Of a truth, 77 year old Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye might not be the richest clergy in Africa like Bishop Oyedepo but he runs the biggest, most successful and fastest growing church in the world known as The Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Allegedly humble, he sits atop over N360 billion empire widely known as the Redeemed Christian Church Of God [RCCG]. His grass to grace story from a childhood of abject penury to a state of splendour is quite interesting. Since assuming the leadership of the church, Daddy Adeboye, as he is fondly called, has taken the ministry to an unbelievable level.
Sitting atop the world largest Christian camp known as Redemption Camp reportedly worth over 200billion, one million seater 1 kilometre auditorium worth N7.7 billion, a jet which currently put at N8 billion, a garden city tagged N1 billion, Redeemers University valued at N5 billion with its permanent site nearing completion, a reported N20 billion 3 million seater 3-kilometre auditorium, ultramodern branches scattered in over 125 countries pegged at N100billion, over 10 million worshippers from over 15,000 branches and a host of others confirmed, that indeed he has taken the ministry to an enviable level.
He has the world’s biggest auditorium. The facility can accommodate close to three million worshippers at a time. The auditorium, which was opened by the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, was floored with marble is sited on a vast tract of land within the Redemption Camp. The large auditorium is built with steel and cement fibres.
The vision for the new auditorium started immediately after the 1998 Holy Ghost Congress held at Lekki, Lagos, when Adeboye realised the need for a more spacious auditorium to accommodate the millions of worshippers who thronged Lekki for the programme. The new auditorium was built by a Chinese firm.
One camp that is as popular as Daddy G.O is the Redemption Camp, along Lagos -Ibadan Expressway.
It sits atop over 40,000 hectares of land and stretches as far as Sagamu, Ogun State. Its current worth is put at N200 billion.
Those in charge of affairs at the camp didn’t mince words about the fact that it is a Christian community. “This is the city of Christians,” says the Senior Camp Maintenance Director, Pastor Dapo Adesina. As such, everything is arranged to give effect to the Christian message of the glory and splendour of the Almighty. The streets, especially at night, breathe in unsullied air from the surrounding foliage, giving the Redemption City a quality of celestial bliss. From the lampposts by the roads, silver glow on top casts a bright hallow upon the estates of buildings erected by Haggai Saving Loans, a community bank owned by RCCG.
According to RCCG website, Haggai has been able to develop over 66 units of houses and another 22 units in addition to 150 units of various types of bungalows. Other banks within the camp include Access Bank, UBA, GTB, Zenith Bank, EcoBank, etc.
For a visitor, the residential and office areas are hardly distinguishable; the place is an open city. The estate comprises duplexes, bungalows, three and four-bedroom flats owned by members of the church. On the West side of the city are the offices that handle the bureaucracy. This includes the International Office, Camp Maintenance Department, Finance and Budget Department, Finance and Auditing Department, Pre-paid meter office, Security Unit, Redeemer Clinic, Directorate of Christian Education, Rehabilitation Centre, Electrical Department, as well as the Water Department. Right at the heart of the city is the sprawling Congress Arena measuring two-kilometer (length) by one kilometre (breadth).
According to the Redeemed Camp authorities, the auditorium accommodated more than three million worshippers during the last Holy Ghost Congress. During the congress, the camp metamorphosed into a mecca of sorts, accommodating about 6 million people. The congregants came from 150 countries where RCCG branches are located. But on other days, except first Friday of the month slated for the Holy Ghost Service, Redemption Camp is a somber city. When there are no big events in the camp, the auditorium is a sanctuary for the faithful who come to pray and make supplications to God.
Within the camp, there are several other structures like the main auditorium, the Redeemer University (RUN), The Redeemed Christian Bible College, Redeemer High School, International Guest House, post office, supermarket, power station, water treatment plant, among others.
The first foundation of the Redemption City, according to the church authorities, was laid in April 1983. Prior to that time, Pastor Adeboye, who had just retired from the University of Ilorin as the Head, Department of Mathematics and was living in Mushin, Lagos was said to have prayed to God for a house.
In response, God promised him a city. Adeboye’s wife, Pastor Folu Adeboye, received revelation that the city must be built along the express road. But when a portion of land became available at Alagbado, the church could not afford the price. And since the church policy forbids borrowing, the authorities had to wait till the church could afford to foot the bill. Not long after, a portion of land near the Lagos-Ibadan expressway was available. The place was found out to be more accessible to members from other parts of the country. “And the rest, as they say, is history,” said Pastor Adesina, one of the RCCG’s officials.
Today, Redemption City is a tranquil home to a population of about 1,000,000 people. It is perhaps the largest Christian city in the world. Not even the Vatican City, established in 1929 and spread across 44 hectares of land, could boast of the population of the Redeemed City. Vatican City, according to CIA World Fact sheet, is populated by 836 citizens, mostly priests. According to Pastor Adesina, though the Redeemed City is not patterned after the Vatican City, a sovereign entity within Rome, the city has aspiration to assume a political status in future. Residents of Redemption City participate in elections like other citizens in Ogun State, “but we do not allow political campaign in the city because we see ourselves as family members,” said Adesina.
Furthermore, the clergy has a private jet reportedly gotten for him by some worshippers. The jet, a Gulfstream with registration no 707EA, is currently worth about N7 billion. It arrived Nigeria via the Bahamas on Sunday, March 8, 2017.
Also, the ministry has the highest record of ultra modern branches scattered across the globe. It is named the fastest growing church in the globe. Thus, in a move that was designed to catapult the ministry to greater heights in the USA, the RCCG in North America acquired a multi-million dollar property of over 250 plots in Texas. The project is arguably believed to be worth about N16 billion. And it’s just one of the mega parishes they have scattered across the over 12,000 branches. The properties are worth N100 billion, over the world. That includes a N1billion prayer garden.