Tribute To Pastor Olubunmi Johnson
Although our hearts may be broken, the good memories left behind by Pastor Olubunmi Johnson continue to comfort us especially because the best times he had in his short sojourn in this sinful world clearly attested to his pleasant nature.
Death where is thy sting? The cold hand of death snatched Pastor Olubunmi Johnson unannounced on Saturday 16th April 2016 at the age of 46 leaving behind a lovely wife and wonderful children. On that day, birds and other animals refused to be at their usual selves. Close relatives including his mother, father, brother, sister, wife and children wailed over the loss of their loved one while the angels sang, “The strife is over and the battle is done, the victory of life is won. The song of triumph has begun – Alleluyah!”
Someone once said, “Time is perhaps our most precious commodity, and once it passes, it is lost forever.” Olubunmi, there was indeed a time you hung out, ate and talked with friends but all of that is gone now and all that remains now for the people that you left behind are the memories.
You were born a child of God. BJ, as fondly called by friends and admirers, touched the lives of many people in many ways and all of these have become history. Your exemplary life was the reason you were so loved, adored and admired by many. No wonder, people always say that good people go only too soon because there is only a short time to leave their footprints in the sand of time.
We miss you, BJ. The Integrated Marketing Communication world misses you because you made such a huge difference during your years of practice.
Lawrence Adedamola Olubunmi Johnson was born on the 19th of May 1970 to the family of Mr. And Mrs. Johnson from Okitipupa, Ondo State, Nigeria.
Right from his early age, BJ was a gentle and God-fearing child who became his mother’s favourite. He started his early education at I.M.G Primary School, Ibadan in 1976 and completed this phase of his educational life in 1982. He excelled academically and later became the Head Boy in his final year.
BJ moved to Methodist High School in Ibadan for his secondary education and because of his brilliance and dedication to his academic pursuit, he was appointed as the assistant head boy in Form 5. He passed both the West African Examination Council Examination and the University Matriculation Examination at first sitting with flying colours and was admitted to the University of Ilorin in November 1989, where he studied Mechanical Engineering.
He graduated from the University of Ilorin with honours and proceeded to serve his fatherland through the NYSC scheme from 1995 to 1996 at Lere Village in Kaduna State.
BJ started his career when he moved to Lagos and briefly stayed with his uncle, Mr. Adeyemi, at Iyana Ipaja.
BJ had always possessed artistic and creative skills. Although he was a science student in secondary school, he spent most of his free time sketching cartoon characters like “Voltron” and “Thumdersub.” His passion for arts eventually shaped his career and adult life. He later landed a job at Rosabel Leo Burnett as creative executive in 1998 before teaming up with others to form Starcom MediaVest Group where he served as an Executive Director.
BJ was hardworking and enterprising. He was a mentor for many people, not just at his place of work, but also in the media industry as a whole.
BJ’s first encounter with the living God was at the Scripture Pastor Christian Centre, Ibadan in 1988. During his days at the University of Ilorin, he was a prominent member of Rhema Chapel Campus Fellowship. He later became one of the leaders of the fellowship.
When he relocated to Lagos, he joined The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, where he became a worker, then an altar minister and eventually a parish pastor. Pastor Bunmi Johnson, until his passing unto glory, was the parish pastor of Grace Pavillion Parish of The Redeemed Christian Church of God , City of Refuge Zone, Lagos Province 12.
What People Say About BJ
Destiny brought you and me together two decades ago. Despite training as an engineer, you turned out to be a most versatile and creative person. You pitched your tent with me and others to form Starcom Media in 2000. Through your commitment, the company is now a success story which is why nobody will tell the story of Starcom Media today without mentioning your name.
BJ is a strategic thinker. Your contributions during meetings bring inestimable value to discourse. When you were not part of a meeting, it was always very easy to know. BJ brought his own Jesus into the marketplace, so it was easy for his light to shine. A professional colleague sent a text message to me when he heard about your death just to say, “Please tell me it is not true.” BJ epitomises knowledge and he imparted several lives before he departed.
…. Pastor Ayo Oluwatosin, GMD, Rosabel Group
It is with deep pain and regret that I learned about Bunmi Johnson’s untimely demise. In fact, I tried to speak with Bunmi throughout the week before his death and the phone went unanswered. I have known Bunmi for over a decade and will always remember him for his very calm and helping attitude. In fact, he went out of his way to meet my deadlines and schedules every time and he would always make it a point of duty to be there at all the meetings I called. I also remember how he accompanied me to Ghana to resolve a problem without charges.
May his soul rest in peace.
….. Piyush Nair, Baywaters Limited.
BJ is an unassuming and very kind person. He was my mentor in the profession. There is nothing we can say to bring him back. I am an engineer like him with zero knowledge in marketing and everything I am today is a testimony of what God had done through him.
…Mrs. Ehinomen Enekabor, Executive Director, Commercial, P&G
The entire marketing team of NB Plc will miss your analytical skills, eloquence and calm disposition in every situation.
BJ, may you rest in everlasting peace. May Almighty God comfort the family and the colleagues that you left behind.
…Wasiu Abiola, Nigerian Breweries Plc
Mr. Bunmi Johnson will be remembered as a very principled man with passion and integrity. His love for his team and clients showed in all his effort to build a deep connection and relationship between the two. As a client, I met him eight years ago and even though I have ceased being a client in the last four-years, he kept in close touch even until four weeks ago. He was my media coach who trained me at the very start and brought a good level of realism and balance to projects and conversation while we worked together. I will miss his deep knowledge, frank conversation, his advice and ever deep smile. I have so many questions but God knows best. Rest in Peace, my dear friend, Bunmi.
…Ihinosen Ebinum, P&G Purchase.
BJ was a dear friend and thoroughbred professional. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, dear friend.
... Adeoye Roluga, DR Marketing.
Words and emotions are inadequate to express the vacuum you have created in this media industry by your demise. You were a role model and a trail blazer. I personally consulted you for media strategy advice. You gave all to the industry and its development. You were quick to contribute, support and most times physically re-assure media suppliers of patronage. You are truly a gem! You came! You saw! You conquered! Rest in Peace!! BJ!!! Till we meet again.
…Shileola Ibironke, Micro Media.
BJ as our brother, friend, ebullient, always having answers and solving problems. Thanks you for living a great live though short. We will definitely miss you. Our BJ, sleep well.
…Electronics Media Content Association of Nigeria (EMCOAN}
I did not know he was a pastor. It shows that it is not about the title but the way that we live our lives. BJ lived a dedicated life in the service of God. He was ever certain no matter the situation. This was a man that nobody could say anything bad about and I thank God for who he was. BJ exemplified what a true pastor should stand for. He has come and he has done what God wanted him to do.
…Agatha, Independent Producer, Inside Out
I met him when I got married to my husband. BJ has a passion for younger ones. He was a devoted person and through him a lot of lives have been touched. He is a mentor who has developed so many people.