By Eric Elezuo
Many people have tried albeit unsuccessfully to define this woman; some say she is a shinning star; some say she is an ebullient preacher and compassionate visioner; some say she has surpassed the gravity of philanthropism while others see her as God’s gift to every facet of humanity. However, Reverend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, the dutiful wife of Reverend (Dr.) Ademuyiwa Ajayi and Founder, Esther Ajayi Founation as well as the Minister in Charge, Love of Christ Generation Church (C and S) in Clapham, England, is just a simple mother, wife and strict adherer to the commission the Almighty God has placed in her hands; a commission she has not looked back in bringing to fruition. And to crown it all, she is a woman after so many hearts.
Iya Adura, as she is fondly called, is a woman who does not take the message of hope delivered from God, and the betterment of mankind for granted.
Born many years ago of Awori Lagos parents, who are of blessed memory, Reverend Esther Ajayi reveals that her father is from Agboyi while her mum is from Ikotun.
Recalling how her road to pastoral calling came to fruition, she said during an interview:
“I recall when I was age 14 or 15, and my mother was ill. I was called to come and pray for her because she was lying down in the room and had sweats all over her. I prayed for her and the next day, everyone started thanking me that my mum was healed. I just looked and wondered what was happening.
“Then, I remember a particular woman was pregnant and was long overdue for delivery. I just told her to bring a bowl of water and I instructed her to walk over the water and also drink it. She did and started having contractions. She named the baby, Oluwasanmi.
Then, there was the time the prophetess (Rev Esther Oguntoyinbo) I went to in Abuja also asked that I prayed for her that God wanted to use me. I see it as unmerited favour from God.”
The woman of prayer grew up in Lagos, where she had her early education. It is on record that before dedicating her life to full time ministry, she excelled in entrepreneurship and rode high in the corporate world as a successful business woman.
Having developed her faith in the Cherubim and Seraphim sect, she worked tirelessly to become an accomplished Christian leader, and followed it up with philanthropism of the highest level in addition to gaining real passion for prayer and giving, making both the foundational pillars of her life
It will be an understatement to say that Iya Adura has dedicated much of her life to supporting grassroots initiatives which has seen her touch thousands of lives and receive unnumbered awards in the course of her philanthropic acts. It will be remembered that during her cameo appearance during the 2017 Ovation Carol, where she was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame, she made a promise to affect one million lives in the coming year. It is on record that she fulfilled the promised even before the fifth month of the year. By the time the year came to an end, many has lost count of her deeds to better the lives of the needy and the general public. Mama, as many call her, is simply wonderful. She is believed to be a rare gift to the world at this time.
Mama is not just an avid theologian and scholar of the Bible, who holds a BA degree in Biblical Theology from Faith Bible College Sango-Ota along with other academic honours, she is a practicing Christian, whose oft-quoted lines are ‘giving is my character, gratitude is my attitude’. She has practically turned humanitarianism and philanthropism to simplicity, an effortless activity.
Apart from making significant contributions to the work of the church physically, financially and spiritually across denominations and many continents, Reverend Mother Ajayi has lifted not a few from poverty, seen to the restoration of health of thousands across races. As a result, she holds the title of Matron and financial supporter in more churches in Nigeria and other countries of the world than anyone can remember. Mama Ajayi is like a polygamist, who does not know all her numerous biological children, but effortlessly reaches out to each and everyone of them. This is considering the reach of her hand of fellowship and camaraderie to all and sundry, even to as many that she has not come in physical contact with.
Without sounding boisterous, Mama’s goodness is practically legendary!
In 2007, Iya Adura established her own church named Love of Christ Generation Church C&S in London, after what she believes rules the world. It took less than eight years for the church to witness a massive turnaround in both followership and wealth, culminating in the relocation in 2015, to a newly renovated Cathedral in Clapham, London, where she now pastors a congregation with hundreds of worshippers and thousands of social media followers everyday.
In her wisdom, she devised a better means of reaching out to the teaming needy, and so the birth of Esther Ajayi Foundation, which holistically cater for people seeking help, with special emphasis to the homeless, poor, handicapped and underprivileged.
An avid traveller, Mama Ajayi has practically criss-crossed the length and breadth of the universe, dishing out the undiluted gospel of Jesus Christ with signs and wonders following. Not only that, she follows up every of her ministration with mind bugging contributions to both individuals and institutions. It must be known that she never makes any lip service pronouncement. Every pronouncement she makes is followed up immediately, and the fruits visible within days for small projects, and weeks for mega projects
A woman, who has sworn never to be involved in politics, Mama’s work has remained instrumental to her ever growing fame across nations. There’s hardly a place she is not known. She has, out of a dint of hard work, carved a God given niche for herself and generations unborn as her philanthropic gestures are felt across the world including United Kingdom, Israel, United States of America, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, Nigeria and many other parts of Africa.
Reverend Ajayi’s Celebrate The Comforter crusade has become a jamboree of some sort, uniting all the white garment churches in existence including the Celestial Church of Christ and all the other branches of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church worldwide. Beginning from 2017 when the first crusade was held in Clapham, London to United Palace in New York in 2018 and to Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, Nigeria in 2019, the retreat has been highly soul lifting. In July 2020, Mama will be opening her about 4000 seater ultra modern church in Victoria Island. The celebration promises to be turbo-charged.
Iya Adura is a great bridge builder, connecting the down trodden with the elites and movers and shakers of the society across the continents. Her influence in secular, political and traditional platforms has brought a positive change in governance, and how people relate with one another. She has succeeded in demystifying the myth surrounding the white garment churches, setting a new standard for the sect, tailored along respect and self discipline.
Space will not permit to mention one after another all the charity works and sponsorship projects Esther Ajayi has done win the past years, but somehow, this woman has reached so many people.
Reverend Esther is blessed with a wonderful husband, Rev Ajayi, four glorious children including Ola, Michael, Lisa and a host of other dependents.
On April 2, she celebrated another landmark as God blessed her with another year on earth.
A woman after many hearts, words are not enough to celebrate her invincibility of Reverend Mother Esther Ajayi and so, we can’t but celebrate you ma, as an amazon of goodness, an exceptional giver and God’s mouthpiece!