Pastor Samson Olawale Gbuyiro, a born again child of God was born on February 11, 1974 in a place called Egbe-Oba in Ikunrin, Ikole Local Government , Ekiti State to the family of Chief Adedara and Deaconess Alice Gbuyiro. He had his Primary Education at St. Peters Anglican Primary School, Ikole-Ekiti between 1981 and 1986 and Secondary School at Ansar-udeen Secondary School, Ikole-Ekiti between 1987 and 1992.
Pastor Gbuyiro bagged a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Religious Studies/Education at Ekiti State University, Ekiti State in 2002, and Masters Degree in Sociology of Religion at prestigious University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State in 2015. However, he has his religious training at Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary, Ile-Ife, Osun State where he bagged Diploma in Religious Studies in 1997. He was ordained a Pastor in CAC in 1999.
He is a pioneer Pastor of CAC Oke Agbara English Assembly, Ashi, Ibadan and was promoted by the Authority of CAC Worldwide to the rank of Districts Superintendent of the church.
Because of his passion to see couples experience paradise on earth in their marriages, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to start Marital Empowerment Training (MET) a body that empowers singles, married couples and enhances their success in marriage. He is also an author of many books and most of which address issues on marriage for singles and married.
Pastor Gbuyiro was appointed by the Authority of CAC Nigeria & Overseas as the 4th Youth Officer of the church in July 2016. Prior to his appointment as the Youth Officer, he has served in the following capacities in the Youth Fellowship:
- Assistant District Youth Coordinator, CAC Oke-Imole District, Agbowo, Ibadan, 1999-2001.
- District Youth Coordinator, CAC Oke-Imole District, Agbowo, Ibadan, 2001-2003.
- Zonal Youth Coordinator, CAC Oke-Imole Zone, Agbowo, Ibadan, 2003-2016.
- Treasurer, Oyo state Youth Fellowship, 2002-2005.
- State Coordinator, Oyo state Youth Fellowship, 2005-2017.
- Treasurer, Ikeji II Youth Conference Centre, 2008-2010.
- Member of the Youth Advisory Committee, 2010.
- Chairman, Ikeji II Youth Conference Centre Planning Committee, 2011-2017.
Youth Department History
Christ Apostolic Church allowed the togetherness or fellowship of her elites or youths right from her early days. As extra-constitutional organizations formed by young men and women with godly zeal, they operated within the Church under the strict supervision and control of the Church Authority then. Their astounding achievements notwithstanding, on the other side of the coin, their operations, in most places became incongruous to the visions of the Church fathers. With counsels from some unofficial opinion leaders, visions started to increase and this led to proliferation of elite gatherings or youth bodies in the Church. Challenges among the youth bodies in the Church then included programme conflicts, unhealthy rivalry, and improper relationship with the line of authority of the Church. Obviously, crises and divisions were looming in the mid 80s.
In 1992, the Church Authority in her historical reorganization amalgamated all the youth bodies of the Church. The vision, according to the Church leaders then, was unity of the various elite groups in the Church. The inauguration of the Fellowship in September 1992 by the then CAC President, Pastor John Dada Obafemi was to lead every youth in the Church to Christ so as to enable him/her have a personal experience of salvation and establish her through spiritual programmes in CAC local assemblies and schools/campuses. The CAC General Executive Council also in June 1995 approved the Fellowship’s Rules and Regulations to guide the operations of the Fellowship in the Church.
The first Youth Conference was held in 1993 at the former hall, Ikeji-Arakeji where JABU’s Oba Olashore Hall is currently situated. It was a joyous and memorable, revival-filled coming together of over seven thousand elites of the Church. Truly, before then, this ‘huge’ or ‘large’ number of youth gathering had never been attained by any of the amalgamated youth bodies in the Church, such as Light of the World Society (LOWS), Christ Apostolic Church Students’ Association (CACSA), and the United Association of CAC Choir (UACACC). Pastor Gabriel E. O. Okafor was the first Youth Officer. Pastor E. O. Oki the first Chairman of the Planning Committee, and Pastor Joe Jacobs the first Secretary of the Planning Committee. The Planning Committee was inaugurated on September 12th, 1992 to establish the Youth Fellowship through organization of edifying programmes. Conferences, Seminars and other spiritual activities were planned and executed, and the Youth Fellowship was firmly established, especially in most assemblies of the Church.
