The Imperative Of Integrity,Transparency And Trust In Leadership – W.F. Kumuyi: Defender Of The Faith
Address delivered by Rt. Rev. Prof. Dapo F. Asaju, Professor of Theology, Bishop Theologian of the Anglican Church of Nigeria and former Vice-Chancellor, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, at the Book Presentation of the Biography of Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, held at Eko Hotel, Lagos, on 17th September 2021.
– Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father , Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit,
– His Excellency, Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Pastor Yemi Osibajo, GCON, SAN.,
– His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu,
– Pastor W.F. Kumuyi and Mama Kumuyi and the Family Members,
– All Fathers in God of the Christian Faith,
– Ministers of the Deeper Life Bible Church,
– All Leaders in Politics, Government and the Society,
– Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
– Gentlemen of the Press,
– Ladies and Gentlemen.
- Congratulations and Greetings to Daddy W.F. Kumuyi
- My Relationship with Baba and the Influence. A Disciple and Member of Deeper Life Church – 1979 -1985 in Lagos and Ilorin.
- Importance of Biography : “The faintest ink is better than the sharpest Memories” , The world is a stage, we play our part and soon leave the stage. Who comes after? They need stories to guide them,
- Biographies of Bible Heroes have served to point us in the way of living lifestyles of righteousness and service to God and to humanity. The stories of Patriarchs, Prophets, Church Apostles, Matyrs, Apologists, reformers, Missionaries and God’s Generals of the Pentecostalism have helped our faith. This is what this Biography will do to many who will take this book home, thereby taking Pastor Kumuyi’s life lessons home.
- Definitions : Integrity, Transparency, Trust, Defender , Faith, Leadership (Ecclesiastical and Secular).
Integrity, Transparency and Trust are fundamental for the right behavior of leaders and the people in every society. “A good name is better than silver of gold”. Integrity comes from wisdom; not knowledge, and wisdom comes only from the Fear of God. When these virtues are lost, as they appear to be in contemporary Nigerian and the world at large, then it is finished for such societies, unless God intervenes. Integrity and trust are solid principles that guide human behavior and ethics. When Engineers subject products or projects to the integrity test, they seek to confirm if the quality of the product can withstand the pressure and purpose of the product. Transparency makes the leaders to be responsible and accountable to the public that vote them into power. Openness and accountability are essential for people to have trust in their leaders at all level.
Today, all over the world and especially in Nigeria, most people have lost faith in their government and the political leaders at all levels because of massive corruption, insecurity, kidnappings for ransom, massacres of innocent communities, impunity of murderers who have infiltrated the ranks of the security outfits and surround communities in various parts of the country in the name of Herdsmen and bandits, failure of basic infrastructure, devaluation of Nigerian currency, massive unemployment of skilled youths, brain drain of young professionals especially Doctors and other medical experts, poverty and inflation, and the domination of executive, legislative, judicial, educational and economic sectors of society by one tribe against the national policy of federal character, etc. These maladies have affected the populace in having trust in government to protect them and make them prosper and live in peace. People are disconnected with their government. Politicians are no longer trusted to implement the promises they made during electioneering campaigns. Christians are more vulnerable to persecution and attacks more than ever before because of Islamist extremists such as Boko Haram and Isis, etc. Violence is so blind that the North has become a debacle today to the extent that even Emirs are not safe to travel or live in their palaces. Abductions of key figures are becoming common. There is fear and trepidation by people.
The Nigerian Christian sources of moral values derive both from the Holy Bible as well as the intrinsic positive African philosophies, moral values and taboos.
We shall examine briefly some of these.
- Proverbs 11:3 – “The integrity of the Upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them”.
- Proverbs 28:6 – “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways”.
- Proverbs 4: 25-27- “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil”.
- Ecclesiastes 12: 12-13. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, Keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man on earth, for God shall bring every work unto judgment, whether they be good or evil”.
- Philippians 4:8- “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”.
