Sunbeam Landmark since 1919

July 7, 1916 – Sunbeams (Egbe Irawo Kekere) gathered together with other groups at Oke’lerin

 Baptist Church, Ogbomoso, for the first time. The Baptist Newspaper “Imole Owuro”

 (The Dawn) published the event.

In 1919 – The Baptist Women’s League was organised, children were recognised, as part of the

 Women’s League.

In 1922 – Miss Neale C. Young, a missionary from Southern Baptist Missionary from America,

 as the third President of the Union led children in Ogbomoso, and taught them the Word

 of God.

In 1923 – Sunbeams demonstrated how Sunbeam Band meeting should be.

In 1949 – Sunbeam Recognition Certificates were introduced for the purpose of giving special

 recognition to Sunbeams who had completed their memory work in their different

 groups. Sunbeam Baby Certificates were also published for new born babies in churches to enlist the babies as Sunbeam babies.

In 1955 – Mrs. Aduke Akinola became the first African woman to assume the position of the

leader of Young People’s Leader. She travelled to different parts of the country, organising different societies belonging to the Young People, Sunbeam Band inclusive.

In 1976 – Mrs. Novella C. Bender became the first Sunbeam Band Convention Director (part

time). She wrote programmes on mission activities and the children became mission-

minded.

In 1982 – Deaconess E.K. Laosebikan succeeded Mrs. Novella C. Bender after retirement (part-

time). She was the first African woman to work on part time basis in this capacity. She

wrote Bible stories and hymns for Sunbeams. She travelled far and wide, organising

Sunbeam Band in churches, associations and conferences including mission fields.

In 1992 – Mrs. Janet Olaore Ogunjide became the first full time Convention Sunbeam Band

Director. She also She progressively built on the foundation laid by previous leaders. During her tenure, she introduced grouping of children to enhance Bible teaching (Beginner Sunbeams (ages 4-6, Primary Sunbeams ages 7-9). She also established children Sunday programme which churches used. This was taken over by the NBC in the 90s. In 1996, she introduced Special Recognition Certificates to children who took part in the Convention presentation – a gesture that is still practised to date. She introduced Memory Work Contest in churches, associations and conferences. Sunbeam Day Camp programme was first published in 1997 during her tenure. She also introduced Sunbeam Prayer Calendar. In order to have uniformity in teaching of activities in various churches that observe Sunbeam Week, a programme was published. She flagged off Sunbeam Leadership Workshop Centres: Camp Young, Ede for the West, Jos in Plateau state for the North and Sapele for the Eastern conferences. She introduced Kingdom Children Magazine.

In August 2003, Mrs. Ekundayo Lydia Olalere was appointed as the Convention Sunbeam Band

Director (full –time) after the retirement of Mrs. Janet Olaore Ogunjide.

In 2004 – Children Song books and play were written and published for Sunbeam Band. Bible            

story pictures were designed and published using the analogue style. The advent of computer for designing was not yet adopted by WMU of Nigeria. All illustrations were drawn.

In 2005 – Sunbeam leaders in all conferences presented a desktop computer for designing to

 Baptist Women’s Missionary Union, hence the graduation from analogue to digital

illustrations.  

In 2006 – The Northern Zone National Sunbeam Leadership Workshop started fully. The

foundation of a chalet for retreats and camps was laid by Mrs. Aduke Akinola (retired),

Rev. Mrs. Yemi Ladokun (retired), Mrs. Janet Olaore Ogunjide (retired) and Mrs.

Ekundayo Lydia Qlalere (still serving). Ten Sunbeams and Sunbeam leaders were

witnesses. The chalet was named in honour of Mrs. Janet Olaore Ogunjide when completed.

In 2007 – The Sunbeam Band Cardigan was introduced.

In 2007 – A documentary was produced by Mrs. E.L. Olalere to chronicle the story of the

Sunbeam Band to mark her 90th anniversary. It was launched at WMU Convention held

in Edo Conference.

In 2009 – A 14 Seater bus was purchased by all Sunbeams and their leaders. The bus was

dedicated and presented by Mrs. Olalere to the Baptist Women’s Missionary Union, through the then Executive Director, Rev. Mrs. Yemi Ladokun during 2009 Convention-in-Session. In the same year, Sunbeam Christmas Funfair was introduced to help the

less privileged for Jesus’ sake.

In 2010 – The Sunbeam Department was equipped with high technology computers (A desktop

and a laptop with accessories by all Conference Sunbeam Band Directors to aid

designs and picture books. In the same year, Sunbeam Day Camp uniform was designed

for Day Camp programme. Prayer retreat camping for Primary Sunbeams of all Conferences was also flagged off.  Children were camped for 2 days to learn to pray, to know the people of other tribes, learn new songs, hide God’s words in their hearts.

In 2012 – Boys’ regular uniform was repacked.

In 2013 – Membership rose from 230 to 74, 562.

In 2014 – A proposed building was approved.

In 2016 – Convention Sunbeam registration pack was introduced with the year’s theme. All

Sunbeams who attend now have their Bible Study Hour booklet.

In 2017 – Stewardship and Service involved Sunbeams in Stewardship Memory drilling.