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Caleb Adeogun, beloved retired Nigerian Adventist leader, passes at 84

First African elected a division executive secretary, was son of a pioneering Nigerian pastor.

Caleb Adeogun, beloved retired Nigerian Adventist leader, passes at 84

Caleb Adeogun served as the first Nigerian-born secretary and president of the Nigeria Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria. [photo: Adventist Review]

Seventh-day Adventist pastor Caleb Oyelayo Adeogun, 84, the first African elected executive secretary of his home division and the first Nigerian secretary and then president of his country’s union mission, passed to his rest on December 2.

The first child of a pioneering Seventh-day Adventist convert and pastor in Nigeria, the late Joseph Adeyemo Adeogun, Caleb served the Seventh-day Adventist church all his life. He was a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he received his bachelor’s degree, as well as church-owned Andrews University, where he received a master of arts in English.

Adeogun held different positions in denominational service: teaching at the Adventist Grammar School, Ede, and Registrar and Acting Principal of the Adventist College of West Africa, which his father Joseph co-founded. Today, that school is known as Babcock University, and is one of the premiere educational institutions in Nigeria.

Caleb Adeogun later served as the first Nigerian-born secretary and president of the Nigeria Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria. In 1990, he became the first African to serve as executive secretary of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division, retiring from that position in 2000.

Ted N.C. Wilson, world church president, served in West Africa during the time Adeogun was Nigerian Union Mission President. Via email, he paid tribute to his former colleague: “Pastor Adeogun was a long time leader in God’s church in Nigeria and in the West-Central Africa Division. It was a privilege to work with him while serving in that territory some years ago.We are grateful for the dedicated service of Pastor and Mrs Adeogun as they helped to bring the three angels’ messages to West Africa. I spoke with Mrs. Adeogun recently thanking her for the contributions to God’s work and the dedicated service of her husband. What happy news that Jesus is coming soon!"

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Adeogun, and children Moyosore Ajayi; Caleb Olugbenga Adeogun; Ayotunde Adeogun; Oyinkansola Ajetunmobi; James Adeogun; Comfort Kenya; 11 grandchildren; two brothers, and many other loving relatives and friends.

Caleb was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Comfort Adeogun; sisters, Elizabeth Fakeye, Dorcas Omolabi and a brother, Titus Adeogun.