Children Churches

ARCHBISHOP Vining Church Sunday School started like any other Sunday School in the Anglican Church where children were taught Bible stories and kept to avoid distractions in the adult or main services on Sundays

 

Records have it that the first Sunday school superintendent was Mrs Janet James. She was succeeded http://acheterdufrance.com/ by Chief (Mrs.) Lape Oyewole who was appointed by the Church to oversee the affairs of the children until late 1973. Then in September 1974, Chief Mrs. Oyewole asked Lt-Col. Alphonso Keshi (rtd), a young and energetic child evangelist, to manage the affairs of the Sunday School.

The Sunday School did not have any form of syllabus or teaching materials then, but the new Sunday School Co-ordinator adapted books from the Baptist Press, Kaduna. These Baptist teaching manuals were used until the teachers in AVMC started to put together teaching manuals. Prior to this, the crop of Sunday School teachers in AVMC were members of the Lord’s Labourers’ Fellowship. They included The Rev. Gboyega Adams (now the Vicar of St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Peckham in the United Kingdom), Mrs. Lucky Okpako, Mrs. Comfort Ubosi, Mr. JOJ.  Agobe, Mrs. Febi Akinrotimi,  Bro. Chidi

By Alphonso A. Keshi,

Kola Layiwola and

Tunji Odeneye

Lt Col. Alphonso A. Keshi

Ezirim, Mrs. Bukky Olaloko, Sis. Kate Okpara (now in the U.S.A. and  popularly known as “pakapaka” for her ability to ginger up the children, especially on the days when there were no microphones) and the late Bro. Ndubisi Aneke. The team comprised about 30 young and dedicated teachers led by Lt Col. A.A. Keshi (rtd).

 

The year 1988 was a particularly good one with the entry of Mrs. Ruth Agobe, Mrs.  Ipimmoroti,   Mrs. Adegbulugbe,  Mrs. Bisi Olagoke, Miss. Adebisi Aderibigbe (now Mrs.  Adebisi Layiwola), Miss Bimpe Adebajo (now married), Kolade Layiwola (now an Anglican priest), while many others also joined the Sunday School as volunteer teachers.

 

The first site of the Sunday School was in the old hall where Adetiloye House now stands. Classes took place at the Lagos State Primary School adjacent to the church. The completion of the Sunday School Complex (now named Archbishop Gordon Vining Hall) made space for teaching and expanded the frontiers for Sunday School and many more volunteers joined the league of those responsible for the upbringing of the younger generation.

Preparatory classes were then held on Wednesdays in the Committee room, the

present office of the Dean of the Cathedral and later held at the space behind the altar. The Rev (later the Ven.). L.L. Eso was assigned by the Ven. S. B. Akinola as the first Chaplain of the Sunday School.

The writing of the manual in AVMC led to the formation of the Lagos Anglican Sunday School Teachers’ Association and the request for a Directorate of the Sunday School. This led to the appointment of the Ven. Dayo Kuforiji (now retired) by the then Primate and Bishop of Lagos, the Most Rev. Abiodun Adetiloye (now late) to oversee the affairs of

the Sunday School and interface with the churches.

 

Before AVMCC became a cathedral, the teachers started to put together facilities to meet the expectations of the children’s department. Many teachers under the leadership of Col Keshi, funded the procurement of Public Address System for the Vining Hall for use in the general assembly before the children were sent to their various classes for lessons. Other items include chairs for the nursery classes and primary one, along with rug and air conditioners for the classes that are being used for day care.

 

The years following, saw the AVMCC Sunday School grow from a place to keep the children from disturbing and distracting the adult church to a place of moulding and character formation for the future generation. Many more dedicated people joined the Sunday School to either teach or care for the special needs of the children, such as house helps and care-givers, particularly for trading apprentices whose formal education is limited. Among those who joined in various capacities were Mrs. Abigail Olatunji, Mrs. Kupoluyi, Mrs. Josephine Oji, Engr. Sola George, Mrs. Tayo Gidado, Mrs. Ann Agbasimalo, Bro. Gbenga Osofisan, Mrs. Ronke Odeneye, Mrs. Iyabo Awokoya, Prof. (Mrs.) Ebun Clark, Mrs. Onoriode Awowede,  Engr. Nwachukwu Ezeilo and his brother Engr. Okey Ezeilo. Others included Mr. Femi Olutayo, Mrs. Taiwo Ogunsanya, Mrs. Victoria Ezealigo, Mrs. F.O. Owolabi, Mrs. Mercy Igie, Mrs. Dayo Oyeniyi, Mrs. Blessing Nwachukwu, Mrs. Jennifer Ugo-Obodozie. Mrs. Olukemi Ogunyemi and Mrs. Nkem Obianagha. Others include: Mrs. Nkechi Siakpere, Mrs. Nkechi Ezeagwu, Mrs. Faith Nwachukwu, Mrs. Cynthia Ofulue, Mr. Sam. Okereke, Mr. Ebenezer Aladeshe, Mr. Ikenna Osuagu, Mrs. Zainab Adeyemi, Engr. (Mrs.) Teni Odedina, Mr. Aodofu, Mrs. Ajay-Obe, Mrs. Oladele and Mrs. Williams. There are still many others who have either relocated or been inadvertently missed out in this report. All of these people are highly qualified professionals in their various fields of endeavour.

 

In 2005, when Mrs.  Iyabo Arinola Awokoya joined the Sunday School, her passion and interest in music were brought to the fore. The Sunday School began to organise the children to be able to sing classical and church music; hence the Sunday School employed the services of Mr. Femi Williams, an organist and music teacher, through the help and recommendation of Mrs. Awokoya. The Sunday School teachers contributed to paying for the services of the music teacher for nine months before the church now employed him for the Sunday School.

Mr. Williams trained and presented the Sunday School Choir for Muson Centre examinations where they performed creditably, and this led to the inauguration of the First Children’s Choir in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in 2007 by the then Dean of the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral), the Ven. Olubanjo Oshewa (now late). The church paid for the training of the children and the choristers performed very well in the examinations.

 

Recruitment

Recruitment to the Sunday School had always been by the hand of God. God has always brought those that He needs as all those who have strayed had always not stayed. Those who have stayed go through the Children Evangelism Ministry (CEM) training.

 

Administration

The Sunday School is divided into the following groups, each with a head for administrative convenience; Nursery, Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Junior Secondary, Senior Secondary, Aunties and Uncles Class, Drama Class, Choir Class. Each of the groups  is subdivided into school classes and each class is expected to be managed by two teachers.

 

The church supplies the Sunday School with biscuits and water regularly, and also sponsors the Annual Christmas Party. Of note is the sponsorship of the Children’s Harvest by Megachem Pharmaceutical Industries Limited for some years running and it is usually fun. Church members and some societies have been generous, in supplying, from time to time, items like cakes, ankara fabrics, musical instruments, teaching aids, projector, books, choir robes and office equipment like photocopier and laptop for the smooth running and administration of the

Sunday School.

 

Change of Baton

Col. A. A. Keshi (rtd.) retired from active Sunday School service in 2006 and Kola Layiwola, one of his assistants, was made to succeed him as the Superintendent. Mr. Layiwola, now a priest in the Anglican Church, took charge until 2011 when he was ordained a priest and was succeeded by Mr. Seth Adetunji Odeneye, the current Superintendent. 

The Sunday School currently has an average of 60 teachers, care-givers and attendants to the children whose population is well over 1,000.

Sunday School Bible Quiz 2012