How Children & the Anglican Church Celebrated Bishop Adebiyi’s wife’s 1st Year Memorial in Lagos

The Children of Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi at the First Year Memorial Service of their mum in Lagos on December 31st, 2016
Saturday
December 31st of year 2016 was a busy day for many reasons. First, it
was the last day of the year. Secondly, it was the last Saturday in
December—the last month of the year when events happen simultaneously e.g.
weddings, funerals and birthday celebrations. Lastly, it was the eve of the
annual New Year day celebration.  The day
was pregnant with so many activities.
However, the
esteemed family of Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, a retired and first Bishop of the
Church
of Nigeria
, (Anglican Communion), Diocese
of Lagos
West, had the day to
remember their sweet mother, Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi
who joined the saints exactly a year back. She died Thursday December 31st,
2015.


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The book of Ecclesiastes 7:1 noted that “a good name is better than precious
ointment. And the day of death than the day of one’s birth”
. For the late Mama
Caroline
Adefiola Adebiyi
, her name was not only known for goodness in her
living days. Her departure from planet earth last year, came with instances
where grace and honor prevailed.  For
instance, she was alleged to have battled a serious ailment which shook her
life for six years and which made foreign doctors conclude that she was going to
die before her 70th birthday. But funny enough, she surpassed
scientific verdict and lived extra seven years and seven months before God
called her home. She celebrated her 70th birthday on Monday, April
6, 2015 in London and to the hearing
of her London doctors who gave the
death verdict on her. Her death on the last day of 2015 bared lot of
testimonies and great revelations as she was said to have visited all friends
and foes-alike couple of weeks to her death to mend fences with all in a manner
never ever seen before. However, her first year memorial service was going to
be a thanksgiving event as her family shared good memories of her 70 years of
existence and 46 years of marriage.

Guests from
all walks of life joined the children and larger family of the Adebiyis
from Aramoko Ekiti and Osi Ekiti as they shared the injunctions
of same Ecclesiastes chapter 7:8
which says “The end of a thing is better
than its
beginning”. Mama’s good
end could be deciphered from the expression on faces during her first year
memorial service.

The officiating priests

The cream of
guests—clergies, friends, families and well-wishers who throng the GRA-Ikeja
Lagos based Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial
Church Cathedral
under the auspices of Diocese of Lagos West for Mama
Adefiola’s
1st Year Memorial Service were prompt and
punctual as they arrived in their elegant attires and automobiles  for the event.    
The event
started with an Opening Hymn which
was taken from Hymn 512 of the Anglican Church, followed by Preparation for Penitence which is a
special prayer of grace of errors for the deceased. This was conducted by a
cream of priests of the Arch-Bishop
Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral
in conjunction with a team of visiting
priests from other dioceses in Nigeria.  The choir of the Arch-bishop Vinning Memorial
was in their best element as voices and instruments gave out the best of
creative synergy.
Asabeafrika captures the crowd from a-top

The third
item was the Epistle Revelation which
was taken from the book of Revelation
chapter 14:6-13
(The Proclamation of Three Angels) and the last verse
declared in favor of Mama Adefiola’s
hereafter “Then, I heard a voice from
heaven saying to me, “Write, blessed are the dead who die in the
Lord from now on”. Yes, says the Spirit “thank they may rest from their labors,
and their works follow them”
.
The fourth
item was the Gradual Hymn taken from
Hymn chapter 347 of the Anglican Church. 
The fifth item called Gospel
was taken from the book of John chapter 14: 1-6 and the last verse says
of Mama
Adefiola’s
last choice before Thursday, December 31st, 2015 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the
truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”
.
A Priest Conducting the Service

The
deceased followed Christ till her last breath.  

