Pastor Olusegun Abiodun Longe: A Foremost Reformed Minister in Nigeria Goes Home

By: Deji Yesufu

In the latter part of 2018, I attended the Lagos Bible Conference organized by Sovereign Grace Bible Church. At the conference, I met with Brother Alaba Ajileye, and he shared his concerns with me about the inability of people with reformed persuasions to work together. He explained that in his estimation, we tend to divide more than unite. Up till that time, I had had my own share of division with churches, so I understood his point – putting his advice into practice was, however, another matter. As the conference drew to an end (we were housed at the same facility where the conference held), I needed to remain in Lagos for another three days so as to attend to a matter on the Island. I did not have money to stay in a hotel, so I approached Alaba and shared my desire to stay at the hostel facility the church had rented for the conference. I would never forget the looks on his face: it was something of “how would you imagine staying in a hostel facility when you could easily stay with anyone in the church”. He replied: “Brother Deji, you will stay in my house until your business in Lagos is done”. That is how I became friends with Brother and Sister Alaba Ajileye.

On one of the days I was at their house, Brother Alaba informed me that he needed to visit his father-in-law and see how he was doing. At that time, the Ajileyes stayed somewhere close to the Berger area of Ojodu, Lagos, and had not moved to their site at Mowe. His father-in-law, Pastor Olusegun Abiodun Longe, stayed also at Mowe. In fact, his house was just a stone throw from the RCCG’s campground on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. “Would you like to come along and see Baba…?” Brother Alaba asked. Of course, I would. I have heard a lot on Baba Longe. Tolu Ajileye, his daughter, wrote this glowing tribute on him, and you can read that to learn more about Baba there. As of that time, I knew that Baba was one of the pioneer ministers of Reformed Baptist Christianity in Nigeria. Baba Longe had been a member of Shepherd’s Hill Baptist Church for many years until, as you might have guessed, there was a split, and Baba and a few families in the church began to meet at a separate place. That gathering became Upper Room Baptist Church, and Pastor Longe was appointed their first minister.

From Tolu’s tribute, I also learnt that it was Pastor E. A. Adeboye that ordained Baba Longe into the ministry. I understand that Baba and Adeboye were friends for many years and used to study the Bible together until theological differences separated them. My experience meeting Pastor Longe that day is something I would never forget. He explained to me the importance of the 1689 confessions – he told me he believes everything written in that document, all in the light of what scripture teaches. He asked me to enter his sprawling library and take any book I needed for the research I was conducting at that time to write my final thesis at seminary. Baba Longe was almost blind at this time, owing to his years of battle with glaucoma, but he had a keen grasp of his environment, and you could tell that he enjoyed my visit – speaking freely on many things that concerned the Christian faith in Nigeria.

Pastor ‘Biodun Longe, Pastor Aniekan Ekpo, and Pastor Tony Okoroh started the Lagos Bible Conference in the early 2000s, with support from Pastor Joe Jackowitz. But, again, as you might have guessed, all three Nigerian ministers no longer work together today because of this tendency for all of us Baptists to split (remember the words of Alaba at the beginning of this essay). This essay is meant to honour the memory of Pastor Longe, so I would not be spending time writing about details of splits – which sincerely I do not have all the information on. Suffice to say here, however, that a leading father and minister of the Reformed Baptist faith died in February 2024, and his death reminds me of where all of us, Baptist and otherwise, are going. We are all heading to heaven where we will give an account of all of our actions in this life. I am convinced that anyone who holds to a hearty acceptance of the Reformed Baptist message and obeys the commandments of Jesus Christ – I believe that that person will go to heaven. I, however, fear that our effectiveness on the face of the earth will be greatly hampered by our own sins and flesh.

It is these sins and flesh that are the cause of the frequent splits, slanders, backbiting, and ineffectiveness of we reformed Baptists in a nation dying to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that many of us will go to heaven, but I fear that the manner we are carrying out ministry in this country will result in little or no reward from our Lord and Master. Recently, I had a bike accident, where I hit my head on concrete. It was the helmet that I was wearing that took the blow; I did not even have a headache. That same day, I saw a young man in the hospital who had just experienced a bike accident too, but because he was not wearing a helmet – he had head injury and may be dead right now. The message to me was clear: I am living on borrowed time.  I can not live the rest of my life chained to the opinion of people or in the fear of what people can do to me. There is only one opinion worth living for, and that is those of Jesus Christ.

This week, Pastor Longe would be laid to mother-earth. Those of us in the reformed community should regard his death as the first of many to come. All of us are heading to heaven to give an account of how we lived on earth. Let us remind ourselves of the things that matter and let us put aside the things that are not important. What is foremost in the heart of the Master is that you, reading this piece, have found peace with your God and Master. The second thing that is most important to Jesus Christ is that whatever else we do, we must ensure that we are using our resources to share the gospel with the lost. There is a world of sinners out there. There are Muslims; there are Pentecostals lost to a gospel of health and wealth; there is a rising army of atheists among Nigerian Youths; and there is no end to false religion in our world. I believe that the concern of our Lord and Master is how those of us with sincere faith in Christ might share the gospel with these people.

This is why I think Alaba approached me that night in 2018 during the conference and told me that we must do everything to unite together to preach the gospel. I am certain I have not done this well. I hope that the Lord will grant that I use the rest of my days to work with like-minded brothers to bring the gospel to the lost. Issues concerning church life; how money is spent; apologetics; and so on are secondary matters. What is primary is that the time is short and the Master will soon be calling many of us home. We will go to heaven – Jesus has made certain of that reality by his death and resurrection on the cross. But will we hear “well done, thou good and faithful servant”? That is another matter. Serving Jesus Christ with the resources he has given us is what is paramount today. I pray that the Lord will help us to finish well as Pastor Olusegun Abiodun Longe did.


Posted by Deji Yesufu


  1. Bro Noah O. Francis May 6, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    We shall die in Christ Jesus not as a church member of one denomination or others but as the children of God whose believe is in the scriptures. Only the scriptures will be used to judge everyone of us who died in Christ Jesus.

    My condolences to the father of my colleagues in sovereign grace bible seminary, bro and sister alaba


  2. Atiang Jonathan May 6, 2024 at 3:34 pm

    Farewell to an icon of orthodox and Christ-centred faith. However, I must confess that as a new member of the Reformed community still trying to find my footing, these stories of divisions and lack of unity are beginning to dissaude me from having any official affiliations with the community I so love and pray for daily. The Lord is setting open doors to the hearts of young Nigerians, but, I am quite sure that many of us will rarher remain where we are with some defunt theology than enter into a work already disintegrating wven before it had begun. May God give all of you our elder brothers the wisdom to act appropriately and fast.


    1. Amen.

      I draw attention to these matters of division bc it is a great archile heel of reformed people, beginning with Luther himself. When we know our weakness, we can adequately attend to it. I’ll still encourage that you affiliate with reformed people. Divisions are everywhere. We are only honest about ours.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *