By Simbo Olorunfemi
Mama Hilda was the first we got to know. We met her in our study of current affairs back then. She had distinguished herself as a foremost Women rights Activist, personifying at that time the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), which she served for decades.
She was as distinguished as one had imagined, seeing her in real life in the early years at the Household of God, where she was the highly respected Elder in a Church largely populated by the Youth.
Her husband, Justice Adetunji Adefarasin, was also renowned not just as the Chief Judge of Lagos state, but outside of the judiciary with his work with the Red Cross. He would become the first African to serve as President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 1977.
In a way, Papa and Mama’s many years of service to humanity would appear to have shaped the direction the lives of their children have taken and their commitment to serving humanity.
Mama’s devotion to the service of God, which was quite evident in those early days at Household didn’t take too long to yield dividends, with her children turning in the direction of wholesome dedication to the service of God.
The story of how Pastor Paul’s life took a detour and how he made a turnaround is well known. It is indeed a testimony that the ‘House on the Rock’, which he started in 1994, when he was only 31 has become such a huge institution with footprints in different parts of the world.
The transition from MUSON centre to the Rock Cathedral might have taken a while but a visit to the place will explain in part, why it took that long, just as it will speak to the daring vision of the man.
In the few years I had the privilege of a close working relationship with Pastor Paul, what I found most remarkable was his commitment to vision, the passion and dedication in his pursuit and the attention he pays to the methodical and meticulous execution of his vision. He is quick to recognise gifts and expertise in others, while never failing to acknowledging and appreciate it. I doubt that I have met anyone as generous with praise for effort as Pastor Paul. You know he is a stickler for excellence. You will be motivated to deliver for him on that at all times, knowing he won’t settle for less.
As if the vision and scope of the Experience is not intimidating enough, to have consistently delivered on such a massive event, with a record of consistent excellence in organisation and delivery speaks to the quality of the man. He is as driven as he drives others, making it easier for others to buy in and run with his vision.
Adeolu Adefarasin, a great son of Justice and Mama Adefarasin, the extent of the charity work he does under the auspices of Rock Foundation speaks to the quality of his heart and upbringing.
In one breath, you are asking yourself if he is truly only Sixty. In another, you are querying how he can possibly be Sixty. He is as accomplished as he is wise.
Happy 60th birthday to Pastor Paul.