The life of Enoch Adejare Adeboye is a fulfillment of the scriptures in Zechariah 4: 10 which declare, “despise not the days of small beginnings”.

Born in 1942 into a humble family in the village of Ifewara, Osun State located in the South-western part of Nigeria Enoch Adeboye often humorously states that his family was so poor that even the poor people called them poor. As a matter of fact, he unashamedly tells his congregation that he never owned shoes until he was eighteen years of age. What he possessed though were physical intangibles such as focus, consistency, diligence, ambition, a brilliant mind and a determination to succeed in life.

In 1956 Enoch Adeboye was admitted into Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State, Western Nigeria and as a youth he discovered a passion for books, and an aptitude for science and in particular the field of Mathematics. This led to an academic journey in the field of Mathematics against incredible odds including but not limited to finances, the Nigerian Civil War and academic politics. By the time he was done, Enoch Adeboye had obtained not only a Bachelors (BSc.) degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nnsukka, Nigeria in 1967, but also a Masters (MSc.) Degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria in 1969 and 1975 respectively.

One of the motivations for these academic achievements was Enoch Adeboye’s passionate desire to become the youngest Vice Chancellor (University President) of any one of the frontline Universities in Nigeria. It did seem that his academic ambition would be realized as his academic career flourished. However, this was not to be as a greater career awaited him in the service of the Lord. In 1967 Enoch Adeboye got married to his beloved wife Foluke Adenike Adeboye (nee Adeyokunnu).


1: Pastor Adeboye’s father was a farmer and a part-time traditional musician while his mother was a trader in locust beans. Such a humble beginning! Motivation: Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

2: Pastor Adeboye’s earliest vision in life was to be the youngest vice chancellor in Africa. Motivation: God’s plans for you are better than any plans you have for yourself. So, don’t be afraid of God’s will even if it’s different from yours.

3: Pastor Adeboye’s father died when he was in his final year in secondary school. He went back to school the same day after his father’s burial to write his school-leaving exams. He came out in flying colors and eventually won the best student’s prize. Motivation: God always has something for you, a key for every problem, a light for every shadow, a relief for every sorrow and a plan for every tomorrow.

4: At age 18 and about to leave secondary school, Pastor Adeboye had no pair of shoes to wear for the prize giving day. Since he would be mounting the rostrum, he had to borrow. He also borrowed a pant from a relative to wear for the same occasion. Motivation: We are all in the gutters but some of us are looking at the stars. There’s a better tomorrow for those who refuse to be limited by their backgrounds.

5: Pastor Adeboye started his university education at the University of Nigeria Nsukka but civil war forced him to University of Ife in his final year. Motivation: Nothing can happen without God’s permission. And God will not allow a difficulty unless he has a divine purpose for it. If you will keep your peace, you’ll pass the test and God will bring you out better than you were before.

6: Pastor Adeboye’s first visit to the Redeemed Christian Church of God was on account of his daughter’s illness in 1973. Motivation: There’s a reason for closed doors, unanswered prayers and blocked roads. If your prayers don’t get answered, It is because God has a better way, a better plan and a better means. Trust him!

7: When it was time for him to go to missionary school, Pastor Adeboye sold his only goat and borrowed money from his neighbors to pay his school fees. Motivation: Today’s trials are tomorrow’s testimonies.

8: Pastor Adeboye’s calling began as an interpreter for the founder of RCCG, Rev. Josiah Akindayomi. At the initial stage, his duty in the church was to translate Rev. Akindayomi’s sermons from the native Yoruba language into English.

Motivation: Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.


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