Pastor E. A. ADEBOYE
Fondly referred to as Daddy G.O. Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye is the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). Born to Papa Moses and Mama Esther Adeboye on March 2, 1942, he had a strict Christian upbringing, which not only gave him an appreciation of God, but also made an extraordinary and outstanding Christian man out of him. As a young boy, he was registered at St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School, Ifewara to begin his primary education. From there he gained admission into Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State.
As a youth, he discovered a passion for books and a love for numbers and figures, which led him into obtaining a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics from the university of Nigeria, Nsukka, as well as an M.Sc. degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate degree in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Lagos in 1969 and 1975 respectively. Growing up as an Anglican, Enoch Adeboye had a vague knowledge of God’s existence but did not have a relationship with him until 1973, when he became a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
From the moment he gave his life to Christ, Pastor Adeboye eagerly shared the gospel. His passion to win souls for Jesus led him to reach out to members of his extended family, and neighbours. In 1981, Adeboye was appointed General Overseer of the church, taking over from, late Rev. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, the founder of the church, who died the previous year.
The church was not that popular before Pastor Adeboye took charge, but now the Redeemed Church has parishes in over a hundred countries, including more than 14,000 in Nigeria alone. Pastor Enoch Adjare Adeboye is married to Pastor Foluke Adeboye, with whom he has 4 children. This modest woman of God is also called Mummy G.O. Baba Adeboye’s reputation as a strict disciplinarian and a hardworker with a caring heart has earned him the enviable position of being likened to the father of the nation and a Christian elder statesman. A few weeks back he spoke to Thisday Style.
What was it like growing up in the Adeboye household?
It was interesting and preparatory. There wasn’t a lot of money but there was discipline and love.
Do you believe your childhood had an influence on the life of the man you are today?
Of course I do. The discipline, hardwork and the inculcation of the right moral values stood me in good stead later in life.
How and when did you give your life to Christ?
It was in 1973 at the headquarters of the Redeemed Christian church of God, Ebute Metta, Lagos.
This happened while you were still lecturing at the university, did you at the time, envision yourself becoming a Pastor?
No, I didn’t. If I had, I would have quickly ran way.
In 1981, you were made General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. How did you feel about the huge responsibility being entrusted on you at the time?
You must remember I was 38 years old at a church founded in 1952. I was young in age and young in membership. I had no choice but to run to God for help. He responded and told me what to do. He has not stopped and I constantly rely on Him more than ever before.
How were you also able to deal with the changes you had to make in your personal life?
I had to learn more about how to put my body and flesh under rein.
Did you at any time miss being a lecturer?
No I did not and never thought of returning to the classroom.
How do you cope with the burden of leadership and knowing that millions of Nigerians look up to you for hope as God’s trusted servant?
The answer is leaning on the Rock higher than I.
Have there been times when you have felt the pressure was all too much for you to handle?
God has an extremely loving way of relieving the pressure of ministry and can be quite intimate and personal in so doing.
Tell us about your wife, Mummy G.O. How did you meet her?
There is no woman like my wife, Folu. She is a friend, companion, co-labourer and intimate confidant. I cannot imagine life without her. I met her through a friend.
How long have you both been married and what attracted you to her?
We have been married for 45 years. Her love of God is what I find most attractive in her.
How have you both been able to sustain the warm, loving , caring relationship you both obviously still share?
By simply following God’s word on marriage and dealing with each other with love.
What do you think is responsible for the increase in failed marriages these days and what advice do you for young couples struggling with the stress of building a happy home?
I don’t have the statistics on that, but I do pray the numbers are on the decline. Obeying God’s word on marriage will alleviate the stress of building a happy home.
What do you think is the reason behind the sudden explosion of Evangelical churches in Nigeria ?
“Sudden explosion” is a dramatic phrase to describe church growth. God can bring about a revival anytime and anywhere.
How do you think Nigerians should avoid falling prey to false prophets who take advantage of the ignorant and desperate people in our society?
You will know a false prophet by his fruits. In the course of time, every false prophet will be revealed to all.
Do you think the church can play a positive and effective role in the recent turbulent socio economic and political situation in the country?
Yes I do. The church can pray more. 2012 would have been far worse without the prayer of the praying saints. God said we should pray more in 2013. The church should teach on forgiveness and boldness.