Pastor Foluke Adenike Adeboye (nee Adeyokunmu), fondly called Mummy G.O or Mother-in-Israel is a Minister, Missionary, Bible Teacher, Author, Mentor, Role Model, Administrator, Spiritual Mother and wife of the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye.
She was born on the 13th of July, 1948 to the family of Jacob and Morounfola Adelusi Adeyokunmu. Her father was a Prince of the Royal family of Owa Obokun Oji in Ijeshaland, Osun State. She is the eldest of ten children. Prince Jacob was a teacher with the Methodist Mission of Nigeria and a catechist (now called Deacon or Assistant Pastor) of Methodist Church and was refered to as a strict disciplinarian who made sure his children were raised as stauch Methodists, including Foluke. Her mother on the other hand, was a cloth trader.
Foluke attended Methodist Girls Primary and Secondary School, Ilesha, Osun State. She had a brilliant mind and was always at the top of her class. Foluke had proved herself to be a highly intelligent young lady so much that the entire family and community began to see her as a role model for her peers and the younger children coming behind.
She proceeded to the United Missionary College (UMC) Ibadan where she obtained her Grade II Teacher’s Certificate in 1966. In those days, the United Missionary College was one of the best teacher training colleges and was like a University. While at the College, she was actively involved in church activities and was the Sunday School Superintendent. She was also very involved in Drama and Athletics. She was also a committed member of the Scripture Union (SU), a national devout and conservative evangelical Christian students group.
She further got a Diploma Certificate from the University of Lagos in Mathematics and Science (Associate Diploma in Education) and a Certificate in Child Evangelism Training, Child Evangelism Ministry, Holland, 1985. In addition to these, she attended several Professional Development Training Courses in Nigeria and Abroad. Amongst these are: “Understanding Accelerated Christian Education (1992), Proficiency Course for Directors of Schools and Heads of Schools at the University College of St. Johns & St. Marks, Plymouth, United Kingdom (2000), Special Needs Education Training – Organized by CRSM and conducted by Columbia University in New York (2005).
She met Pastor Enoch Adeboye in 1965 and they got married in 1967. She was nineteen years old at the time. Prior to her getting married to him, Pastor Adeboye revealed that he met her by divine appointment because before they met, he had been in various relationships and she was supposed to be just one out of many. But then, on his birthday, she gave him a birthday present of a small New Testament Bible and two snow white handkerchiefs. By the time he got the gifts; something within him made it clear that this is the woman he would marry.
Before the day was over, he had written off all the other girlfriends and by the grace of God has been able to stick to her alone since that time. The only challenge he could say he had during their courtship was the strictness of her Dad, who was a Minister in the Methodist Church. He revealed that he could only visit her when someone else was present. If they went for a stroll, it had to be for a very limited time. In his words, “Looking back now, I am very grateful to God for this because the old man was following very good examples laid down by the Scriptures”.
Foluke agreed to marry Pastor Adeboye despite being the least qualified of all her suitors. She had many suitors who were vying for hand in marriage, yet she chose him not minding his financial situation. They started attending the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), which was then headed by the General Superintendent, Pastor Josiah Oluwafemi Akindayomi, after they were invited by a friend in 1973. Pastor Adeboye was ordained as a pastor two years after and became the General Overseer in 1981.
She has been a strong pillar of support to Pastor Adeboye’s ministry. In Pastor Adeboye’s words, “my wife has been extremely helpful. In fact, when I look back now, I wonder what my life would have been like without her. I don’t see how I could possibly have coped with the ministry that God committed into my hands without this woman.
She is not only in charge of the children’s ministry, women’s ministry and African Missions, which is her passion; she is also in charge of the educational sector of the ministry. During the outreaches, convention, congresses, conferences and other big occasions, she is also there coordinating and supervising what is going on in the kitchen. I wonder how I would have coped but for the great strength and character that God has given my wife”.
