Right from his days as student at the Polytechnic Ibadan, Ven. Ayo Adetunji has been playing the role of a priest. He was an active member of the Christian Union of the Polytechnic and held leadership roles at various times. “It was at the polytechnic that I developed my spiritual stamina. While in the polytechnic I spent my spare time in evangelism and fellowship activities.” He said to Church Times.
He however did not plan to go full time into priesthood. He had thought he would make a lot of money by practicing his profession as a Town planner and use such money for the propagation of the gospel.
But God wanted him and not his money. The consequence was that his effort to secure a job met with some frustration. The first job he got was truncated on the day he was to resume for the job. The second one was a teaching job in a mission school. But he soon discovered that apart from teaching he was always preaching to the students. “I got a teaching job eventually teaching Mathematics and geography. But I spent more time preaching than teaching. Each time I teach a voice would come to me and say I was wasting my time. Whenever he heard the voice he would become depressed. I felt I was truly wasting my time. When I could no longer contain the prompting of the Holy Spirit I opted to enroll at the Archbishop Vining College, Akure for my theological training.”
Just when he resumed for studies at the seminary a huge opportunity came his way. He got a job he had been pursuing and it was a big offer. But such temptation was not strong enough to dissuade him from his commitment to serve as a priest “I saw it as a temptation. But there was no going back for me.”
An indigene of Modakeke, Osun State Adetunji has since served in about seven churches in the last 15 years of his priesthood in the Anglican Church.
He says of the ministry, “The ministry itself is both challenging rewarding and encouraging. Ministry is all about human relation. It is about getting the lost, it is about showing love to people and caring. We have had challenges about getting the needs of the people met. You pray for people, some get answers and some don’t get answers to their problem. This could be troubling. I also discover that there are a lot of marriage issues confronting the church that needs prayers.” He said.
While stating that he had been an Anglican all his life he asserts, “The Anglican Church is evangelical Pentecostal, charismatic and orthodox. The church is an embodiment of all that is needed to serve God fully. Contrary to what people think, the church does not prevent us from going for evangelism. We do go out on evangelism. Crusade is a common thing in my ministry.”
Now an administrator and Vicar of St. John’s Anglican Church, Imota, Adetunji stated that the priest must be a problem solver. “We acknowledge that it is God who solves the problem of man. But God will use human vessels. And he uses vessels that are available. That is why the priest must be committed to service and must be passionate about the flock. It’s a huge responsibility which demands more commitment. The priest should prayerfully help resolve marriage problems in his parish” He said
All through his ministry years the Anglican priest observed that many of the challenges of people is centred on marriage. “Many of the problems that we have had to contend with in my years of ministry have to do with marriage. There is crisis in many homes. There are many unfaithful men and women in the marriage institution. This is sad. Day in day out we hear cases of marital infidelity and breakups. This is really worrisome and it has been giving me a lot of concern. I keep wondering why a man and woman who married happily suddenly become sworn enemies and go their separate ways. People marry and divorce a few years after. Some are not even up to a year before they separate. It is a burden for me and I have been praying and seeking the face of God to intervene in homes.”
He reasoned that many homes are experiencing challenges because the man and woman in those homes don’t have genuine relationship with God. “If couples have genuine relationship with God, most of the marital issues that we have today will not be there. The root of it all is that many don’t know God and many pretend to know God. This is sad.”
He said part of his ministry task is to ensure that parishioners in his care have happy homes. “My understanding is that if the relationship of people with God is solid, it will be easy for them to have successful homes. That is a task I lay upon myself to prayerfully ensure that those that God has put in our care are living for the Lord and by extension have good homes.”
He sees his preferment as a privilege and opportunity to increase his commitment to the service of man and God. “I believe I should be able to bring more people to the Lord as the Lord enables me. I should be able to reach more people for Christ so that they too can impact more people. My vision is also to be able to help solve many of the problems associated with marriage. By so doing the kingdom of God will expand and gain more ground.”