- Titus 2:7 – “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity”.
The prophets of Israel fought against all acts of ungodliness and unrighteousness in society.
- Amos: Fought against injustice and unrighteousness, violence, exploitation of the poor by the rich and immorality.
- Elijah fought against the Prophets of Baal upon Mt. Carmel and fought against Ahab and Jezebel when they murdered Naboth for his vineyard.
- Ezekiel 34: 2ff – “ Son of Man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto them, Thus says the Lord God unto the shepherds; woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have you healed that which is sick, neither have ye bound up that which is broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered because there is no shepherd; and they became meat to all beast of the field, when they were scattered… Behold, I am against the shepherds and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock.”
Case studies of integrity in the Holy Bible:
- Joseph refuses Portiphar’s Wife (Fear of God and Respect for his Master’s Trust).
- Prophet Samuel- “Behold, here I am! Witness against me before the Lord and before His anointed. Whose Ox have I taken, or whose Ass have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received a bribe to blind my eyes therewith? And I will restore it to you. And they said, Thou has not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken ought of any man. ” (1 Sam. 12:3-4).
- Paul : I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith
- African proverbs and Philosophies:
A Yoruba Poem
By J.F. Odunjo in Iwe Alawiye, 1943 Ise Logun ise
Ise Logun ise [Work is the antidote for poverty]
Mura si se re, ore mi [Work hard and work smart, my friend]
Ise la fi ndeni giga [Hard and smart work brings success]
Bi a ko ba reni fehin ti [When there is no one to rely on]
Bi ole la ri [Its like we are lazy]
Bi a ko ba reni gbekele, [When there is no one to trust]
A te ra mo se ni. [We focus more on our work]
Iya re le lowo lowoh [Your mother might be rich]
Baba re le lesin lekan [Your father might own a thousand and one horses]
Ti o ba gbojule won [If you rely on them]
O te tan ni mo so fun o [In truth, you might be on sinking ground]
Apa lara igupa ni ye kan [families are like the arm, while extended family are like the elbow]
B’aiye ba fe o loni [If you are loved by the world today]
Ti o ba lowo lowo, won a tun fe o lola [If you are still rich, they will love you tomorrow as well]
Abi ko wa nipo atata [If you have an esteemed position]
Aiye a ye o si terin terin [You will be honored with “fake”laughter]
Je ki o deni ti ra ngo [If you unfortunately loose your money or position]
Ko ri bi won ti nyin mu si o [They’ll turn their back on you]
Iya mbe fomo ti ko gbon [There is suffering for the foolish child]
Ekun mbe fomo ti nsare kiri [and there is sorrow for the child that has no plan or vision]
Mafowuro sere ore mi [Don’t waste your formative years, my friend]
Mura sise ojo nlo. [work hard and plan well now, because time waits for no one]
- African Music : Ebenezer Obey :
-Eni Rinkan he, to fe ku pelu e o, owo eni to ti sonu nko?
Aye laba, aye lao fi sile si, duro na, wehin re wo o.
Agbajo owo ma ni, won lon gberu dori, awon omo wa ema ma je kon taraka.
Eni lari o koma seda to mola, nise laiye nyi eda kon to lehin ni.
Ka pa rapo ka rori, ko ju telegan lagbara bami, Esami ase.
Un hun un opa kan opejo o, eje koju yin la ke wa ri wipe pelebe n sobe.
The Goal of Christian Gospel and Mission:
- John 3: 16: Salvation and What’s at Stake – Heaven and Hell [ Both are Real ].
- Jesus’ Messianic Manifesto ( Isaiah 61: 1-10)
- Paul’s Manifesto (Acts 26:18).
- Jude 3 . Earnestly contend for the Faith which was once for all delivered unto the Saints.
