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Sunday, 25 February 2018

MFM Pastor who survived Badoo attack eight months ago dies during church service

MFM Pastor who survived Badoo attack eight months ago dies during church service



A pastor with the Mountain of Fire Ministries, Pastor Anthony Olwawale, who survived a vicious attack from members of the dreaded cult group, Badoo, eight months ago, has died. Himself and his family of four were lucky to have survived the attack. Sadly, he died last week sunday while he was working in his church premises as the Chief Usher. His friend, Moshood Isamotu, shared the sad news of his demise on Facebook while paying tribute to him. He wrote
My Church service last Sunday was interrupted with bad news. A fellow brother and neighbor, who was also a pastor had suddenly collapsed and died that morning during their Church service. I was askance and intermittently lost in the sad news. The impulse of the message on ‘’Sacrificial life of a Christian and God’s blessing” my Pastor sermonized that morning felt on my pale and sorrowful heart. My pastor noticed my somber mood and felt cold too momentarily.
Olawale Anthony, a Pastor at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles, MFM, died while running an errand for his Church, his last holy assignment on earth on Sunday, February 18; thus signifying an abrupt end to a once upon a vibrant life. He was a poohbah in the Church.
The grieving Orija Community had cause to gather at the residence of late Pastor Anthony twice in the last one year. In June 2017 the family was in the news. On June 2, 2017 the dreaded Badoo cult had singled out his family for attack at their uncompleted bungalow located at Alhaji Obayemi Street, Lasunwom Estate, opposite Lagos State Poly, Ikorodu probably because of the vulnerability of their abode.
By the time the killer cultists were done with his five-member family, he was left with a bruised, battered head and an unsettled mind. Though the Pastor was badly hit, the family was however lucky as no life was lost unlike in any other Badoo attack. His family’s escape was strange really as the cultists are known to be merciless and sharp killers; they hardly miss their targets. No victim ever lived to narrate Badoo experience except Pastor Anthony. He received treatment for so long at the Lagos Island Hospital and I believed he was still receiving treatment before his final eclipse.
But when the community gathered again at their residence last Sunday it was for a condolence. Pastor Anthony had answered to an invitation no mortal has control over when the time is up. Death! Death!
His sunset gave no obvious inkling to the people around him and even to his family. A day before his sudden demise, he attended his Orija Community Development Association Landlords’ Meeting. He was the most visible, hyper-active and took up several duties. He played the role of the chief usher, welcomed people with his trade mark smiles, arranged seats, served refreshments and was later appointed to say the closing and his ‘last prayers’ for the group; oblivious to himself and members that he was signing off and departing from them to eternity, leaving a parting memory.
According to the wife, late Pastor Anthony woke up early as usual on his last day on earth, very excited and active. No sign that their beloved was on the very final stage of his life. As usual, he went straight to the Church, attached to his own house which he offered the MFM for the work of the Ministry. He said prayers, spoke in tongue and prepared the Church ready before other members arrived for what eventually turned to be his last service on earth. He bounded the devil and all forces of darkness that might want to disrupt the Service but like all mortals, he was limited in knowledge. He could not see and bound death that was to take him away in few hours. Along with other members he said the Service opening prayers as well but ironically never lived to share ‘the grace in fellowship’.
During his short time in the Church that morning, he was everywhere, vivacious, ensuring that all was well. He was said to be so dutiful as if he knew he would never have another opportunity and wanted to be caught in active service doing the ‘Master’s work’. Members equally noticed the high spirit he exuded but none could decipher or smell death that was closing on their host brethren.
The Church was expecting a syndicated audio message, CD, from the MFM Zonal Office, Ikorodu, which was to be played at the Service. Around 9.30am, it was getting late and the Resident Pastor became restless. He scanned the audience of about 30, looking for an agile person who could run and meet mid-way the person bringing the CD. He beckoned to the late Pastor. Oh! If the Resident Pastor had known he would have settled for another person for that eventually turned out to be the last assignment for Pastor Anthony. The late Pastor obediently said ‘Yes sir’ and eagerly stepped forward to receive the sum of N200 note to take Okada to the main road to collect the CD and come back quick. It was a journey of no return as the late pastor never came back to the Church alive.
As a trained plumber, trekking and running long distances to meet customers and inspecting new sites were not strange to him. The late Pastor, in his 50s, after looking around and there was no Okada rider on sight quickly settled for his feet and doubled his steps to catch up with the person bringing the CD that never was.
About 100 meters away from the Church, Pastor Anthony felt dizzy and his eye balls turned rapidly. He slowed, bent his head and stood still for a minute. He soliloquized, staggered to a wall and loosely held on to the fence. Within seconds he lost all the strengths in him. His hands stripped and went down slowly and hit his Badoo-injured head on the ground. He lied flat; never to rise up again. He stretched his bulky 6-ft frame and breadth deeply, mouth filled with whitish saliva. Right there he answered the final call. His clock ticked off FINALLY on this side of eternity.
People around were initially scared. It took few minutes before somebody could get close to his lifeless body and raised alarm. His death gave no room for any emergency. He lived a quiet life and that characterized his manner of death too.
The Praise worship was still on in his Church when the sad news got to them. ‘Nooooo’!, the Resident Pastor exclaimed. Confusion took over as members ran out. By the time they got to the scene, Pastor Anthony was already cold. There was no need to call for prayer warriors or need to apply Dr. Daniel Olukoya, MFM General Overseer’s anointing oil or think of any medical aid. Members had wished for a repeat of Lazarus’ experience for Pastor Anthony. But that was not to be.
Many theorerized on his death. Could it be the aftermath of the Badoo attack? Was he suffering from any unknown ailment? Was it a spiritual arrow? May be the autopsy could reveal but the family was not ready for that.
The testimonies about the late Pastor were great. He might not be a man of means in this world but he was rich towards God; profound in doing good and a worthy apostle till the end. There was neither long funeral procession, sirens, grave-side flowers for him nor buried in golden casket, but heavens rejoice in his home coming. He consciously laid treasures where it matters.
By now the reward for ‘being a good servant and for ‘running a good race’ might make much meaning to him. This is a lesson for us all.
He was buried on Tuesday, February 20 at his residence.
May the soul of late Pastor Anthony Olawale, an indefatigable 
soldier of Christ from Ondo State, RIP!
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