When the 2021 edition of the interdenominational gospel musical event, Marathon Messiah Praise, was being held at the Redemption Camp and around the world to commemorate the 79th birthday of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), an elderly pastor of the church revealed a secret.
He said that all the praise-singing is for God and not for Pastor Adeboye. “If the organisers make the mistake of singing the pastor’s praise, I think the event will be reviewed or even cancelled because the Daddy GO has learnt never to share God’s glory.”
Like every other things of the church, the special event has been growing!
The 79-hour event was for sons and daughters of God to come together to appreciate God’s mercy and faithfulness to the world, according to the organisers.
It was to thank God for what He has used RCCG to do in the lives of millions of people around the world: lives saved, miracles received and spreading the kingdom of God.
It was about praising God for the church, its phenomenal growth from 40 parishes in 1981 to thousands of parishes, spread over 198 countries, and for all He does for the members. In the United Kingdom it is noted as the fastest Pentecostal church.
And also, importantly, to thank God for the personal miracles in the life of Pastor Adeboye, who is alive today by God’s Grace.
With the many near-misses in his early life, it must be only God who has kept him to fulfill his purpose.
The one he dreads to remember happened when he came face-to-face with a poisonous snake in a pit.
“Each time I remember it, I shake. Even when I wake up in the night and somehow I remember it, I shudder before I say, ‘God, I thank you’.
According to him, it happened during the colonial rule, when white men were prospecting for gold, which left many pits all over the landscape in Ifewara. They were also so powerful that they did not only kill with impunity on the roads, but punished parents whose children were killed for their carelessness.
He said, “before we knew what was happening, a white man had turned the corner in his jeep and was heading straight for us.
“My sister grabbed me and we jumped off the road. We landed in an abandoned pit where they had been digging for gold. Our hearts were beating fast, thumping, because we had narrowly escaped death from the White man.
“Hmm, just as the beatings of our hearts were beginning to subside, we heard a sound, the hissing of a snake. A black, poisonous snake was in the pit into which we had jumped. It was very angry that we had come to disturb it.
“I froze! My heart stopped beating and I was sure my sister’s too had stopped beating. It seemed like hours, but it was only probably a minute when the snake, still hissing, crawled out of the pit and went away.
See! I am the General Overseer of the church today by the Grace of God.”
This other one was also close – purely a miracle.
Miracle on the Bridge
He says, “I was travelling from Ogbomosho (Oyo State, Nigeria) to Ilorin (Kwara State). We drove unto a narrow bridge that could not take 2 vehicles, first.
“I believed we were safe because other users would respect our right of way. Even when we saw an articulated truck coming towards us from the opposite direction and we thought that, since the driver had seen us on the bridge, he would stop for us to pass.
“But for one reason or the other – either his brakes failed or he just didn’t see us or whatever – he did not stop. He was approaching us at great speed and we were on the verge of colliding because the bridge couldn’t take two vehicles side by side.
“It looked as if it was time for me to go and sing with the angels in Heaven. There was no time to even think at that point. Somehow we met on the bridge, somehow we passed, and somehow we got to the other side. My driver parked by the side of the road for about five minutes. He couldn’t say anything; he was shaking like a leaf.
“Thank God he didn’t look back because I was shaking too. But by the time he turned I had calmed down a little bit.
“He asked, “Daddy, what happened?”
There was only one answer I could give: “God expanded the bridge.”
The next example, which is shocking, shows how some of our relation could derail our purpose in life!
But beyond God’s direct interventions, observers say the former university teacher has lived a holy and humble life worthy God’s partnership in his ministry.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo observes, “The life of Daddy (Pastor Adeboye) in itself is one big miracle! For a man born to financially-challenged parents in the remote village of Ifewara, Osun State, who had no shoes at 18 years old, who was not a Born Again Christian until the time he was a mathematics teacher at the University of Lagos, becoming the leader of a church with a strong presence in over 198 countries, and with millions of members, is indeed, a miracle worth knowing.
“For this same man to remain infectiously humble, in spite of his enormous power, influence and popularity is also a miracle in itself.”
But perhaps the greatest miracle was on that day in 1973 when he recalled that, “sobbing like a baby, I ran to the altar to accept Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour.”