Pastor Kumuyi is 80 years old: things that make him “tickle”
By Banji Ojewale
Years ago, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi, General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, breached the curtains of the future he expected in himself. Preaching to a large congregation of local worshipers who also had an overflowing global audience online, he said he looked forward to a season where no black streak remained on his head. It would be a sparkling crown of white hair. The revered cleric said he hoped that before that, through the Mercy of the Grand Master he serves, he would have succeeded in spreading the gospel of Christ throughout the world. He is not ready to retire, he assured the assembly. But at a very old age he would ask the Deeper Life Bible Church to acquire a reclining chair to enable him to undertake more research in the scriptures, more listening to Heaven, and more teaching of the Word.
As Pastor Kumuyi predicted, white hair has since landed, dominating and decisively beating blacks. Once again, as he predicted, the Church the Lord used him to found carries the message of Christ’s love to every corner of the globe, beginning right here in Nigeria and beyond. African countries, and beyond. What we haven’t seen is the chair. Will it be a cane seat? Or the steel version? Either way, many don’t expect the pastor to ask for it soon.
Reaching 80 on June 6, 2021, Kumuyi’s body language suggests the chair needs to linger. A well-known “defector” and a displacer of worldly protocols and norms to fulfill evangelistic obligations, the pastor is determined to reinvent the wheel many times over, whipping the aging, aching and suffering outer man to bow to the promptings of restless, purposeful and rigid inner man.
The man of God is guided by a passage from the Bible: “The fire will always burn on the altar; it will never be extinguished.
So, for the time being, the chair for chaining the general superintendent of the ministry of deep Christian life to a sedentary life is itself doomed to an indefinite future, giving Kumuyi great freedom to travel throughout the country and across the country. world, his age and the health issues that accompany him little consideration. It was only recently, in April of this year, that the preacher left his base in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, for the country’s capital, to host a six-day crusade that covered all of the north. from the country. He preached daily sermons during the period, with media reporting that large crowds gathered to receive the blessings of salvation and other gospel gifts like sanctification, the power of the Holy Ghost, and the healing of various afflictions among many other benefits.
Kumuyi is inspired by John Wesley, the 18th century founder of the Methodist Church. He not only read many of the great English preacher’s books and sermons, but he also adopted his legendary stoicism. A biographer reports that Wesley once sprained his ankle, an accident that crippled the Methodist leader. The writer said John Wesley did not stay away from the pulpit because of the disability. ” Sunday, ” he wrote, ” (Wesley) preached on his knees, because he wasn’t able to stand on his sprained ankle … Tuesday (the same week) he was preaching , once again on my knees. ”
A fiery 80-year-old Kumuyi has a similar predilection for overcoming limitations imposed by nature or physical ailments, all to honor his Lord’s call. He is notorious for ignoring the advice of physicians to take long preaching rests due to his age. If he listened to them for a short time, he would stun them later with a return that lifted the poseurs if he was the same person who a few days earlier needed an intermission. He did it often, not because he looked down on the experts. Not at all. The point is, for preacher Kumuyi, the work for Jesus Christ is a consuming force. It’s like a juggernaut, against which nothing should resist, whether it is bad health, an age-related handicap, a lack, a culture, a career. , country, club, community or class distinctions. They must all give way to the King and his Kingdom servants… or be crushed. Like Vladimir Kuts, the Russian athlete of the last century, Kumuyi believes that “it is impossible to speak of limits when it comes to the capacities of man… This power must… be developed, by his life, by his experiences and by his training. ‘
The clergyman confuses those who think that as you get older your abilities diminish. In the Kumuyi cosmos, there seems to be a reversal of this principle. Otherwise, in old age, he wouldn’t stand for an hour and a half, preaching a diligent sermon loaded with alliterations that make his audience wonder if he secretly studied English literature and stylistics after graduating. his first-class degree in mathematics. at the University of Ibadan.
In his youth in the 80s and 90s, Kumuyi’s Bible study every Monday lasted an hour. He built his teachings on a simple tripod. Although Pastor Kumuyi is still working around a three point arrangement to pull the guts out of the message, he now took on the daunting task of putting together three additional sub-points in each guiding point. So at the end of the day you have twelve points, all offering a feast of masterful alliterations. You are torn between watching over Kumuyi’s literary gems and absorbing his legendary, biblically informed interpretation of the Word of God. The point is, you need both; so you can only be totally attentive when you are sitting at Kumuyi’s feet.
University of Lagos Professor Tunde Opeibi exquisitely explains the laborious technique of captivating your audience through an alliterative maze in his seminal book, Discourse, Politics and the 1993 Presidential Election Campaigns in Nigeria. Opeibi writes: “Although alliteration can best be described as a stylistic device… it is a powerful rhetorical tool deployed to evoke emotions, attract attention and convey… messages in a more engaging and persuasive manner. She is a figure of speech because she often creates images and conveys meaning beyond the chain of words that compose her. When modulated creatively and effectively, they can deepen meaning and enhance musicality. ”
Born in Erin-Ijesa in Osun State on Friday June 6, 1941, Kumuyi moved to Orunwa, Ijebu region in Ogun State with his parents. He received his primary education at St. James Anglican School, Orunwa, which was founded in 1908. The young Kumuyi then moved on to Saint Michael Primary School, Owu-Ikija, in Ijebu Division of the sprawling west of Nigeria. His father enrolled him in the modern pre-secondary school system, but then removed the boy, which led to Kumuyi entering the famous Mayflower school, Ikenne.
Here, Kumuyi met the great Tai Solarin, the irrepressible founder and director of Mayflower. Kumuyi described him as a “militant atheist”. Tai Solarin was a humanist who had nothing to do with God. He taught his students to repudiate him, insisting that the man was what he had made for himself through hard work and study. He therefore strove to bring Kumuyi into his world through three approaches: atheism, discipline and the dignity of work.
After a period of conflict at a crossroads, Kumuyi finally disowned his mentor’s irreligion and embraced his ascetic and industrious character. These are two virtues that came into contact with the more enduring control of the gospel of Christ that Kumuyi believed to become a born again child of God on April 5, 1964.
The journey since then has offered tumultuous concerns: expelling a denomination, conflicting experiences in founding a ministry, losing a wife, enduring the challenges of a lost son, overcoming the accidents and attacks of the journey, giving up on riches of the world, etc. But quintessential Kumuyi didn’t allow any of those life-threatening roadblocks to stop him. He says that if they didn’t hold back his Lord and the apostles, they didn’t dare stop him either.
The Church and the nation cannot celebrate Pastor Kumuyi at age 80 without a withdrawal of his life. As the leader of an institution, he gives everything, including his life, to ensure its existence. He gave up profit and everything it stands for – power, position, and popularity – to selflessly serve the organization, so he became indifferent to personal or private property. It is the virtue that the Nigerian rulers lack, which has spawned a population whose god is materialism, whose unbridled pursuit has led to criminal anti-social activities throughout the country. A society discovers its essence in its leaders. If the rulers are indifferent to the welfare of the governed, the governed will return apathy to their rulers and to society.
Happy birthday, beloved pastor!
-Banji Ojewale, a seasoned journalist, writes from Lagos