When Pastor Adeboye marked 40th anniversary as General Overseer, RCCG
General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has celebrated 40 years as the General Overseer of the church.
In a recent video obtained from his social media account, the cleric gave an overview of his 40 years as the General Overseer.
It will be recalled that Pastor Adeboye became the General Overseer of the church in 1981 after the death of the founder Pa Josiah Akindayomi who died in 1980.
The church was established in 1952 and made modest strides until 1973 when Pastor Enoch Adeboye joined. He gave his life to Christ in the church in the course of looking for healing for his third child who had earlier been struck by a strange disease.
According to Adeboye, the child was always crying and doctors could not fathom what had gone wrong. But all that became history as soon as he surrendered his life to Christ. His family was generally touched and a new life began.
But Adeboye’s life and that of the RCCG seemed to have had a date with destiny as he soon assumed the leadership of the church in 1981. God had already spoken to both him and the founder that he would be the one that would lead the church. Amidst several controversies and disenchantment of some members, Adeboye then a university lecturer became the General Overseer of the church.
On joining the church, he faced the twin problem of acceptance and that of poverty. The entire tithe of the church then was not more than N7,000. But that was soon addressed as he began exposing members to principles of prosperity. He also had to introduce new programmes. He introduced the digging deep and that the faith clinic to the church, a development which has given the church a solid foundation.
According to a statement credited to pastor Adeboye in the church’s publication, the digging deep started with four people, Pastor Adeboye, Brother Lawal, Bro Ojo and Sis Omoniyi in his house on Adelabu Street, Surulere. The programme was transferred to Ilorin when he went to Ilorin. The faith Clinic was also started when God spoke to him in 1980 that he was going to start a programme that would be called Faith Clinic. Pa Akindayomi and Rev. E. Hagin both now late confirmed this separately.
He introduced the Model Parish, a development which church experts say has given the church its meteoric rise. The first model parish was inaugurated in May 1988 at 1, Ladipo Oluwole Street, off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos with Pastor Tunde Bakare, now of the Latter Rain Assembly as the first pastor. There were reports that few months to the first anniversary of the church, Pastor Bakare said God had led him to start his own ministry. Majority of the members followed him to start the new work for God leaving only about 18 people according to a mission’s publication of the RCCG.
It is interesting to note that the second model parish was established in Ikoyi in August 1989 while the third was established in Apapa, Lagos on May 5, 1991, by Pastor Tony Rapu. The Church publication notes, “Pastor Tony Rapu, a medical doctor was one of the three young professionals called by pastor Adeboye in the beginning. Pastor Rapu gave all he had including selling his car and other valuables to bring the model parish vision into reality. He worked tirelessly to plant many other parishes and his efforts were rewarded but sadly he too left the Redeemed Christian Church of God in 1997”
Though the development shook the church, it soon got over it. Pastor Adeboye had earlier introduced the Christ Redeemers Friends Universal to take the gospel to the top echelon of the society like business men and captains of industry. He also started the Holy Ghost service in 1986 as a response to God’s directive and the Holy Ghost Festival in 1998.
Today, the church has spread all over the continents of the world with presence in about 197 countries.