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%AM, %27 %395 %2014 %08:%Aug

Nigeria's Oldest Pastor Dies

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Indications emerged on Tuesday that the Founder and President of the Gospel Apostolic Church, Pa Samuel Sadela has passed on.

He is said to have been 114 years old. 

Although the congregation have refused to speak on his passing, and a senior pastor in the church reportedly claimed that the man described as one of Nigeria's oldest pastors could still be receiving treatment in a hospital, he was said to have died in the premises of the church in Lagos.

The church was said to have opened a condolence register for the man of God who remained sensational even as a very old man.

Pa Samuel Sadela was a native of Ondo State. He attended St. Paul's Anglican Primary School, Ifon, Osun State, but had to drop out when he travelled to Sapele, Delta State, to work as a houseboy to one Captain Pullen, a District Officer. Samuel Sadela retraced his steps however, and by 1920, he had completed his Standard six education.

His pastoral calling started in 1928 when he visited the famous Prophet Moses Orimolade of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church.

According to reports, he first got married in 1934, with the marriage lasting for 21 years. It is reported that none of the couple's seven children lived beyond their infancy. Sadela then had a second marriage, said to have been consummated in 1965, and was blessed with four children, but only two survived. The second wife died in 2001.

The cleric, who claimed angels taught him to read the Holy Bible when he was only two years of age, raised eye-brows when at the age of 107, he got married to a woman who was 77 years his junior.

The pastor said he derived his strength from God after marrying a 30-year old woman. "The Lord is my strength. I am very strong and energetic", they quoted him as saying after the wedding in Lagos. The marriage with Christians Sadela is "a fulfillment of the scripture and worthy of thanksgiving and appreciation to God", his church said in a statement. "Nothing is impossible for God", he said.

When he marked his 113th birthday last year, the aged pastor had expressed his hope to live up to 200 years of age.

He had said "I feel happy to be this old. Actually, I feel like a young man. I still enjoy the meal of Iyan (pounded yam), Eba, and bush meat. I sleep whenever I want to and wake up stronger. I want to live longer to prove to all that God remains the same as He was in times past. If Methuselah could live for 969 years, God can make me live beyond 113. If Noah could be 950, it is not too much for Him to make me live up to 200."

Even if that wish was not granted, Sadela left an indelible imprint in the hearts of his members and admirers around the world.

Meanwhile, reactions from clerics have greeted his death. The Osun State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Elisha Ogundiya, in a phone interview with a correspondent from Punch Newspaper, expressed shock at Sadela's passing. He prayed that God will "comfort his family".

Similarly, the founder of Christ Overcomer's Assembly, Rev. Dipo Filani, described Sadela as a highly respected man of God.

"He was one of the oldest pastors alive in Nigeria. There was a time he said miracles started taking place in his ministry when he was 90 years".

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