The emergence of the evangelical/Pentecostal movement in Nigeria brought change in the worship style of Christians in the most populous country in Africa. The movement has been growing since its inception at the beginning of the 2oth century. The Pew Research Center states that the Pentecostal movement started after an influenza outbreak and people were searching for answers, comfort and God.
At a time when Nigeria is rising economically there is a need for an increase in the moral temperature as well to combat corruption and create fair standards in the society. The Pentecostal churches want to be a part of the solution to the problems that are plaguing the society. One of the Pentecostal churches is headed by Reverend (Dr.) Enoch Adejare Adeboye is a former university lecturer and General Overseer (G.O.) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
Adeboye was born in a household which practiced the Christian faith and at the age of 31 he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior as the Christian faith requires for all who are to be followers of Jesus Christ. He says that it was personal problems that brought him to seek a relationship with Jesus Christ. Before he was pastor Adeboye studied mathematics at the university. He then worked as a lecturer at the University of Lagos and shared his passion for Jesus Christ with university students zealously throughout the country after he was born again.
The RCCG, which was founded in 1952 by the late Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, and Adeboye, took up the mantle in 1981. When Adeboye took over, the ministry had a few dozen parishes. It is currently Nigeria’s most ambitious evangelical project, establishing, according to the church, three parishes daily. It has an estimated 200 parishes in the USA. It is also found in about 90 nations across Africa and Europe and can be easily classified as the fastest growing church in the world. He was featured by Newsweek as one of the top 50 influential people in the world in 2008 which he said was a humbling experience.
Pastor Adeboye advises Presidents of Nigeria who visit his church ocassionally. He however does not tell his congregants who to vote for in the elections. On the other hand he encourages his congregants to participate in the political process and have their voices heard rather than take a back seat as was preached in the past in protestant churches.
by Majorie Munyori