Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, the Senior Pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David Parish, and his wife, Pastor Siju are one couple after God’s heart. They are doing well in the vineyard of God. Their marriage is an example of a perfect marriage. They are constantly in open display of love for each other, anytime and anywhere you see them.
At the just concluded Arise At 10 Conference organised by Pastor Siju as the Convener, Pastor Idowu whose nickname is Pastor ID surprised his wife by launching a book in her honour on that day And she was so appreciative of it that she hailed her husband in a loving way, calling him my Sugar baby, Cinnamon pie, My chocomilo and all. Pastor ID, in turn, reciprocated the gestures as the audience was thrown into laughter.
They do this time and time again And if you are a regular member of the City of David Parish, you would have become used to it by now. This act of love and closeness is what many of their members emulate, and even during any wedding ceremony in the church, Pastor ID always advises couples to spice up their marriage. Part of it is calling each other sweet names. This couple after God’s heart have become mentors to many couples. They have been married for over 34 years and their love is still waxing strong. Many atimes, during their birthdays, they sing for each other, to the admiration of all.
They are always all out for each other. Even church members always call for Pastor Idowu to serenade his wife with love. One of such was during Pastor Siju’s birthday and Pastor Idowu was called out to say something about his wife Pastor ID began by saying:
“Sweetheart, you deserve every appreciation and you know from the bottom of my heart, that I really do love you. We have been together now for 38 years. and it’s still going on strong. I did not think this will happen, that I will sing a song from my heart to you. As we are growing older we are growing older gracefully. We need to take things easy. And he sang a song. “Love me tender. Love me sweet.
You made me complete. I love you and will always will” and he sealed it with a kiss. Pastor Siju responded by saying: “My sugar. My honey. My sweetheart. My darling. My honey suckle, I could go on and on and on. My cinnamon pie. The precious gift God has given me who has grown with me and never tired of growing with me. The one who has allowed my dreams to come through. It feels like yesterday. I don’t feel the years and I know our love has, and is, and will continue, it has always meant to be.
That we know. We thank God for thus far he has led us. I love you. If I could love you more, I love you with every fibre and I will never stop loving you. My pastor. My friend. Thank you for the love that is able to accommodate many. Thank you for the peace we have experienced in our lives, thank you for the love we share daily, thank you because I never have any cause to worry about what you will be to me. Thank you for being stable, true and being steadfast. Thank you for always believing that there is a lot more in store for us and as I continue to tell you, you are never tired of listening, you actually ask, what do you see? And you allow me to share them with you. I will follow you to the end of the earth, to the moon and back And if God permits, I will follow you to heaven”.
This was during her recent birthday. And also recall that Pastor Siju celebrated her 50th birthday 4 years ago And they took their love story to, another dimension as Pastor ID went all out first, to write a book titled “Keeping It Together” and also a tribute book where Pastor ID penciled a love note to his wife, on how he met and toasted her far back at the University of Ife now OAU which he read out during the birthday service. He wrote:
“My dear sugar, when I turned 50, a couple of years ago, behind my back, you wrote a book on my behalf. On this occasion. I have been able to put together a book and it is called, “Keeping It Together”. It showcases your teachings and how you have been able to help Women and we are giving out about a thousand free. So, sweetheart, this is for you. He presented the book to her, and he said Stage 2 is I wrote a tribute for you and I think its best for me to read it out.
It will take you back memory lane. We have been together for 34 years, I am sure your mum does not know that, because when I used to come to your house then, I used to carry a camouflage, a friend will come with me and as we come into the sitting room, she will rise up and go to the room. I thank God for her. For letting us be. My sugar baby, My sweet banana. My chocomilo. My chuchu. My heartbeat. My banana split. My bread pudding. My atata, do you remember that night in December 1980 at the party at Great Ife.
What a night to remember. I and my gang called the Angels of the night had prepared well for that party. I wore my best party dress, a green shirt on green trouser, with my black sling bag filled with loved portions. I brushed my bushy highbrow back and practiced my ID look and also put my left leg forward, and a few lines of song in readiness for what the night will have for me. We got to the party which was already jumping and immediately I noticed what happened to be like an apparition, lonely heart sitting all by herself, seemingly oblivious of what was going on. You were surrounded by wounded men who wanted to ask you for a dance. All the men at the party stood transfixed and kept their distance from this self-confident 16-year-old, enveloped with divinely endowed beauty,
I mused, ‘God obviously must have been showing off when he created her. It was like a thunderbolt, how come during the December rush then, everybody missed this delectable beauty. I noticed your hair, reaching to your hip, beautifully held together. I noticed your lips, enchanting eyes and your legs, I said to myself, this is worth dying for. My friend retorted, this surely is going to be the end of you seeing the casualties on ground, I shunned them off saying its better to know the worse than to wonder. I advanced, left leg forward, eyebrows forward. I gave you the ID look and asked if I could ask you for a dance. You looked up, stunned instantly by the ID look.
