Eminent Nigerians on Friday in Lagos eulogised the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, at the presentation of his biography titled, “Kumuyi: Defender of the Faith.’’
The attendees, including the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, and the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, described the cleric as a great Nigerian who made great contributions to Christendom.
Osinbajo said the difficulty encountered by the authors of the book in getting Kumuyi’s approval for the biography was a result of the ‘innate resistance of humble men to any form of adulation or celebration. “But there is another side to the issue: every person, especially those who succeed in their endeavours, whatever those endeavours may be, owe society three taxes. They are income tax, social tax and civic tax.
“But for the successful preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is a fourth tax, which is the Pentecost tax. The saints before us were beneficiaries of this; their stories continued today and the baton has been handed to us; we must all pay this Pentecost tax.
“The book tells us about the work of holiness he lives every day, and how the Holy Spirit works with him. He has kept faith with the Great Commission; he has kept faith with the gospel. The book is about the grace and mercy of God in the life of His servant. The Pentecost tax is never fully discharged,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu, while recalling the celebration of Kumuyi’s 80th birthday in June which he attended, said he was happy to be leading the state at such a time.
He described the pastor as a spiritual leader, mentor, philanthropist, teacher to millions, lover of Christ and a patriotic Nigerian.
Sanwo-Olu added, “We all are witnesses to the deep level of humility of Papa. I think he is just an epitome of simplicity like our Lord Jesus Christ. I am pleased that the authors, the conspirators, stood their ground and managed to convince him to accept the idea of a biography. One of the problems is that we usually celebrate ourselves when we have a corpse. But we have changed that narrative and we are celebrating him while still serving God.’’
The governor noted that Kumuyi followed a divinely orchestrated transition from “teaching the world how to solve complex mathematical equations to teaching the world answers to higher questions about faith, love, hope and holiness.”
The keynote speaker, Prof Dapo Asaju, who is an Anglican bishop and a former Vice Chancellor of the Ajayi Crowther University, who spoke on ‘Imperative of Integrity, Transparency and Trust in Leadership, Celebrating the Life of Kumuyi, the Defender of the Faith,’ lamented the problems of insecurity in the country, saying the church was failing in its responsibility.
He also decried the dearth of biographies, saying many great Nigerians were dying without anyone reading about their exploits while alive.
Asaju said, “Biography makes us learn after people are gone. Great men have passed through this journey. Integrity, transparency and trust are ingredients for good leadership. When these virtues are lost, it is finished for society unless God intervenes. Especially in Nigeria, most people have lost faith in the government because of corruption, insecurity, banditry, etc. We pray for the good old days.’’
Asaju urged Kumuyi and Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, to lead the charge in speaking for the church, saying he looked forward to them holding world press conferences together.
He said, “Corruption has become so endemic that we need God to intervene. I am challenging Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, and Pastor E.A. Adeboye; these two people pastor the largest congregations in Nigeria. And they are standing today because of integrity, discipline and holiness. It is not because of the prosperity gospel. I am calling on them to please unite with other people, bring in everybody under CAN, PFN, and help us address the Nigerian question.
“Church leaders are mandated to be watchmen by blowing their trumpets when problems are happening. It is not enough for us to keep quiet and pastor our churches and have large congregations. When a crisis comes, everybody will be a victim. All ministers of God should speak out now as things are going upside down in Nigeria. You are comfortable here; people are not comfortable in Benue, Southern Kaduna and the Northern part. I look forward to Baba (Kumuyi) addressing a world press conference, and seated beside him is Baba Adeboye, and let them call people and say, ‘enough is enough.’ They need to lead other people to convey a high-powered meeting with the President.”
The book reviewer, Prof Ayodeji Olukoju, said the 336-page book, divided into 14 chapters, aptly chronicled Kumuyi’s life and ministry.
The Chairman of the Editorial Board of the book, Pastor Philip Oluwi, explained that the book project started in November 2020, adding that his team was apprehensive of Kumuyi’s reaction to it.
He said the authors were excited when the cleric gave the nod for the biography.
In his remarks, Kumuyi said he had always wanted to be like an English preacher, John Wesley, after reading a series of his works, adding that his focus, however, later changed to Jesus Christ after he realised he could do more for God.
He said his ministry had blessed many lives because he surrendered his all to God and urged the guests to do the same.
The cleric said, “I want to throw that to you as well because God is no respecter of person. John Wesley said, ‘Give me a hundred men that love none but God, and hate nothing but sin, and we will turn the world upside down.’ I want to raise up people that will go beyond me. And you can say Lord, whatever you have done in this man, by this man, through this man and for this man, do it with me.”