Retired Venerable Loye
Akinwande

handled the sixth item which is The
Sermon
. The venerable who retired two years ago gave a very brilliant
presentation and account of himself as a gifted teacher-preacher as he spoke
about life after death and the beauty of a Christian life in a power packed 15
minutes sermon which left everyone humbled and sanctified.
The Preacher, Rev. Loye Akinwande speaks on Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi’s virtues

Pulling his interjections
from various chapters and verses of the Holy Bible, Akinwande described Adefiola
as a credible Christian Woman who lived her life according to the tenet
of the Church of Christ in the book of Proverbs Chapter 31 from verse 10-29 labeling her ‘the wise woman who build her own
house’
according to the book of Proverb
14 verse 1
.
The Preacher
pulled the attention of Christians and visitors at the gathering to the good result
of late Mama Adefiola’s 46 years relationship with her husband, Baba Peter
Awelewa Adebiyi
,
pointing to her children, their spouses and grand
children who were seated at the front row of the cathedral during the service.
Brochure of Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi’s Service was hot cake at the event

Worshipers made the day a special one with their appearance
All for Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi’s One Year Memorial Service
Worship in session
The preacher
advised Christians to live their lives doing well to their fellow men and try
as much as possible to copy the good deeds of Christ as whatever one does while
living will be the hallmark of testimonies after death. Stressing his sermon
with elementary points from the book of Psalm 90 verse 9-10 “For all our days have passed away in Your
wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy
years, and if by reason of strength, they are eighty years, yet, their boast is
only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away”
Akinwande believes death as the
ultimate end of every creature should be joy rather than pain for Christians.
Women stormed the church for Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi

Venerable Loye Akinwande urged Christians to take a cue from Mama
Caroline
Adefiola’s life as she lived an upright life which enabled her
to raise upright kids, an upright home and left behind an upright legacy which
is set before many to see”.
The Priesthood of Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial Cathedral Church

The Adebiyis in a tete-a-tete at Mum’s first year memorial service
Other
important dignitaries at the memorial service are Dean Emeritus of the Anglican
Church, Most Reverend Adebola Ademowo (OON) who represented the Primate
of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh. Others
are Reverend
(Dr.) Babatunde Adeyemi
(Badagry), Rt. Reverend Babatunde Ogunbanwo
(Ijebu—South/West Diocese) Rt. Reverend Oluranti Oluwole Odunbogun
formerly of Ile-Ife Diocese
and Reverend
Samuel Oludele Ogundeji
aka Baba Olowe
(Proverbs)
from Egba West Diocese.
The Adebiyis celebrating  mum one year after

Legion of
mama’s family from Aramoko Ekiti and
her husband’s family from Osi Ekiti  in Ekiti State—South West Nigeria joined the congregants
to celebrate her first year memorial service.  
Worshipers stormed Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial for the service

Female Worshipers at the service
The Church was filled with guests from all walks of life
Sundry
activities like Nicene Creed to
Intercession
, The Peace, Offertory
Hymn
, The Eucharistic Prayer,
Ablution Hymn, Post Communion Prayers, Thanksgiving, Prayer
& Benediction, Notices, Diocesan Anthem
and Closing Hymn
characterized the Memorial Service of Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi.
The event ended few minutes after mid-day as the crowd dispersed after
refreshment.
The Late Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi

What we miss without Mama in 365
days—Children
I miss my mum’s jokesFisayo Adebiyi
Mama’s son, Mr. Oluwafisayo Adebiyi speaks with the GDA

Mama’s Son, Mr.
Oluwafisayo
Adebiyi
a United States of
America
based Priest from Anglican
Church
, Diocese of Trinity, USA
told Asabeafrika
what he missed without mum in the last 365 days “Well, it is too hard to put it into words but we thank God that God
has kept us for this one year, it has been a trying time but we have found our
comfort and our encouragement in God, that with what we have known about God, He
is the God that takes us through whatever we pass through. We trust God that
whatever the future holds, He would continue to hold us”
The Adebiyis

