Death where is thy sting?
Since August 24 2018 when the news broke that Ven. Babatope Isaac Adewumi had gone to be with the Lord it has been practically difficult to put his death behind. For family members, friends and the clergy community, his death was one incident too many. His wife was devastated. His children were nonplussed. His sibling seem to still be writhing in pain of losing a loved one.
Indeed, it is difficult to forget a man who made so much impact in the lives of both family and friends. His time here on this side of eternity was marked by great strides that have made it practically impossible for his memory to be wiped out. His wife in her tribute wrote that she left her husband in good health a day before she received the news of his tragic death describing him as a “man of God who persevered till the end”
She recounted how her husband did all that her parents could not do for her wondering why he had to die suddenly. Her words, ‘Words can’t describe how much I will miss you my kind hearted friend. I promise to uphold every family legacy you left behind. I have no doubt you are resting in the bosom of the Lord. I will forever miss you my Love. Till we meet again. Have a good night rest my dearest husband.”
Judging by the tribute of his son, Taiwo, it seems evident that Ven. Adewumi was an archetypal father. He lived a worthy life that impacted so much on the children. Taiwo wrote, “Words can’t describe what it means to be the Son of Venerable Babatope Oluwaremilekun Ajide Isaac Adewumi. Having you as a father is an undeserving gift I had from God. You taught me that fathering is not a performance, it’s a relationship. I am glad I had an amazing relationship with you and you taught me how to have a better relationship with my heavenly father.
Through it all, I’m joyful that God will treat those who died trusting in Jesus in the same way He treated his son by bringing them back to life on the resurrection morning”
Kehinde Ajayi (nee Adewumi) wrote, “I wish I could write a story of your kind and warm heart. You were a loving and caring father who had a generous heart. Who could dispute your warm and enduring spirit? Who doesn’t know how you loved God. You taught your Children how to love and put our trust only in God and not man.
“You made us understand the importance of family devotion and you would even make duty roaster for it. I would start preparing a day before my day as if I was preparing for an examination. There are times I would even stand before the mirror to rehearse so I can deliver better. Family devotion was always interesting (No dull moment)”
She recalled how accommodating her father was stating, “The home you gave to the homeless, the hope God gave to the hopeless through you, the counsel you gave to couples, your generous smile, your sincere advice, your profound belief that God watched over our action, your common words are hard to forget. Your home was opened to everyone. Your hospitality made them feel special. Thank God that you lived to see one of your grandchildren. Missing you is a heartache that will never go away but your life will remain a constant reminder that there is no greater way to honor you than to be a better me and uphold the peace you lived and died for. “
Tolulope Adewumi wrote: “You taught me that you can be a parent and a friend. I was never afraid to tell you how I felt about anything. You loved your family! People didn’t understand why you went out of your way for us, why you never beat us. Your words anytime I got into trouble was “This is not the Tolu I know” and it was worse than any cane! You’d say “I don’t know what I did to deserve you Children”. But really I don’t know what I did to deserve you! You trusted us so much. It was scary!
“You were a giver, you gave so much we would start to worry. Your home was open to family and friends, and you’d rather give to people who could not pay you back. You were such a happy man! Things hardly bothered you.”
The late Ven. Adewunmi’s younger sister Mrs. Kehinde Oyinloye in her tribute described him as a father, mentor, confidant and best friend. She wrote further, “my fighting partner, the Okanlawon of Adeoti. The one who was not greedy and who was generous enough to always think about me. Now I am fatherless. No more gist. No more saying sorry even when am the one at fault.”
Oyinloye recalled further in her tribute: “Our mother lost my twin sister at birth. Our father died when I was 17. I knew no father’s love. But you have been there for me as a father and real father indeed from birth. You took my husband as your twin because he bears the same name with your lost brother before I was born. I have heard a thousand of “it is well” but no one soothed me like yours. I will remember you always for what you meant to me. Rest in peace & rise in glory my best friend and father”
For Mrs Julie Abi Falade, the news of Ven. Adewumi’s death was a shock. He described him as a “true and faithful servant of the Lord, constantly encouraging people to draw closer to God.”
Pastor and Mrs. Jimoh Bello described Ven Adewumi’s death as the death of the righteous. Toyin Babalola in his tribute described him as a role model stating that he would forever be remembered for his generosity and how he valued education. Mr. Adewole Oladotun on his part recalled how he was greatly encouraged by the late venerable. He wrote, “For all the time, you were by our side to help and support us to celebrate our successes, to understand our problems and accept our defeats or for teaching us by your example the value of hard work, good judgment, courage, integrity and service to God.”
