From the Superintendent's DESK
Last week, Debbie and I traveled to Stavanger, Norway, to attend the installation of Seun Ogunleye as the pastor of our Scandinavia headquarters church in Stavanger, Norway. For the past thirty-two years, LeRoy Tonning has filled that role faithfully. Though Brother LeRoy has now retired as pastor, he will continue to serve as the Scandinavia District Superintendent.
The special weekend in Stavanger began with an evangelistic service on Friday and then the installation service on Saturday. The installation opened with a trombone solo of “My Tribute” by Frode Brundtland, followed by a welcome and prayer from Brother LeRoy. After congregational singing, Modupe Olarewaju sang “So Send I You By Grace Made Strong.” Then a short installation message was taken from Paul’s writings to Titus and Timothy, highlighting God’s call to serve and His requirements for serving. It was emphasized that the Ogunleyes meet the criteria and have answered the call, which is deeply appreciated by all involved in the Scandinavia work. Following the message, the Scandinavia Board of Directors, with myself and Western Europe District Superintendent Mark Mfandarahwa, laid hands on Brother Seun and prayed, along with the congregation, for God to help him and his family as he steps into the new role of pastor.
Brother Seun was introduced to the Apostolic Faith in Nigeria at age thirteen, when an aunt invited him and his mother to a service. However, it was not until age twenty-one, during his years in university, that he became gripped with Holy Ghost conviction. When classes were temporarily cancelled, he took the opportunity to attend part of the Lagos camp meeting, where he sought God earnestly and was saved. He sought and soon received the deeper experiences of sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost as well. Brother Seun met his wife, Tolu, in Nigeria, and after marrying they relocated to England, where their two sons were born. During that time, Brother Seun was also asked to serve as a minister, and then as the leader of our group in Birmingham. After fifteen years in England, he was asked to relocate again, this time to Stavanger. Sensing God’s leading, the family moved in 2018, and have been a blessing to the congregation there ever since.
Before the close of the service, Brother Seun also spoke, thanking the congregation for their support, and then Brother Mark gave the closing prayer.
The installation service was immediately followed by a Thanksgiving dinner honoring Brother LeRoy and Sister Vigdis Tonning for their many years of service to the Stavanger congregation. After the meal had been served, the Tonnings were given gifts, as were the Ogunleyes. Then various members of the congregation gave tributes, noting the loving service and lasting impact of Brother LeRoy and Sister Vigdis over the past three decades.
On Sunday, a devotional service was held in the morning and then an Evensong at 6:00 p.m. It featured a variety of Scripture readings in both Norwegian and English, intermixed with congregational singing and a few specials. The evening closed with prayer.
Debbie and I have had a wonderful time with the saints in Norway. We are scheduled to return home tomorrow.