Dateline: August 1986 in Ijebu Imushin I was an Anglican boy and one of the most brilliant drummers in church. All we knew was worship through hymns and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Your church was a big church if you had the luxury of drums set and a pipe organ but if you are able to add the Casio keyboard then you were truly big because it was just coming into the mainstream.
My father was the Archdeacon of the Ijebu East archdeaconry and one of the most respected priests in the diocese.
We had boys brigade that kept us busy and you were well respected in your brigade uniform infact if you were the mace bearer you were huge and so many babes and guys were left drooling for you.
We never missed anything and we never knew there was another life. As a matter of fact we could brag we were at the top of civilization and we considered churches like Cele and co as not as civilized as we were. Somehow our siblings started going to higher institutions while we got into secondary schools and somehow the Scripture Union was just coming in and some of us called it
"Suegbe Union" because somehow it radically changed extroverts to introverts who started speaking slowly.....
As our siblings came home from school they came with what then was the new wave. They started criticizing our hymns and made fun of our style of prayers. They were quite fiery and they brought what became known as speaking in tongues. They started teaching us about how wrong our mode of prayers was especially that prayer on A nje ese bi eni njehun (God forgive us for eating sin as food) that our fathers prayed daily.
They told us a born again doesn't sin. They were ready to be persecuted and they withstood leadership. Some of them became confrontational and insulted many of the priests calling them names. I was young but i witnessed it all.
Our parents were confused and didn't know how to handle it but it was not a pleasant season because some of them started to break out but thanks to Priests like Rev Tunde Abiala of Holy Trinity church inside Ijebu Ode grammar school and Rev Fape who is now the Bishop of Remo diocese who were two of the first Anglican priests that I knew spoke in tongues they started serving as the mediator between the Babas and the zealous young people who started demand for their fellowship days and possibly time on the altar to preach.
The old order decided to experiment by giving them revivals to handle and Sunday schools but you needed to be there to listen to the fiery messages which was more of less a direct attack on our priests. I don't know what training some of the priests got but somehow some handled it well while some other priests cursed some of those young minds for seeking to destroy the church with their "strange fire". Somehow the old people started searching the scriptures themselves and found what some of the young minds were agitating for.
It was a biblical demand but the approach was not something that anyone would be proud of yet the old order recognized these young men were first their own children.
The young men were not convinced with the little platforms being given so the Anglican communion in other to accommodate them created the Evangelical fellowship of the Anglican communion where we could do all sorts and it was a welcome development just that we started seeing ourselves as the spiritual ones while the old order the carnal ones.
By the times the dust had settled new preachers who had started traveling to Tulsa for Papa Hagins meetings were returning and started planting churches and thus mass exodus of young people from the orthodox churches.
The new movement emphasized freedom of worship and holiness and all and it was a major wave that didn't leave the old order the same. Somehow the old order undermined the new move while trying to protect the old. Alas change had happened and people had been raptured into the new methodology of worship while those who didn't change on time seemed left behind.
But guess what? God did not totally leave the old order because they were smart enough to create a robust structure and systems that emphasized credibility and accountability which is why they seem to have endured even though many did not fully recover from the exodus.
The Pentecostal movement was born and with the new came new tools especially the use of media so while the old order were still trying to figure out what to do the new had stated coming into homes uninvited using the power of TV. The old labelled the new "Penterascals" and warned many of us who also left whose fathers were priests of the downside to the new. My father of blessed memory didn't approve of my leaving because he wanted me to become a priest and felt I would inherit his calling but I remember myself and my brother will
show up in his church briefly for him to sight us while we escaped to our various
Pentecostal churches and yet returned in good time to share the grace.
Pause for a moment with me and feel the pain of my dad
A fiery preacher
A man everyone respected who could hold his own against anyone
Yet his kids have lost trust in the mode of worship of the denomination he belonged to.
How would you feel as a father?
In our mind we were running away from the sinful world into heaven but times and seasons have taught me that the good and the bad and ugly exist everywhere and that the grass is actually greener where you laid it.
Anyway the new order succeeded and rode on that wave for a long time only to start to also settle........
The problem of the new has never been Zeal; it has always been the wisdom to engage the old without becoming rude or discarding the old totally because we are quick to forget that no matter how bad the old is they produced us and in the words of Olakunle Soriyan
"The new can't claim to be good when it came out of the old because no good seed can come out of a bad tree"
We have been here before.............
What lessons can we pick from the old that can serve us now as the new is about to emerge again?
To be continued if I am convinced I should