On what Fisayo misses about mum, “It is beyond words”, he looked into
this blogger’s eyes and spoke further “it
is totally beyond words. Do I want to talk about her company, her jokes, her
friendship, her leadership? The love she sowed is beyond what I can describe
but we have her in our hearts. Her memory is what we are sharing and that is
what we are carrying around with us”
The Adebiyis during the service for their loving mother

Elderly women at Mama Adefiola’s first year memorial service 
Appreciating
guests who took time to show up at his mum’s first year memorial, Fisayo
added “I am grateful. We thank God for
them, we thank God that not only do we appreciate her but other people
appreciate the grace of God upon her life. We are grateful to everyone for
showing up and being a part of this service”.
I miss Mama’s Cordiality—Tunde
Adebiyi
Mama’s son, Mr. Tunde Adebiyi speaks with the GDA

The Adebiyis
For Mr.
Tunde
Adebiyi
a United Kingdom
based clergy, he put it this way to this blog “We thank God, we thank God. At least it was a good year and we really
thank God that she laid a good legacy behind. And we can rejoice that she is in
a better place today and that is what counts”.
Mama’s Son, Mr. Tunde  Adebiyi having a Bible reading for Mum

On what he missed with his
mum’s absence in the last 365 days, he reacted “Her cordiality and care that is what I miss most. I missed mama for her cordiality and care”.
Giving an advice from mum’s life Tunde said “You should always live your life in the way you want people to remember
you. That is the best thing I think you can do in life”

I am fortunate to have come from her
womb—First Child
The Scion of Pa Peter Awelewa Adebiyi dynasty, Mr. Adeboye Adebiyi speaks with  the GDA

Mr. Adeboye Adebiyi is the scion of the Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi dynasty. The international
business man who gave votes of thanks at the service told Asabeafrika how he felt being Mama’s child “I feel elated and I can say I am very fortunate to have come from
Mama’s womb. I just want to thank God for her life and I will continue to thank
God for a life well spent”.
The Adebiyis in Church

The first
child of the Adebiyis told Asabeafrika
things he missed about mum “I miss her
caring spirit, her love, her support and her prayer for the entire family. We
have really missed her greatly”.
Worshipers and Clergies sat side by side during the event


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Adeboye shared the
perception of the preacher on the good life his mum lived “We want to thank God for the testimonies shared about her and that is
one of the reasons why the sermon today is very inspiring that, whatever you do
will always live after you. And that is the reason why we need to do well even
when you are alive so that when you are dead, you can be celebrated”.
Mama’s age grade storm church for her first year memorial service

On how Mama
raised him from cradle he said “What she
instilled in me especially, is the fact that one need to be upright, and that
you have to protect your name, that Oruko rere, o san ju wura ati fadaka lo”.
He gave a
quick wish to his beloved dad “Well, I
wish him well and we pray that God will grant him the strength that he will
work on his feet again by God’s special grace and that God will prosper him and
give him long life and prosperity”.
I miss mum’s word of counsel—Ronke
Fatile, 1st Daughter
Mama’s First daughter, Mrs. Aderonke Fatile speaks with the GDA

For Mrs.
Aderonke Fatile
, Mama’s first daughter who is an aviation expert, she
has missed quite a lot with her mother’s absence in 365 days, this she told Asabeafrika
“I have missed her words of
encouragement, counsel, I have missed her smile and I have missed her prayers”.

 “I
thank God and at the same time when I looked back to last year, it was so dark
but God has helped us and so, I am thankful for that”.
The Adebiyi storm altar for prayers

On the
greatest virtue mum instilled in her “Mama
taught me to be sincere wherever I find myself and to be honest and to
persevere”.
The GDA at the event

Like her
elder brother, Mrs. Fatile gave a quick wish to Dad “I pray that God will continue to encourage him in the state he is. God
will be with him and spare his life”.
She thanked
lovers and well-wishers for coming “I
want to thank as many that are here this afternoon because it is the last day
of the year, a very busy day and yet, people are able to come. I thank
everybody”.
I missed everything about
her—Daughter-in-law
Mama’s daughter-in-law, Dr. Omowunmi Adebiyi Speaks with the GDA

