Foluke Adeboye: Celebrating a ‘Mother in Israel’ at 69

Femi Adelegan

Many women are recorded in the Holy Bible as exhibiting leadership qualities in both the Old and New Testaments; and their notable deeds in the ministry will remain so until the Lord comes. Miriam, the sister of Aaron was a prophetess and one of the leaders of Israel during the Exodus from Egypt. The Book of Judges 4 & 5 records Deborah as a prophet-judge, who headed the army of ancient Israel, and Esther, who saved the people of Israel from the antics of Haman. Huldah, a prophet, verified the authenticity of the “Book of the Law of the Lord given through Moses,” and activated a religious revival. Similarly, Paul described Phoebe as a minister of the church at Cenchrea; and Priscilla as a ‘’co-worker’’ in Christ Jesus” (Romans 16:3) The God that inspired the female prophets named above is still alive today, and is an Eternal Personality. The Lord has made it possible for women, though regarded and help-mates, to be able to function as ministers of the gospel, have equal access to His Throne, and the Holy Spirit; as God has not created a female or male anointing. Unquestionable God, therefore, uses any vessel He likes.

It is a widely accepted notion that the next place to hell are homes where couples cannot blend; thus missing peace, progress and happiness. Regrettably, many people miss the fulfillment of their divine agenda because of going into wrong marital unions. But God is a Perfect Arranger. The union of the global leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Pastor (Mrs) Foluke Adeboye would appear to be a perfect one designed by God in heaven, Who knows the beginning till the end of His creations, and designs their terrestrial journeys, even before we were born. One could say with every emphasis that Pastor Adeboye is indeed lucky to have married Mummy G.O; a helper of destiny who is an embodiment of so many virtues that have positively impacted the entire life and ministry of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Worldwide. And Mummy Adeboye too is exceptionally lucky to have discovered her husband. She most probably would not have been this useful to God and humanity, had she missed her husband.
Proverbs 18: 22 states that: ‘’Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.’’ Most ministers of God have been known to succeed in their services in God’s vineyard, because they are lucky and privileged to be blessed with supportive spouses, who dote on them virtually every second, and also create the enabling environment for the prosecution of their husbands’ divine assignments throughs intercessions and homely conducts.

Fondly addressed as Mummy G.O. by millions of people all over the world, testimonies abound about the milk of kindness that flows through this child of God. Mine will lead, for the purpose of celebrating Mummy Adeboye who turns 69 years old on July 13, 2017. My first physical encounter with the ‘First Lady’ of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Year 2001, was undoubtedly divinely arranged. My dear wife, and my humble self had to attend a function in Ilisan-Remo, and decided to utilize the opportunity to pray at the forecourt of the then RCCG International Office, directly opposite Daddy G.O’s office as at then. After joining hands in intercession for about an hour, we decided to leave a message at another point, at the junction leading to the former residence of the RCCG General Overseer, located on the Holiness Road at the RCCG camp. We had intended to leave a message there for our dear sister in the Lord, and blessed child of God, Pastor (Mrs) Margaret Boluwakole. Just as we parked and alighted from our vehicle, we saw Mummy Adeboye coming out towards the junction that led to their Holiness Road residence. Mummy G.O beckoned to us (my wife and I) to come in and personally led us into the living room of the Adeboyes!.

Unknown to us, that day was Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye’s 53rd birthday anniversary and top priests of the RCCG gathered beside the official residence of the Adeboyes, and were being entertained under a canopy. My wife and I started looking at ourselves as Mummy directed that we, inconsequential people, be lavishly entertained. Soon, Pastor Enoch Adeboye (Daddy G.O) came out from his room directly facing the living room. He greeted us briskly, prayed and blessed us; and made his way to his vehicle. Daddy G.O headed to the Ajebo Foresquare Church camp site to minister. Then came the time for us to depart. Soft spoken Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye said to us: ‘’I don’t know you, but I just decided to entertain you.’’ She then ordered that drinks and snacks be packed for us and she again escorted us out of the residence. We knew that the Holy Bible in Hebrews 13:2 instructs believers that: ‘’Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby, some have entertained angels unawares.’’ I reasoned that we are no angels and also felt that we were not that important to be accorded that type of hospitality. And we never barged into the premises of the Adeboyes. For several days thereafter, I wondered why God arranged for us to be mightily favoured that way, since we were not angels of the Lord, that people wittingly or unwittingly entertain. It was as if I was dreaming. I told my wife that I suspected that the Holy Spirit directed Mummy G.O. to go and invite us and entertain us; non-influential and insignificant personalities. I have said it repeatedly that I prefer meeting with great servants of God, than meeting with the President of the United States, who is the most powerful person in the world.

