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■ Kumuyi, Oyedepo, Okonkwo, others to quit
Stories by Olakunle Olafioye, Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Bolatito Adebayo and Ayo Alonge
the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has announced his retirement as the presiding head of the church in Nigeria.
Adeboye’s announcement was said to have been made in the early hours of yesterday during a thanksgiving service for ministers in the church shortly after the first Holy Ghost service of the year held at the new auditorium of the church.
Daddy G.O, as Adeboye is fondly called, was reported to have named Pastor Joseph.O Obayemi, as the new head of the church in Nigeria, while he (Adeboye) remains the Spiritual Head and Global Missioner of the church.
Adeboye’s retirement as the head of the church in Nigeria is coming barely two months to his 75th birthday slated for March 2, 2017.
A source at the meeting where the announcement was made told Sunday Sun that the information came as a major surprise to the ministers who were in attendance, including Adeboye’s successor, as he was said not to have had a prior knowledge of the development.
Sunday Sun reportedly gathered that Adeboye’s decision was a reaction to a recent directive by government mandating heads of organizations in the country, including religious organizations to step down after attaining age of 70.
The directive, which is believed to be a new legal requirements set up by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, guiding all registered churches, mosques, CSOs, also stipulates a maximum period of 20 years for heads of religious organisations to lead just as they are restrained from handing over to their family members.
If this report is anything to go by, a number of heads of churches in Nigeria including the Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi, founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church and Bishop David Oyedipo of Living Faith Church (AKA Winners Chapel) may have to toe the same path as Pastor Adeboye.
Dr. Mike Okonkwo was born on September 6, 1945, while Pastor Kumuyi was born on June 6, 1941.
Although Bishop Oyedepo has not attained the prescribed retirement age of 70, his headship of the church is said to be far above the 20-year tenure prescribed by this new directive. The Living Faith Church World Wide formerly called Liberation Faith Hour Ministries started in 1981.
Confirming the development in a letter to key leaders in the church, Pastor Funsho Adesola, the newly appointed General Secretary, RCCG Nigeria, said, “sequel to some legal provisions guiding the operations of registered religious organizations and civil society organizations in Nigeria, RCCG Nigeria now has an overseer, a general secretary and a treasurer.
“Pastor Joseph Obayemi, the Assistant General Overseer (Finance) will be the overseer for RCCG Nigeria.
“Pastor Funsho Odesola, the Assistant General Overseer (Admin) will be the General Secretary, RCCG Nigeria.
Pastor Joseph Adeyokunnu, the Financial Controller, will be the Treasurer for RCCG Nigeria
Kindly be informed that this new structure is particular to Nigeria alone as Pastor E.O Adeboye, Daddy G.O, remains the Spiritual Leader and Global Missioner, Redeemed Christian Church of God,” the letter read.
OH! DADDY G.O.
CHURCH MEMBERS WEEP, EXPRESS SHOCK
some members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG yesterday said they were shocked by the news of the retirement of Pastor G.O Adeboye as the General Overseer of the church and the announcement of Pastor Joseph Obayemi as his successor.
Pastor Adeboye made the announcement during the Thanksgiving Service for Ministers in the church shortly after the first Holy Ghost service of the year held in the new auditorium of the church.
Reacting to the development a member of the church, Gbemi Adeniyi said she was shocked by the development and expressed her worry: “I am shocked and I am really afraid because I doubt if things will remain the same again. Redeemed Christian Church of God is a big church and Pastor Adeboye has been doing a good job and so I doubt if another person can properly fit into his shoes,” Adeniyi said.
Olamide Akinyele, another member of the church, said the news of Pastor Adeboye’s replacement did not come as a big surprise to him as, according to him, age was no longer on the side of the immediate past G.O. “I expected it because he will be 75 soon. The only thing is that I don’t know this new person. However, I am not really bothered about this person because considering the fact that Daddy G.O has a track record of someone who hears directly from God, so I know he must have heard from God.”