Dr. Omowunmi Adebiyi from Ilawe-Ekiti is married to Mama’s third son, Dr. Wemimo Adebiyi. She told Asabeafrika how she feels about Mama’s demise “I feel great that she has gone to rest. I
thank God she was a wonderful mother, she wasn’t just my mother-in-law. She was
a wonderful mother that made life easy for me. I could not have wanted more.
So, I really thank God she has gone to rest”.
The Adebiyi and a lady admirer (L)

So, how did Mama
Adefiola
impacted her? “She tells
me ‘take care of your home, take care of your children. Make sure you guys have
your family altars everyday as much as possible. Pray in the morning, pray at
night, love your children, love your home, everything was centered around the
home, mostly. And the other aspect to her was ‘do the work of God, and do it
selflessly and passionately’
Some elderly couple didn’t stay back home. They were there for Mama Adefiola

A Lagos Business Man & his wife at the memorial service
On what she
misses most about Mama’s demise in the last 365 days “I miss everything about her” the pretty lady began with a radiating
look on her face “I miss her voice, her work, her music, her bible reading, her
prayers, her cooking, everything; her organization. There is nothing about her
that you will not miss. Everything is missing but we thank God”
The Adebiyis in Church

Dr. Omowunmi who confessed to Asabeafrika
that her mother-in-law is in heaven gave her appreciation to all who came for
the program “I want to say ‘God bless
them for their coming and God will give them someone that has a spirit like
hers; someone that will keep their home for them”
I miss Mama’s Keyboard
lessons—Grandson
Mama’s grand son Oluwaferanmi Fatile speaks with the GDA

Oluwaferanmi Fatile is one of Mama Adefiola’s
grandkids. He is 16 years and a student of Babington
Macaulay Junior Seminary School
in Lagos. He remembers his grand mum for so
many things and this is how he put few of them to Asabeafrika . The 16
years old registered his displeasure with Mama’s death by saying “We have been trying to live and move on
without her because dead people exist in past. We have to look forward and move
on. It is like a vacuum, actually, in the family for us to lose her because she
was a very great and nice person but there is nothing we can do. When God calls
us we have to yield. So, we have been trying our best to live without her;
doing what we know she would have loved us to do. And one day, we will all meet
her in heaven”.
Some Pretty Ladies in the Church for Mama Adefiola Adebiyi

Is there any
one-to-one impact Mama made on Feranmi in her life time? “Yes” he answered with a bright
expression on his face before speaking further “What she really wanted me to do better was to study. She was keen on
my studies and mostly my key board (Piano) lessons. So, sometimes she gives me hymns
to learn about on the key board. She was always guiding me on that”.
Youths stormed church for Mama Adefiola’s First Year memorial

I miss her humor loaded phone
calls—Adedayo Adebiyi
Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi from London speaks with the GDA

Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi is Mama’s Second son; he is a Priest
from Milton Kings, London. He shared
his feeling with Asabeafrika concerning Mama’s 365 days anniversary “I feel happy and glory be to God. I know
that the last one year has been a trying time but God has been faithful and He
has been there for us. Even though, we know that Mummy’s passing was a big loss
but at the same time, we know that everything is in God’s plans and so, we are
grateful to God”.
Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi

On what he
missed about his mother in 365 days “I
just miss her sense of humor. That is one side that people don’t really know
about Mummy. She was a very funny person. And to miss those (phone) calls that
I know will be laced with humor and with Godly advice, I have missed her very
much”
he said with a tint of regret in his voice.
Adedayo gave words of appreciation to the
Church, friends and well-wishers “It is
to say thank you to everybody.
The Adebiyis

