“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” — Hebrews 13:7
Our almighty God, in His all-wise providence and at the time appointed by Him according to His grace in Christ Jesus, has summoned out of this vale of tears to Himself in heaven the soul of another of our dear brother pastors in Nigeria. The Rev. Luckyn Bray Kaladokubo was the beloved Pastor of St. Clement’s Lutheran Church in Elem-Sangama, Rivers State, Nigeria; and his presence will be sorely missed.
Pastor Kaladokubo, by God’s grace alone His humble and faithful servant, was born on May 15, 1944, to Mr. Bray Kaladokubo and his wife Fanny, both of whom preceded him in death. He was baptized in 1960 and was confirmed in 1982 at St. Paul’s Nyemoni Cathedral in Abonnema. He originally prepared for a career as a school teacher at the Teachers’ Training College in Omoku, Rivers State, completing his studies in 1980. In 1992 he began his pastoral training at Abonnema in the ministerial program of the Fellowship of Lutheran Congregations in Nigeria; and, upon the successful completion of his theological studies, he was called to be the pastor of St. Clement’s Lutheran Church in Elem-Sangama, where he was ordained and installed in 1999.
On Thursday, July 12th, Pastor Kaladokubo succumbed to a long illness in a military hospital in Port Harcourt and died there in the morning hours. A surgery which had been planned was never performed because of his deteriorating condition and resulting weakness. His health problems apparently went back to 2009, when he unknowingly bought and took fake malaria drugs which not only did not help him but compromised his system, attacked his vital organs, and caused him a great deal of pain. But the Lord in His mercy did not permit Brother Kaladokubo to be tried and tested beyond his ability in humble, childlike faith to endure those chastisements; but, true to His promise, He made a way to escape them (I Corinthians 10:13), as He did for the martyr Stephen, Acts 7:55-56; 60, and received our brother into the peace and rest of heaven, where in God’s presence he now experiences only “fulness of joy [and] pleasures” at [His] right hand forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
Pastor Kaladokubo is survived by his beloved wife of thirty-five years, Oluba, eight grown children, and ten grandchildren. Care of St. Clement’s congregation in the vacancy of its pastoral office is being undertaken temporarily by Mr. Biobele Aaron, its lay leader and one of the F. L. C. N.’s theological students, with the help and supervision of the nearby pastors.
Funeral arrangements are still pending due to political unrest in the community and the constant fear of confrontation and fighting. Pastor Kaladokubo’s presence will be greatly missed by his family, his brother pastors, the sheep and lambs of his flock, and by the wider fellowship of our Conference; and we share with all of them their tears in this bereavement (Romans 12:15). At the same time, however, all of us together rejoice in his salvation by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, and look forward to a happy reunion with him and all true believers in heaven.
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth! Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” —Revelation 14:13
—D. T. M.