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‘Pastor Bimbo not dead’

Posted by By MIKE JIMOH, SEGUN AJIBOYE, EMEKA EYINNAYA & DARE ODUFOWOKAN on 2005/12/18 | Views: 864 |

‘Pastor Bimbo not dead’


Grief, so it is said, is the price we pay for love. But grief was the last thing on the minds of members of Fountain of Life Church whose co-pastor died in last week’s Sosoliso aircraft in Port Harcourt when Sunday Sun visited the church premises midweek. And yet, it was also quite apparent that they all loved Pastor Bimbo Odukoya dearly.

Grief, so it is said, is the price we pay for love. But grief was the last thing on the minds of members of Fountain of Life Church whose co-pastor died in last week’s Sosoliso aircraft in Port Harcourt when Sunday Sun visited the church premises midweek. And yet, it was also quite apparent that they all loved Pastor Bimbo Odukoya dearly.

From church leaders to ordinary members, workers and sympathisers and even visitors, the death of Pastor Bim, as she is fondly called, isn’t something to grieve about. Instead, it is “a celebration of life,” one member told Sunday Sun.

From far and near, members of her church and those who have drank from her cup of wisdom on how to maintain a steady relationship have continued to eulogise her.
“You are a celebrity in death,” declared Mrs. Bimbo Ademoye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Victory Chapel, Lagos. Though of a different Pentecostal denomination, she admitted that Pastor Bim lives on foerever in their minds.

Most of those who turned up at both the church and her home have continued to pour out their hearts in celebration of the woman who through her ministrations sought solutions to marital relationships.
Silently, they waited patiently for their turn to pay their last respect to a woman who has touched and turned their lives around.

Though the mood was solemn, an indication of the tragedy that has just befallen them, members of the Fountain of Life Church and members of the family of Pastor Bimbo believe the pioneer of Singles and Married, a television programme popular with unmarried folk, is not dead after all.
At the church premises in Ilupeju, Lagos, the only sign of the mood was the casual dressing of the members. Though, none was willing to speak, they all displayed a sprite spirit, which they claimed was their way of celebrating the late pastor.

A member of the church, Funmi Richard-Bruce, who said she has known Pastor Bimbo for more than a decade, still spoke of Bimbo in the present tense. According to her, Pastor Bimbo is not dead. “How can you say Pastor Bimbo is dead? She is not dead. You can wait and see what happens.”
On the part of the church, it came out with a message that it gave thanks to God for the “recall” of the late pastor. “On December 10, 2005, it pleased the most sovereign God to recall our dear Pastor (Mrs.) Bimbo Odukoya for whose life we continue to give thanks and remain grateful to God for she was indeed a blessing to the body of Christ.”

Right in the church, it did look like she was still alive, what with her giant-size portraits smiling from the walls. At the home of the Odukoyas in Ikeja, songs of praises extolling God by popular gospel musician, Don Moen, filled the air.
Under a canopy set up inside the compound, friends and church members sit discussing the loss in low tones. While the older ones sat looking forlorn, the young men and women moved about with determined effort not to betray their emotion.

Facing the canopy on the other side of the compound, staff of Nestle Foods quietly serve one of their beverages. Not far from them, a long queue builds up as people wait patiently to sign the condolence register. On the net, thousands who have encountered the pastor have continued to send their condolences.

From London, Jumie Parker wrote: “I lied to my boss so I could go to church on December 3 and my life was changed by the Odukoya's ministration. Thank for your yielding to the Lord, and for the legacy you left behind. All nations call you blessed.”

Another wrote from Saudi Arabia: “My most wonderful pastors, I thank God for you all in Fountain. I pray that God will grant us all the strength to continue the race in a way that will make Pastor Bim proudest. I love you all.”

As hundreds of sympathisers stream to condole the family, her husband, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, sat quietly on the leather settee in the sitting room.
Taking the death of his wife in good faith, Pastor Odukoya said he is yet to make any news of her death. Speaking about his late wife who was also a co-pastor in the Fountain of Life Church, he said she was the woman prepared for him by God.

The spokesman for the church, Pastor Alfred Ohiani, said the church would miss her motherly role to the members. He however said the church’s future will only be affected the way God has directed.
“The one who owns the church is Jesus Christ. Only Him can make it the way He wants. We will no doubt miss her greatly, but God will handle the situation the way He wants.”

Pastor Ohiani disclosed that the church is, indeed, celebrating the late pastor. According to him, Pastor Bimbo touched the lives of several people to go uncelebrated. “The essence of one’s life is the way you have affected the lives of people. It is not that we do have pains, but our consolation is the word of God.

As long as we have Christ, we celebrate her life and give God the glory.”
A member of the family who pleaded anonymity described Pastor Bimbo as a down-to-earth person. He said she was always willing to offer a hand to anybody in distress. “She was always willing to help.”
Describing his last encounter with her, he said: “The Thursday before the accident, we were at our weekly programme at the church. As she walked in, she was dressed casually in a white top with black stripe over a black skirt. I remember vividly saying to myself: Pastor Bimbo is dressed casually today. Another thing was that she started singing a praise song. And she kept telling us about serving God and sowing a seed.”

Miss Joy Jonathan, a thirtyish graduate of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, spoke the minds of many female youngsters about Pastor Bim. “She was my mentor,” she told the newspaper.
Joy joined Fountain of Life only this year. She has not looked away ever since. “Her husband was the first person my heart went to when I heard of her death. I was like, how was he going to cope because to say they were really in love is an undestatement. He adored her.”
Pastor Bim will be buried on Wednesday, December 21 at Lekki.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.