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The family of Deacon Olusola Joshua Sowole, a Nigerian based in Atlanta Georgia, United States of America has been thrown into mourning following the death of one of their own.

Deacon Sowole died in an auto crash which occurred in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States of America on August 16, 2023. 

The deceased until his death was a 48-year-old worker of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and a staff at United Parcel Service (UPS ) in the country.

Reports by Taiwo Abiodun who visited the bereaved family in the US wrote on how the sad event has devastated the family.

The sad news of Deacon Olusola Joshua Sowole who died in an auto crash recently in Atlanta Georgia was shocking not only to the immediate family members, church members, co-workers but also to his aged mother who is presently in America, preparing for her birthday when the tragedy struck. One could read the agony of a mother from her face.

Agony of a Mother

As this reporter met the old woman whose hair was as white as snow reading some marked Bible passages from her Apple iPad, once in a while gave a heavy sigh, shook her head and soliloquized. She paused reading the Bible verses aloud, then removed her reading glasses and gazed at the wall.   

”Do you mean I would not see my son again? Is this how life is supposed to treat me? It’s unfair. At my old age to have this type of bitter experience? I am in pain. I am in total sorrow. Why did death not take me away instead of my son? ”, she sobbed. Her questions could not be answered by the wall while this Reporter could only console her to take heart and that God knows the best.  Once in a while her daughter, Abosede and her husband, Dayo whom she stayed with would come in to check on her and console the distraught septuagenarian in her room.  

The deceased’s wife,  Rachel Bolade’s  voice was laden with emotion as her  voice was cracking while talking to this reporter. She was devastated. She said everything was still like a dream to her.

Narrating what happened, Rachael said ”I still cannot believe this tragedy. I was shocked beyond words.  I cried and cried but my tears could not wake him up”.

She continued ”He worked as Safety and Compliance Specialist at UPS and  went to work around 2:30 am. On that fateful morning  I could recall that I received a call at 5am from Grady Memorial Hospital that my husband was involved in a car accident .On getting to the hospital they broke the bad news to me ”. 

She went further, ”I saw his lifeless body lying as if he was asleep. His identity card was on him. Even when the accident happened his watch called 911, his watch also sent me  a text  message  which he saved as Emergency Contact. His phone texted me that he was involved in an accident. I didn’t see the text until morning because I was sleeping when he left for work.

Asked whether she had any premonition of his death but the woman replied ”No, I never had any ”

According to her, ”It was reported that the other driver was said to have wrongly  driven one way on the highway, facing my late husband who was rightly in his lane and this  led to head-on- collision.  It happened between 3.00 and 3:30 am. The remains of my late husband were interred in Rest Haven of Memory, Decatur, Georgia”.

When asked why they did not bring his remains back to Nigeria, she said ”there is no sense in taking his remains home”.

Asked to comment on the driver who caused the accident, the bereaved widow said ”I cannot comment for now because the police are still investigating”.

On whether it is true that the young man who caused the accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the woman insisted that the case was with the Police and she would not say more than that.

Pressed further whether her husband used to take alcohol, she again said ” My husband had never smoked or taken alcohol since I knew him. He was a Deacon in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Family Praise Chapel  Decacur, Atlanta Georgia here. He was a mentor to many, especially the Young Excited Soldiers (Y.E.S youth)’ and the young adults (Hydration team John 7;37).

Breaking the News

Abosede, the older sister to the late deceased said ” the news was shocking. I called my Pastor to break the news to my mother who is living with me here in Colorado. I don’t want an outsider to break the news to her so I called my pastor and some elders to come and talk to her. I even called those who know our movement.”

The mother of the late Deacon said” I called my late son on the 15th August, we exchanged greetings  and I asked after his welfare. We spoke till 10 o’ clock  in the evening until my daughter came to me . There were some of the congregation in his church who always sent me gifts. I asked after all his church members’.

