He is not your run-off-the mill preacher. To the estimated 12 million members of his congregation worldwide and indeed others across the globe, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is God’s oracle on earth!
The charismatic clergyman earned the reputation when he took over the church and grew it from an obscure parish in the backstreet of Ebute Meta, Lagos into a phenomenal international religious movement within the space of a few decades.
The church, founded by Rev. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, a barely literate cleric was not well known before Adeboye, a Mathematics university lecturer, who served as the founder’s interpreter, took charge. Today, it claims branches in over a hundred countries, including more than 14,000 in Nigeria alone.
Adeboye, who was appointed the GO of the church in 1981, gave up his university teaching appointment three years later to preach full-time and build the church. His evangelism, which is credited and accompanied with famous miracles, healing and deliverance attracted throngs of worshippers across the world monthly and yearly (Holy Ghost Congress) to the burgeoning Redemption Camp, which has assumed the status of a city along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The popular preacher is unarguably one of the most respected and influential Christian leaders and indeed, religious personalities not just in Nigeria, but internationally, ostensibly for his uncanny humility and simplicity, in spite of his prophetic prowess and accomplishments. In 2008, Newsweek magazine named Adeboye one of the 50 most powerful people in the world.
As the national president of Redeemed Christian Fellowship, RCF (an interdenominational fellowship in all the campuses in Nigeria) which is under the umbrella of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministry (CRM)where he serves as founder and president, Adeboye enjoys a great following among teeming Christian youths, including many of marriageable age and for whom his word must be law.
The famous cleric, who is married to Foluke, also a pastor, however, seemed to have stirred the hornet’s nest when he reportedly ‘decreed’ against marrying any woman who “cannot cook, or pray for at least one hour at a stretch” to prospective husbands. His prescription given in a sermon at the recent convention of the church has generated a lot of controversy and heated debate, especially on the social media. While some saw no wrong in his counsel others were full of criticisms of it as being unscriptural.
For a man of his stature and influence, the development hardly comes as a surprise.
Saturday Sun asks women and girls of their views on the preacher’s statement. Expectedly, their responses differ.