world report

A New Apostolic Faith Superintendent General

Portland, Oregon
July 7, 2024

On Sunday, July 7, 2024, a new Apostolic Faith Superintendent General was installed during the morning devotional service at our world headquarters church in Portland, Oregon. The service was part of the annual Portland camp meeting convention, which is attended by delegates from around the world.

The service began with an orchestra prelude of “Canon on the Love of God,” followed by the choir singing “Come Christians, Join to Sing.” Then the congregation sang, “Lead On, O King Eternal” and “He Leadeth Me.” An opening prayer given by Reverend Isaac Adigun, the District Superintendent of West and Central Africa. Then Superintendent General Darrel Lee read to the congregation from the following prepared statement:

To Apostolic Faith saints worldwide,

It has long been my prayer that God would reveal the identity of my successor and the timing for when the next leadership transition should take place. Over the past few years, the identity of that successor has become more and more apparent to me. Furthermore, I believe the mantle of Apostolic Faith global oversight now falls on one to be named shortly.

In a meeting of the Apostolic Faith Headquarters Board of Directors, I proposed that the Superintendent General role be passed to a successor, whom I named. In addition to myself, our Board is comprised of Brothers Bob Downey, Bill McKibben, Tim DeBusk, John Baros. They each enthusiastically approved the proposal. This appointment will take effect after our formal installation in a few moments.

During our minister and spouse meeting yesterday morning, I shared this recommended path forward and solicited their support. They also wholly endorsed the appointment. I will ask the same of you in a moment. We ministers are united in our belief that we have the right man to take my place as Superintendent General, and that this is the right time to appoint him.

Before continuing, please allow me to first convey my sincere appreciation to all of you for your prayerful support of me and my family over the past many years. Serving in this capacity has allowed Debbie and me to meet and work with the most beautiful people on the planet—all of you here, and so many other Apostolic Faith saints elsewhere around the world. We are deeply indebted to you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much.

Thanks also to our children, their spouses, and our eight grandchildren. The support and joy they have brought to our lives has been a tremendous personal blessing.

Finally, thanks to Debbie. She had no idea what she was getting into when she married me. Of course, nor did I. We initially met and became acquainted while serving the Lord in our nearby Dallas church. We later married in Dallas and our two children were born while we lived there. Debbie has faithfully served the Lord by my side all these years. She has been the consummate wife, mother, and grandmother. Additionally, her common sense and unassuming manner have been instructive and beneficial to us all.

Most of all, we give thanks to God for His help and for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us in His service. Our hearts are full of gratitude to Him.

Today it is time to transition to the next leader. My firm conviction, supported by the ministry, is that the mantle of Apostolic Faith worldwide oversight now falls upon Brother Olusola Adesope. He has agreed to pick it up and to carry it forward. Brother Sola meets the Bible criteria for church leadership, which includes the high standard of ethical conduct he has exemplified for decades. The same can be said of Sister Tolu, to whom he has been married for over twenty-three years.

Before marriage, they each lived for the Lord from the time they were saved at young ages. God has given them three children, Florence, Felicia, and Josiah. They too are saved and faithfully live for the Lord. Brother Sola will guide this work forward in a manner that honors the sound Bible doctrine we have stood for since Sister Florence Crawford settled in Portland not long after the 1906 Azusa Street outpouring. I believe God brought him to North America and subsequently to Pullman, Washington, many years ago for such a time as this.

Transition details have been in motion ever since Brother Sola and I met privately in Pullman some time ago. We discussed the matter then and the two of us have communicated nearly every day since, usually multiple times.

From here, I remain willing to serve as he deems best. The entire Adesope family has my whole-hearted support and prayerful backing. 

The 2018 appointment of a Portland pastor was made in part with this eventuality in mind. Brother Sola intends to continue that approach. He will work closely with Brother Dave Lambert on Portland church matters, the same as I have done. The timing of their move to Portland is yet to be determined, but Brother Sola begins his role as Superintendent General immediately.

I am very excited about this appointment. Brother Sola is better equipped to take this work into the next generation as Jesus tarries. He is already widely known and highly regarded in Apostolic Faith circles worldwide. Our work will develop further and grow stronger on his watch.

Reading now from Joshua 1, we are reminded that God’s assurance to Joshua back then is His promise to Brother Sola now. We read, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:5-8).

Following the statement, Reverend Lee invited the congregation to show their support for Reverend Adesope’s appointment by standing, and they demonstrated unanimous support. After everyone was again seated, the Board of Directors, representing the congregation, gathered around Reverend Adesope and laid hands on him as all prayed together for God to help him and his family in every way as he takes on this new role.

Then Reverend Lee walked with his successor to the pulpit and stated, “With gratitude to God and with thanks to all of you, I present to you Brother Olusola Adesope.” The congregation responded with a resounding “Amen!” and applause for God’s choice. Reverend Adesope addressed the congregation next, reading from his own prepared statement:

To the Apostolic Faith Church saints worldwide,

First, I want to thank God for this day and for His leading of our church over the past 118 years. I also want to thank Brother Darrel Lee, under whose leadership the Apostolic Faith Church has expanded exponentially across the globe. More than ever in the history of our church, there are branch churches dotted across the globe and a greater sense of connection between the headquarters church and other churches around the world. On behalf of a grateful church, we say a BIG thank you to Brother Darrel and his good wife, Sister Debbie, for their hearts of love and service. Our church will forever be grateful to God for you. Thanks also to all the Board Members, all our district superintendents, pastors, and leaders who have worked with Brother Darrel over the past twenty-four years, and many who worked with previous superintendents—may God continue to bless you all.

