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Untold story of top Deeper Life pastors that left Kumuyi (1)

by Church Times

Deeper Life Bible Church clocked 50 on August 3 2023. The anniversary was well celebrated even while the General Superintendent of the Church, Pastor Williams Kumuyi continues to hold crusades across the country and beyond.

Pastor Kumuyi, a lecturer at the University of Lagos when he started the ministry, will be 83 on June 6. But he is still burning with zeal and it seems his strength is like that of the Biblical Caleb who though was in his 80s said he was still as strong as when he was in his 40s.

While Deeper Life itches to its 51st anniversary, it’s important to note that the church became a phenomenon primarily because God gave increase to the planting and watering of Pastor Kumuyi and some young men who worked with him in the 70s and the 80s.

Those men played critical roles in the evolution of the church. Many of them displayed rare courage in their days. Some had exceptional grace and could effectively take the place of Pastor Kumuyi if he was not around.

But over time, these men left the ministry. Some in controversial circumstances. They however went on to excel in their ministries.

There are yet some who did not make any headway since they left the church. Some have died but a good number of them are still alive.

Find below the first part of the chronicle of these pastors and a bit about their story.

Stephen Akinola

Pastor Stephen Akinola

When Pastor Akinola was in Deeper Life, some people believed he would be the one to step into the shoes of Pastor Kumuyi whenever Kumuyi retires or goes to be with the Lord. He was so heavily anointed and used by God in the area of the miraculous. Akinola was said to have been among the first set of members of the church who experienced the baptism of the holy spirit. He had the gift of the working of miracles. He was full of fire and had a consuming passion. He ministered with so much unction and grace that made his listeners come under the influence of the holy spirit.

Akinola was from Ighoho, Oyo State. He was born in Ghana on March 4, 1953; he had his primary and secondary education in Northern Ghana. He returned to Nigeria in 1971 and started his career as a teacher in the Baptist Primary School, Igboho. After about two years on the job, he went to Yaba College of Technology.

He became born again in 1974 and from then became a mighty instrument in God’s hands. He got involved with Deeper Life and was deployed to the east where he worked assiduously spreading the gospel of Jesus and establishing branches of Deeper Life Church.

He had some administrative issues with Deeper Life and was queried by the church. In January 1987, he felt led to start the Redemption Ministries. The ministry at one time was the fastest growing in the city of Portharcourt. It has also spread to many other countries apart from Nigeria.

Unfortunately, Pastor Akinola died on June 6 2021 at the age of 68 after a protracted illness. Ironically, he died on the birthday of Pastor Kumuyi

Alfred Itiowe

Alfred Itiowe

Pastor Alfred Itiowe is one of the closest persons to Pastor Kumuyi, an alter ego so to speak. He was responsible for some of the strategic programmes in the Deeper Life Bible Church. He was a powerful speaker and a church planter.

Sources close to Church Times informed that he was the one responsible for the spread of the campus fellowship of the church and the development of the manual used for house fellowship in the church. He speaks French fluently. A widely travelled pastor, Itiowe was instrumental to many of the foreign branches of the church.

Many enjoyed the grace of God upon his life until he resigned from the church in 1986 to start the Old Path Revival Commission. His ministry has been making a great impact in the eastern part of Nigeria.

Pastor Itiowe is still in ministry doing exploits for the Lord despite facing some personal losses. It will be hard to wish away his contribution to the success of Deeper Life Bible Church.

Olu Itiola

Olu Itiola

Pastor Olu Itiola was so vibrant and charismatic that listening to him was like listening to Pastor Kumuyi. His ministry gift was so outstanding that whenever Pastor Kumuyi was not around, he fit in effortlessly.

Many enjoyed staying under his ministration. He was the first Pastor in charge of Lagos for Deeper Life Bible Church. Before his call into the ministry, he worked in one of the leading banks in Nigeria.

In 1982 he went into full-time ministry and laboured tirelessly for God in the Deeper Life Church.

With time he was posted out of the country specifically to the US. Sources informed Church Times that he too had to leave the church due to some issues.

He founded Fresh Anointing International Church in March 2001. The church has branches in six different countries with headquarters in the US

Itiola holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the highly acclaimed Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana. He also earned a Doctor of Theology degree from Gulf Coast Seminary, Panama City, Florida.

He is a widely travelled minister and author of more than a dozen books including The Sermon Proof Christian, Witchcraft in the church, Night Time Warfare and What Goes Around Comes Around. Itiola maintains a regular appearance on social media giving messages and leading prayers.

