Reformer Timothy Olugbenga Olowookere was one of the pioneer members of an Osu community revolutionary youth thinkers, the Great Reformers Club that emerged and came together almost 40 years ago. The emergence of the Great Reformers Club was to mobilise for self-development/repositioning and use the power of their youth, education, and positions to engage and redirect the growth, unity and development of Osu, the headquarters, Atakumosa West Local Government of Osun State. Reformer Timo as usually called (an abbreviation for Timothy), was born 60 years ago at Elemeso quarters, Osu. His parents, Pa Joseph Okere Idaomi and Iya Oloye (Chief) Beatrice Abosede Olowookere both of blessed memory were devoted members, Methodist Church, Oke Omi, Osu.
Reformer Timo’s lifetime suggests what it means to be a willing and committed Christian disciple in a troubled and a divided world. There are so many unique testimonies about Reformer Timo’s six decades of existence. Beyond the pride he had in the blood of Jesus that ran through his veins; the pride he had in his rich culture and history of his people; the pride he had in his strong family ties and the deep connection to his community and God’s mission; the pride he had in his name and the meaning behind it provides us a good sense of reflection. Just as Reformer Timo’s name had meaning, he lived his life with meaning.
Spiritually, Timothy’s name means “honouring God” or precious to God.” I will say these two designations proved to be true in the life of Reformer Timo. With the help of his father and mother, from his early age, Reformer Timo like the Timothy in the Bible, put his faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim 1:5). Reformer Timo saw sincere trust in God first modelled by his mother, Iya Oloye. In turn, Reformer Timo as a minister of the Gospel, imparted faith not only to her immediate families but as many that crossed his path in life.
Reformer Timo grew up in an environment and culture that was distinctively spiritual and character forming. I first came in contact with Reformer Timo and his friend Gbadebo Ayeni over 40 years ago through my beloved late uncle and mentor, Sanya Olokun. I always looked forward to travel to Osu with or without my late father whenever we are on school vacation just to see Uncle Sanya and with the joy and adventure of going to the farm at Itamerin with him and his dad, my father’s brother. At our family house, anytime it was time to eat, my uncle’s room would be filled with different food and delicacies from different homes within Elemeso and Agunja quarters. It was during this time that I discovered that Reformer Timo and Gbadebo Ayeni were not members of Olokun family but were connected and bonded together with my uncle just as Timothy was bonded with Apostle Paul. The growth in this environment that was distinctively spiritual and character forming exposed me to the large communal lifestyle in Oke Omi under the mentorship of our uncles – Sir Folorunso Ogunjuyigbe, Folorunso Adubiobi, Dire Goke-Arimoro, Tunji Ojo, Lase Ajayi, Akin Olusesi, Bishop Ayo Olubusuyi, the Ogunkolades and many others
Reformer Timo and many others in Osu developed sufficient community and leadership potential under an environment that was distinctively spiritual and character forming. It is a sad moment for the Great Reformers Club, Osu, especially in such a time when Reformer Timo was elected as the President, to give leadership and direction. As a club, we take solace in God as Reformer Timo’s spirit soar in freedom from this world of sin and from the fears that gripped so tight. Our consolation as we proudly and gratefully wears Reformer Timo’s memory and most escpecially his legendary generosity is that death cannot feed on him like sheep laid in the grave. Reformer Timo’s soul is redeemed from the power of the grave (Ps 49). Reformer Timo lives on and his legacy abides.
Reformer Timo, a thorough Insurance Practitioner with almost three decades of experience was the Regional Manager, Leadway Assurance, Jos, Plateau State. He started his Insurance career in 1991 at Leadway Assurance, Kaduna. He attended African Church Grammar School, Ilesa, and later did his Advance Level studies at Oyo State College of Arts and Science (OSCAS) in 1984. Reformer Timo attended the Nigeria premier University, the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, where he studied Guidance and Counselling and graduated in 1986/87. He did his National Youth Service Corps assignment at Kaduna between 1988/89 under the mentorship of my uncle, Sir Folorunso Ogunjuyigbe.
Several leadership and character qualities of Reformer Timo, a godly fisher of men and women with no hiding place, is known through his humble, wisdom, and generosity to help strengthen people and churches. Reformer Timo’s pastoral testimonies, knowledge of Scriptures, reputation as a devout Christian, and as a pastor, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Strong Tower and All Saints, both in Jos lives on. Just as Timothy in the Bible died in Ephesus in 97 A.D., upholding the truth of the Bible, Reformer Timo went home not only upholding the truth of the Bible, he lives on the truth of the Bible.
Reformer Timo’s warmed-heart for God’s mission, service, community and human development, and ministry which remind us of his unsullied exemplary character and faithfulness put him in a saintly position in life and in death. Until his last breath on Friday 25th April, 2020 and in such a time when there are no clear behavioural patterns that distinguished Christians from non-Christians in our society, Reformer Timo as a “man of God” was owned by and yielded to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reformer Timo as a man, a husband, a father, and a leader who cares, was trustworthy and committed to his family and people’s welfare. Married to Sister Moji Esther Olowookere and the marriage is blessed with God fearing children. My dear egbon, my last conversation with you and your wife for over two hours in February is now making more meaning to me. Thanks to the management of your company, Leadway Assurance for their care. Your family, friends and church members prayed but God had the final say. Uncle Folorunso Ogunjuyigbe in his usual caring role and grace was by your bedside to the end with your wife and children. Goodnight my dear egbon, Reformer Timo, your precious life indeed honoured God and it is time to close your eyes to happy dreams and wake to eternal peace.