Pastor Jimmy Odukoya, the renowned Nollywood actor and son of the late Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, has taken the opportunity to clarify his recent appointment as the new lead pastor of the Fountain of Life Church in Ilupeju. In an exclusive interview with BBC Pidgin, he shared important insights into his journey within the ministry, dispelling any misconceptions surrounding his elevation within the church.
It is essential to highlight that Pastor Jimmy Odukoya’s journey in the ministry is not a recent development; it dates back to the year 2009 when he was officially ordained and licensed as a minister. Contrary to popular belief, he has been actively serving as a pastor for well over a decade. This fact underscores his commitment and dedication to his spiritual calling, which extends far beyond what many had assumed.
The official announcement of his appointment as the lead pastor was made on Sunday, September 17, 2023. During the interview, Pastor Odukoya affirmed his new role by stating, “Yes, I am now the lead pastor of the Fountain of Life Church. I was ordained as a minister in 2009, so this is not a recent development.
In 2012, I was ordained as a pastor within this very congregation. Moreover, from 2021, I have been serving as the lead pastor of the youth church, specifically Church 3:16, until 2020 or 2021. Those who are familiar with my journey are aware of these facts, and for those who may not know, there’s no cause for concern. I have been a licensed minister since 2009.”
Addressing a matter of considerable interest, Pastor Jimmy Odukoya discussed the perceived conflict of interest stemming from his parallel involvement in the Nollywood entertainment industry. His acting career, which began to gain prominence, culminated in his remarkable portrayal of Oba Ade in the 2022 Hollywood blockbuster “The Woman King,” where he shared the screen with luminaries like Viola Davis and John Boyega.
The dual responsibilities of ministry and acting presented Pastor Odukoya with a challenging choice, one that many felt he had to make. He emphasized that he is resolute in pursuing both paths simultaneously, albeit with a primary focus on his ministry at this juncture. He eloquently articulated this balance, saying, “When I ventured into acting, there were voices advising me to choose between the ministry and acting, arguing that the church and its congregation might not accept my involvement in entertainment.
However, look at what God has done—I spent six years in an industry that is notoriously difficult to penetrate. It’s a testament to the fact that with God, nothing is impossible. Now, with my father’s passing, my primary focus is, of course, on the church. But this doesn’t mean I’m abandoning acting. Once an actor, always an actor, you know.”
This significant development follows the passing of his father, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, in August 2023. The news of his appointment stirred mixed reactions on social media, with some expressing joy and support, while others voiced skepticism due to his thriving acting career.
Nonetheless, Pastor Jimmy Odukoya is steadfast in his commitment to his ministry as the pastor of a church that was founded back in 1992. His journey exemplifies a harmonious coexistence between faith and artistry, illustrating that one’s spiritual calling can indeed walk hand in hand with a career in the entertainment industry.