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Torrents of Tributes as Dr. Bola Akin John, African Church Growth Apostle asses On

It has been outpouring torrents of tributes, encomiums and commendations as the foremost Apostle of Church Growth Ministries in Africa, Dr. Francis Bola Akin John laid down his sword to join the Saints Triumphant.

The sad news broke out on Saturday 7th October, 2023. Dr. Akin John died at 58 years, and weeks to his 59th birthday.

The cleric gave up his ghost after a brief but severe illness that was reportedly took him to Gbagada State Hospital in Lagos where he eventually died.

The rumour of his death which had been filtering into the ears of his friends and associates was later confirmed by his son, Francis Ibukunoluwa Akin-John, in a message on his father’s social media handle.

The message signed on behalf of the family read, “The entire family of Akin- John and the International Church Growth Ministry, is deeply saddened to announce to the public in general that our father, grandfather, teacher of the truth, God’s General, the Growth man, Dr. Francis Bola Akin-John, after a brief illness, slept in the Lord on the 6th of October 2023 in Lagos, Nigeria. He passed on from death to eternal life. He will forever be in our hearts.”

Since the death of this Pastor of pastors became public, messages have been pouring in from all quarters to appreciate the life of impacts the cleric lived.

A message of tributes sent in by Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, the President of Journalists For Christ and Media Career Services wrote, “We have not been in touch for a while, but I have fond memories of my relationship with him and his support for my Christian media work and career.

He took interest in our Journalists for Christ ministry and supported us in many ways, including sponsoring a training programme and donating a computer for our operations. I’m aware of his support for many Christian media organizations through his patronage and encouragement.

He challenged me to maximize the use of my media skills, noting that if he could do what he was doing with his limited formal education at that time I could do much more.

I remember him telling me that the problem with many of us who are supposedly better educated than people like him is that we are perfectionists and never get to implement good ideas we have the capacity to do and improve on whatever is required later.

Knowing the story of how he founded the Institute, organized programmes across the country and abroad, published so many books and other initiatives has always inspired me. He will be remembered for his invaluable contributions to Church Growth and spread of the gospel worldwide. May his soul rest in peace.

To Dr. Sunday Adelaja, the Nigerian Ukraine based Pastor, Nigerian Church has just lost our best teacher, and a brother. Rest in peace Dr. Francis Bola Akin-John.

“A GOD’S GENERAL IS GONE” wrote Pastor Bisi Adewale, a marriage teacher and counselor.

He continued, “Good night Dr. Francis Bola Akin John, President of Church Growth Ministry International. The General of God, teacher and church expert. Your Church Growth teachings is unique and effective in every way. Your unique ministry cannot be duplicated. Your resourcefulness can not be compared to anyone, In fact I do tell people you have machine pens that write day and night. Your level of Wisdom is great and exceptional. Your humorous, deep and incisive teachings cannot be compared to anyone. You came, you fought, you conquered. Rest in peace.”

“A gospel and ministry heavyweight champion Dr Francis Bola Akin John goes home.

The news of your transition to glory hit me yesterday like a bomb. But I took solace in that you only have changed address. We only have one of your tribe in a generation. Your person and ministry impacted my life tremendously. I loved and enjoyed watching you minister with an unusual air of simplicity, humour and biblical correctness. What a dimension you showed our generation. You loved, believed and celebrated me passionately in the days of your flesh. I am convinced the impact of your ministry will linger on for many generations. Your family and the Church Growth Institute will go from glory to glory, as we watch God amaze the world with the harvest of your labour in Jesus mighty name. Adieu God’s General,” wrote Pastor Soji John.

Dr. Francis Bola Akin-John, according to Dr Impact Goodman Vine Umunna, President/Founder, Impact Stars International, will forever be honored as an Apostle of Healthy Church Growth.


He wrote, “There are people who pursue a goal, they get distracted and abandon it. You held on to your God-given mandate, and took it to the nations of the world, impacted millions of Pastors, Churches and more. Till your last day on earth, you maintained your focus. Today, I salute an admirable General in the Army of God. He is unique and inspiring. Thank you Daddy for all the training, private mentoring sessions, support and impartation, we will miss you on this side of the divide, but we are consoled that you finished well and your legacies are with us. Farewell my Church Growth Mentor/Instructor.”

In his own tribute, Gbenga Osinaike, publisher of ChurchTimesNigeria also wrote his observations about the deceased. He said, “Watching him from the sideline, I saw a man who bestrode the church world like a colossus, engaging church leaders and championing a silent revolution in the church community. His last fight was the fight to allow the local church to breathe. He was against the feudal system that held many churches bound. He questioned the idea of small churches feeding the headquarters churches with their income. Rather, he had advocated that only a fraction of their income should be sent to headquarters of churches so that the small churches could grow.

He had this down-to-earth marketplace approach to Church issues that endeared him to many church leaders. He was practical and scientific in his various interventions. His passion was to find solutions to knotty problems in the church. Just like a medical doctor, he had an uncanny ability to detect sickness and diseases in the Church. He was quick to proffer solutions.

In his almost 59 years alive, Dr. Bola Akin John spent almost 30 years as a Church Growth evangelist. From his humble beginning and little education, he grew and developed himself to a global preacher, and a top sort after Church Growth consultant. Whatever is said about him, he came and lived his ministry. He fulfilled his vision. May his soul rest in peace.

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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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