Today, the 43rd birthday of Pastor Dare Adeboye, may have slipped by quietly without the attention of many people.
But his death, on May 4, 2021, has changed all of that. For many – including thousands of new admirers of his silent endearing qualities- June 9 has assumed a larger profile.
As in death, Dare’s birth was remarkable. He broke a chain of births through caesarean operation and was born naturally after his parents gave their lives to Christ. A source close to the family described Dare as “Olu omo” (Special child or King of Children); not an everyday child.”
He recalled that Dare’s birth was a miracle, which was celebrated by his parents with a praise song they composed and waxed as a record.
He was clearly a miracle baby and if after 42 years, God wanted Him back, who could have stopped Him? Not even his father, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, a man famous for wonders and miracles, by whom God has saved many lives.
In one such case, a missionary was involved in a ghastly accident and had to be flown horridly to South Africa for treatment. But shortly after that, they told Pastor Adeboye in a phone call that the doctors had said the woman had no chance of living. He told the caller, “I don’t care. She is going to live.”
Later, they called to say, “She is breathing now, but she is in a coma,” but Adeboye replied “Who cares? She is not going to die.” The accident occurred in 1998, and the lady missionary is still alive today.
A more recent example is the 2019 helicopter crash Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his team survived. In his testimony later, he said, “I came late for the Holy Ghost Service. Afterwards I went to see Daddy (Pastor Adeboye) in his office, and he said he wanted to pray for me. My wife, Dolly, and I knelt down as he prayed, ‘Father, I want you to give special protection to your son.’
“He prayed three times and stopped. Then he prayed it again. “I was getting worried about why he had to pray that way. But anyway, later that day the helicopter I was travelling in crashed in Kabba. All 12 of us in the helicopter survived without a scratch. I want to bless the name of the Lord for that.”
In Dare’s case, he died in his sleep, confirming the belief of some, that when the Creator wants to test a man, like He did Job, He leaves no room for long prayers, so they don’t stop the test. Job lost all his children a flash!
In Dare’s 43 short years, he served his Creator diligently. That must have informed his confidence in making it to Heaven, as he told his wife, Temiloluwa. He said if he died, he was fulfilled because he had done what the Lord asked him to do. From a humble man, that must have come from the strength of his relationship with his Maker.
Service to God for the man described by his father as a champion started very early in life and continued consistently until death.
At the tender age of two, he was involved in a difficult missionary journey when his parents took him on a memorable trip to Otukpo, Benue State. According to the testimony of the General Overseer, the trip was for the dual purpose of starting a branch of the Church and holding a congress.
He recalled: “On a good day, it was just a day’s journey if one set off very early in the morning. But it was during a period of heavy rains, which swept away a major bridge between Ore and Benin. So, the first night, we slept in the bush – I, my wife, and Dare, my son who was about two years and four months old. The place was so dangerous that they advised us not to get out of the car. This meant that if the poor child needed to use the toilet, he had to do it in the car.
The next day, we found out that the flood had blocked the road. But from undergraduate student experience at Nsukka, I remembered an alternative road. So, we turned round to go by that road, which had been abandoned, only to discover that bridges there too had been swept away. This did not discourage us. I was driving a Toyota car then.
“After a couple of miles along the abandoned road, the silencer broke off, but we put it in the boot and continued. There was no turning back! That persistence must have registered in the mind of the little boy, who later in life never gave up in his service to God. Whenever we encountered a stream, my wife or l would go into it to find out, inch by inch, the areas where the car could drive. That was how we moved along in the pouring rain. When we got stuck we would come out, push the car forward and backward, drenched to the skin, but got back into the car to move on
“In all, we spent three days on that road, but we arrived there safely, and the people were waiting because we had promised them that we were coming. Today, the seed that was sown then has produced so many parishes.
“All over that region, there are churches because of the seed that was sown by some people who refused to turn back. Today, Pastor Paul Enenche, Governor Samuel Ortom, among others, are notably products of that trip to Benue State.”
Dare grew up to exhibit the no-turning-back attitude in ministry, serving in Eket, where he died and not in Lagos or some major city in the world, even though he was the son of the General Overseer.
Serving in Eket never bothered the focused Dare, who had served in many distant places from Lagos. On his return to Nigeria from England in 2009, he was posted to Kaduna State, where he pastored the Next Level Parish, now the provincial headquarters for RCCG Youth Province 6.
