Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), who turned 76 years old on 2nd March, 2018, has touched many lives in various ways – some rather amusing.
In a funny, yet profoundly instructive story, a member of the Governing Council of the Church vowed not to call Pastor Enoch Adeboye on the phone again.
Sometime ago, Pastor David G Kuo was an RCCG pastor in charge of Kano State from where he called Pastor Adeboye over an issue. “I greeted him, but he responded with ‘Yes sir’, and maintained that in everything he said.
“Ha! Not sure he knew the person he was talking to, I reminded him, ‘Sir, emi David lo n soro, sir.’(Sir, David is the person speaking).
“But he responded emphatically ‘I know, Sir!’ and the ‘Yes sir’ continued.
“Aah, who am I for a whole Pastor Adeboye to address that way? I was worried.
“To avoid that I decided I would not call him again.”
Under normal circumstances, a boss addressing a subordinate that way is an indication that the latter may be in some kind of trouble or is being humoured. Besides that, even without being a pastor, Kuo knew that Pastor Adeboye, noted for signs, wonders and miracles, was a revered person. That was a lesson in humility.
The uncommon humility of Pastor Adeboye, which transcends the human realm, is one reason some people think he is more of a spiritual being than human.
It perhaps defies human psychology that a man who is so spiritually powerful, so widely revered, and even sought after by presidents of various countries hasn’t been afflicted by the seduction of success – a phenomenon characterized by pride and disrespect for others.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who Pastor Adeboye introduced to the supernatural world, has this to say about his humility in the foreword of a book, “Stories of Pastor E.A. Adeboye”, by this writer.
“The life of Daddy in itself is one big miracle! For a man born to financially-challenged parents in the remote village of Ifewara, Osun State, who had no shoes at 18 years old, who was not a Born Again Christian until the time he was a mathematics teacher at the University of Lagos, becoming the leader of a church with a strong presence in over 192 (now 198) countries, and with over 40,000 parishes in Nigeria alone, is indeed, a miracle worth knowing. For this same man to remain infectiously humble, in spite of his enormous power, influence and popularity, is also a miracle in itself.”
Pastor Adeboye is so humble that he doesn’t even want to take credit for his humility. He gives it to God who ordered the behavior after the massive success of the first Holy Ghost Congress in Lekki, Lagos in 1998.
He says: “Something happened after Lekki 98; one of the biggest programmes that we ever had. The whole of Lagos was paralyzed because of this programme.
“People walked kilometres to the venue and back. Fortunately, the programme was also transmitted by radio, so that those who couldn’t get there listened to it on radio. It was a fantastic programme!
“After the programme, I returned to the Redemption Camp and soon proceeded on a prayer walk to thank God: ’God I bless Your Holy name, what a wonderful thing, etc.’
“It was between 2a.m. and 3a.m. when He spoke. I heard him say clearly, ‘Son, bend down.’
I did that quickly because, you know, I was in the jungle. You never can tell; a witch could have been flying past.
And then He said, ‘Draw the figure of a man in the sand.’
“I drew the figure of a man: zero for the head, one line for the body and two lines for the leg and so on. You know that kind of drawing.
“God said, ‘Stand up.’ I did, but by then I was afraid because I knew something serious was happening.
He said, ‘Wipe out the figure you have drawn with your leg.’ I wiped it out.
And He said, ‘Son, if you ever forget who your boss is, I will wipe you out and nobody will even remember you came to the world.’
“That was what He told me. So, I smile when I hear people say, ‘He’s a very humble man. How can a man be so successful and so humble?’ You think I want to be wiped out?’”
The Osinbajo transformation
A law professor, Osinbajo believed only in the demonstration of (physical) evidence until he lost his passport after a trip to South Africa.
It is an interesting story he narrated himself. “One day, when Daddy (Pastor Adeboye is popularly called Daddy G.O) was travelling, we went to the Redemption Camp to help him with his luggage and I used the opportunity to tell him about my missing passport.
“He asked what happened, and I told him. I had searched everywhere, and even gone to the then popular Oluwole market in Lagos to check if it had been taken there for sale. I was told it would cost me N400,000 to get it, but I didn’t even have N40,000 to give.
“When Daddy heard my story, he said if we prayed I would get the passport back. I said to myself, ‘how does anybody even say that?‘
“But I told him, ‘Well, yes.’
“He prayed, ‘In Jesus name you will find your passport.’
“I responded, ‘Amen,’ and promptly forgot about it.
“However, a few days later, under 10 days, the person who stole the passport brought it back. That was a very important lesson in my life, especially in my walk with God.
“Daddy was the one who was able to show me that aspect of the supernatural. For me, who believed that evidence is the demonstration of what is seen, God showed me that evidence could be something not seen.”
These days, the supernatural aspect of Pastor Adeboye’s life is discussed much more than his physical nature.
Another surprising aspect of Pastor Adeboye is his unusual energy and staying power. He likes to walk long distances as exercise because he believes in taking care of the body as well as feeding the spirit. But the walk may not be enough reason for his abundant energy.
He has personally attended and led all major RCCG programmes at the Redemption Camp, which in itself is a testimony of God’s special favour on Him.
In 1981, while he worried about accommodation for his family in Mushin, Lagos, God promised him a city. Today, the Redemption Camp of several residential estates and reliable socio-economic infrastructure is growing into a city. He also attends programmes in many of the 198 countries where the church has branches. He hops from one programme or country to another making people wonder if he ever has time to rest.
At 76, instead of cutting his schedule short to rest, it is getting longer. Last month, the daily prayer session at the Camp for the church’s 50-day fasting season was increased to a week. He also began ministration for the church’s monthly thanksgiving service, broadcast live in all branches. It was also the month in which he organized special prayers for the nation at the Camp.
The 50-day fasting of the Church, with his full participation, ended on March 1, but it is only the first part. The second part, of 30 additional days, starts in July.
Asked if he would reduce or stop fasting, which some people observe has become his food, he had replied: “The moment I quit fasting, you can begin to expect my departure because I have resolved never to relax. As far as I am concerned, the day I cease to be relevant, I go.”
Even during the birthday week, it was all work. Solemn Assembly, a programme for ministers of God in RCCG to hold frank discussion with him, started on Sunday night and continued from Monday, both morning and evening session, till Wednesday night. On Thursday, there was a Holy Communion Service, followed on Friday by a heavily-attended Holy Ghost Service at the New Arena. He had also attended the closing of a marathon praise session.
So what happened to the birthday celebration? As usual, it was marked quietly at home, without disrupting the programmes of the church and he made no mention of it at the Special Holy Ghost Service later that day in a green outfit. It was the first time in the 32-year history of the service, which God approved as a birthday gift for him, it would coincide with his birthday.
Last year, a video in which people had lined up to touch a chair, that had been used by Pastor Adeboye, for miracles, went viral, with some people accusing the church of ritual practices.
The reality of the situation which was misunderstood is that the anointing on the Pastor has become so powerful that coming into contact with anything he uses could invoke miracles. There are many cases of barren women who have had their wombs blessed by eating leftovers of his food, or sitting on a chair he had used.
In one of the testimonies of such miracles, after a church programme in Dublin, an official of the church there took away the chair Pastor Adeboye had used to avoid the usual rush by people to use it.
The testimony: “There was a rush of women to sit on the chair I had sat on so that they could be pregnant as they had heard in many testimonies. But one man took the chair away.
“One of the women was sad but she quickly remembered that I had used the pulpit. She then rushed to the pulpit and rubbed her stomach on it. That same month she became pregnant. And when she was testifying, she showed three children – two boys and a girl – as evidence.”
…to be continued.