”I reminded him that they should not do anything elaborate for my birthday but to give me money to send to the needy in Nigeria. I even called his wife and told her not to send anything to me in December, the Christmas period but to send money to me to give to some Nigerians who are in need.

“I don’t know why the death did not take me away in place of my son while the ugly incident happened the following day, the 16th.  On the 16th of August my daughter did not call me . But my son in-law, Dayo came to me, he asked what I would eat. When it was 9pm my son in-law asked me to go in, later they systematically seized my phone. Suddenly I saw our church pastor who came unannounced. Then many people were coming in, one after  the other  I asked what was the matter, they then broke the ugly news to me, I am very very sad.’

 His Life and Times

Born on December 11, 1974 into the family of Johnson Adeoye Sowole and Cecilia Sowole in Ijebu–Isara, Ogun State, the late Deacon was a graduate of Lagos State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts. He later relocated to Atlanta Georgia where he bagged his Masters in Business and Healthcare Administration in South University, in June 2018. At the time of his passing away he was a Safety and Compliance Specialist at UPS   in Atlanta Georgia. He was married to his heartthrob, Rachael who had two boys for him. 


A church member, (who does not want her surname in print) wrote” Pastor Joshua’s smile reached his eyes. There was something about him that quickly put people at ease. He got along so well with all age groups at church: the children, the teenagers and the young  adults especially. Most people would tell you about his warm hugs that gave comfort and encouragement.

He was God’s planting at RCCG Family Praise Chapel, the father, mentor and role model that God used to inspire us all to good works”. 

Another Church member wrote in the tribute that ”Pastor Joshua was many  things – he was  our youth pastor, which is why many of us call him Pastor Joshua, a dedicated worker, an organizer, and a servant leader who impacted every area of this church. But we members of the Drama Ministry had the honour and privilege of knowing him as creative.

Pastor Joshua was anointed by God with many talents. He was an Actor, Director, Writer, Host/Emcee. Comedian, Dancer, Singer, Producer, and Cinematographer,” Omenka Nwachukwu a member of Hydration Department wrote. 

One of his co-workers at UPS, Michelle (surname withheld) wrote ”I am honoured to have met  and worked with you at UPS  and I am saddened to hear of your passing. I will never forget how rewarding our conversations about Africa, God, work and society were and I thank you for being both my brother and friend. I will most definitely say your name when I journey to Africa. Rest on my brother”,   

His elder sister, Abosede described his brother as a special human being  who was caring and loved everybody. She said ”I will miss him, my family will miss him, the church will miss him. He was our family pillar. Our mother cries everyday here in Colorado and we always console her. But what can we do?. We cannot query God. He knows the best”.

 Roland Ifedayo Kayode (JOKS) who is an in-law to the deceased described the late Deacon as a man of impeccable character, in his words, he said ” My late brother  in-law was a Deacon in RCCG, he used to come here  to see her mother in Colorado. He  called his mother on phone almost everyday while my wife , his sister called him everyday too .I am completely down and confused as I ask myself  why do good people die early?”

In her tribute, Rachael his wife  wrote  ” Hmmmmmmm. Olusola mi I do not know how to write this but  I will do my best. My dear husband you left  us unexpectedly on August 16th after a ghastly car accident by a wrong-way driver. You were the only man I have ever known because when I met you in 1999…… I knew I need not to look any further. Thank you for the brief time we spent together as a family. You showed me what true love meant. You will never say no, whenever I asked you for anything. Thank you for embedding some such Godly principles into our boys…. I remembered my 40th birthday, how you celebrated my birthday for  five days with different activities and unforgettable surprises. Last week you asked me what I wanted for our wedding anniversary on September 1…Sweetheart if tears could bring you back you would have been back. I love you more than words could express. You were the true definition of a complete man. You made marrying you a bliss. Life can never be the same  without my loving husband, However, I take solace in knowing that you are  in the bosom  of the Lord.” 



Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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