This is the Youth community of the Cathedral of St James the Great. A Forum was started in 1992 to cater for this class of believers and was called the Cathedral Youth Forum. Below is a brief history.
BRIEF HISTORY OF CATHEDRAL YOUTH FORUM
The Cathedral Youth Forum started from Upper Class ‘B’ of the Sunday School which was under the leadership of Pa Talabi (late) in March, 1992. Upper Class B was one of the Sunday School Classes, then handled by Evangelist Tunde Olajide, Brother Orefuyi (now Revd Orefuyi) and Sister Afolakemi Oredein (Dr. (Mrs.) Oredein). Upper Class ‘B’ then comprised of teenagers (students from senior secondary to tertiary institution). Upper Class ‘B’ used to hold her class at the basement of the former Sunday School Hall concurrently with other classes after the one hour of general bible teachings. Weekly, the class increased in number to the extent that the place could not contain worshipers.
It got to a time that the word grew effectively in upper class ‘B’ that the worshipers in the class felt coming to class alone is more blessed. Therefore majority started coming late to Church by 11.00a.m only to attend the Upper Class ‘B’
At the first Sunday service in March, 1992, the then Provost; the Very Revd Oladetoun during the 10.00a.m (Martins) Service at the former (old) Church announced that Upper Class ‘B’ could have her full service separately and changed their name to Cathedral Youth Forum. The Cathedral Youth Forum started her full service the next Sunday which was the second Sunday in the month of March, 1992 in one of the classrooms of St. James Primary School situated within the former Church premises.
The number of youths attending increased tremendously (up to 150) to the extent that some of the adults who preferred English Service joined the fellowship. With the help of God, the fellowship was being organized by Evangelist Tunde Olajide, Dr. (Mrs.) Afolakemi Oredein, Dr. Dotun Okubanjo, Evang. OpeOluwa Oredein,(now Revd OpeOluwa Oredein) and Brother Fisayo Adeyemi (late) among others. Subsequently in later years, executives were selected to lead the Fellowship.
In 1993, when the classroom could not contain the people, the then Provost – Very Revd Oladetoun approved and permitted the Forum to be using the new Cathedral Church before it was fully completed. When the building was fully completed the adults now moved in and the youth went back to former Cathedral auditorium for their services. The Forum used to meet thrice per week: Tuesdays (for prayer meeting); Thursdays (bible study); and Sundays (for normal service), and the number of people kept increasing to about 250.
In 1995/96, there was a problem in one of the youth gathering in Ibadan Diocese, and the then Bishop (Rt Revd G.I.O Olajide) said that all youth gatherings in the Diocese be given Youth Chaplains to teach Anglicanism. God used so many seasoned and spiritual clergymen amidst the youths such as: Revd Okoli (now Ven. Okoli), Revd Akindoyeni (now Ven. Akindoyeni) Revd Collins Babalola, (now Ven. Babalola), Revd Bolarinwa (now Ven. Bolarinwa)), Revd Aina (now Ven. Aina), Revd Fatile (now Ven. Fatile), Revd Canon Akinyinka, Revd. Wuraola, (now Ven. Wuraaola) Revd Jolayemi (now Revd Canon Jolayemi), Revd A. A. Adebayo and Revd Dr. O. K. AdeyeOluwa among others. The Revd Dr. O. K. AdeyeOluwa is still the Chaplain since 2008 till date and God is using him mightily among the youths of the Cathedral.
Around 1996/97, the fellowship faced a major challenge, when one of its leaders pulled out of the fellowship to have his own ministry. A handful of members went with him but to God be the Glory as some of them have now returned to the Anglican Communion even as Clergymen. This brought a little set back to the Forum with some families in the Church affected. But with the help of God, the Church is matching on and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Amen.
The Forum always organizes programmes and actively involve itself in adult Church activities like Evangelical programmes, Bible Study, Crusades, House fellowship, Rural Evangelism, Drama ministrations (during Sunday services, night vigils) among others with people receiving blessings and giving their lives to Jesus Christ. By and large, God has been adding to His Church as many that need to be saved.
The Forum had her first President in 1999 as appointed by the help of the Holy Spirit in the person of Dr. (Mrs.) Afolakemi Oredein. Those that had been President till date are:
Bro. Gbolahan Adegbokun 2001 to 2002
Bro. Olumide Agbeluyi ( now Revd) 2003 to 2004
Bro. Tola Ademuwa 2005 to 2006
Bro. Sola Akinleye(now Revd) 2007 to 2010
Bro. Demola Kayode 2011 to 2012
Bro. Wale Mustapha 2013 to date
The Youth Forum under the leadership of the Provost, The Very Revd Titus B Olayinka has been able to operate in the capacity of a Youth Church. A new place of worship within the new Cathedral premises was given them in 2011 through the Youth Christian Circle and this has gone a long way to establish this mission. The largest executive strength of 34 is in operation and is been headed by the Youth Chaplain, the Revd Sanmi Adetule.
Presently the numerical strength of the Youth Community of the Cathedral is about 300.