Our Beginning

The OAUTHC was established in July 1975. Between that time and 1987 the Christian presence in the institution was that of a fellowship called I.U.T.H.C Christian Fellowship. The membership comprised of some hospital workers and many more from Ile-Ife Township. This fellowship later metamorphosed to Christ Way Fellowship International.

            The idea of having a Christian place of worship specifically for the OAUTHC Christian Community started in August 1987. A group of Christians became concerned and burdened about the lack of a place of worship for workers, patient’s relations, students and people living within the hospital premises. A meeting was called on 2nd August 1987 to consider the need to request for a parcel of land from the hospital management. The meeting took place at the residence of Mr. O.J. Boboye in Phase III staff quarters of the Teaching Hospital. The convener was Deacon M.A Oyelami who chaired the meeting while Mrs. O.O Uchegbu, covered the proceedings.

            When contacted, the then Hospital Management headed by Professor G.O.A Ladipo, advised that the idea be sold to many others Christian in the community to make the request broad-based as management would not want to encourage proliferation of churches within the hospital premises. The advice was heeded and an application signed by about 200 members of staff representing various Christian denominations was submitted. To the glory of God, by a letter Ref. No IUTHC 805178 of 27th November, 1987, a site earlier identified and found suitable was approved. The land was within the engineering yard, adjacent to the Drug Production Unit.

            A meeting of all Christian in the institution was called on 14th December 1987, and fifty-nine (59) members attended the meeting at the General Outpatient Department (GOPD). The meeting deliberated on the modalities for the building project and the mode of worship. It was agreed that the church would be inter-denominational and that pastors from various denomination would be invited in turn to minister.

            The meeting set up a 17-man committee to run the affair of the group. The officers elected that day were as follows: Deacon M.A Oyelami – Chairman, Mrs. O.O Uchegbu – Secretary, Mr. S.E. Adeyeye – Treasurer, Mr. A.A – Adesiyan – Financial Secretary.

            The committee agreed that the launching and foundation laying ceremony be scheduled for middle of March 1988 and the contribution should begin in earnest. At another meeting, held on 18th February, 1988, it was agreed that the name of the new Chapel shall be CHAPEL OF GRACE.

            The launching and foundation laying ceremony took place on 9th April 1988. The chairman at the occasion was Dr. T.O Odejide, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and Chief Medical Director of Living Hope Hospital and Maternity Center, Ile-Ife. The Chief Launcher was Apostle Adeleke Adeyemi.

The Cornerstone of the Foundation were laid by the following:

  1. Rt. Rev. (now Bishop) J.O. Fatunwa – Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria,Ile-Ife Chapter
  2. Pastor S.A. Babatunde – Secretary Christian Association of Nigeria
  3. Pastor S.A. Babatunde – Secretary Christian Association of Nigeria
  4. Deacon M.A. Oyelami – Chairman, IUTHC Christian Community
  5. Mrs O.O. Uchegbu – Secretary IUTHC Christian Community

 

           After the foundation laying ceremony, the construction of the building started. It was planned to be temporary structure (prefabricated). The building continued steadily and it was roofed hoping that worship services would soon begin.

            On 12th October 1988, there was a setback. A heavy rainfall with storm blew away the entire roof, carried it a unreasonable distance and smashed it against another property belonging to one Mr. Francis Elugbeju outside the hospital premises.

            The owner of the property threatened court action but the matter was resolved amicably. Thereafter, the idea of a temporary structured was discard, and it was decided that a proper building befitting our God be embarked upon. When the building had reached an advance stage, although not yet roofed, with the encouragement of brethren like Pastor Dr. Odejide, worship services started on 12th March 1989. The church, by the power of the Holy Spirit grew steadily.

CHAPEL RELOCATION

            In September 1992, the Hospital Management decided to fence the Engineering yard, in the process we came one Sunday morning to discover that the pathway leading to the Chapel was being blocked. We protested to management. This eventually led to the decision that both the Chapel and the mosque (which was also then within the engineering yard) be relocated. The land opposite the phase II building was approved; and this was divided into two between the Christian and the Muslim communities.

            The church then faced with the task of construction of a new auditorium. The launching and foundation laying of the new structure took place on 17 April 1993. God our father was faithfully in providing for the work. On Sunday 13th April 1997, the new auditorium was dedicated. The Rt. Rev. (now Bishop) J.O. Fatunwa, the then chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ile-Ife branch unit. It is pertinent to state that the first chapel auditorium that was vacated was donated to the Hospital free of charge and it presently houses some departments of the hospital.

            The construction was suffered a major setback. A few months after the roofing it was noticed that the roof was sagging as a result of lack of supporting poles within the auditorium. When the poles were introduced, it was discovered that the roof was leaking profusely in many area. The verdict was that the entire roof was to be removed and a new roof of long-span alluminium constructed. Through the sacrificial giving of members, the Lord provided for His work and the new roof was beautifully completed.