Ilese Archdeaconry

The earliest converts into Christianity were some llese trader who came into contact with Christian Missionaries during their business trips to Lagos and Ibadan. These llese traders were fascinated by the skill of the Missionaries at reading and writing, and also attracted to the Christianized Sierra Leonian freed slaves. When these traders returned home they became teachers of their people. They met privately and secretly for prayers for fear of being attacked by their pagan relations and friends.
The Imagbon war of 1892 and the British officials penetration into Ijebu, however improved the fortunes of the early Christians all over Ijebu Land. The gloom and fear, which hitherto had lung over, the religious activities of the Christians began to disappear. The Christian converts at Ilese met Christian Missionaries at ltalupe and Italowajoda in ijebu – Ode. They became catechumens who traveled to Italupe for morning prayers, Bible class meeting and Church services.
The Converts met in public for the first time at the Mokiti Market, opposite the present Church and continued till about 1898 when a fairly large piece of land was purchased from Pa. Oguntaliyo with a token fee of 10 bags of cowries. By about 1898 the first Church was created and roofed with thatch. The Church was expanded and roofed with corrugated iron sheets in 1903. Notable among early Christian leaders were Emmanuel Osiyemi, Daniel Adenugba, Josiah Osinuga, Joseph Osinowo, Emmanuel Obanubi, Ezekiel Obayomi, Samuel Osibajo Joel Ige, Jacob Oremosu, Isaac Adebanjo, Samson Juwo and many other men and women.
The Obaneye age – group purchased the Church bell in 1904 at cost of seven pounds sterling. The first baptisional service took place on June 26, 1904. The Church continued to be led by teachers and later trained catechists until 1958 when a resident minister in person of Rev. J. B. Odo was posted to llese.
The Ilese Archdeaconry was inaugurated by the Lord Bishop of Ijebu, the Rt Rev. (Prof) J. Akin Omoyajowo on Saturday January 27, 2001 and it comprises, St Paul’s Church, llese, St. Andrew’s Church, Ilone, St. Matthias’ Church, Ogojore, The Church of the Abundant Grace of God, Esuru and St. Barnabas’ Church, Idomowo. An ultra – modern centenary Church Hall was dedicated soon after the inauguration of the Archdeaconry by the, Rt Rev. (Prof) J. Akin Omoyajowo on January 27, 2001.