Foluke is blessed with rare gifts of administration, planning, hospitality, counseling, mentoring; ministering comfort, care, and encouragement to many, bringing hope, love and succor to the hopeless. With a passion for planting Christian schools, she has made immense contributions to the Nigerian Education sector, coordinating work in the field of Christian Education, by starting a vigorous movement (Christ the Redeemer’s Schools Movement) that has led to the founding of several Christian Educational institutions caring for the educational welfare of children in Nigeria and Abroad.
She was officially ordained a pastor in 1996 and since then she has held top leadership positions in the church including President of the Redeemed Women Fellowship (God Women Fellowship). She is in charge of Women Affairs. She plays host to the Annual Women in Ministry programme for all female ministers in Redeemed Christian Church of God (R.C.C.G) all over the world. The programme is aimed at training R.C.C.G Pastors’ Wives and Midwives. She’s the Editor-in-Chief of Courage Magazine, the official publication of R.C.C.G women, which helps in disseminating information on current issues as they affect Christian Women.
She’s the President of a welfare ministry called Certain Women. This welfare ministry caters for the emotional, financial, material and spiritual needs of widows both within and outside the church. She relates closely with her mentees, through many ways including the annual ‘Feast of Esther’ which is a gathering of women who are General Overseers or Heads of Ministries and women who are wives of General Overseers/Prelates/Arch Bishops/Head of Ministries, and Women Leaders of Ministries to interact for the purpose of fellowship, prayer, renewal, growth and development and to stand in gap for their churches, ministries and nation. She is a pioneer of multiple projects, ministries and missions to the glory of God.
She founded “Habitation of Hope”, an initiative set up with the hope to rescue depressed and destitute boys from the street, transform and empower them and give them the opportunity to develop into self-reliant and responsible citizens. She also founded “Wholistic Ministry” in April, 2002, a faith based non-profit making agency of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG), effective in the work of social reformation and community development to help curb moral decadence in the society, reflecting in the hordes of commercial sex workers, increase in numbers of pregnant and stranded teenagers, neglected young girls and ladies in various stages of destitution who are all suffering from the effect of this decadence.
Another initiative founded by her is “Friends of Jesus” which is focused on meeting the needs of the less privileged that have taken the Redemption Camp as their abode. She is equally hugely passionate about Nigeria; and the proper growth of the young ones. Therefore, the segment for prayers for Nigeria and youths at major meetings of the R.C.C.G is reserved for her.
It is said that she commences her day with communion with God at about 3am. She remains in the place of prayer till 6am, when she switches over to participate in the family devotion. It was further revealed that she is so much committed to praying that whenever her husband has a ministration, she would go into her prayer closet, urging God to help Daddy G.O. in his ministration. They fast and pray together. Like her husband, Mama Adeboye shuns elaborate introductions when being ushered to the podium and prefers to focus on Jesus Christ.
Her favourite Bible verses include:
Acts 17:28a – “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
Psalms 23:3 – “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Psalms 16:8 – “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psalms 25:1 – “Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.”
She has also written the following books: Kingdom Love (2008); Heaven in your home (2006); The Mother-in Christ (2004); The Seven Secrets of Great Achievers (2003); This also shall pass (2001); Can I cry out (1999); and The Pastors’ Wives Manual published in 1995.
She is blessed with three sons, Adeolu, Leke, Dare, and a daughter, Bolu, who are all Pastors and happily married with children.
Foluke Adeboye is a dutiful wife, a devoted mother and grandmother, a tireless evangelist, spiritual mother to millions of people all over the world, including prominent religious leaders like Bishop Francis Wale Oke, Bishop David Oyedepo, Reverend Joe Olaiya, Reverend Moses Aransiola and Pastor Uzodinma Obed, among several others, and a hospitable and seasoned teacher with passion for excellence at all levels of education. She is an embodiment of so many virtues that have positively impacted the entire life and ministry of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Worldwide.
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