Pastor Gabriel Oladele Olutola (Jp) is the former President of The Apostolic Church Nigeria and Chairman, Lagos, Western and Northern Areas (LAWNA) after he was inducted simultaneously into both posts in 2011 and 2009 respectively. He also serves as the Chancellor of Samuel Adegboyega University.
Born April 4, 1933 in Ilesa, Osun State, Olutola had his primary education at the St John Primary School, Oke-Ibode, Ilesa Osun State between 1948 and 1954.
He underwent private studies for his General Certificate of Education (GCE) ‘O’ Level in 1968. Pastor Olutola was at The Apostolic Church International Bible College, Penygroes, UK from 1969 to 1970 where he obtained Higher Diploma in Theology. This servant of God obtained a certificate in Effective Christian Religious Communication at the Department of Religious Studies, University of Ibadan, Oyo State 2003, and certificate in Theology Leadership from the Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA in 2006.
He began his ministerial work as a Worker in The Apostolic Church on 1st of September 1965, and was ordained as a Pastor in 1967.
He became an Apostle in 1978, and was the District Apostle at Oke Igbogi District, Ilesa till1980. During this period, he was also the Ilesa Area Witness Leader (1979-1980) All this while, between 1972 and 1973 Pastor Olutola had served as a Senior Tutor at The Apostolic Bible College, Ilesa, later Vice Principal (1973-1975) and Principal (1975-1980). He was Ilesa Area Superintendent between 1980 and 1994; Ilorin Area Administrator (1981-1982); Abuja FCT Area Administrator 1982-1994; LAWNA Witnesses Leader (1990-1994); LAWNA Convention Committee Chairman (1990-1996) He became the 4th LAWNA Administrative Secretary (1994-1999) following the appointment of Pastor S. S Jemigbon as the 3rd LAWNA Territorial Chairman, and later Pastor Olutola was redeployed to Mushin as the Area Superintendent, 1999-2006, during which period he also served as the GEC Representative to Oke Ado Area. In 2006 our father in the Lord was appointed as Benin City Area Superintendent, the position he held breaking new frontiers and reestablishing the standing of the area within the territory, until the Lord deemed it fit to call him to lead His Church as the chief servant in LAWNA territory.
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Pastor Olutola in the over 40 years of his full-time ministry has similarly served meritoriously in numerous Committees in the administration of the church and religious matters in the country both within and outside The Apostolic Church: these include; LAWNA Executive Council Member, 1980- 2017; LAWNA General Executive Council Member, 1980-Till-Date; and LAWNA General Council Member, 1978-Till-Date.
Between June 1980 and October 1981, he served as the secretary of the then Nigeria Advisory Executive Council (The Apostolic Church Nigeria) which oversaw the transition from an European Missionary administered church to an autonomous Church in Nigeria.
Pastor Olutola was the Chairman Bible Society Ilesa Auxiliary, 1982-1990; Chairman Board of Governor Apostolic Teachers Training College, Ilesa, Osun State, 1985-1990; Manager, LAWNA Bible College, Ilesa, Osun State, 1984-1994 Member, National Executive Christian Association of Nigeria, 1984 Till-Date Member, The Apostolic Church National Finance Committee, 1984 Till-Date Vice Chairman of Osun State Pilgrims Welfare Board, 1985-1995; Member, LAWNA Constitution Drafting Committee, 1996-1998; Secretary, LAWNA Board of Trustees, 1998 Till Date; Member, Nigeria Inter Religion Council (NIREC), 1999 Till Date; Member, NIREC Education Committee, 1999 Till Date; Member,
The Apostolic Church National Executive council, 2003 Till Date; Chairman Board of Governors, The Apostolic Church LAWNA Bible College, Ilesa, Osun State, 2006 Till Date; Chairman, LAWNA ministry Committee, 2007 Till Date; Chairman, LAWNA constitution Review Committee, 2008-Till Date; Chairman Hosting / Logistic Committee 1st African Zonal Leadership Conference of The Apostolic Church, 2008-Till Date and; Chairman, The Apostolic Church National Convention Committee, 2008-Till Date; In 1992, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Divinity by Bradley University USA, in recognition of his scholarship and contributions in the preaching and teaching of the mystery of the Gospel of Christ. He was also honoured with the office of the Justice of Peace, Osun State in 1995.
The former LAWNA chairman has not only been a teacher but also and a prolific author. He is the author of the book entitled “Late Pastor J.A Babatope Life and Times of 1st African Superintendent, Ilesa Area, Osun state”, 1993; “From Prison to the Office of Governor”, 1994 and “ The Church History (Part 1)”, 2005, as well as many publications at Conventions and conferences. This man of God who has always demonstrated his leadership gift and acumen in all assignments to which he was ever saddled, until his appointment first as the acting LAWNA Territorial Chairman between July and October, 2009. He loves reading, travelling, driving, counseling, evangelizing and teaching.
Gabriel Olutola retired on April 29,2017 and was replaced by Apostle Sampson E. Igwe as president of The Apostolic Church Nigeria and Segun Awojide as the LAWNA chairman.
Pastor Olutola was married to Deaconess Apeke Olanrewaju Olutola now of blessed memory and they are blessed with children and grand children.