He was 60 on June 26, 2023. But life began to play a hard trick on him when he was about four years old.
Born to Muslim parents, Adesesan was to start his education in an Arabic School. But on resumption day, he had the misfortune of stepping on a sharp object that caused him so much pain. That was the end of the Arabic School.
By the time he was six and was set to begin primary school, his father died. His barely literate mother moved to Lagos from their Owu Ijebu base and left him in the village at the mercy of some relatives. He was taken from one relative to the other. That truncated his education because his schooling was predicated on the location of those relatives.
Mother asked him to repeat
His mother, though in Lagos still had a great influence on him while he was in primary school. Any time his result fell below expectation, his mother would insist that he repeats the class. That happened about three times. “My mother wanted me to always come first all the time. She believed those who came first were human beings like me.
“So whenever my result was something like 3rd or 4th in the class, she would come to the school and instruct that I should repeat the class. That was why by the time I got admission to secondary school at Ijebu Ife Community Grammar School, I was already 15.”
He was to face a greater hurdle. His elder brother who stepped into the shoes of his father discouraged his mother from checking on him in school. He believed he would be fine since he was in the hostel.
“I was not pampered. They tried to give me all I needed for school. But then, I did not get the kind of parental warmth needed and encouragement.”
The WAEC debacle
By the time he was to sit for WAEC, John Adesesan who was known as Yekini Ogunse in school had become disillusioned. A few days to WAEC, he lost his books to some notorious folks who vandalised his locker.
That year he didn’t do well in WAEC. But he would not give up. He quickly sought admission to another school, St. Anthony Grammar School at Ijebu Imusin. This time, he came out with a good result.
But things had taken a different turn on the home front. His brother who had promised to sponsor his education began to sing a different tune. “By the time my result came out my brother who had promised to sponsor my education said he had no money. I came to Lagos and got admission to Baptist Academy for Higher School Certificate. But I could not raise N140 school fees”
His brother wanted him to learn a trade instead of furthering his education. His mother who wanted the best for him was financially handicapped too. She could do nothing.
A step into the outside world
“When I saw the odds before me, I had to move out of my brother’s house. He wanted me to learn how to repair refrigerator because that was what he was doing. But I never liked the trade. I said instead, I would rather be a mechanic.
“But when the man who was the boss at the mechanic workshop saw that I did well in my WAEC, he said I should be in Yaba Tech not to learn the mechanic trade. He tried to encourage my brother to sponsor my education. But he could not convince him.” Adesesan said.
That was when he moved out of his brother’s house and started staying with friends. His first place of call was with a friend at Shomolu in Lagos. It was there he began attending a Christ Apostolic Church.
Passion for teaching
But then, he had always had a passion for teaching. Since he left secondary school he has been involved in coaching students right from Ijebu before he moved to Lagos
“There was this secondary school student that was to write WAEC who was a member of the CAC church I was attending. I coached the girl and prepared her for WAEC. As God would have it she came out with about five As in WAEC and credit in other subjects,” said Adesesan
The performance of that girl opened the door for him. Soon, many young people preparing for WAEC began to gravitate to him. Before long, an army of young people was all over him seeking his expertise.
JOA Coaching Institute
He seized the moment and started an institute named JOA Coaching Institute. Its main brief was to prepare students for WAEC. In less than one year, he had about 300 students in the school.
The coaching institute was a big success. Because of his dexterity in teaching Maths, students began to call him SOH CAH TOA. These are acronyms for mathematical solutions. SOH (Sine is Opposite/Hypotenus.) CAH (Cosine is Adjacent/hypotenuse) TOA (Tangent is Opposite/Adjacent.)
It was while running the school he secured admission to study Laboratory Science at the Yaba College of Technology.
But Adesesan was not done with challenges. The institute ran into troubled waters when some of the teachers revolted against him. They felt he was not paying them enough compared to the service they were rendering. They all pulled out to start their own. He too had to relocate to another place, still in Shomolu.
He collaborated with another friend and continued with the institute. But with time he had to diversify. He got a link to Onward Press and began selling notebooks. He was doing all that as well as being a full-time student at Yaba Tech.
While in Yaba Tech he was exposed to the ice cream production business. He went into it and was doing very well. Things were moving fast for him.
In the process, he got married and relocated to Ikorodu where he began to make waves. Incidentally, his wife, Bukola Adesesan also had her own coaching class not far from where he was. “I met my wife when she needed somebody that would teach chemistry in her own coaching institute. That was what brought us together. She turned out to be the right person for me.” Adesesan said.
God’s Call to Ministry
But while aggressively making money and doing all kinds of business, God was calling him to the ministry. “God showed me a revelation where he told me he had called me to be a prophet to the nations. He asked me to pack up what I was doing and begin to evangelise. He gave me the exact date to start. I thought it was a joke. I was adamant.” Adesesan said.
It got to the point that his business started going down. He lost money and was almost getting into depression. Rather than give up and obey God’s call, he continued the business. God showed him mercy. The business picked. But it was not long before things began to look down again.
When he could no longer resist God, he relocated to Abeokuta. It was there he joined the Redeemed Christian Church of God. “I met one Pastor Stephen Oyedele and narrated my story to him. He encouraged me to go to the RCCG Bible College, which I did. But God already told me he had prepared me for the ministry. The Bible College was a formality.”
Work with RCCG and Ghana experience
By the time Adesesan was through with the Bible College, he was assigned a parish. While in RCCG, he worked tirelessly planting parishes and winning souls. The impact was tremendous. God used him to win two well-known herbalists including the then Oluwo of Abeokuta. God also wrought several miracles through his hands.
After a few years in Abeokuta, he saw a revelation of Ghana and he assumed God was asking him to go to Ghana. ‘I sold all I had and embarked on the trip to Ghana. That was around 2004. I wanted to continue serving in the RCCG. At that time, RCCG was about 26 years old in Ghana. But it was not well known there.” he said.
His time in Ghana was however not too pleasant experience for him. He felt he was hasty in reaching the conclusion God wanted him in Ghana. After 11 months, he came back to Nigeria to pastor another church.
“One of my students who now lives in the US was the one who invited me back to Nigeria to help pastor a church his late father started. I prayed about it and I saw that God wanted me to come back to Nigeria to help the church. I obeyed. We came back and I served in the church for another three years before God finally called me out to start a fresh work.”
Kingdom of Glory Ministry
Recalling how he came about his new name, he said, ‘It’s only John that is the new name. I adopted it when I became a Christian. But the real reason I prefer it is that that is the name God calls anytime I get a revelation and the Lord calls my name. He calls me John Adesesan. Adesesan is my middle name.”
A New Ministry
The Lord eventually called him to a fresh work on December 9 2007 and gave him the name, Kingdom of Glory Kingdom Evangelical Mission.
While noting he never wanted to start a church, he said, “I can’t forget the first eight months of our ministry. Anytime I say, somebody shout hallelujah, I would hear the voice of Pastor Adeboye from behind me. I can’t explain what informs that voice. But I am encouraged in the fact that God gave a clear leading about the ministry.”
Today the ministry which is located at Agbara, Ogun State is doing well.
Adesesan said his 60 years on this side of eternity have been quite momentous.
He said, “I have learned not to trust any man. Over the years, I have seen all kinds of men in ministry. But God has taught me not to trust man. My wife has been the instrument that God used to make both my life and ministry meaningful. She has been so supportive of what God is doing in our ministry.”
Story by Gbenga Osinaike