In this masterpiece, Ayodele Ale, a journalist and lawyer paid glowing tributes to Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye as he marks his 70th birthday

“Everybody prays to attain old age. And the
celebration of the 70th Year of one’s existence on earth is, no doubt,
an opportunity to roll out the drums and clink glasses. But when the
General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch
A. Adeboye, had the annual thanksgiving service with his pastors on Jan 8, 2012 at the Redemption Camp, along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, he
shocked the gathering.
The cleric told the gathering that whoever was organising any birthday bash for him either in Nigeria or abroad was on his own
Adeboye said he had already told the Almighty God
what he wanted: more souls for the kingdom of God and 70,000 children
for those who want children among the congregation. He counselled that
instead of wasting money, such funds should be donated towards the
development of Redeemers University, which he said was desirous of
moving to its permanent site.
Yet, there is every cause to celebrate a man who has

triumphed over adversity and the tides of life. A few months ago, during
the monthly Holy Ghost Service, he told the congregation that he was a
child of fate that joined the Pa Adeboye family, following the demise of
a male child, at a time when the mother had given up on child bearing
and the whole family was imploring the bereaved woman to ‘try once

Interestingly, he was born to a poor family. To
illustrate the extent of the poverty in the family, he told a selected
group of journalists that the day his father bought a new umbrella and
brought it to the family home all the members of the family had burst
into songs for the ‘umbrella miracle’ in their home.
Right from elementary school, Adeboye excelled
academically. But then, he had difficulty getting decent clothes to wear
to the prize-giving day events where he had to receive prizes for
emerging top of his class.
For a man who had cheated death several times, the
occasion calls for celebration. In one of his messages, he narrated how a
vehicle driven by a European, who came for mining exercise in one of
the communities around his hometown, almost killed him.
Alone in a vehicle one night, the car gave the
indication that the fuel tank was almost empty. He kept driving amidst
the dangers lurking in the dark, while the hope of refuelling was dashed
as all filling stations had closed business for the day. “All God told
me was to stop looking at the fuel indicator in the dashboard. I
complied and the vehicle travelled miles until it got to my compound in
Lagos,” he said.
It was the tides and adversities of life that brought
him into the RCCG fold sometimes in 1973. He was ordained two years
after. But once the PhD holder in mathematics had put his steps on the
righteous path, he never looked back.
From all indications, his predecessor, the late Pa
Josiah Akindayomi, also knew that his successor had come. Apart from his
diligence to the service of God, his deeds spoke for him. In one
instance, the church was said to be in dire need and the founder of the
church asked all the members of the church to close their bank accounts
and bring the proceeds to the church.
The following Sunday, Pa Akindayomi asked those who
complied with his order on the issues of closing their bank account to
signify. Only Adeboye and his wife raised up their hands. Apart from
serving as interpreter to the founder of the church, he also assisted
him in quite a number of ways, especially in the area of arranging his
With the passage of Pa Akindayomi, the mantle of
leadership fell on him. Obviously, this provoked reactions, especially
from those who believed that succession to such an enviable position in
the church should be based on seniority. Many of them had to quit the
church in protest, even as he was praying and fasting with his wife that
the much coveted cup of GO should pass to another person. But it was a
prayer that went unanswered.
With his huge responsibility as the leader of the
church, the mathematics lecturer was left with no option than to quit
his job. His colleagues in the university were aghast at his decision to
settle for church leadership, not minding the prospect of continuing
with his career as a university teacher. But he was sure of his call.
And he had to surmount so many odds, most of which came from the church.
Under him, the RCCG has been growing in leaps and
bounds. At present, the church boasts of thousands of parishes all over
the world and maintains physical presence in over 100 countries in
Africa and beyond. Some of the programmes of the church, like the
Monthly Holy Ghost Service, Holy Ghost Congress, Annual Convention and
so on, have made the Redemption Camp ground, along Lagos/Ibadan
Expressway a central of attraction due to the mammoth number of people
that congregate there each time such programmes are held.
The reasons for the success of RCCG cannot be far-fetched. Holiness defines his character while he wears humility as a garment.

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