The origin and development of Oja Odan Archdeaconry is linked to and greatly influenced by the history of St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Oja-Odan the mother Church, is situated along old Oja-Odan-Ilaro road in Egbado Central District Church Council in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria.
Available evidence suggests that the Church was established on 12th February, 1927, through the effort of a man called HUNPONU, a native of Ibawe in Ipokia Area of Ogun State. He was an Inspector of Education posted to Oja-Odan, Obele, Ohunbe, Ibeku and Isale Area of Ogun State. Efforts to initiate adult literacy class also received very good support. Thus, the man organized evening classes for the people in form of adult education which later metamorphosed into a Church christened, Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, Oja-Odan. In addition, it was learnt that during a lesson time, Inspector Hunponu asked from the adult students: “who amongst you were Christians and where do you worship?” The response to the question revealed that majority of the adult student Christians were attending St. John’s Anglican Church, Ebute-Igbooro, while others were from the African Church. It was at this juncture that Mr. Hunponu, an Anglican member, urged the people to start worshipping together as members of the Anglican Church every Sunday at the place being used for the lesson class. Consequently the venue for lesson classes was converted to place of worship. And the building was used till February 28th, 1978.
The few pioneer family members of the church at that time were the families of Falolu, Olowobese, Akinwande, John Bankole and Apetu. In 1980, an idea to build a new church hall in order to accommodate the emerging large number of people came-up due to rapid growth of the Church with a population of One Hundred and Sixty One people (161 people); specifically, the family of Mr. Idowu Adeisa from Agbolaoko compound gave a parcel of land for the construction of the new Church. The congregation then was led by Mr. Hunponu and assisted by Jacob Orobiyi Falolu and Gabriel Akinwande as well as E.S. Ladipo (all of blessed memory) with the following members that served as members of the Church Committee: Mr. J.O. Okegbenro, D.O. Oloyede, Sunday Ladipo, Gabriel Falolu, Micheal Apaku, Abraham Apata, Ephriam Opeisa and Sunday Shadrach Okebunmi, while Daniel Olude served as (Baba Ijo), Daniel Ajiborisa Oladoke (Baba Isale Ijo), Gabriel Akintona (Ekerin Ijo), Victoria Adeniji (Iya Ijo), Madam Maria Asebo as Iyalode Ijo. Other members of the Committee were Amos Ogundiran, Ebenezer Fatolu, Benjamin Ladipo and David Fagbenro together with Johnson Falolu.
Interestingly, the church introduced different societies to the members which were largely embraced. The societies were, “Egbe Majekobaje”, “Egbe Ifelodun” and “Egbe Bomodeoku” for the male members while “Egbe Ina Oloruntan”, “Irawo-Owuro” and Young Women Christian Association are for the female members. In the area of the spiritual growth, the Church performed the first baptism for the following dedicated and fervent members of the Church, Benjamin Fatolu, Mr. Israel Ogundipe, Mrs. Maria Falolu, Moses Akintan, Reginah Akerele, John Apetu, Joseph Soeke, Daniel Akintan and Maria Asebo while they were later confirmed by the then Lord Bishop, the Rt. Revd. S.I. Kale as full-fledged church members of Anglican Communion.
With the rapid development of the Church, Mr. J.A. Jemilehin was transferred to the Church as the first catechist followed by Mr. S.B. Adekunle, Mr. Adegbemi and S.B. Odunleye. In terms of the physical and spiritual growth of the Church, Revd. B.O. Ilori was also transferred to the Church as the first priest. During his tenure, Mr. J.O. Falolu, Mr. R.O. Oguntade, Mrs. A.M. Adekunle, Mr. Femi Odebunmi, Mr. Tai Adesi and Mr. A.D. Bankole served as representatives of the Church at District, Parish and Diocesan levels. The mission house was built during the time of Revd. B.O. Ilori after which Revd. A.O. Kusanu (now Venerable) came in, nand was succeeded by Revd. J.B. Hodonu (now Venerable) and later replaced by Revd. I.O.O Olaleye (also now Venerable).
By the year 2008, the church at Oja-Odan and Ohunbe areas were carved out of Yewa Central Archdeaconry in Ilaro by the Lord Bishop, the Rt. Revd. S.O.M. Adebola Ph.D (late) as a provisional Archdeaconry. The Archdeaconry, took-off as Oja-Odan Provisional Archdeaconry in February, 2008, with eleven churches out of which there were six new efforts with three clergy men including Ven. J.A.K. Osilana, as the first Archdeacon of the area and the Vicar of St. Peter’s Church, Oja Odan, the headquarters. In 2011, St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Kobejo was dedicated. The mission house at Kobejo was also dedicated in 2012. St. Matthew’s Church, Ologiri was dedicated in 2012 while, Anglican Church of the Advent, Papa Jesu, Oja-Odan, was dedicated in 2013. At the eve of departure and retirement of the late Bishop S.O.M. Adebola, in 2014, there were another restructuring of some churches in the Diocese and this influenced the numerical growth of churches in the area with inclusion of five churches cut from Ketu and Yewa Central Archdeaconries making the churches to become thirteen with six priests. Ven. Adeyinka Ogunwusi was collated in February, 2014 as the Vicar of St. Peter’s Church, Oja Odan and the second Archdeacon of the area. The ordained workers list consists of an Archdeacon, two Canons, two Priests, and a Deacon. Other workers that have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the area include Twenty-Seven Lay readers and Seven Evangelists not forgetting some others that have died in the faith.
The 25th Annual Diocesan Women Conference was hosted by the Provisional Archdeaconry between Thursday 16th and Sunday 19th July, 2015 during which the current Diocesan, the Rt. Revd. M.A. Oluwarohunbi gladly elevated the Provisional Archdeaconry to the status of a full-fledged Archdeaconry on Sunday 19th July, 2015 during the thanksgiving service.
The statutory meetings of the Archdeaconry are held regularly. This comes up every third Sunday of the month on rotational basis. About 107 candidates were confirmed (39 males and 68 females) at a divine service held at St. Peter’s Church, Agboola Oko, Oja-Odan by the Rt. Revd. M.A. Oluwarohunbi on Sunday 16th November, 2014. Women’s work in the Archdeaconry are encouraging with the support of clergy wives that are performing their best, seminars and monthly vigils are held in most of our churches regularly to advance evangelism. The youths are involved in the work of evangelism and are not left out in the activities of the church. They have been useful in the choir, fellowships and in other areas of their concern. Lay readers are doing creditably (active and alive) in various churches where they are, some also lead church services in situations where there is no clergy. Their regular monthly meetings come up every last Sundays of the month.
St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Agbolaoko, Oja Odan, is the mother church of the Oja Odan Archdeaconry. St. Paul’s Church, Ohunbe, St. Peter’s Church, Kobeje, Anglican Church of the Advent, Papa Jesu, Oja-Odan, St. John’s Anglican Church, Ebute-Igboro, St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Ijege, St. Peter’s Church, Abule Yesufu, St. Peter’s Church, Ibayun, Anglican Church, Igbo-Ogbe, Anglican Church, Refu-Refu, St. Paul’s Church, Iyana-Meta, St. Barnabas Church, Ansa, are some of the churches in the Archdeaconry.