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A SHORT HISTORY OF BEULAH BAPTIST CHURCH, ILE-IFE

DESCRIPTION:

Beulah Baptist Church, a.k.a. “Sanctuary of Thanksgiving” is located behind Oke-Ayo House, Ibadan road and her Postal Box is 578, Ile-Ife. The email address is beulahbaptistchurch@gmail.com and can also be reached through this website: beulahbaptistife.com. She is a member of Ogo-Oluwa Baptist Association, Ife. The Church was founded on August 1, 1976 and was organized on 25th September, 1982.

HISTORICAL BEGINNING:
The Church was launched by the evangelical arm of the then three Baptist churches in Ile-Ife namely First Baptist Church, Ilare, Ile-Ife, First Baptist Church, Oke Amola, Modakeke and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Eleyele, Ile-Ife. Their formation was known as Ife Baptist Evangelical Movement (IBEM) and with the aim of increasing the number of churches in Ile-Ife metropolis. Thus, with the support of the Pastors in those three churches, they planted three other new churches within a year out of which Beulah Baptist Church was the second Church on August 1, 1976. The Church was established to take care of the spiritual need of Baptist Students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and other people in that part of the metropolis.
The first location of the Church was Urban Day Grammar School and the initial name was Orita-Ona Ibadan Baptist Church. The inaugural service was moderated by Late Rev. J.A. Folaji of First Baptist Church, Ile-Ife while Rev. (Dr.) J.O. Oladoja of First Baptist Church, Oke-Amala, Modakeke preached the sermon with about one hundred people in attendance. The Church was later forced to relocate to a wooden structure built on the property of Pa Moses Babawumi.

LEADERSHIP:
The first leader of the Church was Mr. Ajao Abegunde who led between 1976 and 1977. The then Mr. (now pastor) E.O. Olaniyi was the leader between 1978 and 1991. The first pastor of the Church was Pastor (now Rev. Dr.) E.O. Oyekan who served between 1992 and 1998 while Deacon Prof. Wale Adebayo led the Church between 1999 and 2002. Rev. J.A. Abegunde assumed the pastorate of the Church on October 1, 2002 and is still serving till date.

MAJOR HISTORICAL EVENTS
At the Church in Conference meeting held on 24th December 1978, the Church adopted the name Beulah Baptist Church derived from Isaiah 62:1-5 and the inaugural working constitution of the Church was drafted by Prof. Adebisi Afolayan and Dr. (now Dn. Prof.) Adewale Adebayo. The Church was admitted into Ife Baptist Association on 16th June 1979 and was organized into a full fledge Church on 25th September, 1982.
With increase in membership, a 21 plot of land was bought at Oloyode Fayokun Estate, Ile-Ife at the cost of ₦32,000 and ₦10,000 and ₦7000 out of the said amount were donated by Baptist Missions of Nigeria and the then Oyo East Baptist Conference respectively. The foundation of a storey building named Baptist Students Hostels was laid on 29th October, 1994 which was roofed at the ground floor level and served as the temporary Church building beginning from June 2, 1985 until July, 2010 when the Church moved into the main Church auditorium.
The first sets of deacons were ordained on 13th January, 1996 [namely Prof. Wale Adebayo, Dr. (now Rev. Prof.) T.O. Oyebisi, Mr E.O.(now Pastor) Olaniyi and Mrs K. Alabi] while the second set was on 6th December, 2008 (Mr. J.T. Kufeji, Prof. Akin Olayinka, Prof. S.A. Ajayi and Mrs S.A. Oderinde). The third sets were ordained on 30th October, 2016 during the Church’s 40th anniversary celebration (Dr. Wale Adelakun, Mrs R.M. Ajao, Mrs Yemi Ajayi, Dr. Dayo Fodeke and Mr. Biodun Oyedare). The first preaching station, Oluwatedo Baptist Church, Oke-Itubu, Modakeke was planted on 16th November, 1995 which today is a full fledged Church being pastored by Rev. Prof. T.O. Oyebisi. The Church on 6th January, 2005 adopted a preaching station Aganran Baptist Church, along Ife-Ondo Road which is being led by Dn. J.T. Kufeji. Another preaching station was planted on 6th March, 2011 named Apata Baptist Church, Ajidara Quarters, Ile-Ife and it is being led by Rev. Abidemi Atunde. A sixteen passenger mission bus was bought on June 24, 2011. The Church with the help of the MMU sponsored the training of an indigene of Republic of Benin (Andre Danke) as a Pastor at the College of Theology, Igede-Ekiti.

CURRENT STATE
Presently the Church runs two services, the First Service which runs between 7: 30 and 9am is designed to meet the spiritual needs of the youths and it is purely English service .The second one runs between 10am and 12:30pm and the language is both English and Yoruba. The attendance is between 150 and 200 people. In addition, the Church runs a separate service for children between ages ten and fifteen and it is tagged Young Peoples Church.

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