Archbishop Michael Kehinde Stephen
Archbishop Michael Kehinde Stephen, retired Archbishop of Ibadan Methodist Church Nigeria, was born 8th of April, 1949. He was born in Afon-Ilorin, Kwara State and had his upbringing in Afon-Ilorin, Kwara State, Kaiama in Busanchi speaking area in Borgu division of Kwara State. He had his primary education in Kaiama, and Offa-Ilorin, and High School at Otukpo, Benue State. He had his early theological training at Immanuel College of Theology Ibadan between 1971 and 1974, where he earned both Diploma in Religious studies/Theology. He obtained his Master of Divinity degree at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, United States of America.
Career Path 1981-1991
Upon his return from the United States in 1981, he served as lecturer, later as Registrar and finally Principal at the Methodist Theological Institute Sagamu, between 1981 and 1991.
Earlier, he had served in various ministerial positions in Ikorodu, Igbogbo, Folawiyo Bankole Memorial Methodist Church Ikate Surulere, and was also an honorary Chaplain, Chapel of the Healing Cross, Idi-Araba, Lagos.
Archbishop Stephen was elected the first Bishop of Remo in August 1991, consecrated 17th November, 1991 and enthroned as Bishop on 12th January 1992. He served in this position for five years, after which he was translated to the Headquarters to serve the Church as the Secretary of Conference. This position he held from January 1997 to December 2006. He became Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ibadan from December 2006 until his retirement in November 2018.
Archbishop Stephen had served:
i. World Council of Churches
- Member of the Central Committee/ Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches in Geneva Switzerland 1997-2006.
- Moderator, Continuation Committee on Ecumenism in the 21st Century 2007-2013.
ii. World Methodist Council
- Member of the Executive Committee 2006-2011
- Officer of the Council 2011-2022
- Trustee, EPWORTH Old Rectory in Britain (World Methodist Heritage) – 2011-2022
iii. Africa Methodist Council
- First Chair – 2015-2019
iv. Immanuel College of Theology Ibadan
- Chair of the Governing Council 1992-1994
v. Methodist Theological Institute Sagamu
- Chair of the Governing Council – 2008-2012
vi. Wesley University Ondo
Secretary Board of Trustees – 2007-2012
vii. Board for Theological Education – Methodist Church Nigeria
Chair of Board for Theological Education – 2013-2017
viii. West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS)
Member of the Governing Council – 2022 – 2026
Involvement in Church and Society
Archbishop Stephen was active in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution especially as it affects the Niger Delta and the Ogoni people of Nigeria. He brought into being CAPAD (Churches in Action for Peace and Development), the platform for his many engagements on issues of peace, justice and development.
Archbishop Stephen served for many years as Chair of CCN (Christian Council of Nigeria) Oyo State and later also served as Chair for the entire South-West of the same Organization until 2018.
In 2009, Archbishop Stephen participated at the II Episcopal Synod at the Vatican that focused on various issues affecting the Africa region. He was guest of the former Pope Benedict XVI. He was also received by Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017, at the 50th anniversary of the conversation between Methodists and Roman Catholics.
Archbishop Stephen was one of the 22 Religious Leaders invited by the former United States President Bill Clinton in 2002 for discussion on issues affecting the world, and to discuss inter-faith encounter issues on HIV/AIDS.
Archbishop Stephen is currently a Trustee of Methodist Church Nigeria.
He is married to Felicia Iyabo Stephen.