On her part, Olaitan Odumosu said, “I am confused right now and I have been speaking to people high up in the church hierarchy about this development and it has been confirmed. Honestly, I don’t know what will happen in the church because I spoke to two more members and they also said they were confused. But I was told that Daddy G. O retired because there is a new policy in the church that says that if you are above 70 years you should retire as the general overseer. However, right now, I am just watching how things will unfold.”
Speaking in the same vein, another member of the church, who simply identified herself as Adebimpe said she was scared by the news. “I heard the news but I am scared. I think Daddy G.O is doing this because he may have seen that the end is near. You know he is very spiritual so I am really concerned about him, maybe God has told him he will soon leave us.
On his part, a pastor in the church, Pastor Richard Minet sees the development differently. According to him, “Honestly, the online media are just sensationalizing this story because it is not exactly as they are saying it. Daddy G.O is still the General Overseer worldwide and he chose Pastor Obayemi as the G. O Nigeria. Pastor Obayemi will be the one doing all the administrative work here while Pastor Adeboye will oversee things worldwide. It is a great decision because the Nigerian arm is the biggest part of the church and you know age is no longer on his side. I also trust the person he has chosen because I know he must have heard from God.”
This view was equally echoed by another minister in the church, Pastor Yinka Sobande who said, “Daddy G. O didn’t say he will be retiring and leaving the church like everyone is making it to sound. He is getting old and so he will be leaving all the administrative works for Pastor Obayemi.
Adebayo Bukunmi expressed confidence that the new G.O would live up to expectation since he was picked by Pastor Adeboye. “Since it was Daddy G.O himself that picked Obayemi as the new general overseer Nigeria, I think it is a good thing because he must have prayed over it. There might be a little problem here and there but I know things will fall into pleasant places on the long run,” she said.
Ebun-olu Adegboruwa, human right lawyer, RCCG Pastor reacts:
“I have seen a post by which it is said that Pastor Adeboye has not retired but he is now to be addressed as General Overseer, RCCG worldwide.
“I have now checked the Constitution of the Rccg and also spoken to senior members of the Mission on this issue. What pastor Adeboye told us himself was to introduce to us a new general overseer. So I cannot see an overseer under another overseer.
“In times past, Pastor Adeboye himself had told us that there is nothing like RCCG worldwide.
“Rccg churches in other nations are registered under the laws of each of those nations and there’s no such legal entity as Rccg worldwide. You cannot create an inexistent position for Daddy GO to embarrass him. If God told him to appoint a new General Overseer, so be it. There is no need for controversy in this matter.
“The other issue in this is the wrong impression being created that but for the law and regulations of the Financial Reporting Council, Daddy GO would not have stepped down. This is not so at all, given that Pastor Adeboye himself had said in times past that he would soon hand over the reigns of power.
“I’m glad that an official statement has now been issued by the Church that Pastor Adeboye is now the Spiritual Leader and Global Missioner.
“We love our Daddy and still look forward to his leadership roles for the church.”
RCCG under Adeboye
born at Ifewara in Osun State to pagan parents, Mr. and Mrs. Moses Adeboye, Pastor Enoch Adeboye began his primary education at St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School, Ifeware, Ilesha and proceeded to Ilesha Grammar School.
He had his B.Sc. degree in Mathematics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and subsequently got his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Lagos. He worked as a lecturer at the universities of Lagos and Ilorin,
Adeboye’s membership of RCCG in 1973 was circumstantial. After his wedding in 1968, Adeboye’s wife had to be delivered through caesarian operations on three occasions. The couple was thus advised to put an end to child bearing. Yet to get over the news that his wife might not survive a fourth shot at childbearing, the couple was beset with a major challenge as their third child was afflicted with a major illness, forcing the couple to search endlessly for solution to the ailment.
The search for solution took Adeboye and his wife to different parts of the country where they consulted herbalists, spiritualists, and many medical doctors to no avail. While seeking solution to this problem, Adeboye was led by his uncle, Rev. Chris Fajemirokun to the Redeemed Christian Church of God in 1973, headed by the General Superintendent, Pastor Josiah Oluwafemi Akindayomi.
