Bishop Onolapo is the Founder and General Overseer of the Abundant Life Gospel Churches with Headquarters in Agege area of Lagos.
He was born in July 1957 to Pa. and Mrs. Onaolapo in Erin-Ile, Kwara State. Pa Onaolapo was a business merchant when he lived until his death in 1984.
His siblings are Joana Gana, the wife of the late Professor Gana, a university don and first Vice Chancellor of the Birgham University in Nassarrawa State, Anna Oluyori, wife of the grandson of King of Kabba, Pa. Atikekerejolu Oluyori, Kehinde Onaolapo, a lecturer of the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, Taiwo Onaolapo, a Business man. He is half-brother to Professor Joshua Onaolapo, a professor of Pharmacy in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Kola Onaolapo started his primary school education in African Church Primary School, Erin-Ile. He completed his primary school education in Zaria, Kaduna State in 1968. He later went to Government Secondary School, Patigi in Kwara State.
In 1975 he got admission into Ahmadu Bello University’s School of Basic Studies and later was admitted into the University’s Faculty of Science where he studied Chemistry.
He started preaching as a student in the university where he was involved with the Samaru Gospel Team, a campus crusade, using the Assemblies of God Church in Samaru. As a student pastor he preached in many crusades in Zaria. Many people were not sure if he was a student or a pastor.
After graduating from Ahmadu Bello University in 1980, he was employed by the Plateau State Government to work as a teacher in Jos. It was while he was teaching he had an encounter with God.
Bishop Onaolapo would usually wake up at 3 a.m. to pray. On this particular day when he woke up to pray, he heard a voice saying to him, “I will be calling you to preach the gospel”. Two weeks later, the same voice came asking him to fast and pray in preparation for a visit from God.
He started the prayer and fasting and on the following day by 4 am while he was trying to rest after a session of prayer, he was visited by Jesus in his room.
Bishop Onaolapo describes the visit:
“I lay down to rest after a session of prayer. My eyes were opened but I was suspended. My door was open and I saw Jesus walk in. How did I know him? I just knew. I could not talk. Every movement was suspended. He walked as far as my bed and took my hand. I believe he was trying to pass the anointing into my life. I can’t remember how long. I could not scream. Then he left my hands and vanished. As he vanished, an audible voice came speaking, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’”
That was how Bishop Onaolapo started his full time ministry work. He later moved to Ilorin where he started Abundant Life Gospel Church before moving the headquarters to Lagos.
He was ordained Bishop by Late Bishop Benson Idahosa,Founder and President of the Church of God Mission International Inc Nigeria as the first Abundant Life Gospel Church bishop. Abundant Life Gospel Church is a fast growing Pentecostal Church located at 69 Iju Road, Agege, Lagos.
Bishop Onaolapo died on October 19, 2012 after going into coma for three days in the United States.
He was married to Reverend Mrs. Janet Onaolapo, a Senior Pastor and Host of a Christian TV Program broadcast on Lagos TV. His children are: Patience Onaolapo (Female), David Onalapo (Male) and Peace Onaolapo (Female)
Bishop Onaolapo’s Opinion about some Life Issues
“Death does not write application. The best is for people to surrender their lives to Jesus”. He said this in an interview after the Dana plane crash that killed over a hundred people in Agege area of Lagos where his church has one of the largest congregations.
Optimism for Nigeria
I have serious optimism about what God can do in this country. The greatest problem we have is corruption. As it is in the high, it is in the low. Many of our leaders travel out and see democracy and way of life. They come back and the best thing they can do is to steal money and still take them out. They are educated but education has not helped them. The average Nigerian does not fear God and so is not bothered about the destiny of the nation.
Let there be free and fair election and as much as possible the government at every level should be strictly constitutional in their approach to this. I encourage Christians to vote, if we have God-fearing people at the helm of affairs, we will be close to a nation that has a future.
Holiness and Prosperity
Well, revelation is progressive. Life itself, ministry and revelation are in stages. Nothing is happening now that does not have prophecy from the scriptures. The book of Joel in the Bible talks of former rain and latter rain. The truth of life is that there must be combination of the two, if it is holiness in the olden days, it must be combined with prosperity today. Without money, the gospel cannot be effectively preached and those who will prosper must be holy or else the prosperity will not last, therefore it has to be a combined thing.
Pastors and Men of God
According to Onaolapo, any pastor who faces challenges and as a result doubts if God really called him is not sure of the call. “Every venture has its challenges and everybody should understand that. Challenges have never made me doubt my call once, I am too sure of it and that's why I cannot be frustrated,” he said.
Obviously there are wrong Churches being planted, Churches that are not planted under God's instruction but at the same time, God has not stopped calling those He has commissioned, He has not stopped to commission those He has ordained from the foundation of the world.
You can always know the difference between God-sent Church and self-made Church. While the God-sent talks more about salvation, the self-made is all about gratification of the flesh; let the flesh acquire what it can get. Self-made Church would not motivate membership unto salvation of their soul and salvation of others.
There is freedom of religion. When somebody rises and says God sent him, I don't know why anyone would come up to disprove it when there is freedom of religion in our country. The Christian organizations existing can only reject anyone from the organization but cannot stop anybody who claims to have a call to start a Church.
The only thing that can be done is to call anyone who is out of the track one to one and talk to him, we have that obligation for the sake of the gospel but unfortunately, most ministers are independent and since you don't need to belong to any organistion to start a Church, it becomes difficult to correct people.
Christians in politics
There are some Christians who are contesting, and it will be difficult to ask any of them to step down for the other. Each has his vision and one cannot discourage any. Politics is one area of our concerns, in which we always pray for God's intervention. We only pray God-fearing man will be elected, God has a great plan but it will manifest at His set time.