Most times when I reflect on some unusual occurrences, I Chronicles 17:16 eplodes: ‘’Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?’’ God also made it possible for my wife to have had the rare opportunity and priviledge of cooking and dishing the meals taken by Daddy and Mummy G.O. each time they came to minister at the annual convention of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Ibadan, until we relocated to Abuja. I remember that whenever Daddy or Mummy G.O was asked how many people would be on their entourage, the reply was always: ‘’My wife, myself, my driver, and the Holy Spirit!’’ There was an occasion church leaders were detailed by Bishop Wale Oke to meet this wonderful couple at the Ibadan end toll gate of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. We were looking forward to seeing a big vehicle; but Pastor and Mrs. Adeboye drove into the arena of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries in a saloon car. Those who went to receive them at the toll gate never knew the Adeboyes had gone past them; while they were looking for Daddy and Mummy G.O. in big vehicles.

A lover of God, Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye is a wonderful sight to behold at worship sessions, shaking her tambourine almost aggressively in an atmosphere enveloped by the Holy Spirit, in appreciation of the grace and majesty of God. The worship sessions are moments of praise and graceful dance steps. But those dance steps are not for her husband, Pastor Adeboye to appreciate; but for the Lord. Mama Adeboye is reputed to be a calm and warm personality with sterling leadership qualities, and an unusual organizational ability. She is also ‘’endowed with immense grace and great capacity for hard work, and has proven to be a missionary and minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ with a gift of intercession. A woman of virtue, millions of people have, through Mummy G.O. developed intimate relationships with God, as she touches lives through her simplicity and commitment to the divine agenda. Being a spiritual mother is a supernatural way to care for souls, especially priests. It is a type of maternity that nurtures divine life in others by doing God’s will. One notable feature of her life is that Mummy G.O is also a strict disciplinarian who brooks no nonsense or laxity in the ministry.

As spiritual mother to millions of people all over the world, including prominent religious leaders like Bishop Francis Wale Oke, Bishop David Oyedepo, Revd Joe Olaiya, Revd Moses Aransiola and Pastor Uzodinma Obed, among several others, she fits perfectly into the status of a Mother-in-Israel. Mummy G.O’s love and concern for her spiritual children is noteworthy. For example, Mummy G.O. practically relocated to the residence of the Oyedepos at the Covenant University, Otta, to perform a motherly role when the devil struck and Pastor (Mrs) Faith Oyedepo was attacked spiritually, a few years ago. That is a demonstration of true love, concern and motherhood. She is credited with an enormous inner strength and huge divine gifts that she has deployed to the work of God, particularly as pillar of support for her husband’s divine assignment. Her pattern of spiritual motherhood indicates that Mummy G.O’s first responsibility is to be led by the Holy Spirit, as God brings people into her life to mentor. She relates closely with her mentees and encourages them through prayers for them to continually grow and mature as Christians.

