WF KUMUYI @ 80 series (2)
81-year-old Pastor Michael Adeoye is perhaps one of the closest persons to Pastor Williams Folorunso Kumuyi, founder of Deeper Life Bible Church; who turned 80 on June 6.
He was the Pastor who conducted the wedding of Pastor Kumuyi and his first wife, Biodun who passed on in 2009.
But Pastor Adeoye who is more of a reticent person would rather want to keep quiet about Pastor Kumuyi’s wedding ceremony. “I don’t think that is an issue,” he told this reporter.
“That is not what will take us to heaven. By the way, I was not the one who joined them together. It was God who did it” he insisted saying, he would not like to dwell on the wedding issue when this reporter asked probing questions.
But beyond the wedding of Pastor Kumuyi, which is also being told in this piece, the story of Pastor Adeoye is an exciting one any day.
He was born to a Muslim family. But as God would have it, he became a Christian at age five. His father, an influential Islamic cleric had welcomed the Christ Apostolic Church to their family, gave the church one acre of land at Eko-ende, Osun State, and allowed all members of his family to join the church.
That was how he severed link with the Islamic community and embraced the Christian faith at the tender age of five
On the miracle that made his father embrace the CAC church, Adeoye recalled, “I had an elder brother whose wife used to have premature birth. It was a big challenge that took the family to herbalists so they could have a cure. There was a particular instance that the woman had a premature baby again. But a few years after, the child had convulsion.
“So, the mother carried the child on her back along with my elder brother to see the herbalist. On their way, the child died. They became confused. They were in a dilemma whether to continue the journey or return home since the child had died. It was while this was going on that a brother who i later got to know as David Yemi, who was on his way to a meeting of CAC leaders came to them and asked what the problem was.
“They told him. He then inquired if they would allow him to pray. They gave him the go-ahead. The brother prayed and as God would have it, the baby came back to life.
“The excitement made them plead with the brother to come to their house. On getting home, everybody was shocked. They saw the child that was at the point of death walking. They later found out that it was the prayer of the CAC brother that brought the child back to life.”
That was the beginning. Pastor Adeoye’s father begged this brother to pray for all sick folks in the compound and also pleaded with him to repeat his visit. By the time the brother came back to the house of the Adeoyes; many sick folks had been lined up. He prayed for them one by one and miracles took place.
Adeoye’s father became so excited that he pleaded with the CAC brother to come and start a branch of the church in the village. He gave the church one acre of land. That was the starting point for both CAC in that village and Michael Adeoye who invariably became a mighty instrument in the hands of God in the church.
His education and trip to Lagos
Pastor Adeoye went to CAC primary school, went to a secondary modern school, and then an Anglican Secondary school before coming to Lagos.
“Before I came to Lagos, my involvement with the CAC had become so much. We used to go the yearly 40-day fast, prayed a lot, and got involved in all forms of spiritual activities. I was baptised in the Holy Spirit when I was 14. My love for God had become so intense.”
By the time he got to Lagos, he became involved in a CAC Church at Ebute Meta. But he also took up employment with the Ministry of Justice, known then as the Judiciary. He worked with a number of magistrates.
“Despite being a staff of the Judiciary, many people who knew me thought I was a full-time pastor. But I was not until when God asked me to resign from the job. I was just 31 when I resigned to go into ministry full time. Many were taken aback that I could leave my job because I was doing well then. But I had to obey God.”
He became committed to the CAC church, but he was so gifted that he could not be restricted within the confines of the church. “I got invitations to minister in many places. God gave me the gift of teaching, administration, evangelism.”
He attended West Africa Bible College established by an American in Lagos and later travelled to Germany for some theological training. He came back in 1974. He was ordained pastor in CAC on Sunday, December 14, 1975, at Moore, Ile-Ife.
He however became well known after he featured at a pastors’ conference held at the Odubanjo Hall, Agege, Lagos. That was long before he was ordained as a full-time pastor.
Pastors from across the country were present at the conference. After that event, he started getting invitations to minister in many churches across the country.
Adeoye: How I met Kumuyi
He was doing that until he stumbled on a message by Pastor Kumuyi who at that time had already started his Bible study fellowship at Flat 2 of the University of Lagos.
“I got a cassette from a brother who attended the Bible study and I listened to the message. That was in 1975. I heard his message and it was as if Bro Kumuyi was reading my mind. He was preaching the kind of message I loved to hear and I just fell in love with him.” Pastor Adeoye recollected.
Pronto, he took his motorbike and went on a fact-finding mission. He wanted to meet the man who preached so eloquently and so powerfully. He went straight to Flat 2 at the University of Lagos. Pastor Kumuyi had finished teaching by the time he got there and was among the other brothers. He could not really get to see him and he made to leave because it was getting dark.
“As I made to leave the venue, a brother just walked to me and asked if I was going. I said yes because I would not like to ride my motorbike at night. I said I came to see Bro Kumuyi. Because I had not met him, I did not know he was the one talking to me. We got talking. He said what was the matter. I told him. He then said, “I am Kumuyi”.
“I was shocked. I said, you? I then told him I just came to meet him and I advised him to please continue what he was doing. I said to him, don’t renege, maintain what you are doing. This ministry would grow and become big. But when it becomes big, stay humble.
“I could see simplicity, dedication, commitment, love in him. I said to him, today, I identify myself with the ministry. Later we became intimate.”
Adeoye: My involvement with Deeper Life
Since Deeper Life was not a church then, Pastor Adeoye got involved. He and Pastor Kumuyi became quite close. He attended all the retreats. He took members of the CAC church to the retreats. “I remember I was sanctioned for taking my members to the retreat. I never regretted anything because I was impressed by Pastor Kumuyi’s commitment. He was spending and he was being spent. I just made up my mind that I would embrace his ministry. When he talked, it would look as if we sat together to plan what he was saying.”
