The Rt. Rev. Jonathan S. Adeniyi was the pioneer Bishop of the Egba/Egbado Diocese when it was created in 1976. He was born in the year 1909 int o the family of Pa. Ebofin Owolola Adeniyi and Madam lgbayilola Adeniyi. Adeniyi’s early childhood was spent at Mawuko village in the outskirts of Abeokuta. From there, he had early-life introduction to Western education at the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, llugun, through his cousins. At age of seven, in 1916, he left for Ojokoro village where he was enrolled at the Ebenezer School, Ojokoro. Later, he moved to St. Jude’s School, lkija, where he was from 1917 to 1921. After completing his secondary education, he found his way to the St. Andrews College, Oyo, from 1925 to 1928. From initial sundry teaching appointments, he proceeded to the Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone.
He was in Sierra Leone from 1939 to 1943. Trained only to be a teacher, Adeniyi embraced the profession that was not only the main attraction of the time but the one opened to him. He had taught initially at St.Peter’s School, Ayede-Ekiti. He, even, rose to the position of the head teacher of the school, which he occupied from 1929 to 1932. Along the line too, he also served as an organist in the church. On return from Fourah Bay College, he was posted to Benin where he established the Sabongida Ora Secondary School. Correspondingly, he also served as the Education Secretary of the Benin archdeaconry. The archdeaconry was an expansive area at the time. lt spread as far as Kukuruku, Ora, lshan, Benin and Sapele districts at the time. After the different services rendered to the church on the side-lines, he sought ordination as a priest in 1946.
Nevertheless, education remained his strong forte. For six years, 1948 – 1954, he remained the pioneer Principal of the Sabongida Ora Grammar School, which he founded. He was transferred to Abeokuta Grammar School a year after. Adeniyi became the school’s fourth principal. He spent a period of twelve years in the school from 1955 to 1967. After the stint at Abeokuta Grammar School, he began full- time church work from that 1967. His first port of call was the St. Jude’s Anglican Church, Ebute Metta (now St. Jude’s Cathedral under the Lagos Mainland Diocese). He was there for three years, 1967 – 1970. That same year, 1970, he was elected as an assistant bishop of Lagos. Adeniyi was moving closer home because he was posted to Abeokuta. He occupied the position for six years between 1970 and 1976 when the Egba/Egbado Diocese was created in 1976. There was no searching far for whom the Mitre fits for the new diocese other than calling on Adeniyi to loan the new diocese his wealth of experience. Consequently, he became the pioneer bishop of the diocese, retiring in 1979 upon attainment of the mandatory retirement age. Bishop Adeniyi was married to Mrs. Clementina Ojuolape Adeniyi. The family was blessed with children.
The Rt. Rev. Titus llori Akintayo was born on 1st of September, 1924 in lgbemo Ekiti. Both parents, Pa Daniel Akintayo, the father, and Mama Taiwo Akintayo, the mother, were devoted Christians. They were members of the St. John’s Anglican Church, lgbemo-Ekiti in today’s Ekiti State. Akintayo came from a humble background and parentage. His father was a farmer as well as a Lay-reader in the church. He was the eldest of an all- male three children.
From early childhood, he learnt to shoulder responsibility of caring for the welfare of his siblings. This became more pronounced at the death of his mother in 1935. Akintayo was then eleven years old. With his father ascending the throne of Oloja of Orun Community of lgbemo, and having to devote more time to community affairs, thecare andnurturing of his brothers virtually devolved on the young boy. Nonetheless, Akintayo found his way to school enrolling in 1936 to begin his primary education at St. John’s Anglican School, lgbemo. He spent only two years in the school before moving to St. Andrew’s School, Usi-Ekiti. His pupilage at his second school also lasted only for another two years. After that, he moved to St. John’s School, lloro, Ilesa, where he successfully completed his Standard VI Leaving Certificate in 1942.
Immediately after acquiring his Standard VI Certificate, he taught for two years at Emmanuel School, Agbado-Ekiti under Rev. Canon A. O. Kolade, the father of Dr. A Christopher Kolade, a former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. It was while he came under the influence of the elder Kolade that he had his first inspiration to join the priesthood. Being a careful person, he exercised restraint to be sure about the call before taking the bold step. Convinced in 1945 of the rightness of his call, he accepted to be an evangelist (church agent) at the Emmanuel Church, Ado-Ekiti (now Emmanuel Cathedral). He endeared himself to the people owing to his exceptional abilities.
