60 years in missions: Celebrating Prof Duro Adegboye

by Church Times

The first time I met Prof. Duro Adegboye was in September 2007. It was at the Conference of Practising Evangelists (COPE) organised by Gospel Unlimited, the ministry he founded several years back.

Incidentally, that was the same year I pulled out of Punch Newspapers to start Church Times Nigeria.

Prof. had seen a copy of the second edition of Church Times with a close brother, Ven Gbenga Salako, and had asked him to invite me to the conference.

So, off I went to Offa, Kwara State that September in the company of a few other people working on the Church Times Project.

We arrived at Offa in the dead of the night and went to the conference ground. A large expanse of land with just two small buildings. One was the residence of Prof, the other was the conference hall. The entire vicinity of the camp was thick bush. The hall was still in the making.

A fresh understanding

That night despite the tirring long journey, I sat with keen interest listening to Prof dissect the Bible with surgical precision. It seemed to me I was just getting to understand certain truths despite being born again for years.

Beyond his delivery, I saw a man sold to the cause of Christ.  I saw sacrifice. I saw humility.

People at the conference came from all over Nigeria. But I was particularly enthralled by some Hausa missionaries from the north.

That night I listened to testimonies from missionaries from across the country. It seemed to me I had been caught off from the main theatre of action in Christendom for so long. And that I was just being reconnected.


That COPE of 2007 marked the beginning of about 16 years of relationship with Professor Adegboye. Apart from the year 2020 when there was COVID-19 and two other years, I have had to attend at least one of the tripartite conferences every year. And I have watched with utter amazement the great progress recorded on the campsite.

I recalled the following year I went to Offa. I got to the town very late in the night. The Okada man who took me to the camp had to drop me off midday as we veered off the tarred road leading to the camp. He asked me to come down from his bike and sped off. He did not even wait to collect money. He was wondering where I was going that night in the thick bush. I had to trek through the dark alley to the venue.

But that story has changed today. Gospel City has turned out to be the light for that community. Many people have come to build residential apartments there. The place has literally opened up.

Prof, dead to self

The story of the evolution of the camp cannot be fully told here. But when I got to know Prof. Adegboye I saw a man who over time has died to self and worldly pursuit.

Prof had lived many years in the north having had his secondary and tertiary education in that part of the country. He was dean of the Faculty of Science of Ahmadu Bello University before he resigned in the early 90s to do missions full-time.

Later I got to know how he rejected the juicy offer to lecture at the US University of North Carolina where he did his Ph.D. to come back to Nigeria because he had promised God he would come back to do missions in the country.

His kind of sacrifice is quite uncommon. As a lecturer at ABU, he was so involved in missions that most of his weekends were spent on the field. He had a gospel band and that was where he mentored the likes of Panam Percy Paul one of Nigeria’s foremost music ministers.

With Gospel Unlimited, he has trained many people who are now overseers of churches in Nigeria and several parts of the world. The campsite has become a haven for churches. Different denominations come to hold conferences there at no cost.

But the story of Prof Adegboye is the story of the proverbial mustard seed that has grown to become a forest.

Evolution of Gospel City

When I got to know the ministry in 2007, it had just spent a few years in Offa, Kwara State. All along the ministry has been operating in Abuja and many parts of the north. But with time, Prof thought it was expedient to come back to his country home to have a mission base that would serve missionaries.

His age notwithstanding, his dreams are still tall and they are being achieved with the speed of light in the twilight of his life.

Who would have believed that a man who had no building to his credit as of early 2000, despite being Dean of the Faculty of Science of ABU now has about 13 buildings at the Gospel City all dedicated to missions while the foundations of about 8 other buildings are being laid.

Ironically he does not run a church. He is still a member of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Offa. And Prof is not part of those who do aggressive funds raising. The Lord touches the hearts of men who in turn send support to the ministry. He once shared the story of how somebody unknown to him bought him a brand-new vehicle.

He said he just got a call from a car dealer in Lagos asking him to come and pick up his vehicle. He shut down the person immediately thinking it was a case of 419. Unknown to him, somebody had paid for the vehicle and all he needed was to go and pick it. The call came repeatedly. Eventually, he went to pick up the vehicle.

Gospel City

In one of the fora, he shared how God stepped into Offa and helped to build the Gospel City using people. Somebody had donated about 12 plots of land to him. But he was not looking at the land until he got a quit notice from where he was staying because renovation work was to be done on the property. That was when it dawned on him that he had nothing and nowhere to fall back on.

