By Moshood Isamotu
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892), the Calvinist Baptist, highly influential English Preacher, and Reverend Daniel Sunday Akinyemi Akingbelure are generations apart; but they share many things in common. Both embraced Christianity at a young age, started preaching to congregations as teenagers, exhibited profound intellectual capabilities, and they are both extraordinary preachers.
While Spurgeon, the acclaimed “Prince of Preachers”, described as the ‘tallest and broadest oak in the forest of time’, died at 57; Rev. Dan Akingbelure, the General Overseer of Total Gospel Bible Church (TGBC) Inc., marks his 60th birthday in January 2022. Thankfully, he still remains a firebrand General for God.
Rev. Dan Akingeblure was born into the family of Mr. Raphael Omopekun and Mrs. Rachael Akingbelure on the 7th of January, 1962 on a Sunday morning in Idepe-Okitipupa, Ondo State, Nigeria. He is the fourth child in a family of five children. His parents were peasant farmers with little material means like many in the community.
Unlike Spurgeon, Rev. Dan Akingbelure has no Christian and nobility in his lineage. Indeed, if one’s background were to be the sole determinant of how far one will go in life, no doubt, Rev. Dan Akingbelure, and his siblings stood just a little chance. However, his rocky start could not prevent his seed of ambition and vision from producing a harvest of accomplishments in life.
While his mates were yet to get an understanding of the real essence of life, Rev. Dan Akingbelure was consciously mindful of the type of life support he needed to lift his back from the ground. A prodigy, on his own, he chose God as his ultimate companion early as he gave his life to the Lord in September 1975 at age 13, a living testimony to Proverbs. 8:17. That defining encounter provided the road map and the armor that has guarded his life till today.
Though he had not read about Sharad Vivek Sagar, a renowned Indian social entrepreneur, who said “If you aren’t preparing for life like a war, you’ll end up living like a prisoner of war”, the young Akingbelure did not want to be held captive in life and so he fortified himself early with God.
He lost both parents early in life.
To rise above the limitations of circumstances of birth, he found ways to decode many mysteries of life and it was fulfilling that in 2021, he wrote a book titled “Decoding Life’s Codes”.
For the past 47 years as a Christian, Rev. Dan Akingbelure has never looked back. He has witnessed great triumph above limitations simply because of his iron-cast determination to succeed and undying allegiance to God’s Word. His personal struggles of hard work, determination, discipline, resourcefulness, vision, courage, and faithfully serving God, have paid off as he now dines with kings and princes. He has broken in a resounding style the ceiling that once caged people with his type of humble background.
The life of Rev. Dan Akingbelure perfectly exemplifies the saying that greatness is rarely achieved on good days. It is achieved through times of adversity and overcoming it.
Education and Career:
Rev. Dan Akingbelure has a strong penchant and belief in education as a lifeguard even as a kid. He demonstrably endured whatever it would take to get education without expecting gifts from the gods. He desires a life of rainbow and he was ready to put up with the rain.
Going to school from primary to university was filled with despair, lack, determination, resilience, and abiding faith in God. He relied more on providence and the goodwill of people who assisted him at several critical junctions. At a younger age, he developed an inner capacity to handle stress, lack, and challenges as there was no or little succor or comfort zone to run to.
Rev. Dan Akingbelure obtained B. Sc in Political Science/Education from the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in 1986 and graduated with flying colours. At the university, he was a leader of Campus Christian Fellowship.
He has also attended many Bible Schools and Seminaries.
He is a holder of Honourary Doctorate degree in Christian Education from Evangel Faith Christian University, Lagos, and on the Board of many Christian organizations and ministries.
Despite inadequacies, he is a perfect example of good education that combines intelligence with sound character.
At a very young age, the young Daniel Akingbelure exhibited the rare gift of an inspirational teacher. He was introduced to the Gospel Faith Mission in Idepe-Okitipupa in September 1975 where he heard Pastor Brimon Okoro Umeh preach and thereafter gave his life to Christ.
Since then, he developed a consistent walking relationship with God up to date. One year after his conversion in 1976, he had become a solid and sound Sunday school teacher as many sat on pews to listen to him. As a teenager, he was an adult class teacher in the church. At the time, his teachers in the secondary school were his students in the Sunday school.
Though people around him then knew his less privileged background, the young proselyte, however, demonstrated attributes that got him many admirers who believed that he was just a diamond in the rough.
One of his then students in the Sunday school now Rev. (Mrs) Victoria Folake Akinnitire, pastors The Rehoboth Christian Faith, a formidable Christian ministry in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Armed with his degree certificate after his NYSC in 1987 and, most importantly his unfailing faith in God, the young Daniel Akingbelure came to Lagos, in search of the Golden Fleece. Then, the only connection he had was Providence and a few coeval friends even as the vicissitudes of Lagos tossed him around for some time.
However, the storms were not strong enough to disconnect him from the Source of all things – God. After his NYSC, he worked as the Director of Studies at St. Steven’s School in Ilasamaja, Lagos State, and later worked as an Administrative Officer at Ogzaco Steel Construction Company, Lagos, from 1990 – 1994 where he made his mark as a valuable staff with his ingenuity.
