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PASTOR ENOCH ADEBOYE.........God's Servant Clocks 76 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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His gentle mein, soft-spokeness and most especially the overriding meekness and humility with which he goes about his ministration have endeared him to many. He  has been hosted by many dignitaries and institutions across the world and his reputation has gone far and wide. He is Enoch Adejare Adeboye, general overseer, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, a church which has grown to become one of the largest congregations in the world, with parishes in almost all countries.

Friday, Pastor Adeboye turned 76, a feat he attributed to the grace of God in his life. As part of activities marking the celebration, the RCCG will hold a marathon praise session tagged ’76 Hours International Marathon Messiah’s Praise. According to  Kunle Ajayi, a saxophonist and leader of the 2018 edition of the programme, the idea of the annual praise sessions came from God in 2012 to celebrate the RCCG overseer while setting new records. 

Ajayi, who is also a pastor and head of the church’s music department, said from the year 2012 when God handed down the vision  as a way of celebrating our father, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Marathon Messiah’s Praise has consistently thrilled the world while setting new records year in year out. He added, “While the world is yet to recover from the awe of that 74 Hours and 75 Hours displayed in the annals of musical history in the world, 76 Hours Marathon Messiah’s Praise is setting a new pace as it will be holding in about 16 countries across all the habitable continents of the world. This is a giant step in our quest to bring Marathon Messiah’s Praise to the doorstep of every living being on the planet.”, he said.

For Pastor, Adeboye, “birthday should be spent in meditation rather than celebration. The Bible says we should number our days so we could apply our hearts to wisdom. So, if there will be any celebration at all, it should be one of thanksgiving to God for sparring our lives to see a new beginning”, he said.  Meanwhile, dignitaries across the country are paying tributes to the distinguished man of God whose lifestyle has been an epitome of humility, little wonder the virtue of humility resonates in most of the congratulatory messages received.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina while facilitating with highly revered preacher and teacher, extolled the septuagenarian,  for his humility, focus, discipline and sacrificial spirit of giving up his personal comfort, career and dreams, to take up the higher call of leading the Lord’s flock. He affirmed that the exemplary leadership provided by the servant of God has resulted in an exponential growth of the church, which directly translates into development of infrastructure, building of educational and health institutions, as well as vocational centres that have created a means of livelihood for many Nigerians. 

He commended Pastor Adeboye’s warmth and friendliness, recalling his visits to the State House, and most significantly, the historic visit in London when he was on medical vacation. President Buhari said Pastor Adeboye has planted seeds of the gospel that posterity will always remember, especially his divinely inspired dream of ensuring that there will be a church within every walking distance in the country.

Rev. Samson  Ayokunle, president, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, described him as a “pride to all Christian Leaders in Nigeria and the whole of Africa…one of the meekest men on earth today. A man of God has greatly prospered in every way but without any sense of pride”, he said. Collaborating him, Rev. Felix Omobude, national president of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, said Pastor Adeboye has been a huge inspiration to all of ” us in the Body of Christ. Your impact is evident across all the continents and many generations. Your humility and generosity stand you out as a true leader.”, he said.

In spite of his lowly background, Adeboye surely understands what it takes to be successful man- a formula that is miles apart from the maddening pursuits prevalent in his time. Thus, his words resonate credibility. He had finished secondary school, winning prizes for Best Student but on prize-giving day, he had neither a pair of trousers nor a pair of shoes to use for the occasion and had to borrow from a relative. 

He was 18 at the time. This scenario may have spurred his determination to make success out of life. He would eventually trudge on to obtain a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1967, a Masters degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate in Applied Mathematics both from the University of Lagos in 1969 and 1975, respectively- driven by a passionate desire to become the youngest Vice Chancellor.

Today, he has climbed the rungs of several achievements, prompting the 2009 Newsweek Elite Edition (January 5, 2009), to list him as one of the Fifty Most Influential People In The World. In 2009, he led the Pre-Summit Prayers at the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, even as he dedicated the first Chapel in the Presidential Villa, Nigeria’s seat of power, Aso Rock, Abuja, in 2000.

And for several years, he has been honoured to serve as spiritual counselor to heads of states, ministers, political leaders and national decision-makers, many of who have made his church a spiritual retreat. The story of Pastor Adeboye exemplifies the possibility that a life can be completely turned around by adherence to the tenets of faith.

Born on March 2, 1942 in Ifewara, Osun State, to Moses Adeboye, a farmer and part-time traditional musician, and Esther Adeboye, a trader in locust beans, until his conversion in 1973, this servant of God also ‘kicked’ like the thousands he has led and is still leading to spiritual transformation. By the time its founder, Revd Josiah Akindayomi, passed away in 1980, the church had about 42 parishes. Today, the RCCG has a network of over 15,000 parishes in 100 countries across the globe. On December 18, 1998, Adeboye hosted the first Holy Ghost Festival in Nigeria with an attendance of over 7,000,000 people. 

This feat was repeated in 1999 with about 12,000,000 worshippers in attendance. The annual 3-day Holy Ghost Congress held every December at the Redemption Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ogun State, has replaced this programme. There is also a special 3-day Holy Ghost Programme held in the first weekend of March yearly. At each and everyone of these events, miracles, signs and wonders are reported with testimonies of God’s power to set free, heal, anoint, deliver, bless and empower.

With so many feathers to his cap, the temptation for the mortal man to puff up is present. Not Pastor Adeboye, who, as a young man, endured the grim stare of poverty and seemed not to have forgotten its harsh grasp on his wrist, as he struggled to write his way through education. Hence, he looks back with the advice: “For some people, being rich is not worthwhile to them unless someone else is poor. If your wealth is making you full of yourself and your head swollen, you are on your way to destruction. 

Have you become so unfriendly, distant or even unreachable to the poor around you? You are losing track of the righteous path God placed you on. Proverbs 29:7 says you should be at the vanguard of crusading for the welfare of the poor. Are you? Father, the more you prosper me, the humbler I want to be.”, he said. 

Testimonies abound about this anointed man of God. Adeola Omofade, a worker and member of Dunamis Parish, Oke Odo, Alimosho, LGA, said though he has not met the general overseer one on one, but he has been greatly blessed by his life and works. For instance, the Open Heaven devotional has mightily blessed him. ” I apply the teachings in the devotional and other books and here  I am today to the glory of God. He is great man and leader”, he said.  Adeboye’s humility are overwhelming. In his words Owolabi Adesoye, an assistant pastor with the RCCG said, “Baba Adeboye is very humble and simple. In everything, he is simple, even in his dressing and speech. And with humility, God would lead him to every level.”, he said.

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