Church Founder Pa Josiah Akindayomi
The leadership of this mission is through God divine visitation and divine inspiration. By the help of the Holy Spirit; below are the history ofour leaders since the beginning of the mission
Akindayomi, Josiah Olufemi
1909 to 1980
Redeemed Christian Church of God Nigeria
Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi was the founder and first general overseer of what is today known as the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The church, today acclaimed as the fastest growing Pentecostal church in the world, started in 1947 as an independent prayer fellowship, the Glory of God Fellowship. This group blossomed into the Redeemed Christian Church of God in 1952.
Josiah was born in 1909 into the Akindayomi family in Ondo State, Nigeria. From early childhood Josiah's parents noticed unusual things about him. When he was sick, allegedly his sickness, that usually defied traditional medicine-the most common treatment for sickness in those days-would abate and subsequently disappear once he was bathed with ordinary water. Josiah himself also had an inkling that he was different, for although he grew up in an environment where the worship of Ogun (the Yoruba divinity of iron and war) was prevalent, he was aware of the existence of a greater power and yearned to know the true God who created the earth and everyone in it.
His yearning after God led him into the Anglican Church where he was baptized in 1927. Still spiritually unfulfilled, he joined the Cherubim and Seraphim Church in 1931. A few years later he began to hear a voice inside him declaring that he would be a minister of God. He was not at ease with this voice, which he identified as God's call to full time ministry. For seven years he ignored it, since he had never intended to be a pastor. During this period, virtually everything went wrong for him. All his business ventures failed; heavily in debt and without peace of mind, he found himself totally dependent on the grace of God.
The turning point for Josiah came when, in 1940, he dreamed of an old man scratching his leg. He woke up the next morning with a sore on his leg that deteriorated significantly within a short period of time. Then he heard the voice inside him telling him to submit to God's will and to serve him. When he asked for signs to confirm that the call was from God he was given the following passages as confirmation: Jeremiah 1:4-10, Isaiah 41:10-13, and Romans 8:29-31.  Without the use of medication, the Lord healed the sore on his leg. This marked the beginning of a definite relationship with God. Totally broken, he yielded to God, saying, "Lord I will go wherever you want me to go." The Lord assured him that he would provide for all his needs as he would henceforth receive no salary from anyone. This promise from the Lord was a comforting reminder to him during his trials in subsequent months.
Akindayomi was married in 1947 and relocated to Lagos in the latter part of that year. In Lagos, he worshipped with the Cherubim and Seraphim Church at its Ibadan Street, EbuteMetta branch, where Prophet Onanuga, the immediate successor to Prophet Moses Orimolade, the church founder, was the leader. He was still with the church in 1947 when a zeal for a better service and a deeper experience with God prompted him to start the prayer fellowship later known as the Glory of God Fellowship that met at 9, Willougby Street, Ebute-Metta, Lagos. Initially there were nine members; however the fellowship gradually grew as the news of the miracles that occurred in their midst spread. It became so popular that it drew not only members of the church, but others from the neighbourhood.
By 1952 he felt persuaded to leave the Cherubim and Seraphim Church. The fellowship he had started then grew into the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The name of the church was revealed to the founder in a vision. Allegedly the letters forming the name of the church appeared in the English alphabet to Akindayomi, who could neither read nor write. Miraculously he was able to scribble down the individual letters which, when put together, read "The Redeemed Christian Church of God." This has been the name of the church ever since.
In this same vision God promised to take the church to the ends of the earth and declared that the Lord Jesus Christ would meet the church when he returned in glory. The Lord also established a covenant with Akindayomi similar to the Abrahamic covenant in the Bible, promising to meet all the needs of the church in wonderful ways if only members would serve Him faithfully and be obedient to His Word. The Redeemed Christian Church of God was formed, based on this covenant, in 1952. The church continued to meet at 9 Willoughby Street until they acquired some land and relocated to their headquarters at 1-5 Redemption Way, Ebute-Metta, Lagos (formerly 1a Cemetery Street). In the 1950s it was quite fashionable for Nigerian independent churches to affiliate with overseas ministries for expansion purposes. However, according to sources, God strongly instructed the Redeemed Christian Church of God not to merge with any foreign or overseas body. Today the church has become one of the fastest growing Pentecostal churches in the world.
