There is a tradition that makes Oke-Odan the cradle of Christianity in Yewa land. Through the efforts of one Andrew Shanu, an indigene, several attempts were made to plant Christianity in Oke-Odan from as far back as 1864. He had himself been converted to Christianity by Samuel Ajayi Crowther at Abeokuta in 1848. Those early efforts bore little fruit, two converts after about twenty years from a later effort before the end of the nineteenth century. Archival records show that Thomas Bamgboye, Paul Olaleye and others were the first to come from Ilaro to be baptized on Nov. 8, 1915 with registration No. 503 and 506 respectively in the local baptismal register here.
Following a misunderstanding in the Andrew Shanu Church, a group of worshippers seceded and with appearance of the late Rev. J.O. Ijaoye who arrived on 9th February, 1918, the foundation of a new church named St. James Church at Oke-Odan was laid on 11th January, 1919. The new church was completed after many years and was dedicated. According to the records, the first trained catechist sent to the church was Mr. T.A. Owolabi of blessed memory (who was later to become a priest and retired as an Archdeacon). We thank God for the servants of God who have in succession labored tirelessly in the church to make it attain the states that if has attained so far. These include the Revd. A.O. Vincent, G.E. Bello, Ven. S.O. Adebeso, Ven. J.A.O. Fadipe (all of blessed memory), Ven. J.B. Fagbemi and Ven. J.S.S. Wusa.
Yewa South Archdeaconry was inaugurated in 19th May 1991, by the first Bishop of Yewa Diocese, Rt. Revd. T.I.O. Bolaji (of blessed memory).The Revd. Canon Samuel O. Adebeso was also collated as the first Archdeacon on the same day.
The Archdeaconry has about thirty-seven churches at inception. Ven. S.O. Adebeso a faithful servant of God worked tirelessly to see that the Archdeaconry stood on a good foundation, this made the Archdeaconry a force to be reckoned with in the Diocese of Yewa. As all the churches in the diocese were making progress, the need to further expand became necessary thus on the 12th December 2000, Yewa South-East Archdeaconry with headquarters at St. John’s Church, Ajilete, was inaugurated by the Rt. Revd. T.I.O Bolaji. Later Owode Archdeaconry was inaugurated with headquarters at St. Paul’s Church, Owode. With the aim of expansion and creating more Archdeaconries, Idiroko Provisional Archdeaconry with headquarters at St. Paul’s Church, Idiroko, was also carved out in the year 2004. After some years, on the 31st Dec, 2014, Yewa South-West Archdeaconry with headquarters at St. John’s Church, Ihunbo was also carved out of Yewa South Archdeaconry.
As mentioned earlier in this paper, Ven. S.O. Adebeso, was the first Archdeacon. Ven. J.A.O. Fadipe succeeded him, but he died in active service and was succeeded Ven. J.B. Fagbemi in February 2003. Ven. Fagbemi retired voluntarily in May 2008.
Rev. Canon J.S.S Wusa came on board as administrator of the area on June 29th 2008 and later became an Archdeacon. While, Rev. Canon O.O. Oyedele was transferred from St. Peter’s Church, Igan-Alade, to succeed Ven. J.S.S. Wusa on 8th February 2014, while he was preferred an Archdeacon in the same month.
The story of Yewa South Archdeaconry cannot be completed without mentioning Chief Leke Fasina, the last Baba Ijo of St. James Church Oke-Odan, whom did a lot for the progress of St. James Church Oke-Odan and entire old Yewa South.
Now, Yewa South is left with seven churches such as St. James Church, Oke-Odan as the headquarters, amongst which include Andrew Shanu Memorial Church, Oke-Odan, Christ Church Owo and St. James Church Ajise.