Spiritual Warfare and Enemies of the Cross
- Sinful Nature of Man ( God regretted He made man and annihilated him once during Noah’s Deluge),
- Roman Persecution
- Heresies and Controversies, False Prophets and Rebellious Deviants
- Islam :Past and Present
- Science and Technology
- Biblical Revisionists and Liberation Theology
- False Church Leaders : Supporting Homosexual Campaign, Bestiality, Transgender, Incestuous, Divorce, Abortion, Modern Heresies challenging fundamentals of Christianity
- Outright Persecution, Killings and Violent Suppression [ Case studies: Abel, Joseph’s slavery, John Baptist, Jesus Crucified, Peter crucified, Paul Beheaded, The Martyrs, The Holocaust, Modern Secularism and Church Decline in Europe and America, Killings in Nigeria and Islamization in all sectors.
We have become lambs in the midst of wolves.
God sends Prophets to Canvass His Cause:
- Moses: Let My People Go!
- Joshua: Choose Who shall You serve?
- Elijah on Mt Carmel: How long will you sway between Two Opinions?
- John the Baptist: Repent and change your attitude
- Deborah and the Army General
- Amos and the fight for Justice and Righteousness
- Hezekiah’s Petition and God’s judgment
- Esther’s intervention saved millions of Jews: You are placed where you are at times like these.
- Jude 3: Earnestly Contend for the Faith which was once for all delivered unto the Saints
- The Lord sent messages to the Seven Churches in Asia Minor
( Jude 3…)”Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”. .
- Martin Luther and the Reformation
- William Wilberforce and Anti-Slavery
- Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights Movement.
When evil men plot, good men must plan,
When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind,
When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.
Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice”
The Ministry of Pastor William F. Kumuyi
- Like Apostle Paul’s conversion; Kumuyi, From Mayflower’s Tai Solarin to Pulpit of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Historical Precursors : The Missionaries Endeavour and The Pentecostal Movement
- Kumuyi riding on Tide of Campus Evangelism and early Pentecostalism
- Kumuyi’s Theology and the Holiness Movement
- Miracles , multitudes salvation and Human Transformation under the Hands of God upon pastor Kumuyi
- Outlets and Impact of the Deeper Life Ministry : The Voice, The Teachings, The Evangelism, The Transformations, The Miracles and Testimonies, The Church Growth, The Tapes, The Books, The Brand.
- Kumuyi’s Advocacy : Human Transformation , Sanctification and Character.
- Kumuyi as Role Model in Integrity, Transparence and Trust
- Kumuyi and Adeboye : Two Church leaders with largest congregations – A result of Integrity and genuine labour in the Vine Yard.
The Challenge to contemporary Nigeria
- Nigeria in post-independence era was established upon Christian ethics which emphasized integrity and transparency in private and public lives. Homes and Schools insisted on raising generations of people who behaved well and had a good disciplined approach to life. The economy was fairly good, the currency was strong compared with the Dollar and pound sterling, quality of life was better as the middle class could afford the basic necessities of living a good family life, Security was guaranteed and travelers could travel even at night to far-flung parts of the Country. Nigerians had a sense of patriotism and the curricular in schools provides for godliness, prayer and Mission education. Discipline in schools was profound and graduates were well educated and equipped with readily available jobs after their education. Corruption was frowned at and guilty public servants guilty of corruption were punished. But all these virtues were soon to change with typical Nigerian behavior and ethical compromises. Things now fall apart as the centre can no longer hold. Anarchy now pervades society.
- Today, corruption, unemployment of missions of educated youths, hyper-inflation, wide class gap between the rich and the poor, political domination by one tribe and religion over the others, poverty ravages many homes, hopelessness, despondency, immoralities, disconnect between the rulers and the ruled, strange western culture, ritual killings, assassinations, armed robberies, impunity of the privileged class, arson, kidnappings, banditry, political prostitution, heavy external debts, looting of treasuries by political office holders, affluent lifestyles , crass materialism and the apparent failure of governments have become ‘the new normal’.
- Transparence International scores Nigeria very low among the comity of nations, as far as integrity and transparency is concerned.
