The life of Enoch Adejare Adeboye is a fulfillment 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 realized 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 though 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.
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