CHURCH BUSINESS: For Pastor Adeboye, it’s 40-year of God’s goodness as RCCG GO, but …
By Oludare Mayowa
The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) family worldwide celebrated the forty years of the leadership of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye as the General Overseer of the movement on Thursday.
It was a well deserved accolade for the great man of God whose impact in the ministry has grown far and wide beyond the shore of the country.
I equally joined millions of his congregations, fans and admirers all over the world to wish him well and congratulate him on the lofty height he has elevated the church over the years.
For those who know the history of the church, they could not but commend the great man of God for his doggedness, hard work, diligent and vision which has brought the church from obscurity to great limelight.
I am sure that if the founder of the Church, Pa Fadayomi could look down from heaven, he would be blessing the day he listened to God’s instruction to anoint Pastor Adeboye as his successor.
Two great events in the life of the church proved to me the visionary and calling of God upon Pastor Adeboye.
The first one was his vision to rescue the church from the ‘traditionalists’, those who believed that ‘this is how it has always been done’ and those who believed that they understand the doctrine of the church more than the leaders because of their longevity as members of the church.
I could recall working with a Christian journal back in the 1980s, I had to cover some of the meetings of the Friend of Christ at the Mainland Hotel, Oyingbo, which was the beginning of the establishment of the model Parish of RCCG.
The man of God was far reaching in his vision to attract quality and educated people like himself to fulfill his vision for the movement and lift the movement to a higher pedestal.
Top business gurus, political leaders and high society big guns were attracted by that vision of his, which later led to the birth of the English speaking model parish of the church for more exposed people while he allowed the traditional mainly Yoruba-speaking church to run paripasu.
Top bankers and other professionals were ordained to pastor some of the model parishes on part time basis and this led to a surge in growth and reach of the church and in no time those who were insisting on retaining the old way (culture of ‘self righteous, SU dressing’ etc) significantly receded and gave way to growth.
The other event was the Lekki crusade he organized in the 1990s, the first of its kind in the country when people could not reach the venue of the programme and have to stay as far as Lagos bar Beach to worship, due to the unprecedented crowd of human that trudged to the venue to participate in the worship service.
That singular event led to the birth of the popular Redeemed Camp along Lagos Ibadan Expressway and the tremendous enlargement and development that has taken place in the church ever since.
These examples bore glaring testimonies of the vision, commitment and spiritual greatness of the man of God over the years.
Apart from the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa of the Church of God’s Mission, Benin, no other Christian leaders in this part of the world has been able to influence many upcoming and top leaders of the Church across great divide.
His charismatic leadership has been elevated to a position of the ‘Pope’ of the Pentecostal movement in Nigeria and even in the Sub-Saharan Africa as many GOs bow at his feet in reference to his quality leadership and spiritual gift.
Also, his humility is legendary, unlike some thin gods in ministries who once they attain a crown of 500 or a thousand congregation membership turn themselves to mini idols to be worshiped by their followers.
However, one blip on the greatness of this man of God is his continuous holding-on to the position of the General Overseer of the largest Pentecostal church in the continent, even after he had attained the ‘regulatory’ 70 years of age for retirement.
According to words from insiders, the original constitution of the RCCG stipulated that the GO of the church must retired from active service at the attainment of the age of 70.
Today, Baba Adeboye, as many church leaders call him, is 78 years old, though still agile and strong, but his stay back as the leader of the church remain a bad precedent for the movement and the upcoming leaders within the Christendom.
Like the typical African leaders who see themselves as the ‘Kabiyesi’ who must reigns for ever till death do them part from the throne; Baba has continued to hold on to his position, even when he has had cause to retire many Assistant GOs in the church as they attained the age of retirement.
It’s time for him to step down, ordain, mentor and watch his successor while he is still on this side of eternity to take the church further, even beyond his own dream.
Like it is said, a leader without a successor is a failure, so he should not allow bootlickers and those who cry Hosanna today and crucify him tomorrow around him to hoodwink him to think and believe that without him still in the saddle the church will not progress.
His holding on tight to the position of the GO of the church may eventually create major challenges for the movement in the later day and the church may not be able to survive the struggle for power that may follow his ascension to the great beyond whenever God calls him back home.
I am aware that many of his followers may come for me for calling on him to take a bow for his deserved rest on the sideline of the ministry; I am assured by my good intention both for him and the church in doing this.
It’s my prayer that the Lord who called him will open his eyes of understanding to the truth and enables him to take the wise decision to follow the path of certitude that will assure the continuity of the great work he has bestowed on the movement over the years.
For me, I believe that the most honourable and morally sound thing for Baba to do right now is to anoint a successor the same way he was ordained many years ago to lead the church to its new glory.
It’s time for him to take the back seat to allow his successor and those he has mentored and groomed over the years to take up the mantle of leadership of the church and continue the good works he has laboured over the years to accomplish.