The General Overseer (G.O) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye is a man of God, who has been a tremendous blessing and inspiration to numerous people and drawn lost souls to salvation by the grace of God
Although he leads one of the fastest growing Christian Churches in the country and probably in Africa, majority of the flock he ably shepherds apart from calling him “Daddy G O” or Father in the Lord” know little or nothing about him. This is probably because of a philosophy which seems to emphasize the power and glory of God in all that he does, rather than highlight his own personal achievements or contribution to the phenomenal growth of the church and the body of christ. As he will say, whenever commended, “Glory be to God.”
In any case, the humility of Pastor Adeboye is so well-known and reflected in everything that surrounds him. It has also become the hallmark of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which he has led since he was appointed the head of the church in 1981. This Piece Is an attempt to bridge the gap regarding necessary information about the General Overseer. The intention is that the member of his congregation as well as other Christians and Non-Christian alike can learn something about his life, humble beginnings, relationship with God, career and Christian ministry, and also that it is only through total dedication and commitment to God that man can achieve true holiness and elevation.
HIS EARLY LIFE AND CAREER
Pastor E.A. Adeboye was born on 2nd March 1942 at Ifewara in the present day Osun State, western part of Nigeria. His parents (now of blessed memory) were indigenes of the town, which is about midway between Ilesha and Ondo towns.
He had a strict Christian upbring which was engineered by a church going culture, which was the prevalent style of Christianity Of those days. This church-going attitude gave him an appreciation of God, but made no extraordinary or outstanding Christian out of him.
He underwent primary and secondary education which were almost curtailed due to the problem of funds, barefooted and in tears. He recalls “for the first seventeen years of my life, I never had to wear shoes.” However, as God would have it, he survived against all odds to graduate from the University in 1967, at the age of 25. Between 1967 and 1975 he had added two more degrees, an M.Sc in hydrodynamics and a Ph.D in Applied mathematics, and lectured at the University of Lagos and university of Ilorin. Before his lectureship at these Universities, the G.O had taught mathematics at two secondary schools viz: Okeigbo Grammar School, Okeigbo near Ondo and the Lagos Anglican Girls Grammar School, Surulere-Lagos,both in Nigeria.
It would appear that his academic and professional career and achievement greatly prepared him for the office into which God was to call him later on.
THE DIVINE CALL TO LEADERSHIP
The appointment of Pastor E.A Adeboye to the leadership of the Redeemed Christian Church of God as the General Overseer had been revealed even before he became a member of the church. The revelation had come to the General Superintendent of the Church in the early 70s that his successor would be “a young educated man.”
In those days, it was very rare to see young educated men, especially University graduates in Pentecostal Churches, which were considered to be too fanatical for their own liberal consideration of life. Rather whenever they choose to attend churches, they settled for the more conventional ones which did not quite infringe on their freedom to continue to revel in the passions of the flesh. Thus when the young University lecturer became a member of the church in 1973, Pastor Akindayomi (the GS) was able to recognize his successor in the spirit, as the person the Lord had spoken to him about. His burning zeal for the Lord, his readiness to learn, even from people far intellectually inferior to him, his intensive study of the words of God as contained in the Bible further went to confirm the veracity of the revelation received by the General Superintendent. Coincidentally, about five years before he became the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Adeboye himself had some revelation concerning the appointment. After sharing it with his wife, they had been in complete consternation, and had fervently prayed and fasted for God to allow the cup to pass over them. However, only the will of God would prevail. One year before the event, he had another divine revelation concerning the appointment.
Before passing on into glory, the General Superintendent had revealed to select groups of the Church’s Councils at different instances, the divine will of God regarding his successor. From human perception, it was hardly comprehensive that a young man aged thirty-something, who joined the church just “yesterday” will become the leader of the church, over quite elderly men in their late forties, fifties and sixties who had been in the church for between fifteen and twenty years before! He also revealed that those who might not wish to see the fulfillment of the wish of God will be removed by God himself without affecting the progress of the church. In any case, God has said that His ways are not our ways.
When the General Superintendent was therefore called by God to higher service on 2nd November, 1980, most members of the church knew on whose shoulders the mantle of Elijah would fall, the question was accepting the will of God.
The will of God eventually prevailed and on the 21st of January 1981 (after only seven years of accepting Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, at the tender age of 38 was consecrated as the leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and choose the title, “General Overseer.”