Two years after, now convinced beyond all reasonable doubt, he was motivated to sit for the entrance examination for the catechist course at Melville Hall, lbadan. He passed the qualifying examination in flying colours. This launched him into a full time career in priesthood from 1947. Alter sundry appointments and postings, he was moved in 1977 to Lagos to take charge of the administration, care and coordination of the C.M.S missionaries in Nigeria. He was accommodated at the Church House, Marina, while his responsibilities also included organising arrivals, departures, as well as the financial matters of the missionaries. For three years, between September 1977 and January 1980, he rendered the services diligently. He was thorough, efficient and honest.
At the retirement of Bishop Adeniyi, the Rt. Rev. Titus llori Akintayo became the second bishop of the nascent Egba/Egbado Diocese by default. He was initially elected as the Bishop of the Warri Diocese. But the diocese would rather have another candidate instead of him. Fortuitously, however, he was brought to the Egba/Egbado Dicoese. The diocese received him with open arms and warmth.
Akintayo was enthroned by the Most Rev. Timothy O. Olufosoye, the Archbishop of the Province of Nigeria on the 23rd of February, 1980. His episcopacy lasted for 14 years before his retirement.
The Rt. Rev. Matthew Oluremi Owadayo was born on 23rd October, 1939 into a home of nobility at Ifira-Akoko, Ondo State. His father, a high chief of the town, was Chief Abraham Ogundana Owadayo, a farmer, while the mother, Mrs. Sarah Asake Owadayo, was a petty trader, He was the last born of the family. Little Oluremi was so attached to his parents that he followed them to farm that he had to start school late as a result. He began his primary education at ten years
of age at Ifira-Ipesi United School in 1949. A child prodigy, he finished his primary education in 1954. Alter that he proceeded to Victory College, lkare-Akoko, in 1955. By 1959, he had obtained his West African School Certificate shining brilliantly with excellent grades. Indigent as he was, with great difficulty in paying his school fees, the hand of grace prevented him from dropping out of school.
After the secondary education, his first working experience was to serve as an evangelist at St. Peter’s Church, Oba-Akoko between 1960 and 1961. He got admitted into Emmanuel College (then Melville Hall), lbadan for his ordination course which he completed successfully. Consequently, he was ordained a deacon in July 1964 by the Bishop of Ondo Diocese. He returned to his alma mater, Victory College for his first posting to serve as the college’s chaplain.
Between 1965 and 1966, he served as curate under late Canon Olupona at St. Peter’s Church, lle-Oluji in Ondo Diocese. A year after that he moved to Our Saviour’s Church, Odigbo. He was in Odigbo from1967 to 1968.
Precocious and always thirsty for knowledge, he left Odigbo to pursue adegree course in Religious Studies at the University of lbadan (UI). He was at the university from 1968 till 1971 when he finished his degree. ln 1971, he resumed at Vining Training Center, Akure, and was made the men’s warden to assist late Canon S. O. Olowomeje. But he didn’t stay long on the job.
He was invited back to the university (UI) for research work in religious studies by the then head of department of Religious Studies, the late Rt. Rev. Prof .E. Bolaji ldowu. He was a brilliant man with potential for academic career. He was advised in 1975to proceed to his doctorate degree because of the promise he had shown. While in UI he was attached to All Souls Anglican, Church, Bodija, lbadan. He worked in the church for four years, between 1974 and 1978, before transferring to the University of Jos in order to complete his research work. The University of lbadan authorities couldn’t provide him with a supervisor to oversee his doctoral work.
While in Jos he served at St. Luke’s Cathedral in the city. He was there between 1978 and 1983 that he was preferred Canon by the then bishop of Jos. Rt. Rev. S. C. N. Ebo in 1980. He was recalled to Akoko in 1983 by Rt. Rev. J. L. Akeredolu who preferred him an Archdeacon and later appointed him as Provost of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, lkare. Between 1985 and 1986, Ven. Oluremi Owadayo had a short study leave at the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, United States of America. He returned to lkare Akoko and remained there until September 1990 when he was seconded to the Emmanuel College of Theology and Christian Education at Samonda in lbadan. He was made the dean of the college.
He was elected bishop for the vacant see of Egba Diocese in December 1994. On 5 February, 1995, at the Cathedral of Our Saviour’s, ltalawajoda, ljebu-ode, he was consecrated bishop of Egba Diocese. He assumed duty on 9th February 1995 for an episcopacy that lasted for nearly a-decade- and-half years.
He is married to Mrs. Eunice Olufunmilayo Owadayo nee Ademuyiwa and their marriage is blessed with children and grandchildren.