Yetunde Okoloba nee Falade in a poetic tribute wrote: We little knew that morning. God was to call your name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you. You did not go alone. For part of us went with you. The day God called you home. You left us beautiful memories. Your love is still our guide. And though we cannot see you, You are always at our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same, But as God calls us one by one, The chain will link again.”
Another poetic rendition by Lolade Folorunso (nee Falade) gives a vivid picture of how he was dearly loved. She wrote, “God saw that he was getting tired, A cure was not to be. So He put His arms around him and whispered, “Come with Me.” With tearful eyes, we watched him suffer,
And saw him fade away. Although we loved him dearly, We could not make him stay. A golden heart stopped beating, Hardworking hands to rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us. He only takes “The Best”. Rest on Uncle Tope. We will always miss you.”
Samuel Akwe simply wrote: “Ven. Adewumi was a nice and gentle man and always wanted the best for everyone most especially the youths. Our Daddy was filled with ideas and innovations. May his gentle soul rest in peace.”
For his colleague in the priesthood his death was more than a shock. Venerable Yemi Agbelusi wrote, “Bro Tope words cannot express my shock at the eventual outcome of all your pain and suffering. You were humble, principled, simple, loving, kind and gentle. I know that God will indeed repay all your labor of love and silent suffering in this ministry. Rest in peace and Rise in Glory. Shalom”
Revd. & Mrs. Bode Daramola wrote, “Baba Adewunmi!! Your love for our family and your ministers is immeasurable. I was to minister in your church this October (2018), you had your plans cut out; the last service I had with you was mind blowing. You are the most eloquent of your generation. You died in active service. May you rest peaceful in the bosom of your Lord?”
For Ven. & Mrs. Alieu stated in his tribute that his family would miss his “generosity, cheerfulness, spiritual leadership, lectures and your love for all around you.” Miss Olufolake Onasanya on the other hand who was just called to the bar few days before the death of Ven. Adewumi said she was devastated by the news of his death. She said she was on her way to deliver the good news that she had just become a barrister when she heard the news. Josiah Favour met Ven. Adewumi for a few days and had an unforgettable experience of him.
The Guild of Stewards of Anglican Church of Transfiguration, Ikorodu in a jointly written tribute wrote, “Baba you are the epitome of peace and symbol of progress. Continue to rest in the bosom of Almighty God. Till we see and part no more. Good night”
Barrister Rotimi Oyekola in his tribute stated that the late Venerable opened his eyes to the services of God in the Anglican communion adding, “I am eternally grateful. Your death came to me as a serious shock. You came to this world, you saw, and you conquered. May you continue to rest in the bosom of our Lord. May the Lord console the family you left behind. Rest on till we meet to part no more! Good night”
The executive of the youth Church of St. John’s Anglican Church Iju Ishaga in their tribute said Venerable Adewumi allowed the youth of the church to exhibit their talent noting that he was a friend to all. For Chief and Mrs. Siji Olowosuko, the life of Venerable Adewumi is worth praising God for. They noted that he left an indelible mark on earth.
Ven & Engr(Mrs.) John Taiwo described the late Venerable Adewumi as one of the giants of faith who had gone to be with the Lord. Revd. & Mrs. Dave Ayo-Ologundu in their tribute wrote that they will not forget the love he showed towards their family. In his tribute Ven. Samuel Idowu Adeoti recalled the 38-year friendship he had with him thanking God for a life well lived. Oludayo Oduoye who worked closely with the late Venerable described his time on earth as short but eventful.
Bishop of Badagry, the Rt. Revd. B.J Adeyemi wondered in his tribute at the sudden exit of the Venerable recalling how he shared jokes with him few days before his demise. He however noted that Venerable Adewumi “tried his best as he served in the church of God to the best of his ability.”
The Dean of the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral Ven. A.O Agara in his tribute expressed thanks to God for the impactful life that he lived. Ven. Wole Omotuyi corroborated Agara’s remark adding that he lived a life of commitment and served the Diocese of Lagos west with all his energy, wisdom and love.