People have stood with us for the past one year
and it is to say ‘thank you to everybody that came out’ and my prayer for them
is that they will continue to experience joyous things in their lives”

Mr. Adedayo Adebiyi in a selfie spree with admirers after the service

Like his
older brother Adeboye and sister Ronke, Adedayo gave a quick wish to Dad “It is the grace of God that has sustained him in the last one year and
it is to say that He should continue to hold unto that grace because that is
the only thing. Without God I don’t think he will be here today. So, he should
just continue to lean on God”
Some young ladies stormed the service for Mama Adefiola’s remembrance

Mama is a woman of many parts—Son-in-law
Mama’s Son-in-law, Reverend Olabode Daramola speaks with the GDA



Reverend Olabode
Daramola
is the
married to Mama’s second daughter Oluwatinuwe, a lawyer. He is the
Priest in charge of All Saints Anglican
Church
, Ikosi-Ketu, and for him,
Mama’s death is a huge loss. He spoke to Asabeafrika on so many reasons Mama
Adefiola
remains the best mother-in-law in the world “Well, one year after she left, her position is still a great vacuum to
fill in the home because we all miss her very much. And definitely nobody can
wear the shoes she wears in the family.
The Adebiyis at the Service

She is a wonderful and amazing child
and woman of God. That is who Mama
Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi
is; and I am sure today, she is fondly remembered
by everybody”.

On what he
missed about his mother-in-law; “We all
miss her, and most importantly, we miss her traditional African cuisine. The
soup, the juices that she makes, you know she is such a wonderful woman, and
most importantly, she is a woman of so many hymns. When you are with her,
singing is so easy, playing of the keyboard and singing hymns is such a
fantastic thing to her. I love Mama Caroline Adebiyi as a mother-in-law. I
wish she is still around so that I can do much more for her but now, that is no
longer possible”.
Reverend Olabode Daramola and his precious wife, Barrister (Mrs.) Oluwatinuwe Daramola (Nee Adebiyi)

Reverend Daramola said the best decision he ever took
in life was to have married Mama Adefiola’s daughter,
Oluwatinuwe “Well, in Oluwatinuwe which
is my own wife, I see a mother. Any time I looked at her I see her mum in her
because she is very caring and loving. And of course, sincerely I don’t have a
wife, I have a sister. And I don’t have a mother-in-law, I tell people, I don’t
have a father-in-law, I see my mother and my father in the family that I am
being married into. So, I thank God for the grace”.
An elderly couple at the Service

Lagos Big Boy Kay Lord stormed Church for Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi
Giving
gratitude to guests who came for the first year anniversary of his
mother-in-law, Reverend Daramola said “It
is such a busy day because of the New Year celebrations. In fact, a lot of
people will be very angry because a lot of people might not just know there is
a service. We tried as much as possible not to bother people because we know
that it is 31st of December. People will want to be with their family
but for every one that is here, we just want to thank them. We wish them well
in life, and even as Mama is fondly remembered for all the good things she has
done, may we all be well remembered in the name of Jesus. And one thing, let us
love God, obey Him and serve Him”.
Worshipers at the December 31st event

I wish I can be like my mum—2nd
daughter
Barrister (Mrs.) Oluwatinuwe Daramola (Nee Adebiyi) speaks with the GDA

Barrister Iyabo
Oluwatinuwe Daramola
, a legal practitioner is Mama’s second daughter. She shared her loss
without Mama in 365 days with Asabeafrika “I want to thank God for this one year, for the grace of God upon our
family, particularly for our father and for giving us the grace to pull through
up to this time. I want to thank God because we have the opportunity to look
back and say ‘to God be the glory’. And today, remembering her has brought a
lot of memories, particularly her character, her humility, her Godly character,
her soft spoken nature, the way she relates with people, relatives, church
members and the fact that even though, she was a wife of a Bishop, she never
put that in her head, she didn’t flaunt it.
Mama’s Second Daughter, Barrister (Mrs.) Oluwatinuwe Daramola (Nee Adebiyi) with her kids

She was a humble woman to the core.
And she is an example of the woman of Proverb 31 and it just shows that the memories
of the righteous will never be forgotten and this is also a call to those of us
that are her children, to carry on with the good memories, with the kind of
examples that she has laid for us. For us to follow it, particularly in knowing
the Lord, in bringing our family to know the God that she serves; even till her
death, which she continually say, that ‘as for me and my house, we will not
forsake God’, we will serve the Lord. That is her watch word and it sticks with
us till this moment”.

