The Redeemed Christian Church of God, often known simply as RCCG, is a holy place for many Nigerians. It definitely has a rich and interesting history. How did it all start and who founded this church? Find out everything about the history of RCCG up to the present days.
RCCG: THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH STARTS WITH THE STORY OF ITS FOUNDER
The church history originates from 1952 when it was first founded. The founder of the Redeemed Christian Church of God was the man who was Reverend Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, and he was born in July 1909, in Ondo State. Even though his family worshipped idols, Akindayomi searched for the greater power and believed that it is there somewhere. He had a dream to encounter the higher entity that created the world and denied the beliefs that his family was sticking to. Akindayomi knew very little about the Christian faith, but it was his true calling.
The passion of the young man led him to the Church Missionary Society. He was baptized there in 1927. However, Akindayomi still felt unfulfilled spiritually, which led him to join the Cherubim and Seraphim Church in 1931. This religious institution was an indigenous church of Africa, which came from the Anglican Church in Nigeria, also called Episcopal Church of Nigeria.
While Akindayomi was still involved with Cherubim and Seraphim church, he understood his true calling – to serve God. He ignored the calls for a few years and tried to pursue his businesses for seven years, only to meet failure. This time became a key period in his life and marked the start of his relationship with God. According to Akindayomi’s words, when God originally spoke to him, asking him to be his servant, he ignored the divine voice. However, when all of his businesses came to a dead end and he found himself broke and dependent on God, he agreed to go wherever God will lead him. He wanted confirmation it was truly the voice of God speaking to him and he eventually found this confirmation in the Bible. As he said, the Almighty has assured him that he will not need money, as the higher powers will provide him with everything. This knowledge comforted him in the next months and years.
Akindayomi got married in 1941 and continued worshipping God in the Cherubim and Seraphim church. However, in 1947, he got concerned that not all of the church’s practices meet the true Word of God, and some of them might contradict his beliefs. In the next years, he got more and more convinced to leave the church, and in 1952, he finally did it. This was the new chapter in his life because he felt empowered to found his own church, where he would preach the Word of God and send the message from Almighty to the people.
The same year, Akindayomi started the fellowship on Willoughby Street, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, the fellowship was called the Glory of God Fellowship. Originally, this fellowship involved only nine members. However, soon the miracles started to happen, and the news about the fellowship spread all over the country. This was the start of what is now known as the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
According to Akindayomi, God sent him a vision of the words “The Redeemed Christian Church of God” written on the blackboard, and he, an illiterate man, was able to read them. God also let him know that the church will become popular all over the world, and when Jesus Christ appears on earth, he will meet this religious institution. In conclusion, God said that the members of the church should faithfully serve him and obey the holy words. So, this is how Akindayomi started the church, and the famous institution began its development.
The members of the church continued to meet at the same address, 9 Willoughby Street. Some time later, they managed to acquire land and relocated to the current site of church’s headquarters, which is 1-5 Redemption Way, Ebute-Metta, in Lagos.
In the 70s, God visited Akindayomi once again and gave him a speech about his successor, who was described to be an educated young man. In 1973, the young Mathematics lecturer from the University of Lagos joined the RCCG, and Akindayomi instantly recognized him. The man’s name was Enoch Adejare Adeboye. He quickly became involved in the life of the church and helped to translate Akindayomi’s sermons to English from the Yoruba language.
In 1975, Adeboye officially became a pastor of the RCCG. Papa Akindayomi shared a lot of knowledge about the church with him, and it was hard to believe for Adeboye that he was chosen to carry on such an important mission. However, Akindayomi had faith in him and trusted God.
Reverend Akindayomi passed away in 1980. He was 71 years old. Pastor Adeboye soon became his formal successor. For a few years, he combined his church work with the university lecturing, until he gave up his position at the University of Lagos to dedicate his life to preaching.
Now, Pastor Adeboye is 76, and under his guidance and leadership, the church has experienced incredible growth and development, just as God promised to his predecessor Akindayomi. He made the church known worldwide, and it currently has its branches internationally in about 196 countries and nations, as of 2017. It is present in many African countries, Europe (Germany, England, and France), North America (United States), Caribbean islands (Jamaica, Haiti), and Australia. In Nigeria, the church has 14,000 branches. By the way, the international magazine Newsweek has included Pastor Adeboye in their 2008 list of 50 most influential people in the world. He continues to spread the Lord’s message all over the world, maintaining a long-lasting relationship with the Almighty, and sharing his passion with the people who come to the church. His wife, Mrs. Folu Adeboye, is also a Pastor.
It is also worth to be mentioned that the church recently opened the new auditorium in the religious camp in Ogun State. RCCG new auditorium contains 12 million seats. Many people have donated money for this project. However, a lot of people ended up dissatisfied with this decision, saying that the church should have donated to the people in need instead of building such a huge auditorium.
Nevertheless, the church is still active when it comes to organizational part. It helps a lot of people to find themselves and become closer to God. It holds a lot of programs, such as Holy Ghost Service, which is an all-night service held every month on the first Friday in Lagos – at the Redemption Camp on Lagos-Ibadan express way, km.46. The service is attended by 500,000 people from all over Nigeria. This service is not held only in Nigeria but also in many other countries where RCCG has its branches – the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, India, Ghana, South Africa, Philippines, Australia, and this is only to name a few.
Apart from that, the church also organizes a lot of other special events. For instance, RCCG congress is an annual celebration, where all the believers can come, enjoy the program, pray and sing religious songs.
The new auditorium of RCCG
This was the historical course into the past of Redeemed Christian Church of God, known as RCCG. This church has grown a lot since it was first founded by Reverend Akindayomi, and today it is a huge worldwide organization with a lot of branches.