- The Church which ought to be the ‘watchdog’ or ‘watchman’ has rarely fared better in terms of morals and impact. Geoffrey Chaucer the English author of The Canterbury Tales once wrote that “ If Gold rusts, what should Iron do?” This is an expectation that the Church will show good example to the society or the world about living lives of virtues such as integrity and transparency. These are the moral standards displayed by major Bible characters in the Bible and this is taught directly in both the Old and New Testaments. Ministers today ought to set examples in this regards.
- But what do we see in the church today? Weakness in the face of direct physical persecution and killings, Little impact of prayer on effecting deliverance to endangered Christians and other vulnerable members of society, denominational divisions, false doctrines and heresies, affluent lifestyles of church ministers due to materialism, abuse of Prosperity Gospel to induce extreme wealth and materialistic lifestyles of church ministers, some of whom buy aero planes, very expensive cars, build very lavish palaces, have heavy investments and properties in foreign countries, establish church institutions in the registered name of their family members, romance with politicians for gratifications, keep silent when fellow Christians are being exterminated and place their priorities other than evangelism and mission. The church today globally is a radical departure from the examples and standards and ideals of the church established and purchased with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as the precepts of the early Church examples. I strongly call upon the church to return to the ancient landmarks and be Christians exactly by replicating the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
CHALLENGES FOR NIGERIAN CHURCH LEADERS AND PASTOR W.F. KUMUYI
- Pastor W.F. Kumuyi and Pastor E.A. Adeboye are the most respected and influential church leaders in Nigeria and Africa today in terms of integrity and genuine Gospel of salvation. They should wield this influence by uniting with other leaders under the auspices of the ‘Christian Association of Nigeria’ (CAN) and the Pentecostal fellowship of Nigeria (PFN)to redeem Christians and Christianity from the ongoing deliberate and coordinated assault against the faith and the Church.
- Pastor W.F. Kumuyi is ageing gradually as an octogenarian. God will grant him many more years and decades with us based on God’s promise of satisfying long life. Yet, even in this stage, his physical strength will may with time not be like his younger days. The urgent task today is how to raise many more Kumuyis and Adeboyes in our church and society, in terms of integrity, global respect, managerial competence and leadership aura. So far, for both Deeper Life Bible Church and Redeemed Christian Church of God, question of competent succession to these giant Generals in the Faith is a major concern.
- The Church leaders are mandated by God to be watchmen over society by blowing the trumpet when any danger confronts the people on account of their sinful lifestyles or actions. So far, the voice of our most respected leaders in the national church is not as loud as ot ought to be. Yes they talk but within the confines of their church assemblies. They must come out to the public and the market place to speak out like courageous prophets of old against Power in Nigeria. This is no time to pray without practical actions; it is no time to be diplomatic or being ‘politically correct.’ It is time to condemn injustice, blood shed, condemn Pharaohs, pronounce judgments on Nebuchadnezzar and warn them of God’s punishments for shedding innocent Blood and destabilizing a country that God loves and invested so much of His grace and prosperity upon.
- Pastor Kumuyi should lead all other Church leaders to convene a high powered meeting with the President of the federal Republic of Nigeria, the Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, former Heads of States
- (who constitute part of the Council of State) and the Sultan of Sokoto, to address the national emergency we are in, which threaten the peace and future of Nigeria.
- The Church leaders must urgently identify potential good leaders who are God-fearing and men/women of ideas and convictions who can provide credible leadership for Nigeria in the next elections. The church should be mobilized, better than hitherto, to ensure maximum participation of godly candidates in the next elections. This country is in need of people of integrity transparency, compassion and pragmatic servants, who will save, prosper and protect the country.
