The fifth Enoch Adeboye annual birthday public lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 6, at the J.F Ade-Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos.
God called the revered pastor to service while he was teaching at that institution cutting short his dream to be the youngest vice-chancellor.
The lecture, which will be delivered by Michael Omolewa, a professor and former permanent delegate/Nigeria’s ambassador to UNESCO, is entitled ‘Peace: The Global Quest’.
Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the vice-chancellor of UNILAG, will be the chairman of the lecture which will be attended by distinguished personalities from all walks of life.
The lecture series began in 2015 and has had, as its speakers, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Oyewale Tomori, Femi Atoyebi and Jide Osuntokun.
Noted for his infectious humility and devotion to the service of God, Adeboye was 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.
He started his education at St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School and continued at Ilesha Grammar School.
To fund his education at that level, his poor parents sold their few cherished possessions and borrowed money from kind neighbours to ensure that their son lived his dream. The situation worsened when his father died while he was still in school.
He tells the story of his birth: “My birth in 1942 in a room at Ifewara, Osun state, was mysterious. I asked my mother when and how I was born.
“She said it was a time when a certain king mounted the throne in Ilesha.
“And I said that was 1942. She said it was a Sunday when an event was being celebrated in the church, and that she was alone in the house when she delivered me.
“She explained that it was a very strange Sunday because the rain was falling and the sun was shining at the same time, which is an indication in Yoruba that a tiger is being born.
“You may think I’m joking but it is true: one of my nicknames is ‘The Tiger’. But do I look like a tiger to you now? I am Enoch, Elisha, Sunday, Adejare, Adetona, Olagundoye, Adeboye.”
Pastor Adeboye taught briefly at a local school before gaining admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). The Nigeria civil war disrupted his education at UNN, making him move to the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), for his first degree.
He followed it up shortly with a masters degree and a PhD in hydro-dynamics from the University of Lagos at the youthful age of 30.
His ambition was to be the youngest university vice-chancellor in Africa but that was aborted when in 1973 he joined the Redeemed Christian Church of God by divine intervention. Two years later, he was ordained a pastor.
Then as Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, founder of the church, grew older, the issue of his successor came up. But before he passed on November 2, 1980, at the age of 71, he had left a clear statement about who the Lord had chosen to succeed him. Adeboye was the choice.
He and his wife cried to God to let the cup pass over him, but He did not answer their prayers. In January 1981, Adeboye became the new leader of the church.
From 40 parishes, including the headquarters parish, in 1981, RCCG has spread to over 195 countries. There are at least 732 branches in the UK and Ireland. The church is still expanding rapidly, utilising evangelism as a core tool along with church planting.