The Rt. Rev. James Afolabi Popoola was born on 20th November 1949 into the family of the late Mr. Isaac Popoola and Mrs. Rebecca Popoola at Ibara Orile, Abeokuta, Ogun State. His father now of blessed memory hailed from Ibarapa township of Abeokuta and his mother also of blessed memory from Ibara township of Abeokuta.


He attended St. Mary Primary School, Asalu, Abeokuta from 1955 - 1960 and obtained First School Leaving Certificate. He proceeded to Methodist Secondary Modern School, Asero, Abeokuta in 1961 and passed Secondary Modern School Examination in 1963. He later sat for and passed General Certificate of Examination (London) and passed five O/L Papers with credit. In 1979, he obtained first Degree B.A.(Hon’s) Religious Studies and M.A.Degree 1984, all at the University of Ibadan having first obtained Diploma in Religious Studies in 1974.

Theological Education

Vining Christian Leadership Training Centre, Akure from 1967 to 1970 for Catechist Training.

Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan from 1972 – 1975 for Ordination Course. He was made a Deacon in 1975 and subsequently Priested in 1976 at St. James’ Cathedral, Oke Bola, Ibadan by the Most Rev. T.O.Olufosoye. At Immanuel College, he was the Senior Student (President) in his final year and won many prizes at the end of the course. At the University of Ibadan, he graduated with Second Class, Upper Division.

In 1991, he went abroad and had a study tour of English Cathedrals. (Church of England)

In 2001, he attended Bishops’ Training at Malawi under the sponsorship of C.A.P.A.

Working Experience

Since the beginning of his Ministry, he has served in the following Parishes:

St. Peters Church, Ilewo Igbele; Ebenezer Church, Olokuta; St. John’s Church, Ajilete; all in Yewa Diocese. After his ordination, he served at St. James’ Cathedral, Oke Bola, Ibadan; St. Matthias Church, Orogun in Ibadan Diocese.

After his University Education, he served the nation under National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Ogori Magogo Teachers College, Kwara State. And then after the Youth Service Year, he served at Holy Trinity Church, Ikereku, Abeokuta; Christ Anglican Church, Iporo Ake, Abeokuta and as Provost at St. Peters’ Cathedral, Ake from 1990 – 2000

He was Synod Secretary from 1987 – July 2000

He was the Second Chairman, Board of Governors of Omolaja Sodipo Memorial Grammar School, Abeokuta.

He also taught briefly at Rev. Kuti Memorial Grammar School, Abeokuta and Ogun State Polytechnic now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta.

In July 30th 2000, he was consecrated BISHOP for Osun Diocese and enthroned on 1st August, 2000.

His Philosophy of Life

Bishop Popoola’s philosophy is to be at peace with everybody – to play his part well and leave the stage better than he met it. He encourages everybody including his Priests to be at peace with God and their neighbours. His hobbies include, farming, reading and listening to gospel music. He strongly believes that God who called him is faithful and desires to serve Him faithfully to the end.

Bishop Popoola is happily married to Beatrice Titilayo Oluremi and their marriage in 1981 is blessed with children and grand children TO GOD BE THE GLORY

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