His success there attracted more work with greater responsibilities, especially in the youth ministry of the RCCG. He was promoted along with six others to the new role of Youth Evangelist in the mission. They later became twelve, and he demonstrated his leadership qualities, serving as the Coordinator of the Youth Evangelists.
He was appointed Youth Evangelist, North Central, covering all RCCG youths in Niger, Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa states, and Abuja, where he had other responsibilities.
These responsibilities enabled him to understand the significance of young people across the globe and how to increase the church’s impact in the world as he travelled to over 50 countries preaching the gospel with passion.
Darling of youths
Fondly called ‘PD’ by young adults globally, he was in tune with the next generation of believers. When in its restructuring, the church created Youth Provinces, Dare was appointed to oversee Youth Province 5, then under Region 14, with headquarters at City of David, Eket, Akwa Ibom State; and parishes spread across the South-South and South-East states of Nigeria.
As pastor in charge of Youth Province 5, he organised numerous revival and evangelistic programmes that catalysed the growth and expansion of the province. Pastor Dare, a seed himself, was the International Ambassador for the Pastors’ Seed Family (PSF).
He helped set up, encourage and empower PSF in many nations while also playing the role of an advisor, counsellor and big brother. His work as youth pastor was so impactful that he exacted a promise from his father to pay more attention to the youth church.
The Enoch in Dare
Beyond service, Dare was loved by the young and elderly, particularly because of the Enoch Adeboye in him. In spite of his prominent background, he had a quiet and unassuming disposition. Despite his remarkable achievements, it took death to introduce him to the larger world.
According to some members of the church, Dare was approachable and modest. They said he was just focused on his work, and it was difficult for many people to even assume that he was the son of the General Overseer.
One source close to the family said, “Dare was clearly anointed. He resembled his father physically, spiritually and in character. If you put video tapes of Dare Adeboye and Enoch Adeboye side by side, you will hardly know the difference.
“He was as humble as his father. And a pleasant man, loved by many people, he could easily start his own ministry if he wanted to.”
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who knows the Adeboyes well, said that despite Dare’s position of privilege, “he was deeply and unpretentiously respectful, not just of elders and those in authority, but of everyone, even his subordinates.”
Another source close to the family recalls that, “Dare was a doting father to Oluwatishe, Ireoluwa and Araoluwa and naturally a doting husband to his wife Temiloluwa.
“The welfare of his family was very important to him. He believed so much in spending quality time with his wife and kids and he relished at pampering them at every opportunity.
Like his father, Dare was extraordinarily gentle. Never boastful, he did his work earnestly without noise. VP Osinbajo said, “He understood the dynamics and urgency of reaching young people with the gospel, especially because of their fundamental role in the sustainable growth of the church of God.
“He knew what was important to do and to emphasise, and he worked very hard, everywhere, with the zeal and speed of one who knew that we don’t have all day.”
Dare left a legacy of service, contributing so much to the youth church that his father said for the records, “Like never before, I am going to show even greater interest in the Youth and Young Adult Ministry.”
Oluwadamilare Temitayo Adeboye was born on June 9, 1978. His earliest years were spent in Surulere, Lagos State, where his parents lived, before they relocated to Mushin and then Ebute Metta when his father became the General Overseer.
He was a natural leader and loyal friend to many people. His best friend then, and till his passing, was Emmanuel Adewale, one of the grandsons of the founder of the mission, Pa Josiah Akindayomi.
After secondary school, Dare relocated to England to continue his education. With his leadership qualities manifesting there, he was appointed Head Boy of Mayfield College, becoming the first person of colour ever to be appointed to that position.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Information Technology from the University of Central England and a Masters’ Degree in Theology from the Redeemed Christian Bible College.
Dare met Jesus Christ at a tender age and worked fervently for the Kingdom. He became a parish pastor in RCCG in the UK at the young age of 23, pastoring at RCCG House of Praise, Birmingham, UK.
While executing God’s work in England, he met and fell in love with his wife Temiloluwa.
Due to the tremendous growth recorded by his parish, he rose swiftly up the ranks to become a Zonal Pastor before relocating to Nigeria.
Dare was a beloved man, endeared to family and many others. His father said of the impact of his death, “It has been a tough one, but by the grace of God, we have passed.”