Like Moses in the Bible, Akindayomi named his successor before his death. In the early 1970s God had told him that his successor, who was not yet a member of the church, would be a young educated man. Thus when a young university lecturer joined the church in 1973, Akindayomi was able to recognize him in the Spirit as the one whom the Lord had spoken of. This man, Enoch Adejare Adeboye, a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Lagos, soon became involved in the activities of the church. He became one of the interpreters translating Akindayomi's sermons from the Yoruba language into English. He was ordained a pastor of the church in 1975.
One day the Lord revealed to Akindayomi that it was time for him to die. He then sent for Pastor Adeboye and spent several hours with him, sharing the details of the covenant and the plans of the Lord for the church. A year earlier, the Lord had revealed to Pastor Adeboye that he would be Akindayomi's successor, but it was too difficult for him to fully contemplate such an awesome responsibility. Akindayomi died in 1980 at the age of 71. Thereafter Pastor Adeboye's appointment was formalized and he has since been the general overseer of the church.
Today God is still doing powerful work through the Redeemed Christian Church of God worldwide. In 1981 there was an explosion of growth in the number of parishes. At the last count there were about 2,000 parishes of the church in Nigeria. The church is also present in other African nations, including: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Gambia, Cameroon, and South Africa. In Europe the church has spread to England, Germany, and France. In the Americas there are U.S. parishes in Dallas, Tallahassee, Houston, New York, Washington, and Chicago, and in the Caribbean states of Haiti and Jamaica. One prominent program of the church is the Holy Ghost service, an allnight miracle service, held on the first Friday of every month at the Redemption Camp at Km. 46, Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The average number of those who attend the service is about 500,000. The Holy Ghost service is now also held in London on
a quarterly basis.
General Overseer of the Church
Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye and wife – Pastor Folu Adeboye
The life of Enoch Adejare Adeboye is a fulfilment of the scriptures in Zechariah 4: 10 which declare, “despise not the days of small beginnings.” Born in 1942 into a humble family in the village of Ifewara, Osun State located in the South-western part of Nigeria Enoch Adeboye often humorously states that his family was so poor that even the poor people called them poor. As a matter of fact, he unashamedly tells his congregation that he never owned shoes until he was eighteen years of age. What he possessed though were physical intangibles such as focus, consistency, diligence, ambition, a brilliant mind and a determination to succeed in life.
In 1956 Enoch Adeboye was admitted into Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State, Western Nigeria and as a youth he discovered a passion for books, and an aptitude for science and in particular the field of Mathematics. This led to an academic journey in the field of Mathematics against incredible odds including but not limited to finances, the Nigerian Civil War and academic politics. By the time he was done, Enoch Adeboye had obtained not only a Bachelors (BSc.) degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nnsukka, Nigeria in 1967, but also a Masters (MSc)Degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria in 1969 and 1975 respectively.
One of the motivations for these academic achievements was Enoch Adeboye’s passionate desire to become the youngest Vice Chancellor (University President) of any one of the frontline Universities in Nigeria. It did seem that his academic ambition would be realised as his academic career flourished. However, this was not to be as a greater career awaited him in the service of the Lord. In 1967 Enoch Adeboye got married to his beloved wife Foluke Adenike Adeboye (nee Adeyokunnu).
Growing up as a nominal Anglican (Episcopalian), Enoch Adeboye had a vague knowledge that God existed in heaven but did not have or know that he needed to have a relationship with him until 1973 when together with his wife he walked into a most unimpressive building seeking divine intervention from personal challenges. This was the only premises at the time of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). The church RCCG was founded by Revd. J. O. Akindayomi, a man who thought was illiterate had been supernaturally endowed with the ability to read the Yoruba (a native Nigerian dialect) version of the Holy Bible (translated from the Authorized King James Version). Even though both the environment and the Pastor (the founder himself) seemed unlikely to have anything to offer to a man of his status, Enoch Adeboye was unusually inspired and touched by the Word and also by the presence of God. On that very day, Enoch Adeboye committed his life totally to the Lord Jesus Christ and has since not looked back.
