When Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins took over as the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, he was stepping into the shoes of an illustrious predecessor, the Archbishop (now Cardinal) Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, and against the backdrop of high expectations. In the years that followed, there were lots of challenges brewed by the socio-economic and political situations, locally and globally, including economic recession and a global pandemic which made evangelic duties tough. But year after year, Archbishop Martins, continuing the tradition of service to the body of Christ as established by his predecessors, and building upon established orders with resourcefulness and innovation, has led the Catholic community to watersheds. And today, Lagos Archdiocese is strongly positioned as a Church that stands up to the challenges of the time.
On August 4, 2022, His Grace clocks a milestone of 10 years as the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, to a reclame that he has acquitted himself well as a servant of God and a purpose-driven worker in the Lord’s vineyard. His dedication to Apostolic work is consistent with his pedigree, before and after his arrival at his present Episcopal post. Born on June 1, 1959, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, ordained a priest on September 18, 1983, was appointed the first Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese by Pope Saint John Paul II on October 24, 1997, and consecrated as Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano the following year on January 24, 1998. He was appointed Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese by Pope Benedict XVI on May 25, 2012, and a little over two months, on August 4, installed as Archbishop of Lagos.
As Bishop of Abeokuta, it was his responsibility to forge a path on which the Diocese would grow, which translated to setting up structures, drawing up the architecture for pastoral life and administration, and setting the tone for the growth of the new Diocese. He and eight other incardinated priests were able to build a solid foundation for the Diocese of Abeokuta, before the call to a higher responsibility as Archbishop of the Lagos Metropolitan See. Although the Church is the same anywhere; structure, organisation, teachings, disposition the Lagos Archdiocese has its peculiarities, namely; a large Catholic populace that is highly diversified and the big expectations that go with the status of a Metropolitan See. Ten years ago, there was anticipation of how the new Archbishop was going to rise to the challenges.