Deeper Life

Pastor Isaiah Lawon

ID Lawon

Pastor Isaiah Dayo Lawon was the pioneer pastor of the Oyo State chapter of Deeper Life Bible Church.

A Geology graduate from Ahmadu Bello University, Lawon’s time at the Deeper Life Church was marked with monumental growth and impact.

He started as pastor with 100 members. By the time he was leaving, the church had about 12000 members. He was also able to plant about 170 parishes of the church in Oyo State.

Before he became pastor of the Oyo Chapter, Pastor Kumuyi was always travelling from Lagos to Ibadan to hold Bible study for members. But Kumuyi stopped coming as soon as Lawon came on board.

Lawon resigned from his job with the Kwara State Government just as he was about to be promoted to level 9 to commit himself to the Bible study programme of Deeper Life at Ibadan.

He took up a teaching job in Ibadan. But he had to resign from the job too when the pastoral work was demanding. Apart from being Oyo Pastor, he was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the church and chairman of the Planning Committee of the church’s national retreat.

He said of Pastor Kumuyi in an interview with Church Times, “ I thank God for my relationship with Pastor Kumuyi. We were quite close and he took a special interest in me. People would go and report me to him in Lagos and he would invite me and bring out the letter they wrote against me. He was just satisfied with my wife and I. He was pleased with the work we were doing in Ibadan.”

Lawon said the number one lesson he picked from Deeper Life is the ministry’s love for the word of God. He also recalled that the consecration was great among Deeper Life workers.

“In those days we wanted to serve to the point of death. People were ready to die for the gospel. There was also a level of unity in the church then. We never heard people quarrelling. Even when our leader was wrong, we did not advertise it.”

 Lawon, however, resigned from the Church in 1993 to concentrate on missions to unreached areas in the world. So far, the mission organisation he founded, known as Full Stature Missions International has outreaches in many countries across the globe. A one-time Chairman of the LAUSANNE Committee for World Evangelisation, Pastor Lawon is still running his ministry from Ibadan and doing great.

So far his ministry has reached about 40 fresh tribes in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo,  Benin Guinea Bissau, South Africa, Burundi, Tanzania, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Apart from the branch of the church in Ibadan, there is another one in Ilorin. He also runs a Mission College established in 1994. The college is affiliated to the University of Ibadan.

Ayo Adewuya

Ayo Adewuya

Pastor Ayo Adewuya joined Deeper Life ministry barely a year after it started. He had earlier had a dramatic encounter with Christ after listening to a preacher from the Apostolic Faith Church.

He joined Deeper Life when it used to meet at flat 7 which was eventually changed to block 12 flat 2 because of a rearrangement in the university system.

Adewuya was then in his 20s and was a student at the Yaba College of Technology. He was living in the same room with the late Rev Stephen Akinola. He studied Town Planning while Rev. Akinola studied fine Art.

Adewuya was Pastor Kumuyi’s interpreter when he used to preach on Ogun Radio for so many years. He was the first person to marry in Deeper Life then.

He was in Lagos until 1977 when he was posted to go and start the Deeper Life in Ondo State. He started what is now called Ekiti and Ondo State Deeper Life.

It was from there he was sent by the ministry as a missionary to the Philippines in 1984. He was first in Kenya to supervise the work in East Africa before going to the Philippines.

But he left Deeper Life in 2001 for some personal reasons. His footprints are still in the Philippines where he spent 18 years before moving to the US from where he runs his ministry.

Adewuya and his wife (Grace Adewuya) lived in the Philippines as missionaries and church planters. He still serves as the Lead Pastor for Hope and Abundant Life Ministries International (www.hopeandabundantlife.org). Grace is the founder of the Amazing Grace Christian Foundation (www.amazinggracefoundation.org), a ministry that is committed to helping and caring for less privileged women and children in Tarlac, Philippines.

Adewuya is now a Professor of New Testament at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, Cleveland, Tennessee. He once recalled how Pastor Kumuyi was so supportive of him when he was in the ministry.

Story by Gbenga Osinaike


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1 comment

Matthew Simpa May 6, 2024 - 2:41 am

Two members-a man and a lady, I think they were known as travelling Secretaries, used to visit my school in Alimosho in 1979. It was through their ministrations I got born again. I wonder where they are now? Thank God for the DLM. I pray that her members will remain strong just like her leader.


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