Barely 5 months into the year 2021, death has laid its icy hands on some prominent pastors in Nigeria.
Federal Character has compiled a list of the top Nigerian pastors who have died within six months of 2021.
– Apostle Eunice Osagiede
Apostle Eunice Deborah Osagiede who hailed from Eko -Ewu in Edo State was the General Overseer of Spirit and Life Bible Church (SLFBC).
She died at the age of 62 on Monday, December 7, 2020, after a brief illness.
She was the wife of late Apostle Gordon Erhauyi Osagiede who died on December 25, 2002. Her husband, Gordon Erhauyi, hailed from Abudu in Orhionmwon Local government area of Edo State.
Her husband was the original founder of Spirit and Life Bible Church but she took over after his death and has been overseeing all the activities of the church ever since.
Eunice Osagiede is survived by her 7 children – 6 sons and one daughter. Two of her sons were adopted. She also had grandchildren.
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, expressed shock over her death noting that she is ‘simply’ irreplaceable.
– Apostle Moses Grandeur
A Delta State born Urhobo preacher and the General Overseer of the Victory Family Assembly popularly known as VIFA, Apostle Moses N. Grandeur, died in February.
Sources said he died after he was rushed to the hospital for medical attention due to an illness.
He was a great man of the Gospel, one of those who championed pentecostal evangelism in Sapele town in the 1980’s.
He began his first church at now Mission Road, Close to Gana Health Centre, Gana Sapele as Victory Centre and later moved to Ogorode Road, Sapele, his permanent site where he changed both his surname and church name from Onodjemrehwo and Victory Centre to Grandeur and Victory Family Assembly respectively.
He also later moved his headquarters to Lagos with many branches across the country.
Until his death, he was greatly celebrated by Christians and members of the Victory Family Assembly.
He is survived by a wife, Bishop (Mrs.) Angel Grandeur and four children.
– Essa Ogorry
Founder and Lead Pastor of Fulfilling-Word Foundation Church based in Rivers State, Essa Ogorry died at the age of 55 in February.
Ogorry died exactly a year after his wife, Tonyemieba, passed on.
The departed couple left a 17-year-old child.
The late Rivers-based preacher went viral recently for refusing to join an intending couple over their lateness to the wedding service.
The source close to Ogorry said, “My pastor has gone on to be with the Lord. He had health issues even before the wedding saga. We took him to the hospital and he had to come from Lagos to attend the wedding.
“He tried to preach the Sunday after the wedding but he was not in his normal strength. He went back to the hospital and he gave up yesterday (Tuesday) morning.”
“He celebrated his 55th birthday on February 9, last week. He lost his wife last year, on February 16, 2020, the same date,”the source added.
Speaking on the ‘cancelled’ wedding, the source said the groom and the bride signed a document that the pastor has the right not to join them together as husband and wife if they come late on the wedding day.
Friends and members of the church paid tribute to the departed pastor on social media.
– Archbishop Caleb Anny Maduoma
Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province Dies and Bishop of Ideato Diocese, the Most Rev’d. Caleb Anny Maduoma reportedly slept and never woke up.
His death was confirmed from trusted sources as friends of the retired Bishop took to social media to mourn him in May.
Before his death, he served as the Bishop of Ideato Anglican Diocese and retired as the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri.
The Archbishop Emeritus retired from active service in October 2020 at the age of 70.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Onyinyechi Maduoma (Nnechinemere) children, and grandchildren.
Maduoma died at the age of 71.
– Emmanuel Folorunsho Abina
Emmanuel Folorunso Abina, the son of General Overseer of Faith Mission International (GOFAMINT), Pastor Elijah Abina died at 53.
According to reports, Emmanuel Abina, a founding father of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, passed away on Wednesday, April 28.
It was gathered that Emmanuel reportedly died after a brief illness.
A close source to the church management said that his son was until his transition, the pastor in charge of the Kingdom House Assembly of the Church situated in Festac Town, Lagos State.
– Pastor Dare Adeboye
Pastor Dare Adeboye died at age forty-two in May without prior symptoms of sickness and was never on medication.
Dare who pastored one of the RCCG branches in Abuja was said to have officiated on Sunday and retired to his bed after church.
He reportedly warned that he should not be disturbed during his rest before his sudden death in his sleep in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
Last year, his father, Pastor Enoch Adeboye described the deceased as his first “miracle child.”
– Reverend Charles Osueke
Still in May, Former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Nigeria, the Rev. Dr Charles Osueke reportedly died in the early hours of Thursday, May 6th according to a source close to the church.
The source said the 79-year old preacher was hospitalized sometime last week following ill health but was later discharged from the hospital.
Osueke served as the General Superintendent for 22 years before he retired in 2010.
The late cleric is survived by his wife, Rev Blessing Osueke, three children, and many grandchildren.
– Prophet TB Joshua
Nigerian televangelist and founder of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua reportedly died in Lagos on Saturday evening after concluding a programme at his church in Ikotun.
He had also suffered a stroke just two months ago.
His wife, Evelyn Joshua shared details of how her husband died.
The deceased clergyman, though controversial, was adored by many including politicians and presidents.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, Evelyn reportedly said her husband had prayed for three hours before the last service on the mountain and that he showed no sign of illness.
She said he was concerned about prayers for Indians against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evelyn also took to social media to express her feelings over the loss of her husband.
“Losing a loved one is never easy; whether sudden or foreseen. It is always heart-breaking. Grief can wreak havoc on our overall well-being. That’s why it’s important to stay rooted to the Almighty. Only He can lessen our heartache and comfort us in these times. Seek refuge in him.”she said, In a post on Twitter
– Stephen Akinola
Rev. Stephen Akinola of Redemption Ministries reportedly died in Abuja for his second kidney transplant after spending several months in India for a transplant that did not work out.
May they continue to sleep well until the Resurrection Day.
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Doris Israel Ijeoma is a Journalist and freelancer. She is a graduate of Nigerian Institute of Journalism. She writes political stories, entertainment and human Interest