It is a fact that CACSA started in 1970 (about twenty-two years before the CAC Youth Fellowship was inaugurated in 1992). It got to a stage where the leadership of CACSA was no longer in cordial relationship with the line of authority of the Church. Coupled with this state and the need to cater for the spiritual wellness of members of CAC in our various schools and campuses, attempts were made to instruct children from home to form/establish CAC Youth Fellowship in their schools/campuses. This was with a strong backup from the Church Authority. In some campuses, students of CAC background voluntarily moved out of the CACSA and formed the CAC Youth Fellowship. In some others, CACSA and CACYOF operate as independent bodies in the same campus; while in some other campuses, there are other Bodies of CAC instincts like CAC Students’ Fellowship, and the Joint CAC Campus Fellowship. Meanwhile, the CACYOF is in the great majority of the tertiary institutions, especially in Nigeria today, some of them with over one thousand (1,000) in population. The Fellowship (Youth Department) organizes a specialized national or joint programme for all members of tertiary institutions tagged Academic Summit. The last, due to COVID-19 restrictions was virtual but also international with astounding results.
The annual joint programme of the Fellowship (for all youths, in our Church assemblies and schools) is called, Youth Confeence. It started in 1993. It was held at Ikeji-Arakeji alone at the early years of the Fellowship. However, due to a very large number of conferees which a single venue facilities (Ikeji-Arakeji) could not cater for, and proximity to potential conferees, the Youth Conference was divided into two at Ikeji-Arakeji. When Joseph Ayo Babalola University was to start building, and the Prayer Camp was to be moved to another place (in the same vicinity), the Fellowship resulted into holding the Youth Conference at the State level. This was done for about three years. The conferences held at different States boosted the population of the Fellowship. From this monumental growth, the Youth Conference was further divided into three manageable groups, that is Ikeji 1, Ikeji 2, and Ikeji 3 where some States were grouped together to hold the Youth Conference. Also, the Youth Conference was held in all the geo-political regions in Nigeria. This annual Youth Conference used to hold initially in the month of August, but due to growth, expansion and decentralization, it is now held from August to September each year. The CAC Youth Fellowship outside Nigeria, especially in United Kingdom (Europe), United States of America, South Africa and others are functioning effectively.
Since the start of the use of Ikeji-Arakeji as a prayer camp, accommodation has been a major problem. The CAC Youth Fellowship conference (being the most populous of all conferences in the Church) suffered the most during conferences. This gave reasons for the Youth Fellowship to take a giant stride. Today, the CAC Youth Fellowship has a major project at hand, that is, the Accommodation Project at Ikeji-Arakeji. This is a multi-billion, 30,000-bed space accommodation envisioned to alleviate the accommodation challenges of the prayer camp. The second deck of the first super-structure has just been completed.
The structure of the Youth Fellowship has been in line with the organogram of the Church. Leadership in the Fellowship has been in this pattern: the Youth Officer as the overall head; Coordinators at different levels, i.e. Region, Centre, Unit, District Coordinating Council, Zone and District levels of the Church. Each assembly has a Youth Leader. The Fellowship also operates through functional Committees. There are three past Youth Officers of the Fellowship (who had their offices at the CAC Missionary Headquarters) and they are Pastor Gabriel O. E. Okafor, the first. Pastor Anuoluwapo Ojo was the second Youth Officer. Pastor Joe Jacobs was the third Youth Officer. Currently, Pastor Samson O. Gbuyiro is the fourth Youth Officer and the incumbent. In July 2017, Pastor Simeon O. Oke was also appointed as an Assistant Youth Officer. There is a GEC Supervisory Committee for the Youth Body whose members are mainly elites. This is currently chaired by Pastor S.E.A. Oludare.
The fellowship has been superintended by generations of leaders since its inception till date:
1. Pastor Gabriel E. O. Okafor: 4 Years, 1992 – 1995.
2. Pastor Anuoluwapo Ojo: 8 Years, 1995 – 2003.
3. Pastor Joe Jacobs: 13 Years, 2003 – 2017.
4. Pastor Samson O. Gbuyiro: Incumbent, 2017 – to date.
Apart from the already mentioned Youth Conference and Academic Summit, other programmes of the Youth Fellowship include:
- Easter Retreat.
- Leadership Training Programme (LTP).
- Sisters’ Fellowship Programme.
- Faith Of Our Fathers.
- Leadership Retreat.
- Prayer Conference.
- Night Of Encounter (For Campuses).
- Youth Sunday.