You noticed my boldness and coolness in my face. Undeniably, a look of blue blood. You sighed but you still had to say No Thank You. But all I heard was a velvet voice that had the flavour of a cultured highbrow girl, undeterred and by incredible beauty, sartorial taste and amazing poise. I switched gear and I asked for permission to sit on the arm of the chair as I burnt the bridges and there was no going back. I released 7 sentences, in quick succession. You remember. You were breathless and quietly I took your hand, swept you off your feet and took you to the dance floor and as they say, the rest is history. Sweetheart, we learnt that night that there is never a place or time for true love.
It happens accidentally in a habit, in a single flashing moment. Maybe it happened to us that night. Sweetheart, it’s been 34 years since that orchestrated night. You have been a source of inspiration to all and sundry but especially to me and the children. From your physical appearance, dress sense, timeless beauty, to your spirit and spiritual life, your large heart, those thoughts from the inner recesses of your soul, to your incredible wisdom, sheer brilliance, humility, unshakable faith, braveness, boldness, and generosity, leadership qualities, unquenchable thirst to help and put a smile on lonely faces, the depth of your understanding of scriptures, your unflinching loyalty, integrity, and passion for alleviating the plight of women.
My adorable wife, my infinite companion, professional colleague, loving mother of my children, you inspire me. This feat is born out of your exploits in the chambers and works in ministries bringing thousands of women together. You taught me that one can be beautiful and still be spiritual in spite of the amazing sense of embellishment. Sweetheart, your soul is a confluence of love and compassion, which has inspired your work in God’s vineyard. you are beautiful inside and out, an inspiring pastor that spread the fragrance of grace and hope.
Baby, you are born to inspire. Sugar, if my love was an ocean, there will be no land. If my love were a desert, you will only see sand. Why do I love you? I put a tear into the ocean when you find it I will stop loving you. I will use my last breathe to love you. You are worth waking up for my love. Waking up for you is like a suckle that has no beginning or end. With you, I lose myself. Without you I found myself wanting to be lost again. You are my expression of love, I have been loving you too long to stop, I will be your moon after the sun goes down, the rainbow after tears are gone.
I will wrap you in my colours to keep you warm. You make me feel so alive standing by you today, I am all the man you need. When you are weak, I will be strong. As we approach the twilight of our days, may we continue hand in hand and be the best that we can be and together we will finish strong, still blessing humanity by God. Yours PID’’.
Afterwards, he confessed that he had to learn how to play the Saxophone to sing for her and as he played the song, I love you more than I can say. He was also blowing the sax. In response to Pastor ID’s tribute, she also gave her own account of their love that was made in heaven. She wrote: “My sugar. My honey suckle. My apple pie. My atata. I would respond, I can’t sing but I can talk And now you can play the instrument.
We will be together forever knowing our love is fresh. It is old, sure and secured. When your love struck me like lightening, that moment, we met I knew we were made for each other. That moment when your love kept me captive forever, Oko mi. Olowo ori mi. Oko mi atata, our love is enough. Our love does not need a noise. I know it in your tender touch, in your generosity, your care, in your kindness, memories of every time spent together. I say to you I will love you with every sigh, smile, tear, laughter, life, for you Idowu Olusola. I love you now and forever’’. And thereafter they sealed it with a kiss.
Their marriage has waxed stronger for many years and that explains why many young couples look up to them. They are very fond of each other and they never hesitate to show it. As they have been a perfect example, marriage-wise, so is their spiritual life and career life altogether. Their marriage is blessed with adorable children.
Pastor Siju Iluyomade is a lawyer with over 30 years post call experience. She has been in legal practice with her husband since 1987 and she is a founding partner in the law firm of Iluyomade and Iluyomade and Co. Her formative years were spent at Queens College. Pastor Siju founded Handmaidens Women in leadership series and Arise Women which is an NGO. She co-Pastors RCCG City Of David alongside her husband and as wife of the Special Assistant to the General Overseer for CSR and Regional Pastor of Region 20. Since 1999, she has tirelessly provided world-class hospitality at the Redemption Camp during the Holy Ghost Congress. She is also an incurable romantic and accomplished author with a collection of poems and published works She is on the board of various organizations such as Visible Assets Limited, Gods Children Great Talent, Healing Stripes Hospital, River Bank School to mention a few.
Pastor ID attended the International School, University of Ibadan and trained as a Lawyer at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) IIe-Ife and the Nigerian Law School. He was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982 and has since been in private legal practice. As a Lawyer, he is an advocate who enjoys the essence of advocacy and attends Court regularly, representing high net worth clients and blue chip companies. He is a Board Member of Aboil Energy Services Ltd – Managing Director, Axiom IT Systems Ltd -Chairman, Visible Assets Ltd – Chairman among other Boards appointments. He has attended various International Seminars on leadership and training. He is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and Ikoyi Club 1938. He was the Vice Chairman, Pastor Enoch Adeboye Endowment Fund, University of Lagos and University of Ibadan.
– TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI