Pa Josiah Akindayomi was born in 1909.
He grew up as an idol worshipper but he later converted to Christianity out of a yearning to know “The God who created the earth and everyone on it”. He was baptized in 1927 in the Church Missionary Society.
He joined the Cherubim and Seraphim church in 1931 because he was not fulfilled as a Christian in the C.M.S. While in the C & S church, he said a voice told him that “You will be My servant”.
The RCCG was founded by Pa Josiah Akindayomi who came from Ondo State in the western part of Nigeria.
Ministry was not his intention so he ignored the voice and went into business ventures for seven years.
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During this period, all of his businesses ventures failed. This broke him completely. He finally yielded to God saying, “Lord, I will go wherever you want me to go.” He asked for signs to confirm that this was indeed God’s call.
The confirmation came through the Bible passages of Jeremiah 1:4-10, Isaiah 41:10-13 and Romans 8:29-31. He continued to worship with the Cherubim and Seraphim.
In 1947, he started to become concerned that the church was departing from the true Word of God in some of its practices. By 1952, he felt totally persuaded to leave the church. He started at Willoughby Street, Ebute-Metta, Lagos a house fellowship called, the Glory of God Fellowship. Initially there were nine members but before long the fellowship rapidly grew as the news of the miracles that occurred in their midst spread.
Pa Akindayomi, who was not so educated, formed his own Church and After Baba formed his own church, he named it Egbe Ogo Oluwa (Ogo Oluwa Fellowship). Later, he renamed it The Apostolic Church, but members of The Apostolic Faith Church said he took their name.
He once wrote a tract under the name of The Apostolic Church, and The Apostolic Faith Church opposed it, and he had to burn the tracts. It was a bitter fight that the first time he died; God had to send him back to life. He said God showed him his house in heaven, and told him that though he had done almost everything required of him, he still had to come back to settle his old score. So he quickly went to reconcile with The Apostolic Faith Church. The name Redeemed Christian Church of God, came to Papa in a dream.
When he was sleeping, the name appeared to him on a blackboard. When he woke up, he wrote down the words. He even pronounced it when he was telling his pastors, though it was in English.
He added that the Lord said He would provide all the needs of the church, and that He would meet the church when He came back. It is said that God made a covenant with Pa Akindayomi that is synonymous to Abraham’s covenant.
He said that He the Lord would meet all the needs of the church in an awesome way if only members would serve Him faithfully and be obedient to His Word. It is upon this covenant that the Redeemed Christian Church of God was built.
Thus in 1952, the church was renamed The Redeemed Christian Church Of God. The church continued to meet at 9 Willoughby Street until they relocated to 1-5 Redemption Way (formerly 1a Cemetery Street). Pa Josiah Akindayomi Sometime in the early 70s,
Pa Akindayomi stated that God had spoken to him about his successor. He claimed that The Lord told him that this man, who was not a member of the church then, would be a young educated man.
Thus when a young university lecturer joined the church in 1973, Papa was able, as was claimed, to recognize him in the Spirit as the one that the Lord had spoken about in the past. This man, Enouch Adejare Adeboye who was then a lecturer of Mathematics at the University of Lagos soon became involved in the church.
Enouch Adejare Adeboye became one of the interpreters translating Pa Akindayomi’s sermons from Yoruba to English. He was ordained a pastor of the church in 1975.
Pa Akindayomi was in a meeting with Kenneth E Hagin and the Lord told Kenneth E Hagin that he should tell Pa Akindayomi that what he said he would do for the church he will do it and thet was another confirmation that God is with his Church.
God made some promises to Pa Akindayomi about RCCG:
1. That He will meet this Church on His return.
2. That this Church will become a model to the whole world.
3. That other Churches from all over the world would come to learn and worship in this Church.
As Papa was preparing to meet his Creator, he sent for Pastor Adeboye and spent several hours sharing with him details of the covenant and the plans of the Lord for the church. Even though a year before this, the Lord had revealed to Pastor Adeboye that he would be Papa’s successor, it was still too difficult for him to fully contemplate such an awesome responsibility.
Pa Josiah Akindayomi was 71 years old when he died. Amidst controversy, Pastor Adeboye’s appointment was formalized by the reading of Pa Akindayomi’s sealed pronouncement after his burial.
Since 1981, an open explosion began with the number of parishes growing in leaps and bounds. At the last count, there are over 2000 parishes of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria.
On the International scene, the church is present in other African nations and in other continents of the world.
One of the well-known programs of the church is the Holy Ghost Service, an all night miracle service that holds on the first Friday of every month at the Redemption Camp at km. 46, Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The Holy Ghost Service now holds in London quarterly and in other parts of the world.
Another major service is the Holy Ghost congress which holds in the second week of December every year at the Redemption Camp.