Mrs. Omotoso wrote, “You touched so many lives like Christ did whilst on earth. I will miss you my ever caring brother in-law.” Akinwale Ajaji, another son in Law described him as very accommodating while Temilola Oyinloye wrote, “You were and will always be an inspiration to everyone. It’s so painful to lose you at this time. Unfortunately no death is timely. Like they say “Not how long but how well”. We your family members feel it’s quite too soon. But such is life and we love to accept that God had decided to bring you home. You have left a void in our heart that will never be filled. You will surely be missed. Love you”
For Nuse Damilola (Nee Oyinloye) its, “Good night Daddy, I will forever miss your godly and fatherly care and love towards my siblings and I. I will miss all your daily prayers. Continue to rest in the bosom of Christ till we meet to part no more. Love you daddy.”
…Venerable Adewumi: A profile
Ven Babatope Isaac Adewumi JP was born to the family of late Chief Gabriel Daramola Adewumi and late Mrs. Alice Adeoti Adewumi (Nee Olaogun) Chief Aro of Ikoro Ekiti on 7th October, 1956. He was the fourth child of his mother, having three elder sisters and a younger sister.
He attended St Luke’s Primary School, Ikoro -Ekiti between 1964 – 1969 and The Apostolic Modern School, Ikoro-Ekiti between 1971 – 1973, He was a member of Boys Brigade and choir cross bearer of St Michael’s Anglican Church Ikoro-Ekiti for many years.
He later attended St Peters Teacher’s College, Akure between 1976 – 1979. He worked as a teacher at Jeremiah Primary School Komowa a village in Ondo State 1979 – 1980.
He got admission to Emmanuel College of Theology and Christian Education where he obtained both Diploma in Theology and Diploma in Religious Studies 1980 – 1983.
He was ordained as Deacon by Late Most Rev Dr. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye in Ikoro -Ekiti his home town in 1983 and had his priesthood ordination at Emmanuel Cathedral Church Ado Ekiti in 1984.
He was then posted to St Michael’s Anglican Church, Okemesi-Ekiti.
He got admission into University of Ilorin where he had his first Degree B.A. Hons in Religious Studies between 1983 – 1986. He did his NYSC orientation in Oyo State and later transferred to Lagos and served at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Breadfruit 1986 – 1988.
He became the chaplain to the primate of the church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Most Rev Dr. J. A. Adetiloye in 1988 at the same time worked as parish priest till he retired in 1999. He worked at King’s Anglican Church, Enu Owa, Lagos between 1989 – 1992. He was transferred to St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Faaji, Lagos and worked between 1992 – 1996 he was posted to St Paul’s Anglican Church, Kirikiri, Apapa, Lagos between 1996 – 1999.
He became the pioneer Archdeacon of Ipaja Archdeaconry and vicar of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Akinyele, Ipaja between 1999 – 2005. He also became the Archdeacon of Isolo Archdeaconry and vicar of St Paul’s Anglican Church, Ishagatedo, Isolo between 2005 -2009. He worked as the Archdeacon of Ikeja Archdeaconry and vicar of Bola memorial Anglican Church, Ikeja between 2009 and 2012. Then as Archdeacon of Iju Ishaga Archdeaconry and vicar of St. John’s Anglican Church, Iju Ishaga between 2012 and 2016.
Finally, he was transferred to Ikorodu North Archdeaconry as the Archdeacon and vicar of Church of Transfiguration, FLCH Estate, Ikorodu.
He was also the Clerical Synod secretary of the Diocese of Lagos West since inception in 1999 – 2015. In 1992, he proceeded to University of Lagos, Akoka for Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) 1992-1994 and in 1994 – 1997 he stayed in University of Lagos to obtain his Master in Education. Still in search of more knowledge, he got admission to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where he bagged his Master of Art (ED).
Ven. Tope Adewumi was a seasoned Theological, Evangelist and Educator. He has both national and international experience in religious seminars, workshops, Evangelical and leadership programmes. He was an alumni of Hagga Institute, Singapore for mentoring and leadership training. He attended University of South Tenesses, USA. As an Educator, he taught in Lagos Diocese Seminary as a worship lecturer and Homiletics lecturer in Lagos Diocesan Bible College.
He was married to Mrs. Margaret Monisola Adewumi JP (nee Olarinde) in Akinmorin, Oyo State on the 5th September, 1987 and was blessed with God fearing Children. Mr. Taiwo Oluwanifemi, Mrs. Kehinde Ifeoluwa Ajayi and Miss Idowu Toluwalase Adewumi and a grandchild, Master Oluwakorede Ajayi.