On July 29, 1973, Adeboye was baptized by immersion and ordained pastor in RCCG on September 14, 1975. Adeboye who was then a Mathematics lecturer, soon began to translate the sermons of Pastor Akindayomi, from Yoruba into English until the man passed on in a London hospital on November 2, 1980.
By Divine Providence, Adeboye became the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God on January 21, 1981. For three years, he combined his church responsibilities with his academic duties at the University of Ilorin. As a result of the enormity of the responsibility, he had to resign his appointment as a lecturer for a full time ministerial work.
Since he took over as the head of the church, the Redeemed Christian Church of God has grown phenomenally to become Nigeria’s biggest, with branches globally in about 190 countries, including more than 14,000 in Nigeria.
Adeboye’s ascendancy in the church ushered in series of developments which many believe contributed immensely to the growth of the church. Adeboye, while spelling out his vision for the church, had stated that “his aim is to put a church within five minutes of every person on Earth.”
He introduced the model parishes in Nigeria and first Friday monthly Holy Ghost services. On December 18, 1998, he birthed the annual Holy Ghost Congress when he took millions of Nigerians to a virgin sandy land in the Lekki area of Lagos for an all night spiritual extravaganza tagged Holy Ghost service Lekki ’98. The theme of that programme was ‘Divine Visitation’ with a record attendance of millions of worshippers where millions of people were said to have made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord that night. From those wooden structures at Ebute Metta in Lagos, The Redeemed Christian Church of God now has over 7,000 parishes in over 120 countries of the world. They are involved in establishing schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other support centres.
How Pastor Adeboye released bombshell at Holy Ghost Service
By Ayo Alonge
the January 2017 edition of the monthly Holyghost Service of the Redeemed Christian Church of God has gone down in history as the one when Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, erstwhile General Overseer RCCG announced his resignation from the national affairs of the church, and appointed Pastor Joseph Obayemi as his successor.
In attendance at the first Holyghost Service of the year were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
The service, which was held at the 3km by 3km new auditorium, started at exactly 7pm on Friday with a session of worship and series of song ministrations. The Assistant General Overseer (Admin and Personnel), Pastor Funso Odesola, took the first message.
Afterwards, the wife of the former General Overseer, Pastor Folu Adeboye, fondly referred to as Mother-in-Israel, led the congregants through a session of prayers for the nation.
Later Pastor Enoch Adeboye took over to deliver the main message on the theme of the service entitled, “Abba Father.” He did not give any inkling that he was going to bow out that night, but simply focused on the crux of his message.
The service was brought to a close at 1:10am with the benediction to disperse the congregation. After a short recess, another service strictly meant for the ministers of the church started.
It was during this service that Pastor Adeboye threw the bombshell, announcing his decision to step down from superintending over the national affairs of the church in compliance with a new policy of government that binds all religious and civil organisations.
Adeboye immediately announced Pastor Joseph Obayemi as the new General Overseer (Nigeria). Until his appointment, he was the Assistant General Overseer (Finance). Pastor Funso Odesola was announced as the new National Secretary and while Pastor J.A. Adeyokunnu was appointed as the new Treasurer.
Adeboye also requested that the congregants pray for the new leadership after which he also prayed for them.
The ministers’ meeting had begun with Adeboye announcing that a new anthem for the church had just been composed and must be learnt and sung by all always.
The ministers were totally bewildered by the announcement with several of them shedding tears.
A minister, Tochukwu Ubochioma, said: “To be sincere, I was shocked when Daddy G.O. announced that. I wasn’t expecting such, but his explanation was audible to the deaf and visible to the blind, meaning that his explanation was clear. I’m still excited, and he remains my spiritual leader. I absolutely trust his leadership and judgement. RCCG will keep advancing forcefully. God bless RCCG, God bless Pastor E.A. Adeboye (Daddy G.O.). God bless Pastor Joseph Obayemi, our new National Overseer,”
Another high point of the meeting was the endorsement given to RCCG members to actively participate in politics by joining any political party of their choice.
“Members of RCCG in Nigeria should go and join any party of their choice and be card carrying members from their wards. All RCCG members should be strong members of a political party. We should all be involved in Nigerian politics,” Adeboye was said to have told the ministers.