Pastor Jimmy Odukoya, the Nollywood actor and son of Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, has addressed the misconceptions surrounding his recent appointment as the new lead pastor of the Fountain of Life Church Ilupeju.
In an interview with BBC Pidgin, he clarified that he has held an ordained and licensed ministerial position since 2009 and has been actively serving as a pastor for over a decade, contrary to popular belief.
Confirming his appointment as the lead pastor, which was officially announced on Sunday, September 17, 2023, Odukoya stated,
“Yes, I am now the lead pastor of the Fountain of Life church. I was ordained as a minister in 2009 so no be today, then I was ordained as a pastor in this Fountain of Life Church in 2012. So since 2021, I was the lead pastor of the youth church; church 3:16 till 2020 or 2021. So for those who know, they know and for those who don’t know, no wahala. I’ve been a part of this ministry as a licenced minister since 2009.”
The pastor-actor, Jimmy Odukoya, also tackled the issue of potential conflicts of interest arising from his entrance into the Nollywood entertainment industry. His acting career gained momentum, culminating in his prominent role as Oba Ade in the 2022 Hollywood film “The Woman King,” where he shared the screen with acclaimed actors Viola Davis and John Boyega.
He acknowledged that he was confronted with the decision of choosing between his pastoral duties and his acting career. However, he affirmed his commitment to pursuing both endeavors gradually. At the moment, he emphasized his full dedication to his ministry, stating,
“When I started acting, people told me that I had to pick one between the ministry and acting because the church and people won’t accept acting. But look at what God did, I was in the entertainment industry for six years; that’s in an industry that is very hard to break into. That just showed me that with God nothing is impossible. But now that my father is gone obviously my focus is on the church, but that does not mean that I can’t act anymore; once an actor, always an actor you know.”
This follows his recent appointment as the head pastor of the church, a position he assumed after the passing of his father, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, in August 2023. The announcement of his new role received a range of responses on social media, including expressions of joy from some and skepticism from others due to his involvement in the entertainment industry.
Nevertheless, Odukoya has firmly emphasized that his primary commitment is to his pastoral role in the church, which was established in 1992.