The life, marriage, and ministry of Bishop Osuolale Gboyega Ohu is a testimony of effective ministry not determined by position but by kingdom spirituality and effectivity. Born 60 years ago at Onileapo Compound, Fiditi, Oyo State, Nigeria, his parents, Pa Oyelayo Ohu and Mama Mariam Ohu, remain a source of humble foundation and inspiration to himBishop Ohu’s kindness, humility and impish sense of humour distinguish him as a fearless pioneer and divine disrupter. He attended Wesley Primary School, Fiditi, and went to Fiditi Grammar School, Fiditi.

I first met Bishop Ohu through the Methodist Evangelical Movement camp meetings, and we both shared close relationships with the Rev Femi Oladele (late), Barrister (Evangelist) Femi Osundahunsi, Sir Dr Olatunde (late) and Dame Oluwafunmilayo Ayodeji Agbato. Bishop Ohu was very encouraging about what I share, especially when we started Coming Alive, a quarterly weekend marathon prayer and fasting at Redemption, Camp, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway (as he was with so many) and, after that time, champions me to others and encourages me as a minister and friend at any opportunity.

Bishop Ohu, who served as a Synod Secretary under Bishop Olu Alaran, Diocese of Ikorodu is blessed with an innate ability to discern, disciple, and deploy leaders – a gift I believe is part of the apostolic. His ministry and encouragement meant a lot to those who knew him. Being an evangelical, Bishop Ohu is also charismatic because he understands the scriptures to point to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Bishop Stephen Adegbite, the Methodist Bishop of Ikeja, Lagos, aptly described Bishop Ohu as an inspiring mentor and senior brother who left the seminary before him. According to Bishop Adegbite, he went to the same primary school and secondary school at Fiditi with Bishop Ohu. They were both in the church choir and Boy’s Brigade at Wesley Methodist Church, Fiditi. 

Bishop Ohu is an inspirational leader, and one of his chief means of motivating and inspiring people is storytelling. He has never claimed to be a great theologian or orator, but his simple, direct preaching, peppered with self-deprecating humour and holy ghost stories, continues to inspire, and convert many – and so many others – to chase after God. His ministry is known for spirit-inspired prayer ministry, where many are visibly moved as they are filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to live out the mission of God in their respective callings. John Wesley said: “All true divinity is practical divinity.” Bishop Ohu is a pure masterclass in that.

Married to Ruth Ohu nee Adeyemi on September 21st, 1991, at The Apostolic Church, Ago-Iwoye, they remain dedicated to propagating and spreading Scriptural holiness across the land. Bishop Ohu is blessed with the natural ability to transpose himself, without compromise, to different contexts to be an ambassador for Christ effectively. Bishop Ohu’s pioneering church planting ministry sometimes plants churches outside his church, circuit, and diocese. For Bishop Ohu, missional expediency always trumps ecclesiastical tradition. Bishop Ohu’s maverick tendencies were humbly expressed and recognised at the 2008 Methodist Conference at Ilesa, where he was elected as a bishop.

Bishop Ohu’s episcopal ministry, coupled with his apostolic leadership beyond Methodism, defines him as a charismatic evangelical great gatherer, a ministry beyond denominational borders. Bishop Ohu’s ministry points to the secret of successful leadership, which is quite simple – appoint people better than you!

It is possible to have ten thousand teachers in Christ; you do not have many fathers (1 Cor 4:15). Bishop Ohu is among the few ‘fathers’ in the faith to me and so many. Bishop Ohu remains a rare specimen of a bishop who is a true father in the faith, secure in his calling, and his relationship with the Lord that others flourish around him. In one of the darkest seasons of my mission work, Bishop Ohu remains interested and concerned. I will be grateful to him for that as long as I live. On a very important note, Bishop Ohu is a good cook. I still remember his ‘ila alasepo,’ (delicious okro soup) when he visited United Kingdom. My readers would agree with me that, when Bishop Ohu is behind the steering, including the church evangelism bus, demons must bow.

Consecrated as a Bishop in Methodist Church Nigeria, Bishop Ohu, as a guardian of orthodoxy, takes seriously the peculiar promise all bishops make to “drive away strange doctrine.” I cherish my friendly conversation with Bishop Ohu, especially on theology, ecclesiology, revival, and evangelism. Bishop Ohu is not just a man of the Holy Spirit but of the Word of God. An evangelical is also charismatic because he understands the scriptures to point to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, according to the scriptures, the indwelling Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. In an age and time when many are tempted to opt for wealth, money, or liberal mysticism, Bishop Ohu’s legacy at 60 will be modelling a different missional leadership and spirituality for us.