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Funmi Adewole. To be exact my full name is Olufunmilayo M. Folashade Adewole, which means, "God gives me joy" and "I adorn a crown of wealth." A very simple name however, embodies my life's philosophy as it relates to my relationship with God and with others. I was born on January 29, 1967 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am the third of six children with two brothers and three sisters. I am often asked; who am I closest to and the truth is… we all have close and solid relationships. The early part of my childhood was spent in Lagos at Grace Children's School but due to a change in family structure, I relocated to Ibadan and started attending Alafia Nursery and Primary School. Alafia was a boarding school and being nine-years old at the time, I missed home terribly.
I started my secondary school education, which is equivalent to 8th to 12th grade in the US at St. Anne’s School (another boarding school), Molete, Ibadan and in 1976 I took my final year examinations called General Certificate Examinations (GCE) in 1981. Taking and passing the GCE at that time marked the completion of High School and qualified you to apply for admission into universities in Nigeria. Unfortunately, I failed my GCE and had to return to St. Anne’s to retake them. There are often many emotions associated with going back to your old school to repeat your GCEs; from the shame of being in a class with people who were once your juniors to the pressure of passing the exams at all cost. The year would however turn out to be a significant one in my life. I remember vividly one evening at school walking with a friend who told me about Jesus and it all made sense. In that moment, at that time, I gave my life to Christ and by His grace I have not looked back. Shortly after, I learned about the Holy Spirit and received my Baptism in the Spirit at my bedside in the same year. Before I knew it, I was praying and worshiping in a new tongue. These experiences were quite intense and exciting for a fourteen-year-old!
After my secondary school education, I attended University of Ibadan and received a Bachelor’s of Science (BSc) in 1986 in Zoology and later in 1988, a Master’s of Science (MSc) in veterinary parasitology at the same university. One of the reasons I picked my Masters in Parasitology is my interest in preventive care i.e., acquiring the knowledge to help make educated choices. I met my husband, Bayo Adewole in 1988 at the Scripture Pasture Christian Center, Ibadan. In that same year, I began my Doctorate in Parasitology which I discontinued after a year due to my dissatisfaction with the learning experience.
Shortly after I got married, we moved to Lagos, Nigeria. In 1991 we became members of RCCG Apapa Parish, Lagos Nigeria. I was involved as a worker in many departments however, my love continued to be in Christian Education. I was ordained as an Assistant Pastor in July 1996. I think it is important for me to interject that I love to make, organize, and put things together. What started as a hobby became a successful business – Bafunel Limited.
In 1996, I relocated to the United States with my husband and two children under the age of five. There was not much time to adjust to our new surroundings because of the start-up of Jesus House Chicago out of a hand full of people who met for fellowship regularly. During this time, I was a young wife and mother with a new role added to my repertoire- a Senior Pastor’s wife. Again, I was faced with new possibilities and I had to remind myself of my ultimate purpose to bring joy and impact people with knowledge so as to educate them.
America is exciting because it has a plethora of knowledge. I started to navigate this opportunity by receiving a Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in 2001 and also gave birth to our youngest child a month after graduation. In June 2003, I was ordained as a Full Pastor in Texas. I still wanted to alleviate human suffering in the physical realm and make a difference in this world in a tangible manner, so I enrolled in nursing school and received a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2006. I actually completed it in an accelerated program because the sooner I finished; the quicker I could begin to make change. My goal to educate and assist people especially as it relates to health further drove me to enroll in a Masters of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN FNP) program which I finished in December 2012 with distinction, even with my diagnosis.
Spiritually, I believe that good Christian knowledge and education work hand in hand to help us make better spiritual choices, align us with the will of God and assist us to have a more Christ-like character in all arenas of our lives thereby helping us avoid the consequences of unwise mistakes we could have made. In a nutshell, preventive methods are important in our spiritual, emotional, and physical lives
Twenty three years of marriage, two teenagers, one child, and sixteen years of ministry later, my purpose remains the same even though my approach might change. I am a woman, a wife, mother, a teacher, a counselor, an educator, a sister, a mentor, a mentee, a loyal friend, a good listener and an encourager. I am by no means perfect but I Olufunmilayo M. Folashade Adewole, a person who Christ died for and redeemed from her sins; I am born again.