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History and Growth of RCCG

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IN John 1:1, the Bible says;
“In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”. The trinity is well organized into dispensations. The eternity past (we know God has no beginning) up to the Old Testament period was the dispensation of God the Father.

The life and days of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ when He manifested as man was His own dispensat-ion.
The Holy Spirit dispensation started with the Acts of Apo-stles after our Lord Jesus had told the apostles He would send them a comforter and He fulfilled that promise. This chronicles the birth of the present dispensation.

In this dispensation, the Holy Spirit is the spokesperson for the trinity. From the birth of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in 1952 till now, the Holy Spirit has been the Helper, Guide, Counselor and the Catalyst. The Holy Spirit mini-stered salvation to the founder of the church, Rev. Josiah Akindayomi. His story revealed that he was born into a family of idol worshippers in July 1909. At 18 years, God had given him a heart that pants after God.

Pa Akindayomi was in the Cherubim and Seraphim Church when he recognized the voice of the Holy Spirit. Initially he was insensitive to the voice; however, the Holy Spirit was his teacher and threw more light on the word of God and made him discern the differences between the word and the practice in the C&S Church.

Rev. Akindayomi started Egbe Ogo Oluwa in 1952 with seven foundation members by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The group started the fellow-ship according to the word of God. The Holy Spirit revealed the name; The Redeemed Christian Church of God to him in a vision. The form of worship was as directed by the Holy Spirit.
This was the birth of a living church. We spoke to some of those who were members of RCCG in the 50’s and 60’s. Their accounts were thrilling and gave fresh insight.

One of them said; “The Holy Spirit moved in the early days of RCCG so much we usually wept during service after hearing the word. This is because you could see yourself as a filthy person before the Lord. We were known as ‘IJO ELEKUN’—THE WEEPING CHURCH. If a member came to RCCG with two or more wives, the Holy Spirit who knows our last days will counsel the fellow on marriage restitution. We thank God for the move of the Holy Spirit today. However, the Holy Spirit will do more if we please God in all ways and if we increase brotherly love and care”.

Another elder of the church has this to say about the move of the Holy Spirit: “The Holy Spirit chose Rev. Josiah Akindayomi, took him out of the miry clay, stepped his feet on the rock to stay, put the word first in his mouth to preach and taught him restitution. And above all, told him about his successor, then Dr. Enoch Adejare Adeboye shortly before he joined the church.

“Pa Akindayomi was quoted as saying; ‘Omowe haun haun, lo ma gba ise lowo wa”— meaning ‘my successor is a complete intellectual with sound education’.

“The members therefore start-ed picking on every new member with sound education as the likely next general overseer. Like Jesse in the Bible, they were all wrong. To avert distractions, Pa Akinda-yomi told them that his succe-ssor would be as tall as he was, and they both require same tailor’s measurement.

“The day our Daddy G.O entered into the church for the first time in 1973, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Pa Akindayomi announced to the congregation that his successor has joined the church that day. He visited Daddy G.O that same day for follow up as RCCG is known for”.

A retired Assistant General Overseer (A.G.O), Pastor J.A.O. Akindele who joined the church in 1962 said the Holy Spirit was Papa Akindayomi’s guide all through up to the point of choosing the first assistant general overseer for Pastor Adeboye. Papa had the mind to make Pastor J.B. Kappo from Badagry the A.G.O, but he was not God’s choice as Papa Kappo preferred a chieftaincy title in his hometown and left the church.

Pa Akindayomi thought again of making Pastor Igbe-koyi who was then at Bolumole in Ibadan the A.G.O to Pastor Adeboye, he was also not chosen by the Holy Spirit as he left the church. The Holy Spirit confirmed Papa Abiona who was then working at the Ebute Metta Town Council as the first A.G.O to the incoming general overseer. Papa Abiona then resigned from the local council in 1980 and went full time as a pastor in RCCG.

Papa Akindayomi went to be with the Lord in 1980 at 71. After the burial, Pa Akindayomi’s recorded announcement was played and Dr. Adeboye, a senior lecturer in Mathematics at different times at the University of Lagos, UNILAG and University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, took over as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God with 39 parishes.

Obedience to the instructions of the Holy Spirit and by implication, the covenant, is largely responsible for the explosion, phenomenal growth and miracles that we witness today. To God be the glory.

The Holy Spirit inspired Pastor Adeboye to start Model Parishes, CRFU and at fullness of time, establishment of parishes in different nations. This was initially executed by the model parishes who posted pastors abroad or by pastors already living abroad starting the parish. For example, Pastor Adeboye called Pastor James Fadele to start the first RCCG parish in the USA in his living room.

In 1985, the Holy Spirit asked Pastor Adeboye to request for a birthday present, the General Overseer of four years, replied he wanted a miracle for every member and the granting of this request by the Holy Spirit led to the birth of March Special Holy Ghost Service which later became a monthly event known today as Monthly Holy Ghost Service (MHGS) and ulti-mately, the Holy Ghost Con-gress.

The Holy Ghost Congress started in 1998 with Lekki ’98 tagged DIVINE VISITATION. Miracles, signs and wonders of the Holy Ghost Service have contributed immensely to the massive growth and amaze-ment that the church is today. The church is now in more than 180 nations with over 20,000 parishes and 220 provinces in Nigeria alone.

The Holy Spirit inspired the birth of Redeemed Campus Fellowship for students in Nigerian universities. This forum is now big, strong and spiritually viable. Recently, Pastor Adeboye has directed that Redeemed Campus Staff Fellowship (RCSF) should begin at the University of Lagos and from there hopefully spread to other universities in Nigeria and beyond.

Initially, the annual convention and Holy Ghost Service used to hold at the national headquarters in Ebute Metta. The need arose for a camp ground with larger space, which the church thought they had found at Ajebo, currently occupied by another living church.

The members and leaders of RCCG prayed, quoted scriptures to possess the land but the Holy Spirit answered in a different way. The leaders were led by the spirit of God to our present location of the camp ground which was a little larger than Ajebo at that time but have significantly increased over the years.

Only one third of the first auditorium by the entrance at the main gate was filled during the Holy Ghost Service by middle 1990. The first auditorium experienced three extensions before the camp meeting moved to the second auditorium in 1996.

The second auditorium went through a number of expansions before it beca-me inadequate and the gathering moved to the current space known as Arena in 2005. Again, the Arena has gone through three expansions and now a new auditorium is under construction. Only the Lord knows how many years the new auditorium will be used before it will probably be given out to the youth church. Praise the Lord!!!

The Holy Spirit has been responsible for the choice and tenure of the leaders of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, for its exploits and growth in the past and it is so today. And if the Lord tarries, it will be so in the future.

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