- Pastor W.F. Kumuyi is a man of God to the core, a man of prayer and miracles. He has the mind of Christ and is a major prophet of God for the world today. We need his prayers and prophetic pronouncements for divine intervention in the affairs of Nigeria. Recall that Moses intervened to liberate millions of Hebrews from Pharaoh’s Egypt, Gideon led few soldiers of 300 from Midianite oppressors, Hezekiah’s prayer caused the Angel of the Lord to eliminate 185,000 soldiers of Sennacherib and his General ; Rabshakeh who besieged Judah and Queen Esther’s intervention saved millions of Jews from being executed based on conspiracy of Enemies of the people of God, particularly Haman who caused an evil decree of death to be signed by the King Ahasuerus. God will use our father the Prophet of our time to cause supernatural deliverance of Christians and vulnerable Nigerians in Southern Kaduna, Christian parts of the Northern Nigeria, Middle Belt, Eastern Nigeria and Western Nigeria. ‘The weapons of our warfare are not carnal’.
- Pastor Kumuyi needs to reach out to the proliferated pastors and church leaders all over Nigeria to retrain them to refocus on the true gospel and prepare the people for the second coming of Christ. The epidemic of heresies and false gospels circulating in the Christian churches need to be redressed. He can call to order the heretics and refocus out priorities and pulpits to the genuine gospel. He has the integrity, the respect and authority as an elder pastor and Bishop of Bishops to play this father–figure role. There is too much freedom, immoralities, scandals, exploitations, materialism, indiscipline, false spirituality, independence, schisms, rebellion, and commercialization of the gospel in the Body of Christ. The lack of integrity weakens the power of the church to effect change and leadership in Nigerian society and governments.
- There is a need for convocation of the Brains of the church to review and redesign Nigeria in a way that can provide good guidance on how to redress the many problems of the country. Let Christian Engineers meet to solve their related professional problems; let the Doctors tell us how to save and develop the health sector and redeem the terrible brain drain of Doctors , Nurses and other medical professionals in our country, let the economists tell us how better to manage and develop our economy in a manner that will improve the condition of living and GDP of the country and especially provide a universal manifesto to political sector on what Nigerians or Africans requires to save an develop our country and continent to be comparable with the beauty and efficient societies of the western worlds. Minus this, all out present political parties and bereft of honest and practical ideas that can positively address our problems and provide for us a safe, healthy, prosperous and progressive future.
- There is a need for our Church fathers to jointly address a world press conference to draw attention of world powers to the situation in Nigeria as per the church and communities that are being attacked and displaced by armed bandits and Fulani expansionists and occupationists. They need to cry out to Christians in this present government to rise up and defend their faith, because God put them where they are for a time like this. Our Vice-President is a Pastor of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our highest Ambassador of Christ in the current government. He needs to become the rallying point of all saints who must now rise to the occasion to say ‘enough is enough’ to all the wickedness, domination, corruption, oppressions and exploitation of the poor people of this country. We must raise our prayer, our ideas and our strategic planning to save the church from this untoward generation of ‘Anti-Christs’ in every sector of society.
Dear father, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi and Mama Kumuyi, the children, all fathers in God, Rulers in Government, Brothers and Sisters, Ladies and Gentlemen, I join you all in congratulating our dear father and mentor on his recent eightieth birthday and the launch this day of the documentation of his life story, The Biography titled – KUMUYI: DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, authored by very erudite and god gfearing scholars, Banji Ojewale, Segun Babatope, Emeka Izeze and Tunde Opeibi. May this book and the life story therein become a potent tool to further evangelize the people of this world and assist them to read, internalize, become challenged and motivated to replicate their lives and ministries after the subject of the book, our own deaf Champion and Apostle of the Christian Faith, a man through whom God built a Mustard seed to become one of the most powerful, godly and influential church in the world.
I thank you all for your attention and do please ensure that you buy many copies of this book, for by doing so, the book will bless every member of your household friends and acquaintances who will become ministered to after the tradition of the evangelistic style of Pastor W.F. Kumuyi.
God bless you all. Amen.
Rt. Rev. Prof Dapo F. Asaju
Professor of Theology,