As he moved around in search of secular jobs, the pull and push of God were stronger and in 1988, he started the ‘Jesus is Lord Fellowship Centre’ which later metamorphosed into the Total Gospel Bible Church (TGBC) Inc. on the 7th February 1993. He has since been the G O/Senior Pastor of the Ministry to date. With TGBC,
Rev. Dan Akingbelure became more radicalized in the spirit and, like a fire in a desert, more daring to conquer the world for God.
Ordained by Rev Wilson Badejo
He was ordained into the Ministry by the Late Rev. (Dr.) Wilson Badejo, the Emeritus General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Nigeria who served as the Grandfather to the Ministry until his passing into glory in August 2021.
In the early days of TGBC, the young G O had a boyish appearance that contrasted sharply with the maturity of his sermons as he pastored many who were much older than him. The rare, deep, and unique revelation and interpretation of the Word set him apart and that has continued to endear people from all walks of life to him and the Ministry.
The same Word that Rev. Dan Akingbelure received 47 years ago in the rustic town of Okitipupa has taken him to the four corners of the world. It is savouring to know that the path of salvation, righteousness, holiness, and abiding faith in God has not failed him. It has instead been the bedrock of his rising profile as a teacher of The Word.
For these past 47 years, Rev. Dan Akingbelure has been carrying out his mandate, ministering the Total Gospel to meet the total needs of the total man (according to 3 John 2) through the teaching of God’s Word and warfare prayers. His insightful teachings, warfare, and deliverance ministrations have been very rare. He is an acclaimed prophetic teacher of God’s Word with signs and wonders following his ministrations.
But his sermon does not end on the pulpit as a preacher. His life of dignity is a sermon in holiness, righteousness, humility, and generosity. Since he gave his life to God, Rev. Dan Akingbelure has continued to tread the path of the Biblical Daniel as he remains steadfast and incorruptible with worldly pleasures despite the tempests and temptations. His mind is Word-fertile while his success metric is mind candy.
Insatiable appetite for God
It is a known fact that Rev. Dan Akingbelure has an insatiable appetite when it comes to seeking knowledge and Kingdom assignment. He has been privileged to disciple many of God’s Generals overseeing church ministries all over the world and has inaugurated and ordained more than 20 General Overseers/Senior Pastors into their various ministries.
Rev. Dan Akingbelure is a much sought-after preacher on a global scale at interdenominational Christian groups. He has featured regularly as lead and lone preacher at national conventions of Foursquare Gospel Church, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Reconciliation Bible Church, among others.
He has consistently maintained online preaching three days a week for over a year.
He is the president of Apostolic International Ministers Association (AIMA) Inc. and the Rector of Daniel School of Ministry (DaSOM).
With an ecumenical disposition and Spartan life, no doubt, his life at 60 has been diamondiferous.
Hobbies and Family:
Does Rev. Dan Akingbelure have hobbies? Yes! But it must be anything that centers on God and influence. He is a voracious reader, a pen craft, dynamic preacher, warfare prayer warrior, multi-faceted counsellor and an inspirator.
At the last count, he has written about 40 Spirit-filled books and more than 40 unpublished books in diverse areas of Christianity. All his books have a common thread – deliverance and fulfilling life purpose.
Rev. Dan Akingbelure espoused family values as laid down in the Bible. He is happily married to Rev. (Mrs.) Bukky Akingbelure, a chartered accountant and Principal Lecturer at Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) and their marriage is blessed with children. The family parenting style is love-filled, strict, disciplined and balanced. No wonder, the children are already breaking records and setting standards in their personal endeavours.
Influenced by his background, he has continued to labour to clear a path in the thorny forest of life for his family so that the Akingbelures – Intercessor, Miracle, Adeboye and Adenike-Oloro – can fly and walk on tarmacs.
He has thus become a pathfinder and torchbearer not only for his immediate family but also for present and future generations.
Taking a que from President Bill Clinton, former President of the US, Rev. Dan Akingbelure has continued to be running when others take to walking and today, his “diamonded” life is a testimony.
A Life of Fulfilment:
Sixty years ago, Rev. Dan Akingbelure’s birth might not have attracted a solo music but today, there is a metal song, orchestra music, ballroom dance, and ball party in his honour.
He may not be rich in worldly calculations, but he is a fulfilled man. And like Spurgeon, Rev. Dan Akingbelure at 60 proudly continues to wear the triple crown of life, joy, and glory.
On how fulfilled he is at 60, Rev. Dan Akingbelure had this to say: “fundamentally, fulfilment in life is locating the path of life. The path of life is the discovery of divine assignment that God has made me to locate and pursue very early enough. This gives me fulfillment today. I would have been grossly frustrated in life if I was not in what I am doing for God right now”.
Wants to retire as General Overseer @ 70
If Jesus tarries, his vision for the next ten years when he will be 70 is summed up thus: “I want to run faster between 60 and 70, to accomplish in my area of calling for God, much more than I have accomplished in the past years. I know that age is telling but there are still many more lands to possess.
“However, I would want to retire as the General Overseer at the age of 70 and consolidate the gains of the past years for the rest of my life”.
For a spiritual titan, great mentor and God’s general in this dispensation, c’est que la vie commence à 60 ans (it is life begins at 60).