I hereby humbly accept this responsibility with a burning desire to continue to live for God, be a lover and a preacher of this old-time faith, and a humble servant to you all.

I want to thank God for giving me the privilege to serve Him in the Apostolic Faith Church. I want to thank God for my wife, Tolu, and our three children—Florence, Felicia, and Josiah—who have always served God together with me in serving His people. We also thank God for our parents and family members who have supported us in prayer down through the years.

While growing up in the Apostolic Faith Church, on every first Sunday of Lagos camp meeting, I had the privilege of hearing Brother Josiah Soyinka read camp meeting greetings from Portland, especially from Brother Loyce Carver and Sister Ruth Ashwell. In addition, God gave me the privilege to read almost all the “Studies in the Scriptures” of Bible teachings given here in Portland, Oregon, from the 1940s up to the 1990s. These “Studies in the Scriptures,” as well as greetings from leaders in Portland, built such a desire in me. I started to pray that if it were the Lord’s will, He should please give me the privilege to attend Portland camp meeting at least once in my lifetime. My desire was to experience the blessings of God that those who sat under the blazing teachings of God’s Word experienced, and to fellowship with the leaders who gave such powerful Bible teachings, as well as the saints of this church from all over the world. All I prayed for was just to step into this tabernacle and experience camp meeting blessings.

God answered that prayer in 2004. After some years living and attending camp meetings in the Midwest United States, God opened the way for us to move to the West Coast and we attended our first Portland camp meeting twenty years ago. I came with Tolu, a three-year-old Florence, and a two-and-a-half-month-old baby Felicia. Even though our new baby was just a little over two months, the excitement of being at Portland camp meeting that year overrode any concerns about bringing a new baby to sleep in a cabin. God had finally answered our prayers to step our feet on this holy ground. Since then, God has given us the privilege to attend every camp meeting here in Portland—with a desire to come and lay our lives on the altar. We had no thought at all that a day like this would come.

About two years ago, Tolu and I began to re-consecrate every aspect of our lives. The Lord began to help us pray and move toward total submission of our lives. The possibility of a day like this was far beyond our comprehension. I could not bring myself to accept that something like this would happen. When Brother Darrel told me what God had been laying on his heart concerning the future of our church, and that God had chosen me to serve in this role, I wept profusely and asked the Lord, “Why me?” The Lord repeatedly answered, “Why not you?” I compiled a list of more qualified ministers and I gave those names to Brother Darrel, but repeatedly it was apparent that the Lord has once again chosen the weak, as He mostly does. Through repeated confirmations, God has shown that this is His will for me and for His church. Therefore, I humbly accept this call to serve and request your daily prayers and support to move this Gospel ship forward.

As I step into this role, with God’s help I promise to be a shepherd to this flock—showing love and kindness, teaching and practicing the undiluted Word of God with humility, and most importantly, living and breathing our faith anywhere we go around the world. Please pray that God will give me the courage, boldness, and passion of Paul the Apostle, the meekness of Moses, and the wisdom of Jesus, who is greater than Solomon.

Once again, I am thankful to God. I am also thankful to Brother Darrel, all the Board Members, all the pastors who taught me along this good old-time way, and the ministers, workers, and congregations that I have been privileged to work with and learn from. Special thanks to the entire Pullman church family—thanks for loving us and letting us serve you. Thanks also to all the staff at the headquarters office—the last time I checked, our wonderful staff there have several hundred years of combined experience of being saved and working at the headquarters office. Some of them have worked there for over fifty years. Indeed, I will have a lot to learn from them. To the many other saints that I have not had the privilege to work with and learn from, I look forward to working with and learning from you. We depend on your prayers in the days and years ahead if the Lord tarries.

As we see the coming of the Lord is at hand, we all have work to do, and the work is very urgent. For us to preserve the old landmarks of this Gospel, for us to keep this Gospel pure and moving forward, we each need to rededicate our lives to God and be willing to do whatever the Lord would have us do. Young people, may God bless us as we arise spiritually and pick up the mantle that is falling on us. Older saints, may God bless you as you continue to pray for us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

May God bless all members of our church family all over the world, as we desire to continue in this good old-time faith.

After Reverend Adesope’s remarks, he directed the remainder of the service, which included the congregation singing “Trust and Obey,” and Andy Chasteen of Medford, Oregon, singing “Come, Jesus, Come, We’ve Been Waiting So Long” as the last special. The morning sermon was given by Reverend John Baros, the pastor of our church in Medford. He read Isaiah 6:1 and spoke about the vision that Isaiah had following the death of King Uzziah. He saw God seated on His throne, high and lifted up. He emphasized three points: God’s sovereignty, His holiness, and His heart of love for mankind. The congregation was encouraged to seek to have a fresh glimpse of God and to be all we can for Him in the days ahead.

Reverend Florence Crawford was General Overseer of the Apostolic Faith Church from the time of the first Portland camp meeting in 1907 until her passing in 1936. At that time, the mantle of leadership passed to her son, Reverend Raymond Crawford, and he filled the role until his passing in 1965. The next General Overseer was Reverend Loyce Carver, who served until 1993. He was followed by Reverend Dwight Baltzell, and at that time the position was re-named as Superintendent General. Reverend Darrel Lee was appointed in 2000, and now in 2024, Reverend Olusola Adesope becomes the sixth person to fill the position since this work began.

We thank God for these and the many others who have answered God’s call to serve in the Apostolic Faith, and we trust that as God has guided our work over the past 118 years, He will continue to guide until Jesus returns.

occasion / dates
Superintendent General Installation Service
July 7, 2024