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“Made in heaven, assembled in Nigeria, exported to the world.”

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Very informative piece in The New York Times Magazine today on pentecostalism, particularly the breed currently being spread by Nigerian ministers throughout Africa and, increasingly, in parts of the United States and Europe.

Here is one excerpt on Redeemed Church’s leader, Enohc Adeboye, and ways to bless your cellphone:

Born into a family of poor cocoa farmers, Adeboye taught mathematics at the University of Lagos before he became a full-time minister. His followers, who revere him as a patriarch, call him the General Overseer, or Daddy G.O. The church he has built echoes his personality: it is disciplined, nurturing, systematic. Back in Nigeria, Adeboye claims to have at least five million followers, including some of the country’s most influential figures. As general overseer, he presides over financial ventures, including private schools, a bank and a media business. He’s innovative at developing methods to spread the word, as well as coming up with fresh revenue streams. The church produces inspirational movies on DVD, which are big sellers, and offers a service that sends daily text messages, believed to offer divine protection, to subscribers’ cellphones.

Defining a new phrase, “church planting”:

Enoch Adeboye would prefer to have many small parishes rather than a few megachurches. So the Redeemed spread through a process similar to mitosis. When a parish reaches a certain size, it is encouraged to divide in two, with part of the congregation moving to a nearby location, usually with a newly ordained pastor, a process that the Redeemed, adopting a bit of American evangelical lingo, call “church planting.”

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Written by Niall

April 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Nigeria, religion

Tagged with , ,