From available indications, Daddy G.O. is fortunate to have met and married Mummy Foluke Adeboye. Conversely, Mummy G.O. is lucky to have tolerated Daddy G.O’s excesses at the initial stages of their friendship and union. For this, Mrs. Adeboye is not only enjoying the reward of faithfulness of her husband, but also special blessings from the Lord who has sent her husband on a terrestrial errand. But like all other heros and heroines of all times, the Adeboyes are not perfect. Nothing comes easy. Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye commences her day with communion with God at about 3.00am. She remains in the place of prayer till, when she switches over to participate in the family devotion. It is no doubt a hectic schedule that was cultivated shortly after she and her husband knew Christ. She is so much committed to praying, that whenever her husband goes to minister and she has to stay at home, Mummy G.O would go into her prayer closet, urging God to help Daddy G.O. in his ministration. On more than one occasion, Mummy Adeboye would welcome her husband back and tell him some of God’s moves at the ministration she never attended. Her husband would be surprised and asked who told her. Who else but the Holy Spirit? Mrs. Adeboye would always reveal. Mummy G.O is equally hugely passionate about Nigeria; and the proper growth of the young ones. Therefore, that segment for prayers for Nigeria and youths at major meetings of the RCCG is reserved for Mrs. Adeboye, who has repeatedly admonishes families to prepare and nurture their children in the way of the Lord. She counsels that good leadership comes from good home training; as any society enjoying good leadership must prepare the young ones for positions of responsibility. Other notable traits are Mrs Adeboye’s hospitality and simplicity. Rev’d Moses Aransiola once confessed that he doesn’t know how Mummy G.O. does it, such that she remembers to send gifts to her numerous spiritual children on Christian festive seasons. In my part, I honestly cannot imagine the number of people who would have missed their goals and helpers of destinies, had the Adeboyes failed to honour the call of God; and the Creator fails to make a replacement.

Late Charles Spurgeon, a famous preacher, in his sermon delivered at ‘The Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens’ noted that: “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, and ‘’Friendship is the only thing in the world concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.

‘’Friendship seems as necessary an element of a comfortable existence in this world as fire or water, or even air itself.’’ Together, the Adeboyes have weathered unimaginable storms of life, and have lived exemplary lives as model husband and wife, such that observers couldn’t but always wonder if the couple has ever had reasons to disagree at all. But in reality, they must have their ‘’rough edges’’ as human beings; but love, reasoning, prayers, perseverance and understanding matter a lot. Every so often, they appear at venues of their ministrations in the same type of dresses, and are almost inseparable in their public outings. And Pastor Adeboye has constantly said, jocularly, that whoever wants to court his trouble should touch her dear ‘’girl friend’’ as Daddy G.O. occasionally describes Mummy G.O in his ministrations.

The conducts of this couple are shining examples for the younger generation, and a good case study tor budding ministers of the gospel. Daddy G.O acknowledges the fact that he was rotten before he knew Christ. This is one of the reasons why Pastor Adeboye quite often that if he was Jesus Christ, he wouldn’t have forgiven Adeboye, because he was very rotten. Yet Mummy Adeboye tolerated the supposed excesses of her husband. She is today reaping what she sowed in prayers, persistence, perseverance, and true love. Some other women would have stormed out of the relationship, only to fall into the waiting hands of Satan. But the God of all grace was at work, and the Holy Spirit that lives inside the couple has always assisted them to live together, and by loving themselves unconditionally. Mrs Foluke Adeboye is the Mother-in-Israel in the RCCG family; a title deservingly conferred on her as a result of her status and activities in the church. The area in which Pastor Folu Adeboye has impacted humanity greatly is that of total support for the work of God, as a pillar of support for her husband in the ministry. When the mantle fell on Pastor Adeboye, RCCG had only 40 parishes. As at 2017, the parishes in Nigeria have grown to over 32,000, over 700 parishes in the United Kingdom, and many more parishes, spread across 196 countries.

Should God decide to ask Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye for what gift she needs as she turns 69 years old, I feel sure that she will not ask for any personal favour. Like her husband did in 1998, when he asked the Lord to bless members of his church specially as his birthday gift instead of himself, Mrs, Adeboye is likely to follow suit, with a request for God to bless our dear country – Nigeria, the young ones, and the entire RCCG family. Mummy G.O. points out every do often, that God loves Nigeria, with a firm belief that God’s hand is involved in the affairs of the nation; and it is His will to prosper Nigeria. Happy birthday anniversary to Mummy G.O; a true Mother-In-Israel, mentor and coach to millions of people; and a committed wife under the roof of Daddy Adeboye. Now, how many people pray for our spiritual leaders and people in positions of authority? They pray for us; but their is nobody standing in the gap for them, except Jesus Christ. Nigeria will, by the grace of God, and surely fulfill her place in destiny; and in your lifetime. Mummy G.O., I pray that God Alighty may grant Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye a special blessing, that would enable her spend her days in properity; and her years in pleasure.

–––Femi Adelegan, an author, writer, and publisher; an ordained leader at the Sword of the Spirit Ministries contributed this piece from Abuja.

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