We take a look at his early beginnings, ministry and spiritual mentors of this great Nigerian preacher.
Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi is regarded as a great Man of God but not everyone knows how he became this way. Here is how:
On June 6, 1941, the man we now know as a popular preacher was born. He was born into a Christian family living in Erin-Ijesha, Osun state. His parents were Anglican, who did their best to raise their children the Christian way. This meant holding early morning devotions which included singing hymns, prayers and reading the Bible. As you can imagine, this laid the foundation for his faith.
In his words, “I grew up in a very strict Christian home. We would get up in the morning, read the Bible, sing hymns, and go to church regularly.”
Kumuyi attended and graduated with a high school diploma from Mayflower School in Ikenne, near Ijebu-ode in 1961. He had his tertiary education at the University of Ibadan, where he graduated with a first-class honors degree in mathematics in 1967. He later ran a postgraduate course at the University of Lagos. Afterward, he became a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at the same University in 1973
Despite his Christian upbringing, Kumuyi lost his way in secondary school. He explains: “When I went to secondary school I lost interest in the church because our principal taught us atheism. But after a while, I thought again and started going to various churches in town.”
He eventually found his way back and gave his life to Christ on Sunday, April 5, 1964. In his words, “Eventually, in 1963, a group of singers and preachers from a Gospel church got permission to come to the school. I understood the Gospel message and was born again on April 5th, 1964.”
Becoming a powerful man of God
Upon becoming a born-again Christian, Kumuyi started reading a lot of books. He says, “I read John Wesley, Charles Finney, Spurgeon, and lots of other books. I got involved with the Scripture Union, and I grew.”
These three great men - John Wesley, the founder of Methodist Church Movement, Charles Finney, an American Presbyterian preacher often referred to as the “Father of Modern Revivalism” and Charles Spurgeon, a well known Baptist preacher - have been said to have laid the foundation for his faith and ministry.
Reportedly, Kumuyi’s doctrines are modeled after Wesley’s, teachings on Finney who believed full salvation comes with freedom from sin and famous preaching style on Spurgeon who was known as “the Prince of Preachers.”
Amongst these three prolific preachers, Wesley is said to be his primary mentor, which might explain why Kumuyi is cleanly shaven just like the late preacher who is said to have never kept a beard in his day. Fun Fact - Finney and Spurgeon both had bushy beards.
This belief has been backed by an anonymous source who says,”Although our GS (General Superintendent) made mention of Finney and Spurgeon from time to time, the passion with which he referred to Wesley in most of his sermons shows that his teachings and writings definitely had more influence on him than those of the other two (Finney and Spurgeon).”
Kumuyi, the powerful Man of God
Since the origin of his ministry - Deeper Life Bible Church - in 1973, he has succeeded in leaving his mark on the Nigerian religious scene with his Bible-based sermons, which have been described as in-depth and powerful.
As Journalist Alan Isaacson writes in his book ‘Deeper Life: The Extraordinary Growth of the Deeper Life Bible Church,’ “I would classify him as one of the greatest living preachers, giving a straightforward Bible-based message, his sermons thorough, and always personally challenging.”
One witness adds, “Kumuyi teaches the Bible (quite masterly and convincingly) as if he was there when it was written!”
His church has grown from having just 15 members to over 1 million membership in Nigeria alone. In spite of these numbers, the ministry has managed to hold on to their trademark - holiness. This major feat can be attributed to God, who Kumuyi says, is the reason for “the growth of Deeper Life Bible Church.” He adds, “We take Christian living and holiness seriously.”
Pastor Kumuyi was married to Abiodun Kumuyi. They tied the knot in 1980. Their union was blessed with two children: John Kumuyi and Jeremiah Kumuyi. Sadly, she passed away in 2009.
He remarried his second wife, Esther Blaize in 2010. They had their first official outing on Sunday, October 24, 2010, at the Trinity Church in Brentwood, UK.
With all he has managed to achieve, it is no wonder he was named one of the “500 most powerful people on the planet” by Foreign Policy magazine (FP) in April 2013 because that is exactly what he is - a powerful Man of God.
Credit: Inemesit Udodiong/pulse.ng