77-year-old Pastor Enoch Adeboye became the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in 1981. Although he was not the founder of the church established in 1952, he has come a long way in actively contributing to its tremendous growth, with about 23,880 parishes in over 196 countries. He is a mentor and spiritual father to many men of God and well-known world leaders. Before he became a full-time pastor and evangelist, Pastor Enoch was a professor of Mathematics at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
A Native of Osun State, Pastor Enoch Adeboye is Currently 79 Years Old
Enoch Adeboye was born Enoch Adejare Adeboye on 2nd March 1942 in Ifewara, Osun State, Nigeria. He came from a very humble background and was one of his parents’ four children. Adeboye’s father was an illiterate farmer who did not believe in educating any of his children. In fact, the family was so poor that he could not afford to pay their school fees anyway.
However, Enoch was so particular about receiving a formal education, and when his requests to be sent to school were dismissed by his father, he went on a hunger strike in a bid to persuade him. His father eventually gave in and sold one of his goats to pay for his school fees. Thus, Enoch Adeboye was enrolled at the only missionary school in their village. After his primary education, young Enoch moved to Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State, Western Nigeria, in 1956, where he discovered his passion for science and mathematics.
Enoch Adeboye badly wanted to pursue higher education, but the ongoing Nigerian Civil War and his family’s dire financial condition threatened to thwart his ambitions. Yet, he chased his dream relentlessly and ultimately obtained not only a Bachelors’s (BSc.) degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1967 but also a Masters’ (MSc.) Degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Lagos, in 1969 and 1975, respectively.
Enoch Adeboye Had a Lecturing Career Before Becoming a Pastor
As a young man, Pastor Adeboye had one great ambition—to become the youngest Vice-Chancellor of any frontline University in Nigeria. Following his graduation from the university, he took off his career as a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Lagos. He looked poised to establish himself in a successful career in academics. However, things turned, and he had a different calling in the church though he didn’t quit his job.
He Joined RCCG in 1973
Enoch Adeboye came to the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in 1973, which was then headed by the General Superintendent, Pastor Josiah Oluwafemi Akindayomi. He became a born-again Christian on 29th July 1973 and decided to dedicate his life to the service of God by becoming actively involved with the church. And in 1975, he was formally ordained a pastor by the then General Overseer Pastor Akindayomi.
Before then, Enoch’s duty at the church was to translate Akindayomi’s sermons from the pastor’s native language, Yoruba, into English. Eventually, he started organizing Bible Study meetings, crusades, revivals, outreaches, and the evangelistic programs known as the Congress, which proved to be very successful. At the time, he shuffled his positions in the church with his lecturing job in Unilorin but finally decided to quit the job after three years to fully delve into ministry.
Adeboye Became the RCCG’s General Overseer in 1981, After the Death of Pa Akindayomi
Impressed by Pastor Adeboye’s dedication, Pa Akindayomi decided that he was the man meant to succeed him. In 1981, Akindayomi died, and pastor Adeboye took over the leadership as the church’s General Overseer based on an instruction left by Akindayomi before his death. After becoming the G.O., he acquired land along the Lagos Ibadan expressway, which today serves as the Redemption Camp, where the Holy Ghost congress service is annually held.
Today, Pastor Adeboye has worked very hard to expand the church’s outreach from Haiti to Germany, India, the UK, and the US. In his words, he said that he wants to plant the Redeemed Church within five minutes walking distance in developing cities and five minutes driving distance in already developed cities. Currently, Pastor Enoch Adeboye is considered one of the most influential pastors in Nigeria and globally.
Who is Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s Spiritual Father?
All successful people in this world have someone they looked up to or who motivated them while still climbing the ladder of success and even after they have succeeded. This is no different in the Christian world, as no minister or man of God wakes up one day to become one without having a spiritual figure who is more knowledgeable than him. In January 2020, rumors went around in an online report suggesting that Pastor Enoch Adeboye declared Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai to be his spiritual father.
Uma Ukpai is the president of Uma Ukpai Evangelistic Association Incorporated, a nondenominational gospel ministry in Uyo Akwa Ibom state. In reaction to this, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) general overseer debunked the rumors stating that it is simply false. He said that evangelist Uma Ukpai is a long-standing and highly respected man of God but is never his spiritual father. In addition to that, he revealed that his spiritual father remains Late Reverend (Pa) Josiah Akindayomi, the Founder and General Superintendent of RCCG.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s Awards and Recognitions
- 2008- Pastor Adeboyewas awarded the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
- 2009- He was named one of ‘The World’s Fifty Most Powerful People by Newsweek Magazine (USA).
- 2010- Enoch Adeboye was also presented with the Spiritual Pillar of Nigerian Sports, a National Sports Honor.
- He received several honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Lagos and an honorary doctorate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Other Interesting Facts About Pastor Enoch Adeboye
His RCCG Conventions Attract International Church-Goers
Today, the annual RCCG Conventions, which is hosted by Pastor Adeboye or Daddy G.O as he is fondly called by many, in Nigeria, the UK, Asia, and the US, has an average attendance of over 7 million (Nigeria), 50,000 (UK), and 10,000 (US).
Pastor Adeboye Has a Massive Media Presence
His television programs are broadcasted on a digital-cable channel called Open Heavens TV, Liveway TV, and Satellite radio. More than that, the man of God is also available on popular social media platforms, including Instagram, where he has amassed over 1.3 million followers, among others.
The General Overseer of the RCCG Is Also a Writer
Pastor Enoch Adeboye has written over 60 books. His daily devotional manual (Open Heavens), with over 1 million published annually and available in English, French, and other major languages of the world, is globally distributed and widely read.