The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is a Pentecostal megachurch and denomination founded in Lagos, Nigeria. RCCG was founded in 1952 by Rev. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi who was born July 1909, into the Akindayomi family of Ondo State of Nigeria. Even though this child grew up surrounded by idol worshippers, he knew there existed a greater power and he craved to know “The God who created the earth and everyone on it”. This pursuit for God led him to the Church Missionary Society where he was baptized in 1927. Still spiritually unfulfilled, he joined the Cherubim and Seraphim church in 1931.
Pa Akindayomi began to hear a voice within him saying, “You will be my servant.” Since this was not his intention, he decided to ignore the voice. This went on for seven years during which all the business ventures that he tried resulted into failure. In debt and without peace of mind, he found himself totally dependent on the grace of God. Here marked the beginning of a definite relationship with God.Totally broken, he yielded saying, “Lord, I will go wherever you want me to go.”
He asked for signs to confirm that this was indeed God’s call. The confirmation came through the Bible passages of Jeremiah 1:4-10, Isaiah 41:10-13 and Romans 8:29-31. The Lord assured him that He would provide for all his needs, as he would not receive any salary from that point on. This proved to be a comforting reminder during the trials in the months ahead. He became married in 1941.
He continued to worship with the Cherubim and Seraphim. In 1947, he started to become concerned that the church was departing from the true Word of God in some of its practices. By 1952, he felt totally persuaded to leave the church. He started at Willoughby Street, Ebute-Metta, Lagos a housefellowship called, the Glory of God Fellowship. Initially there were nine members but before long the fellowship rapidly grew as the news of the miracles that occurred in their midst spread.
Akindayomi also had a vision of words that appeared to be written on a blackboard. The words were “The Redeemed Christian Church of God.” Amazingly, Pa Akindayomi who could not read or write was supernaturally able to write these words down. In this visitation, God also said to him that this church would go to the ends of the earth and that when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in glory, He would meet the church. The Lord then established a covenant with Pa Akindayomi, synonymous to the Abrahamic covenant in the Bible. He said that He the Lord would meet all the needs of the church in an awesome way if only members would serve Him faithfully and be obedient to His Word. It is upon this covenant that the Redeemed Christian Church of God was built.
Akindayomi chose Enoch Adeboye as the next General overseer. Enoch Adeboye was a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, as at the time he joined the church in 1973. Adeboye initially became one of the interpreters translating Akindayomi’s sermons from Yoruba to English. He was ordained a pastor of the church in 1975, and his appointment as leader(General overseer) of the church was formalized by the posthumous reading of Akindayomi’s sealed pronouncement. In 1990, Redeemed Christian Church of God Bible School is founded.
Andrew Rice, writing in The New York Times, calls the RCCG “one of [Africa’s] most vigorously expansionary religious movements, a homegrown Pentecostal denomination that is crusading to become a global faith”. The church’s leaders preach that in the future “In every household there will be at least one member of Redeemed Christian Church of God in the whole world.”
In 2016, the weekly worship attendance of the church in Lagos averaged 50,000
The General overseer (most senior pastor) is Enoch Adeboye, ordained in 1981. As of March, 2017, RCCG had a presence in 196 countries of the world.