1, 2, 3 years passed.
Life went on as usual at Beulah salvation church. People came and left. There were several births and few deaths, as well as marriages, christenings, dedications and burials.
The church continued to grow in numerical strength, but the spiritual atmosphere was dense. Even with the Pastor trying to bring an all round revival to the church, most of the members preferred remaining in their comfort zones of service in the flesh.
Revd. Bamiro had a stroke, but was miraculously healed, with no remarkable disability. He had few years to retirement, thus, the church engaged the services of two associate Pastors. They would be his assistants, and possibly take over the rein of leadership at the due time.
One was Revd. Alhassan, a tall, huge, and no-nonsense man. He had a method of asserting and hammering on points, until he had his way. With track record of many years in church planting and administration, he looked like someone that the church needed at that point in time.
Needless to say, that majority of the council members were skeptical at his appointment, and voiced out their misgivings. They saw him as someone that would listen to nobody, and scatter the church in little time.
On that, Revd. Bamiro stood his ground, maintaining that what the church needed was someone that would bring change. He had the support of the head quarters, and the council members had to hand -off, and watch events unfold.
True to their thinking, immediately Revd. Alhassan settled down, and with the support of the senior Pastor, he began a process of sanitizing the church of some perceived abnormalities.
He started by formulating a plan on rotating Deacons, elders and officers that had served the church for years. Emphasizing that people musn’t ‘sit tight’ on church offices, he said every member should be given the privilege to serve.
This did not go down well with the old hands, who felt that someone shouldn’t just come, and start pushing them around.
If not handled well, church politics could be worse than politics in the secular world.
The process of selection of the officers was hi- jacked by the powers that be, and became riddled with manipulations and nepotism. Less room was given for prayers, while more was given to mundanity.
At the end of the day, the motive for the action wasn’t achieved. People like Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Williams were retained as church officers.
The other associate Pastor, was a younger man. He was fresh from the seminary, unmarried, and too eager to carry out the mandate given to him.
His good and youthful look, his simple and open character, and his unmarried state, made the congregants think that he wouldn’t deliver. But one just needed to be under his ministration, to know the stuff he is made of. Pastor Kayode Olukorede, earned the respect of everyone before long.
It was Revd. Alhassan that was assigned to counsel Jide and Kike, who were finally ready to tie the nuptial knot.
Their wedding was slated for four months.
Both sat before him, ready to give already rehearsed answers to questions that would be asked. They had been tutored by their mothers, about what to say. The mothers also allayed any fear of retribution, that could arise from misleading a man of God.
It looked as if, the series of deceptions over the years, had hardened the heart of the two mothers, especially Mrs. Johnson.
But Kike was afraid, and hid her trembling palms under her blouse.
The Pastor looked intently at them, so intent, that Kike felt he would read into there prepared lies.
They still went ahead to tell him, that they were both chaste and had lived clean lives.
The Pastor was happy, and gladly took them through the nitty -gritty of what to expect on the wedding night. He also made a note to use them as point of reference to the unmarried youths, if he would be the one to preach on their wedding day.
While the counselling was on, Martha drove into the church in her mother’s car, to pick her daughter. She had earlier been dropped for a day star light fellowship camp.
Informed that they still had an hour to the end of the camping programme, Martha decided to stay it out in the car, with an ear-piece fixed to both ears.
She was deeply engrossed in what she was doing, shaking her head to the highly inspiring music of Ayuba Yakubu, when the door was gently opened.
Removing the ear-piece, she starred into the not -too- farmiliar face of Pastor Kayode, barely managing to voice out a distorted good evening sir.
“Evening. I tapped on the mirror for sometime. You were carried away,” he said.
“I’m sorry sir,” she responded. “I was listening to a song.”
“Who was that?” he asked, pointing to her phone.
”Ayuba Yakubu,” she responded.”
He”s a Nurse musician. The Album is titled “Yabo”, and talks about giving glory to God, because everything belongs to him.”
“Waoh! That’s great,” he said. “ Can i…” pointing to her phone, the ear piece and his ear.
Martha got down from the car, to stand beside him, as he fixed the ear-piece on one ear, and passed the other end to her.
She collected it reluctantly, and fixed on her left ear, and they sang along with Ayuba.
🎵Daukaka, da iko naka ne
Jehovah san yabe ka🎵
Standing there and listening to the Gospel artiste, one would think they were siblings, and not a Pastor and member.
With Martha in a simple gown, and the Pastor in a white polo, atop three quarter jeans, his low cut hair ruffled and uncombed.
Passers-by gazed at them curiously.
And when the song ended, Pastor Kayode removed the ear- piece, and returned it to her, thanking her in the process.
They exchanged numbers.