Wednesday, May 12, 2021 10:28 am
By Richard Elesho
His is a life of paradoxes. Trained as a scientist where seeing is believing. But called to a life of faith, establishing the existence of what is not seen. In appearance, he is spartan yet influential. Soft spoken, yet oratorian. Usually dressed in his trademark austere safari suits and bow ties, Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer, G.O of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Worldwide exudes simplicity and humility.
Daddy GO, as he is fondly called by members of the church, is a man whose faith many people would like to emulate. Last week Tuesday, the 79-year-old Pastor lost Dare, his third son, who he once described as miracle baby in tragic circumstances. He was not sick before he died sleepimg in his house in Akwa Ibom State where he was organizing a youth conference.
However, while in mourning the G.O did not take time to be back on the Pulpit. On Thursday, he found the faith to attend Holy Communion service. The following day Friday, he was at the monthly Holy Ghost program of the church at the Redemption Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan Express way.
Looking as if nothing had happened, he went philosophical in his sermon. “Whatever we have is given to us by God, be it wealth, wife, husband, children e.t.c and if it got taken away by God, all we can do is give God glory for actually giving us the privilege to enjoy that wealth or kids temporarily, and it is not for us to complain, blame and question God.
“What we see as sorrows might be joy in the sight of God, I mean His ways and thoughts are not the same with ours; we shouldn’t forget that both good and bad happen at God’s command. (Lamentations 3:38).
“Finally, in all things, let’s learn to say thank you, father, and It is well…
There is a peace that passes human understanding. It is only God that can give that peace. I thank God that I have that peace,” Vintage Adeboye, you would say.
Dare, second son of Adeboye, was committed to the earth on Tuesday. That was after a Farewell Service at the Youth Centre, Redemption Camp, Km 46, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide aka Winners’ Chapel, David Oyedepo; his wife, Faith; National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Francis Wale Oke and wife, Victoria Tokunbo; Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Noimot Salako-Oyedele; former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, and many other prominent Nigerians atteneded the burial service.
Dare died in his sleep last Wednesday in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, where he was serving as the Assistant Pastor in charge of Region (Youth) 35.
During his first public statement where he directly made reference to what happened, Adeboye said: “Dare died the way I would want to die. He (Dare) had been busy organizing a very successful youth convention in Akwa Ibom after which he told people around him that he wants to go and rest and that nobody should disturb him. He slept and never woke up.
“Death has surprised me. This is a very hard exam. I believe I have passed this tough exam before God. The greater the exam, the greater the reward. In March God spoke to me about a New season, about promotion, and that there will be rewards. The Higher you go, the harder the exams and greater are the rewards. This has been a very hard exam. This was a knockout blow. When I was a boxer, my coach taught me that when a blow knocks you down and you hit the floor; you shouldn’t rush to get up immediately; that you should let the referee count at least till 8; use that time to analyze what happened, which is what I have done since Dare’s passing.
“Without any doubt this is a big blow, a very heavy blow. As a former boxer I can tell you that the boxer never sees the blow that knocks him down. My son’s death caught me unawares. God never revealed it to me that is why it was so unexpected and devastating.”
-Watch another video of what he said about his son’s death here
-Watch video of Pastor Dare Adeboye’s burial here
Such complete submission to Divinity, sometimes at great personal loss has characterised his steps since 1973 when he embraced Jesus Christ. Great sacrifices with monumental outcomes dominate the trajectories of his journey.
At the early stages of his stewardship in the church following the passage of its founder Pa. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi in November 1980, Pastor Adeboye had accommodation challenge. For this first three years he was a part time pastor combining it with his lecturing job at the University of Lagos. But when he assumed full leadership of the church he had to resign and forgo his palatial quarter as a Senior Lecturer in the University of Ilorin. Pronto, he and his family moved to a single room apartment in Mushin.
He remained in the apartment with his wife and four children. As he was praying and hoping for a bigger house, he said God told him, son you are asking for a house, but I am giving you a city. Today, the Redemption Camp qualifies as a city. With about 12,000 inhabitants and more than 5,000 houses, its landmass is 2,500 hectares. The new church in the camp measures 1.5 kilometre by 1 kilometre, by far bigger than st. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican city.
Adeboye inherited a church of about 40 parishes. When he disengaged from lecturing, his lean resources became grossly inadequate to meet his needs and those of church members. Eating meat became a luxury for his family. They made do with ponmo and looked forward to eating ‘Okro meat’ – a new dietary inventiom of the Pastor. By and by, he had to sell his car and used the proceed to attend to some of the issues it could solve.
By this time he was already accustomed to a life of service and obedience. Adeboye was just an ordained Pastor when the General Superintendent (Founder) Pa Akindayomi requested that all workers in Ebutte Metta Headquarter of RCCG should empty their bank accounts and bring the proceeds to the church.
When they all retuned the following Sunday Pa Akindayomi asked that those who had complied with the instruction should raise their handds up. It was however observed that only pastor Adeboye and his wife had their hands raised.
One of the unique sacrifices made concerned the use of titles and academic recognitions. With age on his side and a PhD in Applied Mathematics in the kitty, Adoboye’s career target was to be the youngest Vice Chancellor, VC in Nigeria. It was little wonder then that the new pastor liked to be addressed as Rev. Dr. Adeboye as was the practice among his contemporaries.
He did not relish in this practice for long before God called him to order. An unconfirmed account claimed that God directed the Pastor to destroy his impressive academic certificates and completely rely on God in humility for his sustenance. The source added that Adeboye consequently obeyed the command by either shredding his certificates in pieces or setting them on fire!
A senior Minister in the church gave a slightly different account which he daid he heard directly from the GO. In the account Adeboye was told in a dream to sketch the diagram of a man on the ground. He did. Then God directed him to wipe off the diagram with his feet. Thereafter, God gave him a vital lesson in humility and service. He was said to have emphasized that any power the Pastor had was by God’s Grace and not from any man. God asked him to remain humble and warned that anytime he allows pride to set into his ministry, HE would wipe him off like the diagram. Since then, humility has been his watch word.
It was gathered that the man of God does not draw salary from the church. Instead, he gives to it. Proceeds from his publications go to the church. Adeboye is said to live chiefly on charity and donation from people. Yet his net worth is put in the neighbourhood of 100 billion Naira. He owns several exotic automobiles and a private jet. In 2008, the revered cleric was named one of the 50 most powerful people in the world by internationally acclaimed US magazine, Newsweek.
-Read the Newsweek story here
Adeboye was born on March 2nd 1942 in Ifewara, Osun State to Christian parents. His father was a farmer and mother, a locust bean seller. They were so deprived that even other indigent people called them poor. Young Adeboye was a good footballer and photographer. By hard work and a stint of luck Adeboye accomplished great feats in education bagging a first degree in Mathematics in 1967. He got married the same year to Foluke Adenike daughter of a Methodist Priest. He followed up with Master in Hydrodynamics and PhD in Applied Mathematics.
Some ten years after Adeboye’s birth, precisely in 1952 Pa Josiah Akindayomi founded RCCG in Lagos. Adeboye joined the fold in 1973. Two years later he was appointed a pastor in the fold and eventually became G.O in 1981 upon the founder’s transition s year earlier.
-See more burial photos below: