Pastor Adeboye: Ministry, vision and nation building – Part 1
The wind of time blew me to Ede, Osun State, last week, Tuesday, April 12 (my birthday) where I delivered a paper on Daddy G.O @ 80: His Ministry, Vision And Role In Nation Building. The lecture was at the instance of Redeemer’s University in Ede. The University’s Council and Management chose the day to mark the 80th birthday of the Visitor to the University, Pastor, Enoch Adejare Adeboye fondly called Daddy G.O. The Visitor to the University clocked 80 years on earth on March 2, this year. It was indeed another “voyage of discovery”. The trip from Lagos through Ibadan to Ede confirmed what people have been saying about our Southwest governors and representatives in Abuja: that they don’t deserve any attention wherever there is any discussion about representative democracy. Now, you need about two hours to pass through Iwo Road, Ibadan before facing Ikire, Ife Gbongan Road, the only access route to other SouthWest states and indeed the SouthEast, SouthSouth and other parts of the country. The road reiterates my earlier proposal that we need to enrol Southwest legislators who have been enjoying jumbo pay in Abuja into a Hall of Shame – for dereliction of democratic duties to their people. The road from Lagos to Ibadan is still largely uncompleted and from Ibadan to Oshogbo, the capital of Osun State carved out of Oyo State is an emblem of shame on our people who have been with the PDP and APC since 1999. What is more curious, a former Governor of Lagos State has been Minister for Works since 2015. I won’t say more.
But the only consolation on the journey is that I met a growing private and mission University on its way to significance and stardom. The Redeemer’s University (of the Redeemed Christian Church of God) which I saw and traversed is indeed a citadel of learning. The university has not only its remarkable anthem, which ends with “And onward pressing marching on; To change the world for God”, it has also evolved as a cultured institution that produces modern graduates who may not seek public sector jobs, after all. They relish in the true meaning of their vision: “To be the foremost academic institution setting standards through continuous commitment to excellence geared towards making a transformative impact on society”.
Their mission is: “To continuously impact the society through commitment to excellence in education, research, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and raising global leaders as change agents imbued with God-fearing attributes”.
They have already built a great deal of entrepreneurial content into their curricula and modules. They involve students in production of so many (commercial) products including agriculture, notably victuals. The University’s corporate culture doesn’t show pretence about secularity. It is run as a faith-based university and the management reflects not just a culture of excellence, it radiates true Christian values that you can feel everywhere you go on the campus. The management, staff and students allow their light to so shine before even visitors who will glorify God for the light they radiate.
It is already written that the Redeemer’s University set up in 2005 is a confirmed World Bank-powered African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the reference place for sequencing research for diseases in the whole of Africa. It is gratifying to note that private universities are rising while public universities are in crisis in Nigeria, no thanks to curious presidential democracy since 1999.
Here is, however, an excerpt from the 6, 886-word paper, I delivered on the life and times of this God’s General, E.A Adeboye who has continued to run with the vision of the late Rev. Josiah Akindayomi that God used to set up the phenomenal RCCG in 1952.
EXCERPTS “…Indeed, there are so many things we can write and say about this very educated but humble man of God who truly believes that there is no man of God who can be significant without the grace of the God of man. Our own Daddy G.O, one humble God’s General, is a classic example of a significant man. The man from Ifewara, Osun State, by the grace of God, has become a global citizen. We have to salute our great man of God, one of Nigeria’s remarkable brand ambassadors. This man is undoubtedly the Barnabas (of our time) the only that man the Bible boldly describes in many versions as “A Good Man, full of Holy Spirit And of Faith”. So, our Daddy G.O, God’s humble General, 80 Hearty Cheers!
Lessons from His Mission and Ministry
Olufunke Adeboye who wrote on the impact of the former Mathematics teacher’s ministry on the society, his life and calling in a 2017 book, noted that Adeboye has been General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) since 1981. “Within these 41 years now he has expanded the reach of the church, instituted various innovative programmes and broadened its membership base. His visionary leadership has steered the ship of the church through various courses without any major rupture. This has earned him respect from various quarters across the globe and made him a model for many young people…” The book identifies some areas of influence where the mark of Adeboye has remained indelible both within the local context of the Nigerian society and the wider global community. This also underscores the fact that the RCCG is no longer a local ‘brand’ but a transnational church with parishes in more than 200 nations of the world.
For those who have not been following the man’s life journey though “this wilderness called life” as iconic Kofi Awoonor calls it, the first area in which the ministry of Adeboye has impacted the society is in the multitudes of souls converted from their old ways to Christ. Evangelism is his real passion, which grows from the Mission and Vision of the Church. Mission and Vision of RCCG:
(1) To make heaven. (2) To take as many people with us.
(3) To have a member of RCCG in every family of all nations. (4) To accomplish No. 1 above, holiness will be our lifestyle. (5) To accomplish No. 2 and 3 above, we will plant churches within five minutes walking distance in every city and town of developing countries and within five minutes driving distance in every city and town of developed country.
At 80, Adeboye still preaches every day – in fulfillment of the fundamental objectives and directive principle of RCCG kingdom (nation) building policy. He visits correctional centres to preach the gospel to bad boys and girls there. Some have just been released from Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre through his ministrations and prophetic utterances.
The big man who would like to be called simply “Pastor” doesn’t make fiery political statements. No matter what you tell him about any fire on the mountain, in the context of the parlous state of the nation, or even the church, he would smile and tell his audience to “go and win souls” of the bad and wicked people, and the scoundrels that you are complaining about.
As I was saying, there is fire in his belly but he doesn’t use such powers to bring down powerful people. His anointing has broken many yokes, yet he is humble. He doesn’t allow any exploits and miracles wrought through him to get to his head. He always thanks His father who gives the grace to do the exploits. His is a life of “Thanks-living”. His is more than “Thanks-giving”. He truly believes in the words of Christ revealed through part of His Sermons on the Mountain: “…But I say unto you love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use and persecute you; That you may be children of your Father in heaven…” (Matthew 5: 43-45). Not for the man of God to pray dangerous prayers for the enemies and the wicked to fall down and die. That is a great lesson I have imbibed from the life and times of Daddy G.O, who holds a doctoral degree in Mathematics from the University of Lagos.
It is also worth noting that while most of Adeboye’s converts probably came from the background of mainline Christianity, a whole lot never had any Christian encounter before. Many were involved in destructive, anti-social behaviours before they got converted…” Olufunke claims. It is difficult to give a precise number of souls saved through Adeboye’s ministrations because of the sheer spread of his activities at various congregations. These include sermons given in various parishes of the RCCG at special programmes such as the “Go-A-Fishing” evangelistic outreaches, Holy Ghost Services, Annual Convention, Holy Ghost Congress, open-air crusades in various communities and stadia, services held on the campuses of various Nigerian universities…’ as revealed through various writings.
His Special Holy Ghost Services are being held in various nations of the world such as the “Festival of Life” in the United Kingdom. Added to these are the programmes held outside the RCCG fold to which he is often invited as guest preacher.
In addition to the conversion experiences through evangelistic ministry are testimonies of miracles that have taken place under Adeboye’s ministrations. These testimonies range from healing of physical ailments, deliverance from barrenness, provision of jobs and breakthroughs to deliverance from the powers of darkness.
In 2008, Adeboye’s ministry got international press endorsement when he was listed by the American Newsweek newsmagazine as one of the Fifty Most Powerful People In The World. According to a citation on the man by Lisa Miller of Newsweek, two things impressed the magazine editors about Adeboye. One was his integrity the tribute writer described as “reputation for honesty”. According to the report, “behind Adeboye’s extraordinary success is his reputation for honesty. While other Pentecostal pastors (including some Nigerians) have been accused of financial misdeeds or faking supernatural powers, Adeboye remains above the fray”.
The second quality the magazine pinpointed, is his commitment to the task of church planting much like the way “Starbucks used to build coffee shops everywhere”. This endorsement by the reputable international medium shored up Adeboye’s image and enhanced the RCCG’s brand reputation within and outside Africa.
It was, therefore, not surprising that Adeboye was invited in September 2009 to lead Pre-summit Inter-faith Prayers for Global Peace at the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. The International Prayer Council of the United Nations, in September 2009, actually organised a prayer session titled: “Uniting in Prayers for the United Nations”. This pre-summit inter-faith prayer attracted representatives of more than 68 nations. In attendance were leaders of various religions. Nigeria’s Adeboye participated actively in this session…”
TO BE CONTINUED.