The Adebiyis and a grand child of the great woman

Some of Mama’s daughter-in-laws at the First Year Memorial event
On the
biggest philosophy she earned from her mother that still works for her, she answered
“It is hard work. You can never be around
her and be idle. Hard work and the fact that you can only be successful through
the Lord Jesus Christ and He is the only source of blessings and strength and
that is something that I can never forget”
.
On weather
mum used to spank her or not, she answered “Of
course, that is part of the discipline, and in discipline, she also advised us,
she taught us and when we grew older and the issue of caning was not there, we
were able to talk one-on-one and we discussed issues pertaining to our lives,
to our families, to our marriages.
Happy Beautiful Ladies at Mama Adefiola’s event

So, it has been a great challenge, being
able to step into her shoes, even right now, and as I look at my children, I
wished and pray that such attitude, that such character; I will be able to
exhibit it to them more than what she has deposited in my life as a woman and a
child of God”.

The Adebiyis with Well-wishers after the Service

A Message to Daddy…
Barrister Oluwatinuwe
Daramola (Nee Adebiyi)
gave a quick wish to her Daddy, Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi who is the Pioneer Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos
West (Anglican Communion) “It is just to
tell him that the God that saved him till this moment that protected him up to
this time, he should continue to trust in that God. And it is only in God he
can find strength, he can find encouragement. That is my word for him, that he
should continue to rely on God and he should thank God for those of us around
him, particularly his children. For the fact that we are alive, we are
celebrating the life of his wife and all the children are around his table. I
mean this is the prophecy of God’s word to us, that ‘your children’s children
will surround your table’. It is a good thing because this is also coming to
reality. It is not that he is burying any one of us; we are the ones doing
that. And I pray that God will continue to strengthen him, He will give him
long live, that you are not going anywhere. We want to see you vibrating,
shining, getting more encouraged and rejoicing when you see us around you. And
I guess that is the best encouragement”.

The Church’s keyboardist in his element 

Mama will always give the choir food
when her husband was in charge of Arch-Bishop Vinning —67 yr old Choir

Asabeafrika captures the Overview of Worshipers at the December 31st event

Meanwhile, Pa
Ezekiel Olanrewaju Ilesanmi
(JP) a 67 years old male Choir Member of
the Arch-Bishop
Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral
in Ikeja has described the late Mama Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi as an
epitome of kindness who was too kind to a fault when her husband presided over
the GRA based cathedral. Speaking to Asabeafrika after the event, Pa
Ilesanmi
said in Yoruba dialect “Mama
da si wa, won daa si gbogbo wa. Mama da gan ni. Mama lo ma n se gbogbo ounje
fun choir nigba ti won da church yi sile”
(Mama is nice, she is so kind to
all of us. She was the one who normally cook and give food to the entire choir
in when we started this church).

The interior of the Arch-Bishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral and Worshipers during the service

Pa Ilesanmi described the late Mama
Caroline Adefiola
after great Biblical Women like Dorcas. He added “I don’t know where you work or who you
write for but this woman we are remembering today is a very kind woman. In
those days, no matter the amount of trouble you take to her, she will solve it.
If we ask for food ten times, she will cook it for us. She treated the choir
like her children. She never made us hungry. We really missed her. We will
surely miss her”

A Happy Team of Women arriving for Mama Adefiola’s First Year Memorial Service

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