
As a born Evangelist Rev Olude, tricking from Ikorodu to Lagos received divine instruction to turn right, and after a distance, he was instructed to turn right again into AKOROUNFAYO STREET, where he started preaching in the open air. Immediately a few people gathered around him. Later he approached a house on the street (No 5) and told the Landlord one Alhaji Songosanya, that The Lord asked him (Olude) to start a church in his (Alhaji`s) house. The landlord agreed and thus a 10x12 ft room was hired out at the first floor as a place of worship.
Rev Olude then rang his bell for people outside to come in, he blessed the room, and he decleared the preaching station open with a powerful sermon. Later Rev Olude printed some hand bills and handed to Methodist members around to further publicize the Preaching Station located at Owode Mile12 Ketu.
The earlier members were Methodist families that recently settled in Ketu. Some of them were earlier attending Hoare`s Memorial Methodist Church Yaba, William Memorial Methodist Church Ago-Ijaye,. Methodist Church Fakorede Somolu, etc.
The first class book was issued on 12th of August 1972. The first set of members entered in the book were sixteen (16) in number (10 males and 6 females) – adult and children.
EARLY CHURCH WORKERS / EVANGELISTS
From Ikorodu Section : There was no doubt the newly established Preaching Station was under the spiritual and administrative care of Ikorodu Section, where the founder Rev (Dr) A.T.Ola Olude was the Minieter -in- Charge. Under his spiritual guidance visiting Local Preachers and Evangelists were sent to Ketu Preaching Station Every Sundays.
The first set of workers included Bro J.O. Ajayi who was coming from Igbogbo in Ikorodu Section. Bro Ajayi was usually supported by Bro S.O. Awolesi – a fully accredited Local Preacher from Ikorodu.
Church Agent: On the 16th September 1973, a resident Church Agent, Bro Ebenezer Olujimi Kehinde Adewunmi was posted to the now fast growing Church. Bro S.O. Solaja, the then Senior Society Steward at Ikorodu also came regularly for spiritual and administrative/financial nurturing.
First Harvest Thanks-giving Service: One of the achievements of the early Church Workers / Agents was, the organisation of the first harvest thanksgiving service, on Sunday 16th December, 1973. Revd (Dr) T.A.Ola Olude preached the sermon. He chose his text from Genesis 8:22 and Matthew 13: 40—43. Choristers from Methodist Church Ikorodu and Igbogbo also officiated at the harvest service that commenced at 3.00pm attendance was 102 (70 adults and 32 children) A total sum of sixty one naira and ten kobo (N61.10k) only was collected as thanks offering.
First Minister: On 2nd of February 1975, a Trainee Evangelist in person of Bro Z.A. Fakoya was posted to Ketu as a resident worker. He was spiritually close to Rev (Prof) Bolaji Idowu, The first Patriarch MCN. Bro Fakoya was living in Katu and he was also on training at M.T.I Sagamu.He was able to gain more members and make Ketu a family Church. After his training at MTI he proceeded to Emmanuel College Ibadan for full Ministerial Training in 1977. He returned as the first Minister –in- Charge of the Church on the 13th August 1978. He was accommodated at Bayswater Lodge 19 Adenola Street Ketu.
At the time Rev Fakoya was on training, The Late Rev S.O. Maraiyesa and other experienced Methodist members who were given `note to preach` were serving the church, especially on Sundays. These seasoned members included Bro D.O. Ogunyemi, Bro (now Elder) K.A. Ogunbanwo, Sis (now Dame) P.O. Ogunbanwo, Bro (now Oba) S.A. Adesanya, Sis (now Dame) A.O. Adesanya, Late Bro N.O. Adesina, Late Sis Fagbamila Late Bro S.N. Ogunlaja, Late Bro S.A. Lawal, Late Bro A.O. Adebanjo, and so on.
AFFILIATION WITH TINUBU CIRCUIT
Johnson Memorial Methodist Church, Ikorodu Section, that God used her Minister to found Methodist Church Ketu, was created from Trinity Methodist Church Tinubu Circuit. In 1975 when Ikorodu Circuit was finally to be created, Ketu Society was given the option to choose the Circuit it would like to belong. Ketu being entirely in Lagos sup-burp, and after praying about it, the founding fathers of the Church choose Tinubu Circuit. Thus Ketu Society became one of the Churches under the spiritual and administrative supervision of Tinubu Circuit. Ikorodu was granted a circuit autonomy with local churchs like Igbogbo, Oke – Eletu, Imota, etc under her.
Today, however, Ketu Local Church has helped to evangelise Ikorodu territory, with four local churches and two preaching stations.
Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde
CHURCH PROPERTIES AND BUILDING FOR THE LORD
The need for Ketu church to mature from a tenant church to her Canaan Land began on the 11th June 1978 when she relocated from Mile 12 to yet another rented house at No 4, Ogunyemi Street, Ketu. It was another Alhaji that was the Landlord. The Church had to move then because most of the members were largely living around Demurin street, Alapere, Tipper Garage area,Mende Maryland, Ogudu, Ojota and Oregun. The new location was somehow central
At this new location communication among members was easier. Elders were no more in a hurry to go home after Sunday services. They usually held meetings on the progress of the Church. The elders later located a land and raised loans among members to buy the land. Most of the loans were later written off as donation.
The Church, on her land located at No 3, Raseed Oyekan Street, erected a neat temporary plywood building. The building covered about half of the plot of land. The effort was through direct labour, with the Ministers and members including children working round the clock. The temporary building was completed in record time. It was dedicated on 31st December, 1978 by Rev (Dr) T, A. Ola Olude, whom Rev Maraiyesa brought unexpectedly that day to visit the Church.
The Main Church Building:
The foundation of the main church building was laid on the 20th April 1981. Because of the sloppy nature of the land the basement was completed in December 1982, and dedicated for worshipping. The temporary structure was immediately pulled down, and building of the main building on top of the basement began. It was completed and blessed and put in use in December 1985.
As the main Church occupied the only full plot, there was no space for the manse. Since 1984 the Ministers posted to the church were accommodated in No16 Adenola Street, a flat belonging to one of the Church members, Bro and Sis O Osunfisan.
However, a Society in the Church Good Women Christian Society donated a piece of land to build a manse at Ojokoro Ikorodu. Today a four 3 – bedrooms flats are nearing completion on the land. The church also has a half a plot on Ogunsowobo street in Ketu.