Photo: Oladele Akande
The President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Dr Samson Ayokunle, announced this on his Facebook page on Thursday.
Ayokunle, who doubles as the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, wrote, “Baba S.T.Ola Akande, former General Secretary, Nigerian Baptist Convention, has changed address today at a ripe age of 94.
“Rev. Samuel Titilola Oladele Akande has answered the glorious call! Baba moved to the great beyond a few minutes ago after a brief illness. Good night, Baba. May God console and comfort the Nigerian Baptist Convention and his immediate family.”
Akande, fondly called ‘the Archbishop of the Baptist Church of Nigeria,’ was held in high esteem by the Baptist family in the country and beyond.
Akande was the third indigenous General Secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
He served the Convention in various capacities from 1951 to 1991. He was described by his admirers as a dutiful minister, a courageous preacher, a talented teacher, and one of the “best Nigerian Baptist leader ever produced.”
Born in Awe, Oyo State, on March 31, 1926, to Pa Oyetunde Akande of the Onsa-Olapeleke’s Compound in Awe; and to Susannah Ayannihun, his mother, Akande attended the A. M. E. Zion Primary School, the Salvation Army School, and the Aggrey Memorial Primary School, Ghana, before returning to Awe in 1937.
He later attended Awe Baptist Day School in 1938 and returned to Ghana in 1943 to complete his secondary education at Adisadel College in 1949.
The Baptist Mission in Ghana, under Reverend W. N. Claxon, offered him a conditional scholarship to enable him to complete his education after his mother’s death in 1948.
In 1959, while serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Fiditi, in the present Oyo State, the Nigerian Baptist Convention awarded him a scholarship to study at the Wayland Baptist College, now Wayland Baptist University, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, from 1959 to 1962.
In 1969, while serving as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, he secured another scholarship from Union Theological Seminary in America for his postgraduate studies in the New Testament. He was in America from August 1969 to December 1973.
Upon his return to Nigeria in December 1973, Akande taught at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. He served as an associate professor at the seminary until December 1976 when he was invited to become the pastor of the Oritamefa Baptist Church in Ibadan.
Akande served as the president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention between March 1977 and April 1979.
In 2018, the Oyo State Government named the popular Bashorun-Ashi, Bodija Road as Rev. S T Ola Akande Way.