In 1973 Enoch Adeboye received the Lord Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour, joined RCCG and became baptized by immersion in water. Unknown to him though, the Lord had already informed the founder that “a man of books” (a highly educated man) would soon join RCCG and eventually take over the mantle of leadership from him (the founder) whenever he passed away. As Enoch Adeboye joined and became an active member of RCCG, the founder began to personally mentor and groom him for the future assignment he was totally unaware of. He initially served as the sermon interpreter to the founder (from the native Yoruba dialect to the English language) and later was ordained a Pastor.
In 1977 when he was ordained a Pastor in RCCG, Enoch Adeboye manifested an incredible passion for the work of the Lord, pioneering Bible Study meetings, Crusades, Revivals, Outreaches and the evangelistic programs known as the Congress. These were very successfully conducted in various cities all over southwestern Nigeria. By the time the founder passed away in 1980, RCCG had about 42 Parishes and this in those days was a great achievement. Although the founder left a sealed document pronouncing Enoch Adeboye as the succeeding General Overseer, his transition into office was not smooth but met with some resistance. In 1981 Enoch Adeboye was ordained the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. With time, Enoch Adeboye’s results could not be denied. With a childlike faith in the efficacy and power in the Word of God, his passion was to live a life of holiness and teach others to likewise live holy lives.
Of course the appointment as General Overseer immediately terminated all academic ambitions and Enoch Adeboye set his heart on taking RCCG to the next level of ministry. He introduced innovations into the ministry and in particular sought means whereby the elite in the society and professionals could experience ministry in a manner to which they were accustomed without compromising in the worship of God in Spirit and in truth. This led to the establishment of the “Model Parishes” through which countless millions in the upper echelons of the society have come to know the Lord. The poor, needy and downtrodden have not been ignored, as Enoch Adeboye has a deep compassion for souls.
Soon after the innovations came the Holy Ghost Services in the mid nineteen-eighties which featured a night of Praise, Worship, Prayer, Soul-winning, Deliverance, Testimonies and the Word once a month. Initially held on the premises of the Headquarters in Lagos space constraints required a change in location. This led to the purchase of a massive piece of uninhabited forest land located on the outskirts of Lagos, a haven of highway / armed robbers and kidnappers with a great company of pythons and wild animals. Enoch Adeboye moved his family to this “wilderness” he called the Redemption Camp, constructed a large auditorium and began to hold the Holy Ghost Services there. To the glory of God, these services have been consistently held for over twenty years now and today, the crowds in attendance run in the millions every month. From the Redemption Camp, Enoch Adeboye faithfully travels many miles to work in Lagos and also ministers all over the world.
On December 18, 1998, Enoch Adeboye hosted the very first Holy Ghost Festival (open air meeting) in Nigeria with an attendance of over seven million people (CNN estimate). This most ambitious project in the form of an open air Worship Service was carried out in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria and in attendance were over seven million people as confirmed by the CNN aerial satellite. Not one person was lost or died in that throng and this feat was repeated the following year. In 1999 though, there were no less than twelve million worshipers present. This program has since been replaced with the annual 3-day Holy Ghost Congress held every December at the Redemption Camp. In addition to this is a Special 3-day Holy Ghost Program held in the first weekend of March yearly. At each and every one of these events, miracles, signs and wonders have become commonplace as the power of God moves freely to set free, heal, anoint, deliver, bless and empower.
Enoch Adeboye’s trade mark of humility is disarming and this endears him to people, enabling him to easily share his testimony of the Gospel. His passion for soul-winning feeds his passion for church-planting and through this, countless thousands have been inspired to follow him and likewise serve the Lord in the ministry. From that unimpressive building he walked into in 1973, the Lord has today through Enoch Adeboye built a Mission of over five thousand Churches all over the world (Nigeria, almost all the nations of Africa, the US, the UK, Canada, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, India, China, Hong Kong, the Far East and even the Middle East). In the United States alone there are over five hundred Parishes and still increasing.
