George Adegboye, President and Founder of Rhema Chapel International Churche with headquarters inÂ Â Ilorin, Kwara
State is one of the top_flight evangelists in Nigeria. Known for prophetic and peculiar anointing, especially at crusade grounds, his ability to quote the Scriptures copiously has endeared him to many Christians both in Nigeria and overseas. He is described as the living encyclopedia of the Bible.
Last week, Adegboye was in Lagos to commission one of the new branches of his thriving church, located in Shomolu area of Lagos, where he relived memories of his encounter with Christ, and how the search for power and money led him into occult world several years back and many more.Â This is Adegboyeâ€™s confession….
Whatâ€™s happening here today?
We are inaugurating one of our branches situated in Shomolu, Lagos. Already, we have eleven other branches operating in Lagos here. This is the twelve branch we are establishing in Lagos. We started setting up churches in Lagos since 1991.
You were running a media outreach before now, what happened to that ministry?
We had the need to attend to other areas of my ministry. I had to attend to the building of our international convention centre in Illorin and also, attend to other things of importance like setting up outreaches overseas.Â That took away our attention and finances. But right now, we are planning to stage a come back to our media outreach in a big way.
Media outreach for us, is about going on air to preach the gospel. This time around, we want to be on several television stations as can give us prime air-time.
How did you derive the name the â€œworking Bible?
I got the name, â€œworking Bibleâ€ when I started traveling around the world preaching the gospel of salvation. The white people whom I came in contact with, while doing the work of God, had a way of describing the fascinating way I quote the scripture.
My ability to quote the scripture excellently earned me the name.Â They marvelled at it. The name has become synonymous with my ability to quote relevant portions of the scripture in line with whatever point or argument that Iâ€™m making while preaching the gospel.
Whatâ€™s your belief?
We believe in the word of God, we believe in the influence of the Holy spirit. We believe in the resurrection of the death, we believe in the judgement of the sinner as well as the believer. We also believe in soul-winning and the study of the word of God.
I am a working miracle myself. If you hear my story, you will know that thereâ€™s God.Â I am a living expression of Godâ€™s miraculous power.
How? Whatâ€™s your story?
Well, I was born about 53 years ago, precisely in Ofa, to the family of Mr and Mrs. Samuel Adegboye. My father was the Chief Executive of Education in the Northern part of the country. I had my early education in such places as Kastina, Kano, Borno and many other cities in the North.
I attended Ofa Grammar School from 1969 to 1973, where I completed my School Certificate Examination. I later proceeded to GSS, Okene, where I did my HSC from 1973 to 1975. I got admission to study at the University of Ibadan from 1975 to 1978, where I got my first degree and also, my Masters degree respectively.
I went into occultism because when my father died in 1973, it was believed that he was killed by some people who had diabolical powers.
So, I got myself involved in occultic practice as a way of protecting myself. And it was that bad. Between 1973 to 1980, I was involved in so many occultic practices. But God in his infinite mercies brought me out of the kingdom of darkness, to the point that I gave my life to Christ in 1980. And since then, I never looked back. Thatâ€™s about 30 years ago.
I have been traveling all over the world preaching the gospel of salvation. I lectured at the Kwara State Polytechnic for two years before veering into full time ministry.
How did you meet Christ?
I met Christ in a very strange way. When I was into occultism, I had nothing to do with the Bible. I didnâ€™t meet Christ in the Church because I wouldnâ€™t go to Church then, even if I was invited by someone. But on the day of my salvation, I was invited to a wedding ceremony by a close associate.Â I stayed away from the Church and made sure I had nothing to do with the Church.
At the wedding ceremony, the guests were singing, â€˜Oh I love Jesus and He first Love me.â€ There and then, my entire body started trembling, God touched me and it was strange to me. I ran out of the Church building to a safe place. I was later taken to where I was to passÂ the night, I heard a still-voice that said to me, â€œToday is the day of salvation, now is the acceptable time.â€
I quickly woke up and asked, â€œwho could that beâ€ but nobody replied me. I went back to sleep and the voice came to me the second time, and by this time, I could not resist the voice as I hesitantly approached my brother whom I was staying in his house to pray for me and perhaps,Â lead me to Christ.Â This, happened on the 28th of September, 1990, and since then till now, I have never looked back.
When some of your friends in the occult world heard of your encounter with Christ, did they come to trouble you?
You can be sure, some of them were shocked.
They thought I was joking. Some gave it different interpretation.Â Some said, probably because I had no money any more to drink as well as go to places where we used to go together, while many others said, it was long overdue because of the simple fact that if I donâ€™t embrace Christ now, I may not live long to do that again.Â Many of them have since been converted and they are with us in the ministry till today.
They know I had more power than they had so they had to switch over to Christ. Because of my personal experience with Christ, I cannot afford not to be a good Christian. The first thing some of my friends wanted to do was to drag me back to the world and back into occultism. When they did not succeed, they joined me in the Lord.
What actually led you into occultic practice?
It was the search for political power, economic power and social power. It was the search for power that led me into that direction. I wanted power to protect myself, power to be able to influence others as well as control things around me.
That was what led me into the occultic world.Â But in the search for power, I discovered that there was no power in those things that I sought after. I also discovered that the only power that is real today is Godâ€™s power. I was into all kinds of occultism. I was into juju. I was I making a lot of charms. I did that a lot and was very strong in it. Let me share an experience with you.
On one occasion, I visited a witch doctor to prepare a charm for me. After preparing that charm, he looked at me and muted, â€œitâ€™s only God in heaven who can make it work.â€Â I told him I was disappointed, that having come to you to prepare a charm for me and you are now relying on God for your powers.
I told him it is better that I go to that God in heaven, instead of coming to patronise you. And he replied me in the affirmative, saying, â€œif you think itâ€™s the wisestÂ thing to do, I will advise you to go to Him.â€ Since then, I have come to realise and perhaps, preach to people that thereâ€™s no other power thatâ€™s above the power of God.
I encourage my Christian brethren to continue to look on to God, and with Him all things are possible. No man or witch doctor can give you power. Power is of God, and itâ€™s only Him who gives power and takes away power.