Pastor Foluke Adenike Adeboye, fondly called Mummy GO, was born on Tuesday, July 13, 1948, to the family of Jacob Adelusi Adeyokunnu in Ilesha, Osun state.
Today she is 70 years old, and members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) around the world are celebrating the moment with joy and thanksgiving for the life of the humble and hardworking woman behind the success of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye and the growth of the church from about 40 parishes in Nigeria to several hundred in about 168 countries.
In Australia, as in most of the countries, messages went around on social media urging people to pray for the woman who also suffered the poverty and pains of her husband in their early days. For example, during their marriage there was no cake, and after that, according to Pastor Adeboye, “I had no car, no house, we married into a rented room and a parlour.”
Years later, after he left the University of Ilorin to be General Overseer of the Church, “panmo” was their delicacy in their penury.
The message making the rounds reads: “Greetings to you in Jesus name. Pastor Mrs. Folu Adeboye (Mummy G O) turns 70 today Friday 13/07/2018.
“She is the wife of the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. Please spare a few minutes of your time today, wherever you are (be it in your office, at home, in your car or at Mission field) and pls say a word of prayer for her today.
“May the Lord raise helpers for you also as you fulfill God’s purpose for your life in Jesus name. Amen
Please share with your family & friends (especially RCCG members ) and let us pray for this woman of God who is a blessing to us all.
God bless you in Jesus name. Amen”
In the Youth Centre at the Redemption Camp, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the revered woman.
Mrs. Foluke Adeboye is the Mother-in-Israel in the RCCG family; a title deservingly conferred on her as a result of her status and various activities in the church.
According to her profile, Mrs. Folu Adeboye is blessed with rare gifts of administration, planning, hospitality, counseling, mentoring, ministering comfort, care, and encouragement to many, bringing hope, love and succor to the hopeless.
She is a missionary and minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ; a powerful intercessor, Bible Teacher & role model for lots of women; and a pioneer of multiple projects, ministries and missions to the glory of God.
With a passion for planting Christian schools, she has made immense contributions to the Nigerian Education sector, coordinating work in the field of Christian Education, by starting a vigorous movement (Christ the Redeemer’s Schools Movement) that has led to the founding of several Christian Educational institutions caring for the educational welfare of children in Nigeria and Internationally.
Pastor Adeboye does not hide the qualities of Mummy GO, which have endeared her to him for over 50 years. Below are some of the things he has said recently about her.
On Her 69th Birthday:”Happy birthday to my Baby! You make 69 yrs look good.”
On how he got her
When I was preparing this short talk for the Holy Ghost Service, (short because there are several other things God wants to do tonight), the Lord reminded me of what happened when I was getting ready to be married.
There were many of us contesting for the hand of my wife. I wanted to marry a beautiful princess but I was the least qualified among the many suitors. Out of the number, three of us were in the forefront. But I was a student, while one of us was a lawyer who owned a car. All I had was a “foot wagon” (move around on foot).
According to my wife- to- be, one day she was driving through my street, saw a beautiful storey building and felt it was my house.
“Ahh,” I said. “Who fit dash monkey banana?” (How could I possibly live in a storey building?)
“Story building?” I wondered. So I decided to let her know my financial status
I said to her, “Please listen. I have nothing, no money, no house.”
You may ask her. I never took her to my house before we got married. No house, no money, no influence, nothing! I told her that if I had anything at all, it was the little brain God gave to me.
“I have nothing to offer you except myself. If you will marry me, you will have me to yourself completely,” I said.
Surprisingly, she replied, “Because you are so honest, I will marry you.”
Some of you don’t know the reason why after over forty-seven years in marriage, we are still on honeymoon. That’s the kind of relationship God wants with you. Total commitment! Not one leg in, one leg out. He wants you to surrender to him so absolutely.
Their okra meat delicacy
In those early days of the Camp, sometimes my wife used to prepare dinner for the children without meat and I was touched. I remembered those days when our mothers used to make okra meat. They would take okra and cut off its head and bottom and throw it into the okra soup. That was okra meat, very sweet.
One day, before my wife went into the kitchen to cook, I took a walk in the bush with a little dog we had. Along the way, the dog dashed further into the Bush and we soon heard the cry of an animal. The dog brought out a squirrel. And then the battle began between me and the dog to determine the owner of the squirrel. I then used the little science I knew about dogs. If you want something out of a dog, hold its throat so that it won’t be able to breathe very well. When their throat is pressed, it has a choking effect on them and so they release whatever they have in their mouth.
I got the squirrel and we had it for dinner. When we finished eating, my children asked, “Daddy, what about the okra meat?”
I said, “Next time.”
Thank God, next time never came. One day, I reminded my wife how I used to tell her to cut cow skin meat, popularly called pomo in local parlance, into two, especially the very thick ones so that it could go round, and how I used to say that although the situation may continue for some time, the future was going to be alright.
At the opening of Mount Carmel Prayer Mountain: To ensure that the dream would not die, and efforts that had been made would not be fruitless, I called my wife and gave her the responsibility to build this prayer mountain.
My prayer for all of you here today is that God will give you good wives; a wife who will be like a mother. Those who are already married, if your wives are not that good, God will change them; and those who are yet to be married will not pick wrong wives.
How he treasures her
Speaking at the headquarters of the church in Ebutte Meta, Lagos, last year, He told the men in the congregation to be prepared to lay down their lives for their wives.
“Be ready to lay down your life for your partner if you’re truly in love. My wife doesn’t like me saying this: You can slap me; you can lie against me, you can criticise me, it doesn’t bother me, but touch my wife, I’ll kill you,” he said.
“I want the world to hear. They’ll say if I kill, they would arrest me, that they would jail me, but that is if I kill with cutlass or gun… if you touch my wife, I will talk to my Daddy and you’ll sleep and will not wake.”
He recalled how Folu, his wife, stood by him in his trying times, saying she had the opportunity to get married to those who were more financially stable but she chose him.
“Marry for love. It’ll endure. I’ve been married for 50 years and still on honeymoon. I was the poorest among those lurking around the girl I married,” he said.
“We struggled over ponmo as people usually hear me say, but today if we want to eat a whole cow now, God will provide.
“After our wedding on September 8, 1967, we faced challenges. The baby came in 1968. It was tough. We were happy because we were in love. But we have stories to tell. If you marry for love, it will last because God is love.”
Photo credit: Segun Komolafe