Published on October 24, 2018 by Sarah Cain  

Enoch A. Adeboye, a Nigerian pastor and the general overseer of the worldwide Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), spoke to Samford students about the power of perseverance during campus worship Oct. 24 in the Wright Center. 

The renowned pastor originally trained for a career in university administration after earning advanced degrees in hydrodynamics and mathematics from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. It was this combination of intellectual intelligence and spiritual tenacity that Christson Adedoyin, an associate professor of social work who helped arrange Adeboye’s visit, hoped would inspire students.   

In 1973, Adeboye made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ through the founder and first overseer of the RCCG, Josiah Akindayomi. Adeboye was ordained a minister in 1977 and in 1981, following Akindayomi’s death, Adeboye was named general overseer of the RCCG. The RCCG grew constantly and exponentially under Adeboye’s leadership.  

In his address, Adeboye shared four pillars of success ­— vision, diligence, perseverance and prayer. He attributes these values to helping achieve his goals with God’s grace.

“First you must have vision,” he said. “You must have a goal that is far bigger than yourself. Second, you must have diligence because the moment you begin to move toward your vision, obstacles will try to slow you down.”

He shared his own journey of being born into an impoverished remote village in southwestern Nigeria with dreams to grow beyond the limits of his home. Adeboye’s determination and commitment in Christ eventually brought him to host millions in worship at the RCCG. By 1998, he was hosting crowds of worshipers in the millions and Adeboye’s name was becoming known worldwide. He has authored 31 books on ministry, faith-based issues and daily devotionals. In 2009 he was named one of the World’s Fifty Most Powerful People by Newsweek magazine.

Adeboye cited James 1:5-7. “If you are to receive anything from God, you must not waiver. Your determination must be very strong… The world is full of examples of people who have achieved great things. Those who kept on failing, but kept on going… I have good news for you, no matter how big your dream, God can bring it to pass,” he said. 

Adeboye’s visit to Samford continues the university’s tradition of hosting a wide array of religious leaders on campus.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.