Q & A with Kehinde Sodipo (Captain - 6th Nottingham)
Kehinde Sodipo is a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who with the blessing of his sending church has recently planted a new congregation in St Anns, inner city Nottingham. When establishing the new church, Kehinde (or Kenny as he is also known) wanted to have the Boys’ Brigade as part of his church’s children and youth work. The new company, the 6th Nottingham, opened its doors on the 4th September 2010. I caught up with Kenny not long after to find out why having a Boys’ Brigade company in his church was so important to him.
Dave: So then Kenny, what is your experience of the Boys’ Brigade?
Kenny: I was a member of the Boys’ Brigade back in Nigeria. I went to the 36th Surulere Company which met at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Lagos. When I joined as an Anchor Boy in 1984, the company had 100 plus boys. I went through all the sections becoming an NCO but eventually left to go to university.
Dave: What originally made you want to go to Anchors?
Kenny: The uniform, I loved the uniform. We wore a light blue shirt over navy blue shorts.
Dave: Interesting! Tell me about what kept you there until you were 18, was it still the uniform?
Kenny: No, well not just the uniform! We met on Saturdays at the church compound. We had a really good programme, we learnt to act and sing. We entered lots of competitions, which we loved especially when we won. Through the Boys’ Brigade I received discipleship, was given responsibility and taught moral uprightness.
Dave: So it wasn’t just the uniform! Boys’ Brigade also gave you some firm foundations to base your life on.
Kenny: yes, the leaders enabled us to see that there was a better way of living.
Dave: How did you end up leaving Nigeria to live in Nottingham?
Kenny: Whilst at university in Nigeria I started going to the Redeemed Christian Church of God and became involved in the life of the church. For a while after university I worked doing research and then moved to Nottingham to study an MSc in Bio-technology at the Nottingham Trent university. When I finished that I studied for a PGCE and became a teacher in Nottingham. It was whilst I was teaching I realised God was calling me into full time ministry in the Church.
Dave: You’ve obviously been busy! Was it through that you became the pastor of the Church in St Anns?
Kenny: In 2008, eight of us were sent out by the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nottingham to plant a church in St Anns. We now have a congregation of 30 adults and 20 children and young people.
Dave: That is so good to hear. So was it then an easy decision to get a Boys’ Brigade Company running in your church?
Kenny: Yes, St Anns is an area that has very nice people but also has its problems, and a lot of those problems are young people involved in anti-social activities. A lot of the 18 – 19 year olds in St Anns are the way they are because of what they have been taught as they have grown up. We want to start with the 5 year olds and engage with them and show them there is a better way. Through the Boys’ Brigade I want to enable the young people of St Anns to experience what I and so many others have; discipleship, responsibility and being taught moral uprightness. But it’s not just the young people; in reaching the young people you can also reach their parents, widening the audience to hear the gospel.
Dave: Thanks Kenny, what you have to say is really encouraging. We pray God continues to bless your ministry and work in St Anns.
The 6th Nottingham meet on Saturday Afternoons at the Blue Bell Hill Community Centre, St Anns. You can contact Kenny on firstname.lastname@example.org
National Boys' Brigade
Nottingham School Holidays 2013/14