For several years, he has been honoured to serve as Pastor and / or spiritual counselor to Heads of States, Ministers, political leaders and national decision-makers. At the same time, he endeavors to travel to minister in unreached places where others will not go. To date, all over the world Enoch Adeboye has been conferred with several honorary degrees and national merit awards in appreciation of his contributions to humanity. In the 2009 Newsweek Elite Edition (January 5, 2009), he was listed as one of the Fifty Most Influential People In The World (No. 49 to be exact). For example the following are note-worthy:
1999 – Received honorary citizenship and key of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
2000 – Dedicated the first chapel in the Nigerian Presidential Villa, Abuja, Nigeria
2005 – Received honorary citizenship and key of Dallas, Texas, USA
2005 – Received honorary citizenship and key of Baltimore, Maryland, United States
2008 – Awarded a National Honour (Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) by the Nigerian President
2009 – Led the Pre-Summit Prayers at the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations, Headquarters, New York
2009 – Named one of ‘The World’s Fifty Most Powerful People’ by Newsweek Magazine (USA)
2009 – Awarded honorary doctorate degree – University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
2009 – Awarded honorary doctorate degree – University of Nigeria, Nsukka
2010 – Awarded a National Sports Honour (Spiritual Pillar of Nigerian Sports)
Though the above achievements are phenomenal, Enoch Adeboye never fails to give glory to the Lord, claiming that there are greater things ahead that the Lord will yet do. To date, Enoch Adeboye’s profile includes:
- Strategic casting of the worldwide vision of The Redeemed Christian Church of God
- General Overseer with ultimate responsibility for over 12,000 churches in over 120 nations
- Author / Writer of the popular, globally distributed daily devotional manual – Open Heavens
- Host / Convener / Main Preacher at the annual December three-day Holy Ghost Congress(open air meeting) in Nigeria with an average attendance of over six million people
- Host / Convener / Main Preacher at the annual March three-day Special Holy Ghost Service(open air meeting) in Nigeria with an average attendance of over six million people
- Host / Convener / Preacher at the monthly Holy Ghost Service (open air meeting) in Nigeria with an average attendance of over one million people
- Host / Convener / Preacher at the quarterly Festival of Life (indoor revival meeting) in London, UK and various cities in the US with an average attendance of over fifty (UK) and seven thousand (US)
- Host / Convener / Preacher at the Annual RCCG Conventions in Nigeria, UK and the US with• an average attendance of over two million (Nigeria), twenty-thousand (UK) and seven thousand (US)
- Ordination of Pastors / Deacons during the Annual RCCG Conventions worldwide
- Convener of quarterly / annual RCCG Leadership and Discipleship Conferences and Retreats all over the world
- Author of over forty books published all over the world
Special Assistant to The General Overseer &
Australia / Pacific Regional Coordinator
Pastor Abraham A Haastrup and wife – Pastor Mrs Jane Haastrup
Pastor Abraham Adewole Haastrup is the Special Assistant to the General Overseer/Pastorin-charge, RCCG (Australia/Pacific) Region since 2010 till date. Before then, He was Special Assistant and Regional pastor of RCCG Region 2, Lagos, Nigeria and also Special Assistant to the General Overseer on Admin and Personnel from 2006 – 2010. He has served in several capacities and Ministries including:
- State/Provincial Coordinator – different states in Nigeria between Sept 2001- August 2006)
- State Pastor – RCCG, Osun State Nigeria (Sept 1997 – (August 2001).
- Area/ Zonal Pastor – RCCG, Ikoyi/Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria (1994-1997)
Pastor Haastrup has a Master of Social Science in Development Finance, University of Birmingham-England (1990), Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration, University of Ife – Nigeria, (1987) and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Economics, University of Ibadan – Nigeria (1980).
He has attended several developmental trainings and Seminars in Africa, Middle East, Europe and USA. Some are Leadership in a changing world AGM-EFZ. Lusaka (Apr. 1994 and All Nations Convocation. Jerusalem – Israel (Sept. 2010)
Had a distinguished Public Service career working as Administrative Officer in the Lagos State Government, Governor’s office (Jan. 1983 – April 1992) and Ministry of Finance – Internal Revenue as Inspector of Taxes (April 1982 – Jan. 1983).
He has authored several books under the Almond Tree Books including The Secret of Divine Favour, Your Last Hope & In Remembrance of Me.
He is married to Pastor (Mrs.) Jane Adesola Haastrup and they are blessed with Deacon Oluwabamigbe Adedapo Tolulope and Miss Aanuoluwapo Adeyemi Temitope. He is resident in Victoria, Australia