By Sam EYOBOKA and OLAYINKA LATONA
Thirty years after the baton of leadership changed hands at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, the General Over-seer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has revealed the secret of his outstanding break-through that has brought the church from obscurity to a global organization.
Speaking at the just concluded Special Holy Ghost Service to mark the 25th anniversary of the Holy Ghost move, the 69-year old inveterate evang-elist recounted an en-counter he had with God a long time ago which has formed the fulcrum of the growth people are witness-ing today.
The 3-day special Holy Ghost service titled ‘Divine Champions’ began on Thursday, March 3, 2011, a day after the G.O.’s 69th birthday anniversary be-came the golden oppo-rtunity for the reverred preacher to outline the secrets of his success.
Narrating his story, Ade-boye said: “When I started several years ago as the General Overseer of this mission, I went to my Daddy to ask for His enablement and He asked me what kind of pastor I would want to be. I was confused and could not answer the question. Daddy asked me if I would want to be; the best pastor there is, the greatest pastor or the richest pastor.”
Continuing, Pastor Adebo-ye said he didn’t then hesitate to answer that he wanted to be the best, the greatest and the richest pastor. “The Almighty God didn’t say anything any more,” he added.
Daddy G.O. continued: “I went to a place to minister one day and the time came for people to give their offering. The Lord then said to me clearly; ‘If you want to be the best, the greatest and the richest pastor, can you give me N1,000.00?’ At that time N1,000.00, to me, was like N10 million, but I said “Yes Lord!’”
At another occasion, the cleric continued, “when I had another opportunity to give an offering, my Daddy came and asked me the same question again and my reply did not change. And He said; ‘Can you double that offering?’ In other words, can you give me N2,000.00? It was not convenient but I said ‘Yes Lord’.
“It didn’t end there. The Lord came again the third time, asking me if I could give Him N3,000.00. If I didn’t know the voice of the Lord, I would have said; ‘Get thee behind me, you Satan.’ But the voice was unmistakable and I said; “Yes Lord.’
“That is the secret of my breakthrough today,” he said, stressing that if anybody wants to get to the top such a fellow must endeavour to listen to the voice of God and obey any instruction therefrom whether or not it is con-venient.
A life of obedience to God’s instruction has been the secret of the explosion in an obscure Redeemed Christian Church of God, founded by Rev. Josiah Akindayomi in 1952 destin-ed by the Lord Himself to take the world for Him, which today is known all over the world. Since 1981, an open explosion began with the number of parish-es growing in leaps and bounds.
Pastor Adeboye is known to have spoken of the three spiritual ingredients of greatness to include; Holiness, Hallowing God and Humility which have taken the church to the enviable position it had found itself today. The winning formula of 3Hs, some say, can be summed up in Obedience to God’s instructions.
The first day of the special programme, which marks the anniversary of the birth of the general overseer and that of the Holy Ghost Services, was dedicated to smaller ministers drawn from the four zones of the country; South South, North, South East and the South West, who were given the opportunity to speak on the same theme, ‘Divine Champions’ and when the G.O. himself mounted the pulpit at about 12.10 a.m. he scored the preachers very high, not without acknowleging minor flaws in their sub-missions.
Day 2, the main day of the Holy Ghost service, was flagged of by one of the regular faces at the Camp, Rev. Joe Olaiya, who described champions as individuals who have the nature of God which gives them the capacity to be stars that shine, stressing however, that every champion has challenges. Taking the congregation on a voyage through Scriptures, Rev. Olaiya concluded that many champions die as a result of pride—taking the glory for their prowess instead of ascrib-ing same to God.
According to him, three ways of recovering lost glory include; clinging to Jesus Christ, humility and faith in God. Shortly after his ministration, the wife of the General Overseer, Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye took the mike to lead the large congregation in a prayer session for the nation and its leaders with particular reference to the forthcoming elections. She said: “Fellow Nigerians, there is no better time to pray for the country than this period when God Himself is raising Divine Champions among nat-ions of the world. This is the best time and we are all going to take this opportunity to pray for our nation.”
By the time Daddy G.O. came, the atmosphere was already charged and everybody roared when he announced that as at 7.00 p.m. on that second day of the programme, 17 babies had already been delivered in the church’s clinic within the camp—13 boys and four girls, adding “Let the boys shout Praise the Lord. And let the girls shout Hallelejah!”
Speaking on the same theme, the 69-year old preacher began by diserting the words, saying that a chapion is the one raised by God.
According to the former boxer, a champion is the one who remains standing when the battle is over, pointing out that someone who has the support of God has no earthly reason to be afraid because God is the Mighty Man in battle. Drawing inspiration from several biblicl passages, he outlines steps that must be taken to become a champ-ion and to stasy a champion despite opposi-tion.
The highlights of the programme include the giving of prizes to three individuals who performed excellently well at the boxing tournament to mark his 69th birthday ceremony, and parade of over 55 erstwhile militants who are currently being prepared by the church as evangelists to the Niger Delta area. Adeboye said sometime ago “we visited the Niger Delta for a programme and several militants gave their lives to Christ and tonight they have come.”
He told the young men who were all dressed in T-shirts with inscription; ‘I am for nonviolence’, “I want you to be ambassad-ors of Christ. Where I cannot reach you can reach. Tell those who are still in the creek about the need to embrace peace especially at this time of the nation’s development.”
Three persons who came out with outstanding per-formance at the bosing competition to honour the General Overseer on his 69th birthday, including the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fash-ola, Coach Joe Mensah, Prince Wale Olagundoye were honoured with certifi-cates for active participa-tion.
The third prize winner at 64 kg weight category, Ajimi Olaide went home with N250,000, Kemi Ade-bayo (51 kg) got N350,000 and Kehinde Ojo Obare (60 kg) bagged N450,000.