Adeoye who is also versed in the history of the CAC said some of the main founders of the CAC had passed on at that time. He recalled that Apostle Ayodele Babalola and Pastor David Odubanjo who became general evangelist and general superintendent of the church in 1943 died in 1959. Odubanjo was 68 when he died while Babalola was 55 by the time he died. Oba Isaac Akinyele who was the president of the CAC, however, died in 1964 at the age of 82.
While noting that the founders of the CAC had laid a good starting point for the church, Pastor Adeoye said his involvement with the Deeper Christian Life Ministry at that time was based on his commitment to God’s kingdom and the need for people to grow spiritually. He saw that determination in Pastor Kumuyi.
“His commitment was unique. His simplicity was peculiar. His dedication was wonderful. I moved with him. He was very simple. His love for the Christian faith is unadulterated. He was very focused. He is still focused.”
Pastor Kumuyi and marriage
On Pastor Kumuyi’s disposition to marriage? Adeoye explains, “There was no time he taught people not to marry. But because he did not marry in time, many people felt it was not good to marry.
“They were watching his lifestyle and imitating him. But he never taught such doctrine. Many were copying him. But one of the leaders in Deeper Life then, Pastor Ayo Adewuya married before him.
“Pastor Kumuyi however married in September 1980 at the Chapel of Healing Cross, LUTH. Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God was at the wedding.”
Trying not to take credit for conducting the wedding, Pastor Adeoye declared that it was God who joined them together. He said he had known Pastor Kumuyi’s first wife before they married.
Pastor Kumuyi and women
Pastor Kumuyi however had his own share of issues with women. Pastor Adeoye recalled, “In 1980, we held a crusade at TBS. That was before his marriage. Before the crusade, he had traveled to Alexandria on official assignment. He came back from the trip to minister at the crusade.
“It was called the Lagos City Wide Crusade. When he came, he was preparing to go to TBS. He went home to prepare for the meeting. As he walked into his room, he saw a lady praying there. He challenged the lady. The lady said to him, “don’t worry, I am your wife.”
“Kumuyi was taken aback because he had not met the lady before. He invited the security to come and get the lady out. The lady was adamant. We had to tactically get the police and arrange for how the lady would be taken to board a bus back to Port Harcourt where she came from.”
Another incident happened two years before that one. “We were at a Christmas retreat in 1978 at the Ilorin Polytechnic, Jebba road. Kumuyi then invited the leaders for a meeting. When we got to the meeting, we met four sisters sitting at the front in the meeting room.
Read also: My deeper Life Story by Francis Bola Akin-John:https://www.churchtimesnigeria.net/kumuyi-deeper-life-akin-john/
He started talking. He said ‘I have never discussed with anybody that I want to marry. I don’t know why people are harassing me about marriage’.
By then, I was wondering what could be happening. He continued, ‘If I want to marry and God wants me to marry, could He have asked me to marry four women at a time?
Then he said, “Look at these four sisters, all of them wrote to me that it is the will of God for them to marry me. Will God, who is not the author of confusion do that?
“He was really taken aback. He asked again, ‘if I want to marry, will God make me marry four women at the same time given the kind of message I preach? Even one of them went to the extent of visiting my mother. One of the leaders then, a lawyer had to step in and counselled the sisters.”
Pastor Adeoye said further, “ From his commitment and integrity, I can say that Pastor Kumuyi is a gift from God to Nigeria. Through him, I got to know Pastor Adeboye. The rate at which the two of them were used and are being used of God is incredible.”
He recalled that Pastor Kumuyi was selfless and down to earth. “A friend of mine needed a car to carry out some assignments. Pastor Kumuyi did not find it difficult to release his Gallant car then. He did not think twice before releasing the car key. There was also an instance he was invited to minister at a CAC conference at Ogbomoso. He got to the conference late in the night. There was no good food. He had to drink garri.
“When it was time to sleep and there was only one bed available for three of us, he refused to sleep in the bed. Rather, he said because we were married then, that we should sleep in the bed while he chose to sleep on a mat. And he was the guest speaker at the conference. He did not feel anyhow. He did not feel offended.”
Because Pastor Kumuyi had built a community of people that were committed and dedicated to the cause of the gospel there was a campaign of calumny against him.
“Some people felt he did not allow people to enjoy their marriage because of their involvement in ministry work. I recall a man coming to say all kinds of things against him. The man abused him and maligned him. There was nothing the man did not say to Kumuyi. But he never said anything in response. Many people didn’t know he was displaying practical Christianity at that time.”
What Tai Solarin said about Kumuyi
Pastor Adeoye would also not forget in a hurry an article written by the late Dr. Tai Solarin, an acclaimed atheist. Solarin was the proprietor of Mayflower Secondary School where Pastor Kumuyi had his secondary education. He also worked there for a while.
“I read a write-up by Late Tai Solarin. The title was Scripture Union, a destructive religious organisation. He mentioned Kumuyi in the article. He described him as a very brilliant person saying he would have been known all over the world as a great mathematician, but Scripture Union had destroyed him. He said he was diligent and committed at work. He said he allowed him to practice his faith because he saw that he was an asset to the school and a highly disciplined person. That was why he allowed him to do what he was doing.”
Adeoye reminisced, “At that time, nobody had broken his academic record at the University of Ibadan. So, for a man like that to be so committed to the gospel, it could only have been God. He was not hungry and was not suffering. Rather, he left all the glamour and attraction of this world to follow after Christ. That kind of commitment could only have been inspired by God.”
Story by Gbenga Osinaike