This past week I have been in Nigeria to attend the funeral of Brother Paul Akazue, and also for the induction of our new District Superintendent of West & Central Africa, Brother Emmanuel Adebayo Adeniran. The following statement was read to members of the ministry in Nigeria yesterday, and also to the Lagos congregation during their Sunday morning service.
Statement to Apostolic Faith Congregation
At Anthony Village on May 23, 2010
We assure you that we have been supporting you with our prayers during these past months while Brother Paul’s health was weakening. We have conveyed similar heartfelt condolences to Sister Jane, his four children, as well as other immediate and extended family members. Our prayer has been that God would heal him completely, but we humbly submit to the Lord’s sovereignty, being comforted by the fact that Brother Paul has gained his eternal reward.
Thank you for praying for us that we would know God’s will regarding the future leadership of the great work in this district. We have prayerfully sought God’s guidance to discern the one He has chosen to succeed Brother Paul as the District Superintendent of West and Central Africa. Just as preachers strive to be messengers delivering God’s message, we have prayed that this announcement be of God’s making rather than of our own.
God gives the assignments. It was God who called Moses at the burning bush, Gideon as he threshed wheat, and David as he tended his father’s sheep. In New Testament times, the Lord appointed the twelve, and called the seventy. After Pentecost, it was the Holy Ghost who separated Paul and Barnabas to take their first missionary journey.
The Spirit of God still has ways of conveying His will as it relates to God’s work continuing according to His plan. When I visited here last November, I had opportunity to suggest to Brother Paul that we temporarily appoint someone to take charge so that he could devote his energy to fully recuperating. As we talked, he gave me even more confidence that he was surrounded by extraordinarily capable individuals who were already bearing the load. Suddenly, Brother Paul said that he had not forgotten what I had proposed to him during my February 2005 visit. I remembered having suggested that he prayerfully communicate to Dwight Baltzell or myself a confidential recommendation of succession in the unexpected event that he was suddenly rendered incapable of serving.
Brother Bayo preaching.
Our November conversation quickly moved to how blessed our meetings had been while we had traveled to different locations during the previous several days, though he had been forced to remain behind due to his poor health. In considering his potential successor, I told Brother Paul that I was struck by one man in particular. This man’s quiet, unassuming, yet strong and fervent spirit captured my attention. Brother Paul asked me who this man was, and I gave him the name. Brother Paul was startled, and firmly declared, “That’s the man!” It was the same man that Brother Paul had on his mind to recommend. These were some very private and even sacred moments between Brother Paul and myself.
It is more apparent now than ever that God used that time to provide the clear guidance that we would soon need. My communication with Bro Paul and subsequent conversations with your board members confirm that God has chosen the mantle of leadership to fall from Paul Akazue to Emmanuel Adebayo Adeniran.
Brother Bayo and
myself in 2009.
This appointment is wholeheartedly endorsed by your board members, as well as by Dwight Baltzell, Director of Africa Work, and myself as the Superintendent General. Yesterday, we gave the ministers and workers the opportunity to show their support, and they gave their unanimous approval. Today, we would also like to give you the opportunity to show your support for the appointment of Brother Bayo. If you would like to demonstrate your backing for Emmanuel Adebayo Adeniran as your next District Superintendent, please do so by standing now.
We thank God for the confidence we have that you will throw your wholehearted and unified support behind Brother Bayo and his faithful wife, Sister Josephine. Please keep them in your prayers every day. God will bless you for doing so. God is going to bless throughout Lagos. God is going to bless throughout this district. God is going to bless all of Africa. God is going to bless Europe. God is going to bless America. God is going to bless around the globe. We pray that God will revive the entire world as we near the Rapture of the Church. As Brother Paul repeated many times, may we all be raptureable.
Darrel D. Lee