Pastor William F. Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church, easily stands out as a man of God with an unshaken resolve to please God always and undertake the divine assignment given to him with zeal, dedication, meticulousness and sense of urgency.
He continues to demonstrate a clear understanding of his mission which is to win souls for Christ and teach them to embrace standard Christian living to remain at peace with God and rapturable.
Pastor Kumuyi turned 81 on Monday, June 6.
Although not a member of his church, I have derived illumination and edification from his recorded messages, books and attitude to God’s work. The internet has now made many of his messages accessible – both the old, timeless ones and the more recent ones.
It will be difficult to continue listening to Pastor Kumuyi and heeding his teachings on salvation, sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism, evangelism, follow-up and exemplary, Christ-like life and miss heaven. Unless the person, at some point, allows depreciation to set in and start paying lip-service to the transparent Christian life that he is teaching.
Here is a preacher who firmly believes that only sincere repentance from sin and total, genuine surrender of one’s life to Jesus after confessing one’s sins to God can make one a Christian. He also stresses the need to maintain one’s regeneration experience by ensuring that one is always in church to listen attentively to sound Bible teachings and sustains a practice of diligent personal study of God’s Word and communion with Him through personal fellowship.
His emphasis on holy living as a condition for seeing God at last grows with each new day (Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 5:8).
To Pastor Kumuyi, the divine assignment of winning souls to Christ and teaching them to persevere and grow in their genuine Christian experience should be the foremost concern of every pastor. He has traversed several cities of the world preaching the undiluted truth about genuine salvation and holy Christian living.
At every forum, he continues to urge believers to allow Biblical prescriptions guide their daily lives and that no development should justify any attempt to adjust the Word of God to suit mundane preferences.
The ongoing Deeper Life Global Crusade has seen him in various states of Nigeria proclaiming the gospel before multitudes. He is taking advantage of modern technologies to ensure that his crusade messages are broadcast across the world.
Over the years, he has earned immense respect from a broad spectrum of the society with his sterling Christian life, sound teachings and exceptional leadership qualities which have helped to spotlight the Deeper Life Bible Church as one of the best coordinated organizations in the world.
This sterling reputation helps grant him open doors as he gracefully draws the otherwise unreachable political elite in each state he visits to his meetings to hear God’s Word. I saw former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for instance, telling the mammoth crowd at the Abeokuta edition of the Global Crusade how grateful and honoured he was that Pastor Kumuyi had invited him to the programme.
People who missed the crusades live still have the opportunity to watch the messages on the internet.
Although Pastor Kumuyi’s emphasis is on true repentance and holy living, startling testimonies of miracles and healings have continued to occur in his meetings. Top among the miracles witnessed in the ongoing Global Crusade was that of the 85-year old woman, Mama Alice Oladepo, from Itele, a suburb in Ogun State, who was raised from the dead after she had slumped and died in her house.
As the man of God prayed at the Lagos edition of the Global Crusade which they listened to on radio, she came back to life. Interestingly, one of those who witnessed and testified about the miracle was her daughter, Fausat Oladepo, who is not even of the Christian faith. According to her, she had even closed her mother’s eyes and had laid her on a bed, preparing to take her to a morgue, before God intervened and brought her back to life.
In the late 1980s when I worked with the old Anambra State public service, Deeper Life used to host a 30 minutes telecast called Miracle Time every Thursday evening. Pastor Kumuyi used to give a brief message and pray for viewers after a choir ministration. One evening while a friend and I hurried home to watch the programme, my friend suddenly called my attention to the fact that the streets were deserted. He exclaimed that most people were indeed at home to watch the programme, hence the empty streets.
It was such a period of refreshing listening to the man of God and I believe many were blessed by the telecast, else the streets would not have been deserted, even in a town where Deeper Life was yet to raise a large congregation at that time.
It is difficult to find Pastor Kumuyi’s eyes not strictly focused on his task. No doubt, he learnt early enough to draw a very clear distinction between attraction and distraction, substance and shadow and the wheat and chaff.
In recent years, he has utilized every opportunity to preach the gospel by accepting invitations to feature in some churches whose methods, interpretations and practice of Christian lifestyle may differ from that of Deeper Life. But I have watched him clearly tell his church that no matter where they see him go to minister the gospel, Deeper Life still remains Deeper Life, and nothing about everything he has taught them about personal Christian deportment has changed.
As the echoes of the end-time reverberates across the world, Heaven-minded believers and their leaders should listen more to Pastor Kumuyi and be inspired by the zeal and meticulousness with which he undertakes God’s work. At no time should the gospel be preached unceasingly and with a sense of urgency than now.
At 81, Pastor Kumuyi is showing no signs of slowing down. His Master’s business appears to be his life. He is out there ministering to the world, but not at the expense of his local congregation. No external engagement is allowed to come in the way of the Monday Bible Study which appears to be the backbone of his church. Jesus is coming for a spotless church and it behoves every pastor to ensure that his congregation is not excused from the adequate preparation that this hour calls for.
It is heart-breaking to see the extent of relaxation that has crept into the larger body of Christ. One would think that the Master has withdrawn the Great Commission. This is the time for the body of Christ to hear that clear voice speaking from Gbagada, Lagos, and rouse itself from several stages of slumber and lethargy.
At a time when bits of confusion are creeping into the church due to various attempts in several quarters to water down the gospel, Pastor Kumuyi is a voice that should be heeded without any fear of being misled.
In his foreword to Leonard Ravenhill’s classic, Why Revival Tarries, Dr. A.W Tozer said: “Not all books, not even all good books come as a voice from above, but I feel that this one does. It does because its author does, and the spirit of the author breathes through his book.”
Permit me to paraphrase this text to sum up my view about Pastor Kumuyi’s messages: “Not all messages, not even all good and expertly delivered messages come as a voice from above, but I feel that Pastor Kumuyi’s messages do. They do because the man who preaches them remains connected to Heaven, and the Spirit of God breathes through his messages.”
Happy Birthday, Pastor.
*Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye, a journalist and writer, is the author of the book, “Nigeria: Why Looting May Not Stop”;firstname.lastname@example.org; twitter: @ugowrite)