From poverty to pulpit: Pastor Adeboye’s narrative in print
In a new book, General Overseer Worldwide of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E. A. Adeboye, tells the story of his amazing transformation from debilitating poverty into a powerful man of God revered by millions of people across the world.
Entitled Stories of Pastor E. A. Adeboye, the man fondly called Daddy G.O. tells the story in his own words in testimonies compiled to read like an autobiography by seasoned author and journalist, Bisi Daniels.
The 350-page book, which shows for the first time the house in which Pastor Adeboye was born and the primary school he attended in Ifewara, Osun State, was released recently to mark his 75th birthday.
A man revered by millions across the world as a true man of God, Pastor Adeboye is a great believer in the power of testimony. He is himself a living testimony of the power of God. His sermons always contain stories about how people have experienced the power of Jesus Christ in their lives. This book is a collection of those testimonies, which reads like his biography right from his birth in Ifewara in strange circumstances to the present moment.
According to Daniels, the story of Pastor Adeboye becomes a compelling read, when after breaking free from the vicious cycle of poverty in his family to become a lecturer at the university and living in a palatial home, he abandoned all that to live in a one-bedroom apartment in Mushin, Lagos, as General Overseer of RCCG.
Daddy G.O. confesses that at that point he was scared, but God assured him of His support. Instructively, it was at that point God promised him a city, which has turned out to be the now famous Redemption Camp. “God’s response to me was, ‘Son, don’t ask for house because I have decided to build you a city,’’’ he said.
“That response was beyond what I could comprehend. After this encounter, I began to dream of a city where everybody would be a Christian; a city where there would be no molestation; a city where there would be no power failure or water shortages. God began to stretch my mind to see a city where His praises would fill every mouth.”
The church had only 40 parishes then, but it now has over 32,000 parishes in Nigeria, over 700 parishes in the United Kingdom, and many more spread across over 196 countries including Samoa, Fiji, Serbia, Pakistan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
The subjects covered in the book dedicated to Pastor Adeboye and his wife, Pastor Folu Adeboye, who stood by him during his most difficult times, include: The RCCG, and testimonies on Faith, Salvation, Miracles, Marriage, Fruit of the womb, Temptation, Unforgiveness, the dark world of Power and Principalities among many others. Mixed in with them is the fascinating story of Pastor Adeboye himself and how, having been born again, he rose from debilitating deprivation to become the famous and much-loved leader of the RCCG.
In a testimony about Mrs Adeboye, fondly called Mummy G.O, Pastor Adeboye revealed how he got his ever supportive wife, even when he was clearly the least qualified suitor: “There were many of us contesting for the hand of my wife. I wanted to marry a beautiful princess, but I was the least qualified among the many suitors. Out of the number, three of us were in the forefront. But I was a student, while one of us was a lawyer who owned a car. All I had was a ‘foot wagon’ (move around on foot). I decided to let her know my financial status. I said to her: ‘Please listen. I have nothing; no money, no house, no influence, nothing.’
“I told her that if I had anything at all, it was the little brain God gave to me. I have nothing to offer you except myself. If you will marry me, you will have me to yourself completely.” Surprisingly, she replied: “Because you are so honest, I will marry you.”
The author feels privileged and honoured ‘to work on this great book of a very great man of God; a rare person of our times, who so many people around the world are grateful to be alive to see at work for God.’
He adds: “I have written many books, but this is the most important and most impactful of them all, with the promise to touch lives of many people around the world. Sometimes I get the sense that I was specifically prepared by the circumstances of my life in the last nine years to write this particular book.”
Daniels says working on the book has transformed him, brought him closer to God and equipped him with greater understanding of the spiritual realm, particularly the less understood dark part, where mothers kill children they carried for nine months in their own womb, and cried in the labour room to deliver, to drink their blood and eat their flesh; where some mothers make their daughters barren or make it impossible for them to be married; where fathers cause their sons to lose jobs, and where wives gleefully turn their husbands to destitute and husbands use their wives for rituals.
In the foreword of the book he wrote just before he was sworn in as Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) recommended the book highly.
He noted that, “The sharing of what he calls ‘stories’ is an integral part of the sermons of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who is fondly called Daddy G.O.
“Most of Daddy’s ‘stories’ are indeed miracles, used to illustrate his sermons and show the power of God, rather than his own achievements. Having been a member of the church for many years and now a pastor, I have seen the efficacy of this style of preaching.
“Testimonies not only enhance the faith of others, but also honour God. This book, which contains testimonies of one of the greatest servants of God in this generation, is worth reading and learning from,” Prof. Osinbajo remarked.
One of the testimonies entitled, Dress Set Ablaze by the Holy Spirit, captured in the book goes thus: “During one of our meetings, I saw, from the altar, a woman running with some people following her. After the service they brought her to me and I asked, ‘What is happening?’
She said, ‘As you were preaching, my clothes caught fire, then I knew I had reached the place where I would be set free.’ What do you mean? I asked her. She said, ‘Let me tell you my story.’
“She was trying to protect her children from dying, so she went to a white garment prophet to ask for help. While she was waiting to be attended to, as the prophet was busy attending to other people, the prophet’s wife asked her what she wanted the man of God for. The woman told the prophet’s wife that she wanted to prevent her children from dying.
“The prophet’s wife said, ‘That is no problem, just take this kola nut and eat it, none of your children will die again.’ “Innocently, she took the kola nut and ate it not knowing that through it she had been initiated into witchcraft.
“Within seven days, she began to fly at night, attending meetings where they shared human body and so on to eat. Soon, they came to her to say it was her turn to provide meat for the feast. So, she killed her husband. Of course, she was very sad because that was not what she bargained for.
“From that moment, she started going from one Babalawo (witch doctor) to the other, but she was only adding petrol to the fire. The killings went round again and once more it came to her. This time, because her husband had been killed, she had to sacrifice one of the very children she was trying to protect. I think it was almost time for her to donate the second child when she came to the church. That was when the Fire of God came down mightily and her dress caught fire.
“We prayed a simple prayer and she went home. In some villages, they still use what is called pit latrines. It is a kind of toilet whereby when you want to relieve yourself, you do it on some old newspaper, spread on the floor, and transfer it into the pit. This was what she did that night, but to her amazement, she excreted a dead snake. And from that day, she became free.”
A GRADUATE of University of Ghana, Bisi Daniels started work as a trained teacher and later switched to journalism. He was the Business Editor of two of Nigeria’s most influential newspapers, The Guardian and THISDAY between 1993 and 1996. Within this period, he worked briefly as a speechwriter in Aso Rock to the Head of State.
He joined Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited in 1996 as Media Relations Manager. A year later, he moved to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria as Corporate Communications Manager. His job included media relations and speech writing.
After 12 years in the oil industry, he returned to journalism. Until recently he was the Chairman of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers and was also the Executive Editor, Business Desk.