Enoch Adeboye Steps Down As Head Of Redeemed Christian Church Of God In Nigeria
One of the world's fastest-growing Churches has announced a change of leadership.
The high-profile Pastor Enoch Adeboye of Nigeria's Redeemed Christian Church of God is stepping down after changes in rules in Nigeria governing charities and churches.
Adeboye and his wife Folu have transformed the Church since he became general overseer in 1981 and it is now flourishing in nearly 200 countries. In the UK alone there are 800 RCCG churches with plans to open 100 more this year.
The biggest is Jesus House in Brent Cross, London, with more than 2,000 Sunday worshippers each week.
In Nigeria, there are about 14,000 RCCG churches.
The aim, in the UK as elsewhere, is to have a church within five minutes of every person.
In a statement on its website, RCCG described the change of leadership as a "slight restructuring" and said it was complying with the national code on corporate governance 2015 for not-for-profit organisations and "the need to promote good governance and best practices".
The change in leadership applies only in Nigeria and Pastor Adeboye will continue to lead the worldwide church, as he explained in a letter to pastors.
New legal requirements set up by the Financial Regulations Council in Nigeria mean that leaders of all registered churches, mosques and similar organisations can now stay in post for a maximum period of 20 years.
In retirement, they are not permitted to hand over to their families.
RCCG Nigeria is now to be headed by Pastor Joseph Obayemi. Pastor Funsho Odesola will serve as the new Church secretary while Pastor Joseph Adeyokunu is the new Church treasurer, the Church said.
"We would like to inform all members of RCCG to understand this new structure and go about their service to God and humanity in holiness and soul winning. Let us also educate people around us and not spread inaccurate information," the statement concluded.
Pastor Adeboye was a university lecturer in mathematics, a subject in which he has a PhD, before becoming involved with the Church. He is widely known inside and outside the Church community.
In December 2008, Newsweek, the international news magazine, named him as one of its 50 most influential people. He and his wife have four children.
In its article, Newsweek reported: "Behind Adeboye's extraordinary success is his reputation for honesty. While other Pentecostal pastors (including some Nigerians) have been accused of financial misdeeds or faking supernatural powers, Adeboye remains above the fray. Nigerian government leaders seek his input on pressing social issues. He recently made a public-service announcement condemning discrimination against people with HIV. He distributes his message globally through Facebook and MySpace, a self-published magazine called 'The Mandate', and a digital-cable channel called Open Heavens TV. His appearance is straitlaced: he always wears a pinstriped suit, a gleaming white shirt and a bow tie.
"Adeboye experienced a miracle recently on a long and dangerous stretch of highway near Lagos, he says. His car was out of gas, and the gas stations were empty. Then God spoke to him, clearly, and said to keep driving. Adeboye drove 200 miles on empty. Could his gas gauge have been broken? No, he insists, God intervened 'because of the need … in a crisis.' Adeboye knows well what some in the West have forgotten: in today's world, everyone needs a Daddy."