All he ever wanted to do in life was make a difference in other people’s lives. And as a child, he thought the only way to accomplish this was to be in politics. Several decades later, Daniel Taiwo Odukoya is and has been doing what he has always wanted to do – serve, but not in the sense he imagined. He is catering to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of many across the globe, and using his God-given resources to raise leaders in every sphere of life.
The founding and senior pastor of The Fountain of Life Church, Pastor Taiwo (as he is fondly called), was born on June 15, 1956 in Kaduna. He had his primary and secondary education at Baptist Primary School, Kaduna and St. Paul’s College Zaria respectively, before proceeding to the University of Ibadan where he obtained a degree in petroleum engineering in 1981.
As a petroleum engineer, he started work at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in April 1982 after the compulsory one-year national youth service. He sat on different policy-drafting committees at the corporation before his voluntary retirement in 1994, and was involved in the fashioning of some key policies that are still in use in the Nigerian oil industry today.
Pastor Taiwo’s heart beats constantly for the underprivileged and societal outcasts. His love for the poor and indigent members of the society has found expression in various interventions which include:
- Nidus Aquilae Medical Centre, which makes available standard and adequate medical care to those in the community who cannot afford it.
- The Hope Centre, which provides good and nourishing meals on a daily basis to people who cannot afford a good meal a day.
- Education Support Project, which works to enhance government efforts in the community’s public schools by providing books, desks and other educational materials, and motivating the students and teachers with scholarships and performance recognition awards respectively.
- Water Project, which provides boreholes at strategic locations for people who have no access to clean and portable water, especially in the immediate neighbourhood.
- Area Boys Rehabilitation Project, which picks up street boys, assists them to learn a trade or go to school, and even provides accommodation for them. Today, there is a Grace Springs Rehabilitation Home where those who truly want a new lease of life are housed, assisted and eventually reconciled with their parents or guardians.
- Grace Springs Business and Vocational Centre, which equips the unemployed as well as people who wish to augment their income or learn a new vocation with necessary skills, irrespective of their social status or educational background.
He has mentored, nurtured and supported scores of thriving ministries, ministers and individuals who willingly surrender to his mentorship. A good number of men and women whose lives have been shaped by his ministry are today occupying prominent positions in both the public and private sectors
Pastor Taiwo is a firm believer in the potential of his country Nigeria, and that is why he has personally established and actively invested in various initiatives as part of his contribution to the process of redirecting the nation from its moral, educational and political decay. His approach centres on what he considers the root of the problem – a value reorientation of the community and its leadership, with the firm belief that that is the only way we can truly expect any positive change in the society. Among the initiatives are:
- Discovery for Men, an outreach dedicated to equipping and encouraging the menfolk in fulfilling their God-ordained leadership position. For many years, Pastor Taiwo featured regularly on radio across the country with the Discovery message, and ran a leadership column in one of the foremost Nigerian newspapers.
- Discovery for Women, an outreach dedicated to equipping the women for leadership position, and spurring them to actually assume this God-ordained position.
- Fountain Initiative for Social Development, which is geared towards collaborative action and learning to improve access to services in the education sector, provide vocational training and enhance employability and entrepreneurial skills of youths and adults.b
An accomplished author, he has to his credit over 300 publications, including books, articles, seminar papers, etc. His books Unleash Your God-given Potential, Home Affairs, The Proof, Glorious Legacy: The Life and Times of ‘Bimbo Odukoya, Women Will Change the World, Time: Where Has it Gone?, and Reclaiming the Nigerian Dream have gained a wide readership both locally and internationally.
Pastor Taiwo lives in Lagos with his wife, Pastor Nomthi.