To cut a long story short as they would say, he recalled he had a land. Pronto, he began to get support and help. A kind neighbour who molds blocks for sale gave him all the blocks he needed for his personal building and asked him to pay whenever it was convenient for him.

Some of the people God had used him to raise rose to the occasion and helped with basic facilities in the 12 plots of land.

Today, gospel city Offa has residential blocks with over 200 bed spaces. There is a lecture theatre, recording studio, and a host of other facilities on the land. The place is well-fenced and mission conferences are held three times a year on the campground.

Spartan lifestyle

His memoirs which I am sure should be ready by now will tell more about this servant of God. But what I have seen in the years I have related with him is the extreme Spartan lifestyle he has chosen to live.

At the yearly meetings, Prof inspires leadership. No air whatsoever around him. He eats together with every participant and shares together with everybody at the conference.

His passion is to see people prosper in their various callings. He uses his platform to promote other ministries and is always ready to render support. He has over time learnt to abound and to abase. Every kobo that enters his pocket is put on missions. His passion is to see lives changed through the word of God. He has shared some personal stories that sometimes make me wonder at the enormity of God’s grace in his life.

Prof and Church Times

On a personal note, he has been a huge blessing to the Church Times project. Every time I am at Offa for the yearly conferences Prof ensures I hold the mic to share the vision of the project. He also ensures all the copies I take to Offa are sold.

He is never tired of talking about Church Times to people around him. He sees the project as worthy of all the support because he believes the church should control the media.

He often notes that the first newspaper, Iwe Irohin was published by Rev Henry  Townsend a missionary. Unfortunately, over the years the media has been dominated by people who have little regard for the kingdom.

There are so many lessons I have learnt from Prof over the years.  But I am so enthralled by his tolerance quotient and his often willingness to share what he has.

Personal experience

There was a time when he came to minister at one RCCG church in Magodo, Lagos. He requested that I join him. After the conference, it was getting late and I wanted to start leaving. He insisted I should not go home because it was late.

I was wondering where I would sleep, he said I should not worry. That night I slept in the hotel room given to him by the church and on the same bed. I was taken aback.

But he made me feel comfortable. We ate the food he was served together. It was a humbling experience for me.

Having reported the church for so long, I have seen too many incredible things among church leaders that could cast a shadow on one’s faith. But relating with Professor Adegboye and  few other men of God has rekindled my faith and made me conclude that there is hope for the Church in Nigeria

COPE 2023

Today, September 27, the yearly COPE will begin. It is going to be celebration time for Prof. He is celebrating his 60 years in ministry.

It is to the glory of God that he has remained consistently consistent in preaching the message of the cross and spreading the word that every Christian is a soul winner.

It was Prof who made me realise that you can preach the gospel to anybody and under any circumstance even when the situation looks unfriendly.

Apart from equipping the saints with soul-winning tools, Adegboye who readily passes as the Paul of our time is versed in apologetics.

God has used him to greatly change my orientation. I am indeed grateful to God for him and his sacrifice over the years.

Read also: My six-day experience in the kidnappers den-Prof Duro Adegboye: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/my-six-day-experience-in-kidnappers-den-prof-duro-adegboye/

Trials notwithstanding

The good news is that despite all the trials, persecution, and temptations from all corners, he is still standing. For years while in the north, his life was literally on the line because of the gospel.

So many had thought coming to Offa would mark the end of such horror experience. But that was not the case. Just last year the enemy struck. He was kidnapped. He was in the den of kidnappers for about six days.

That was one experience that was too close to call. People raised prayer altars all over. We cried our hearts out to God and the Lord had mercy. Despite being exposed to extreme cold and harsh conditions he came out of the experience. Today he is better and looking strong to go another decade.

Indeed, it’s time to say thank you Lord for a life that has been sold to the cause of the gospel.

By Gbenga Osinaike

Related Posts


Why I do not encourage morning cry evangelism- Prof Adegboye September 28, 2023 - 7:57 pm

[…] of post-modern Christian culture in the… Nigeria in Bible prophecy and the coming revival… 60 years in missions: Celebrating Prof Duro Adegboye What I will do if I were president… CASON clocks 10, intensifies campaign for effective […]


Leave a Comment