20 September, 2010
2020… 110-year-old preacher says he will be alive
The birthday boy was celebrating his 110th year, and he took advantage of a thanksgiving service to foretell that he would still be alive to celebrate his birthday in 2020. A capacity crowd turned up, awed by the Methuselah’s headline-grabbing longevity. Called ‘the world’s oldest Preacher’, Rev Samuel Akinbode Sadela, Founder of Gospel Apostolic Church Worldwide, Gbadgada, Lagos, exuded an aura of graceful aging as he enjoyed the festivity in his church on August 28.
He wore native clothes made of white lace and colourful Ankara. In his talk, he said over and over, that dying at 70 is a premature death. According to him, three of his sisters lived to be 130 before they died, adding that his longevity is hereditary. During the service he danced so much and with such vigour that many wondered at the spectacle.
In his sermon on the day, the guest Minister Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel), Ota, Ogun State, preached that people could enjoy the good life like Sadela if only they would draw near to God. The Nation learnt that Oyedepo enthusiastically later told members of his own church: "At 110, it is incredible how agile Pa Sadela is. He is still able to stand to preach every Sunday and dance when people who are not half his age can’t. I really love this kind of long life, and I am always glad to meet Pa Sadela. He is a confirmation of the Lord’s promise to grant us long life." Sadela believes longevity is the inheritance of all obedient and faithful children of God, according to the Bible in Isaiah 65:22; I Kings 3:14. Ahead of his 110th birthday, Sadela was honoured by the Bible Socety of Nigeria (BSN) at its 6th Annual Luncheon and Awards Ceremony at MUSON Centre, Lagos, where he promised, "I will contribute immensely to Bible Society of Nigeria, so that the word of God can reach the people who are yet to know Christ." The Chairman of BSN’s Special Members Forum, Pastor Festus Daramola, said the group deemed it appropriate to reward Sadela who God had empowered to be in the pulpit tirelessly for 78 years.
The story of the beginnings of his church has been told by the old man. His narration: "Apostle Joseph Ayodele Babalola was my master; he trained me along with several others who are prophets, pastors and founders in Nigeria today. I grew up in the Anglican denomination but when I met him he showed me the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank God for today. I lived in his father’s house in his home town, Odo-Owa for seven years and restructured the house from four large rooms into several rooms. We started a church close to the house. The church grew into a district headquarters in Christ Apostolic Church."Whatever is not biblical, I will not accept. What Apostle Babalola taught me is to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I ate with him, slept on the same bed with him and went on a long-term fast with him. That is why Pastor S. S. Jemigbon of the Apostolic Church said at one time that I was the only one who could tell the full story of Apostle Babalola. In the Christ Apostolic Church today there are many people who worked with him but they didn’t start with him.
"It’s the Bariga church that I first established to carry out his instruction. I spent 14 years at the church located at Olarewaju Street but the youth of the church revolted and planned a coup to ease me out of the church. It was God that answered my prayer because I had wanted to leave the church but I didn’t want to leave without a cogent reason. We thank God that today there are 5 branches of Gospel Apostolic Church in Oworo, Lagos, alone. We now have several branches in Nigeria and even abroad. Likewise, our church has been registered in London. Apostle Babalola told me to establish this Church when I complained that I was not satisfied with the administration of Christ Apostolic Church." Sadela established Gospel Apostolic Church in 1972. In his comments during the celebration of "the 80th
anniversary of the call of the late Apostle Babalola" two years ago, Bishop Oyedepo said, " I salute our living legend and Apostle of faith Pa Samuel Sadela constantly reminding one of the old path."