SHEPHERDS OF CENTRAL CATHEDRAL
Late Snr. Evang. Akin Oyebowale – (Sept. 1984 – March 1994):
Late Snr. Evang. Akin Oyebowale was the pioneer Shepherd of the Parish. He also co-coordinated the affairs of the other parishes of the church in Abuja. A former staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance before taking up the work of God as a full time shepherd, he played a very significant role in the growth of the parish and the church in the FCT. No wonder then that the Certificate of Occupancy was first issued in his name, a year after his death in 1995. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Evang. Goke Opaleye – (March 1994 – April 1996; and July 2002 – Jan. 2004):
Senior Evangelist G. O. Opaleye (Now Sup. Evangelist) first took over as the Acting Shepherd of the Parish in March, 1994 after the sudden death of Snr. Evangelist Akin Oyebowale. He was acting shepherd until 1996 and also from July, 2003 to 2004. He had the singular honour of collecting the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the Parish, when it was eventually issued in 1995.
Superior Evangelist S. I. Akindoyin – (April 1996 – July 2002):
Sup. Evang. S. I. Akindoyin (then Snr. Evangelist) was appointed the Shepherd-in-Charge in April, 1996. There is no doubt that the church witnessed tremendous progress under his leadership and much of the development of the church building took place during his tenure which lasted for a period of six (6) years. He played a very key role in the transformation and upgrading of the Parish to Territorial Headquarters in 1997 and later became the Territorial Head of C.C.C. in FCT as well as that of the Shepherds Council until he left in July, 2002.
Most Superior Evangelist R. A. Akinkunmi: (2002 – July, 2011)
Late Most Superior Evangelist R. A. Akinkunmi was posted to Abuja as the Shepherd-in-Charge and Northern States/FCT Co-ordinator in April, 2002. He however, assumed duty officially as Shepherd-in-Charge of Central Parish on 18th January, 2004.
Late Most Sup. Evang. R. A. Akinkunmi was the initiator of the Monthly Night Vigil tagged “Night of Hope” which was instituted in 2005. The programme is designed to propagate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to give hope to those who the people of the world considered hopeless.
Other innovations of the Man of God are the establishment of the Development Levy and Monthly Welfare Fund which commenced in July, 2004. The purpose of the Development Levy is to generate funds that would be used to finance specific projects in the Church, while that of the Monthly Welfare Fund is to assist less privileged members of the Parish to solve one financial problem or the other. Also during his tenure, the Educational Trust Fund was established in the Parish to help children of less privilege members.
It was during his tenure that the Church Vicarage was successfully completed and equipped for the comfort of the families of the Shepherd and Church Workers. The edifice is indeed a pride to Celestial Church of Christ in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Through the foresightedness of this man of God, many departments of the Parish have been computerized. The Secretariat of the Parish is fully computerized, while the Choir now has digital Power Point presentation equipment which facilitates rendering of songs, bible passages and sermons during service. He also encouraged the formation of Women Fellowship named “Women for Christ” in the Church.
The late Shepherd was, until his death, the Chairman of Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) FCT Branch, he was running his second term as Chairman. He also was the Treasurer of FCT Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); A member of the Executive Council of National Christian Association of Nigeria and member of the Reconciliation Committee. Late Most Sup. Evang. R. A. Akinkunmi was an Apostle of peace and love. May his gentle soul rest in peace.