By Ayo Ogunsan
If I have a story to tell today about Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi, the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, it would be that on my way to Calvary, I met a man who showed me the way to live eternal when it appeared I had somewhat missed my way at the labyrinth of life.
Of course, I had Christian parents who brought us (their children) up in the way of the Lord. Yet, perhaps by what some would call providence and happenstance, I still didn’t get born again through them. If I hadn’t met this man, I would have been lost in sin and my life made miserable since the wages of sin is death.
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On that fateful day, dated November 24, 1990, with all the reluctance in me, I was practically foot-dragged to the Government College, Agege, the venue of a regular crusade, otherwise called Great Miracle Crusade.
Now I know God was preparing Pastor Kumuyi to lead to me Him. It was just a simple message of salvation that came from that altar. Then I heard God calling my name in total surrender to Him. I heeded that call without any struggle whatsoever. Just I was without one plea!
Since I met Christ in that crusade, I have laid my hands on the plough and never looking back. Pastor Kumuyi, a man I will forever celebrate, is that oracle of God sent to me to minister salvation and grace to me. I don’t know where I would have been now if I hadn’t been graciously favoured by God to meet him early in life. O ye wretched man that I was!
Aside from being my spiritual father to my family, daddy is one person that has continued to act in locoparentis to me, in all facets of life. He is that father, mentor, leader, and pastor I want to continue to follow his steps, through Christ, till the end of the world, God helping me.
In summary of that heavenly encounter and experience, here is an evergreen song that readily comes to mind:
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was thereby faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all day.
Today in history, this same man who has touched so many lives, including mine, was born. God chose to gift him to humanity on June 6, 1941. It was intentional. It was a Friday.
An attempt to rhapsodise the attributes of Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi will be tantamount to filling a tank from waterdrops; a daunting task you would say, especially for a man who is meek in all his ways and humble to a fault.
As an ardent follower of Christ who has been lost to discipleship, daddy exemplifies the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit and the nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23 and 1Corinthians 12:1-11.
Not many know that, at a whopping 80, baba is still very agile, dedicated and sold out to the pulpit. Not many 80-year olds have such strength: a clear indication that God keeps renewing his strength.
If you ask me, I want to grow old into my eighties and have good memories of myself and me from people. The most endearing of such stories to tell would be the number of souls I have won for the Lord, just like our daddy, an evangelist so committed to soul-winning.
Again here is the goodwill message straight from Golgotha— that here is a man whose ideals and goals centre on the salvation of souls, holy living, rapture, and heaven as the ultimate goal on the last day. Not many clergymen in the world today focus on that. I do not intend to make any comparison here though.
Where will you spend eternity? That’s the question that intermittently pops out of the mouth of the man of God. I mean the man of God who has totally surrendered to the will of the God of man.
Glory to the faithful Father of grace and truth, from whom all blessings flow, who has always confirmed the ministrations of Pastor Kumuyi with signs following. Yes, daddy has taught me that miracles signs and wonders are a testament to the fact that when there is people that can pray, there is definitely a God that can answer. To this end, countless testimonies abound through baba’s ministrations.
Under baba’s tutelage, I have learned that God is still in the business of saving, healing and delivering His people, if only we make ourselves available for Him.
Again, hear the Holy Book here in Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Does that make any sense to you? Well, to me, it sure does. Sin is that barrier between us and God.
Just like daddy himself who got born again on April 5, 1964, and largely inspired by the books of John Wesley, Charles Finney, Charles Spurgeon and others, I make bold to say that his messages and books have largely influenced my life in ways too numerous to mention.
A pastor, evangelist, and author of tens of books and a former lecturer of Mathematics at the University of Lagos, the vision of the church’s campground situated at Kilometre 42 on the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, came to many by surprise, but not to me. I have always known Pastor Kumuyi as a big dreamer who then makes himself readily available to God for use. That was the same way the international headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos, and the International Bible Training Centre (IBTC) at Ayobo, Lagos, came into existence.
If there is something I have learnt more from daddy, it is humility, simplicity, and godliness. He is quoted to have said that he happily looks forward to a season when no black strands would remain on his head while minding the Father’s business. Oh! What joy that fills his heart when perishing souls are brought back to the fold of the Father of light full of mercy!
For a man who is widely traveled for the sole aim of propagating the gospel of salvation with a view to depopulating hell and expanding the kingdom of God, hitting 80 is nothing but a pointer to God’s amazing grace and unflinching faithfulness to a man I see as His mouthpiece on earth. All glory to the God of wonders beyond the galaxy!
Here is a man who led me to the old rugged cross. Suffice to say that the crucial role baba played in the salvation of my soul and still in my daily Christian walk cannot be quantified by mere words. I daresay that his mission on earth is fulfilled through me, a one-time wretched sinner, who he led to Christ.
I can say for a fact that he is focused, visionary, disciplined and remains unperturbed, despite a litany of criticisms often heaped on him for the sake of his faith and the path His God is leading him through, in his Christian walk with Him.
With eternity and the Great White Throne Judgement in view, no man of his calibre would be moved by worldly things which are but ephemeral. Holiness remains his watchword, notwithstanding the fact that many often dare such gut about him. You won’t blame him. As enshrined in the Holy Book, gospel leaders must be largely seen drawing souls to God, and that is the bedrock of our faith. Matthew 6:33 says “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.”
He continues to draw inference from 1 Peter 1:15-16— “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”; and Hebrews 12:14 — “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Hailing from a remote village in Erin-Ijesha, Osun State, lends credence to the fact that Daddy Kumuyi had a humble beginning but was determined to succeed and influence all others around him, with a common goal of making heaven, through holy living. With all the passion and earnest expectation in his veins, he has been, on a couple of occasions, spotted weeping on the podium, while calling on sinners to give their lives to Christ.
Since “it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)”, baba has, through the ministry, on several occasions, donated to philanthropy and humanitarian services; little wonder why God continues to supply his needs and that of the church.
Please meet God’s general who led me to Christ and continues to monitor my walk with God to be sure I don’t err from the faith. Sir, your teachings and spiritual discoveries have been a huge blessing to my life so much that I can’t but be a blessing to my own generation too.
Daddy, as you attain this octogenarian milestone, may the floodgates of heaven remain open for you and may your fruits abide, in Jesus matchless name. From the depth of me, permit me to wish you a very glorious and memorable birthday filled with bliss and blessings on every side.
Dr. Ayo Ogunsan is the Chairman of the Executive Group and a Board Member of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).