The Rt. Revd. Johnson Akinwamide Atere, Bishop of the Diocese of Awori (Anglican Communion) was born on February 15, 1956 at Ikese-Oka in Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State to Mr. Zaacheus Omoteso Atere, an astitute businessman and Mrs. Florence Olufunke Atere, a petty trader.
Akin Atere’s destiny as a worker in God’s vineyard manifested early in life while at St. John’s Anglican Primary School, Oka Akoko, which he attended from 1962 to 1968. While there, he was always one of the students to lead morning devotion, a training he got from his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Rachael Awawu Aiyewunmi, a devout Christian, whose care the young Atere was from age three. Also at home, he had started leading the family devotion either in the morning or evening from when he was eight years old. This priviledge was also enjoyed by the young Akin at age twelve in 1968 when, for the first time, the Vicar of St. John’s Anglican Church, Oka, Akoko , Ven. C. O. Aiyejoto allowed him to conduct and preach during the early morning devotion of the Church, a rare opportunity which today remains the first memorable day in his life while the second was Sunday, October 21, 1969 when he was opportuned to preach, also for the first time, to the whole congregation of St. John’s Church, Oka-Akoko, Ondo State.
Having finished his primary education in 1968 in flying colours, Akin proceeded to the then Local Government Modern School, Oka Akoko, Ondo State between 1971 and 1973 for his modern school education, courtesy of his uncle, Chief Titus Kayode Aiyewunmi, an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan who later secured Government Scholarship.
After his modern school education Akin proceeded to St. John/Mary’s Teachers’ Training College, Owo, Ondo State between 1975 and 1978 and obtained his Grade II Leaving Certificate, courtesy of the 1974 Federal Government Free Teachers’ Training programme. Prior to his enrolment for the teachers’ training proramme, Akin had ventured into sales of patient medicine for about four years.
For his exemplary performance in the modern school final year examination, Akin decided to enroll for both WAEC and GCE in 1980 as an external candidate and passed all his papers in flying colours, having studied hard for two years before writing the examinations. For his possession of Grade II teaching certificate, he was later offered a teaching appointment at St. Peter’s Anglican Primary School, Ifira- Akoko, Ondo State. Interestingly, his teaching career, which spanned six years, took him to Ebenezer African primary School, Oka, St. John’s Anglican Primary School Oka, and Aiyegunle High School, Aiyeguinle Oka in Ondo State.
In 1985, destiny’s itchy fingers took him out of the teaching profession and miraculously got his now admitted into Immanuel College of Theology, an opportunity he had on several occasions denied as he was in no way interested in becoming a Priest. Each time there was to be selection conference into the seminary, Akin had the pachent for running away or travelling to far places to avoid his Vicar, then Ven. C. O. Aiyejoto, and his grandmother who wanted one of her sons or grandsons to be a priest. Meanwhile, history had it that when he was born, he had a sign similar to a Deacon having a diagonal stole and this made his grandmother to conclude then that he would certainly become a priest.
Akin Atere’s call into the ministry was similar to that of Paul the Apostle because inspite of his thought to be rejected an offer of admission into Immanuel College of Theology when he intentionally got his admission form submitted late, he was allowed to write all the examinations and eventually offered an admission into the college. He thereafter graduated from the College in 1987
After his graduation from Immanuel College of Theology, Akin Atere was posted to Lagos Diocese and made Deacon on June 24, 1987. Today, the Almighty has made him to rise to become a Bishop in the Anglican Communion where he once held sway as Vicar, Archdeaconry Secretary, lecturer in the Seminary, Chapel Chaplain, Canon, Archdeacon, among others.
He had served in various sections of the Anglican Communion, including being a Vicar at St. John’s Anglican Church, Ikoga-Zebbe (his first station), where he spent about six years, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Isaga, Lagos (1990-1994), Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Ilasamaja, Mushin (1994-1997), St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, Sango Ota, Ogun State (1997-1998), St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Ipaja (1998-1999), Bishop Adelakun Howels Memorial Church (BAHM), Surulere (1999-2002) and as a Senior lecturer, Archbishop Vining College of Theology (2002-2008).
He also had additional responsibilities as Secretary to Agege Archdeaconry, Secretary to Ebute-Metta Archdeaconry, Lecturer at Lagos Diocesan Seminary, Director of Youth Directorate in the Diocese of Lagos, Assistant Registrar, Lagos Diocesan Annual Clergy School, among others. An academic of note, apart from being the Academic Secretary at Lagos Diocesan Seminary, he was also an Old testament lecturer. He was also at a time a senior lecturer at Archbishop Vining College of Theology.
For his love for media evangelism, between 1999 and 2002, Very Revd. Yinka Omololu (the retired Provost of Christ Cathedral, Lagos) and then Ven. Akin Atere ran a Christian religious programme on Radio Nigeria FM, Ikoyi, and was also one of the leading speakers at the Lenten and Advent talk on Positive FM 102.5 Akure for three years.
Atere, who holds a Diploma in Theology from Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan (1984), B. A. (Hons) in Christian Religions Studies from Lagos State University (1991), M. A. in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan (1994) and Ph.D. in Christian Studies (Old Testament) from Lagos State University (2010) got Deaconed on June 24, 1987, priested on June 26, 1988, preferred Canon in 1999, Archdeacon in 2002 and was elected Bishop of Awori, Diocese and consecrated on May 14, 2008 at the Cathedral of St. Michael the Great, Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State. He was enthroned the Bishop of the Diocese of Awori on May 29, 2008.
He got married to former Miss Foluso Olukemi Oyunyemi on October 1, 1988 at the Cathedral Church of St. Stephen, Ikare Akoko, Ondo State and the marriage had been blessed with wonderful and God fearing children.
For Bishop Atere, he has cause to thank God for what He is doing through him in the Diocese of Awori as many achievements have been recorded in the area of Church planting, evangelism, establishment of a Bible School, the take-off of a secondary school, acquisition of a magnificent building as the Bishop’s court, purchase of parcel of land in different towns and villages for church building projects, among others.
FOR BISHOP PHOTO CLICK PHOTO ALBUM
THE RT. REVD. JOHNSON AKINWAMIDE ATERE, Ph.D (Old Testament)
Date of Consecration: May 14, 2008
Date of Enthronement: May 29, 2008.