Pastor Nomthi Odukoya Is Laid to Rest
Tuesday, November 30, 2021, was an emotional day that would remain memorable in the hearts of the Odukoyas as well as families and friends of The Fountain of Life Church as Pastor Nomthi Odukoya, who passed away on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, after a two-year battle with cancer was laid to rest.
The funeral service started with the arrival of the hearse into the church premises, escorted by other vehicles conveying family members and friends. The Fountain of Life Church choir, The Grace Levites, led the processional hymn “In Christ Alone” as the casket bearing the body of Pastor Nomthi Odukoya was brought into the church auditorium, followed by Pastor Taiwo Odukoya and their children. An opening prayer led by pastor Dapo Williams was followed by an opening hymn of ‘In Christ Alone’, a favourite hymn of Pastor Nomthi.
The first Bible reading was taken by Pastor Kemi Odukoya, wife of Pastor Jimmy Odukoya from 1 Thessalonians 4:12-18; Pastor Tobi Odukoya-Enuha took the second Bible reading from 1 Corinthians 15: 51-58.
Freke Umoh, the ‘Hallelujah No Go Finish for My Mouth’ minstrel, paid homage to Pastor Nomthi Odukoya by singing her trademark song, which usually followed her sharing of the Promise for the Week during Sunday Services. Umoh’s special rendition of ‘Hallelujah No Go Finish for My Mouth’ in her honour followed a clip showing Pastor Nomthi dancing and singing to the praise and glory of God.
Pastor Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun’s take on MercyMe’s ‘I Can Only Imagine’ brought tears to the eyes of many in the auditorium.
Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre in London, in his words of exhortation to both family and congregation, said that God turns grief to grace.
“The loss of a loved one can leave the family with grief, numbness, anger, and so many unanswered questions, but the Bible is where we turn to when we do not have all the answers,” he said
The clergyman also noted that it is not a crime to grieve when people go through pain and grief, but it will not last forever, adding that grief will end. He also noted that God knows everyone’s threshold for pain, and He (God) allows each person to face the battle that comes their way. He, however, cautioned against self-blame, warning that one should not think what happened is their fault. “Grieving must not end in flagellation. You must not blame yourself for the loss,” he said.
Speaking of the late Pastor Nomthi, Pastor Ashimolowo noted that she was a woman of deep humility, a woman of prayer and ordained by God to make the life of her husband a blessing.
Reading from the Book of 1 Samuel 16:1-2, Pastor Ashimolowo asserted that one must not stay grieving but should carry on the work of the Kingdom. “Fill your horn with oil and go. Carry on. Continue the work. There are more impacts to make and more lives to touch,” the cleric added.
Using the account of King David’s attitude after the child he had with Bathsheba died despite his prayers and fasting to God to spare his life as recorded in 2 Samuel 12:20 as an illustration, the clergyman encouraged the Odukoya family and The Fountain of Life Church family to keep a firm grip on their faith and rise from sorrow and mourning. He charged the church to wash their worries, pains and tears away; anoint themselves with a fresh anointing of God; put on the garment of praise instead of heaviness and limitations, worship God, stay in His presence, and celebrate Pastor Nomthi’s life.
Pastor Ashimolowo also prayed for the Odukoya family and the church from 2 Corinthians 1:4, Matthew 5:4, Revelation 21:4, and 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
According to him, “God knows that Pastor Taiwo would become a voice and a strong encourager in the body of Christ. The Lord is taking you somewhere, and the devil cannot stop it. The world will hear from this church and Pastor Taiwo. So, fill your horn with oil and go touch lives you never touched. Let the world know that God is here.”
Bishop Francis Wale-Oke finally prayed for the Odukoya family before Pastor Nomthi’s body was taken to its final resting place in a closed family affair.
Some notable clergymen and women were present at the funeral service to honour the Odukoya family and pay their last respect to the departed matriarch of The Fountain of Life Church, Pastor Nomthi Odukoya.
Among those present were: President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Francis Wale Oke, who also prayed for the bereaved family, Pastor Femi Atoyebi, Pastor Wale Adefarasin, Pastors Paul and Ifeanyi Adefaransin, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Pastor Poju Oyemade, Pastor Mrs Sarah Omaku, Lagos State CAN Chairman, Bishop STV Adegbite, among others.
Reported by Becky Olorunpomi and Iboro Tonye-Edet