The people of Kumasi in Ghana did not wait for too long for the much anticipated visit of Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi from Nigeria.
In 1973, he had been used by God to set up a Bible Study Group that had radicalized Christianity in a country just crawling from an internecine civil war. The Ghanaians were themselves passing through stormy times, tossed for several years by billows of military regimes.
In 1979, Kumuyi was invited to lead a crusade in the second biggest city in Ghana, the country whose military rulers played the peace maker as Nigeria stood inexorably on the cusp of war. Was Kumuyi coming with scars of conflict? Was his message going to be relevant to the people of Ghana who were also writhing under the boots of the soldiers? If what his Bible Study Group was offering was healing the wounds inflicted by 30 months of a carnivorous war in only a few years of its existence, let him come and wave the “magic wand” in Ghana too.
The Ghanaians were thinking right. The people needed a healing- spiritual and physical- at the touch of something new, something fresh, something not born of the jaded prescription that had worsened their condition day after day. Those who invited the young Nigerian evangelist (only in his late 30s) to Kumasi accepted the man whose group has since blossomed to become the Deeper Life Bible Church with stable and dignified presence all over the world.
That trip to the land of the Golden Stool and home of popular football club Asante Kotoko has been notched as a reference point in church history in Ghana. Annalists of developments within DLBC have hailed the event as the beginning of the international reach of the church. That visit has spawned massive changes in the heart of Asante land: the landfall of old time Gospel message, accompanied by signs and wonders; It is freeing the people of the area from spiritual and physical poverty; it has made the dark ages of the day to recede and give way to the “more abundant life” promise; it has brought development and employment to the community of Santasi in the western suburb of Kumasi and nearby Brofoyedu.
There is a 149-acre citrus farm, a community clinic and a water purification plant in the area, all available to the public. They are in existence as a result of the 1979 DLBC crusade in Kumasi where Pastor Kumuyi ministered.
Now in Ogun State, as we look back to those days of spiritual and physical renaissance engendered by a crusade, we are compelled to expect a similar boon, indeed a greater turning point while we await a three-day crusade at Kobape, Abeokuta, with Pastor Kumuyi preaching from October 24-26, 2014.
Only recently when Deeper Life Bible Church held a three-day crusade in Osogbo, state of Osun capital, the Pastor spoke of the all-round impact of the programme in the life of society and its people. He said the crusade was brought to Osun for the manifestation of God’s power and love for the people, to heal and turn every life around, saying that the event was meant to be enriching.
He declared: “We want you to believe in God, that He can conquer any challenges, that is the most significant aspect of our crusade… to remind the people that no matter how bad it may be for individuals, state and nation, God can still turn things around and can move things forward.”
Isn’t this the message Nigeria needs at the moment? The message of hope, that by the Mercy of God and Faith in Him Nigeria can pull through her challenges.
This broad vision and mission of Christian open-air gatherings correct the erroneous views that sacerdotal functions are restricted to the spirit of man. It can’t be so. Instead the church, its agents and all its organs of administration and operations exist to deliver man and his institutions of governance from the faulty terrestrial philosophy of prosperity without purity.
Otherwise, Jesus Christ the Head of the Church would not be speaking of coming to offer “life…more abundantly.” Meaning real-time existence enriched by all-round development: The purged soul, nourished by the Laws of God serves as the basis of all other enterprise of man. This outlaws the prevalent crave for unbridled and competitive materialism.
The basic teaching of Pastor Kumuyi at the crusades is that man’s main need is the Salvation of his soul and that all other basic demands will be met after that experience. When that is resolved, there ensues a flood of miracles: The lame will walk, the deaf hear, the dumb speak, the sick healed; and myriads of challenges are met by sheer Divine intervention. There is more as in the case of Kumasi: God deposits enduring totems of blessing in the host community in the form of communal harmony, schools, clinics, cottage industries etc. it is a fulfillment of God’s promise in Exodus 20:24b.
To be sure, Ogun State which is hosting Pastor Kumuyi in the October edition of the series of DLBC’s international crusades needs this breeze of blessing. We need it to silence the political war drums as the 2015 poll approaches. We need the man of God to pray for the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to continue to excel. We need him to plead for peace to reign in every nook and cranny of Ogun State in particular and Nigeria in general. We need him to pray for poverty to be banished out of the land. We need the crusade to transform the citizens into a peace-loving lot who would enjoy the spiritual and physical benefits that follow a Divine visitation.
Ojewale is a journalist at Onibuku, Ota, Ogun State.