71 year-old General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor Williams Folorunsho Kumuyi, shocked and surprised nearly all his admirers a week ago. The Osun State born humble preacher married Esther Folashade Adenike Blaize at a secret ceremony in London, on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, exactly 18 months after Sister Abiodun Kumuyi, his wife, died.
Information has it that the 65 year-old new wife is well known in the Deeper Life family and had been single all the while. She is also the Administrator of the Deeper Life Bible Church, London. The court and church wedding were done in the UK, with some select pastors of Deeper Life in attendance. Many of the church members scattered around the world were surprised when the news of the unannounced marriage filtered in and some have not even recovered from the shock. Explaining the secret nature of the event, the church secretary, Pastor Livinus Nnadozie, maintained that it is not true that some key members of the church were not carried along. “Those who deserved to know were duly informed. If he wanted a high profile wedding, he could have done that, but he himself voted for a low key ceremony and we are happy about that.”
Before now, however, we gathered that his two sons, who are based in the US, Jeremiah and John, had exerted enormous pressure on their 71 year-old father to remarry. Even key members of the church, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in November 2009, advised the former Mathematics lecturer to remarry. But whenever the issue was brought up his simple reply would be, ‘I will pray over it.’
In 2009, when his wife, Sister Abiodun Kumuyi died, Kumuyi told inquisitive nosy parkers, who wanted to know his next marital plan then, “It is too early to think of a replacement.” And now, 18 months later, he has found a replacement. Details of their courtship are still sketchy, but insiders revealed it will not be less than six months, going by some of the happenings in the church in recent times. Coupled with Kumuyi’s frequent trips abroad. He was also quoted in some of his preachings earlier in the year as saying that God had directed him to do something that will surprise everyone.
Sources close to the humble preacher revealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that part of the reasons pressure was exerted on the Senior Pastor of the Deeper Life Church was that a year and six months after the death of his wife, The Women Ministry had been without a leader and the ministry’s publication, Women Mirror, we were told, was also suffering.
The wedding ceremony was beamed live on KMTV-Sat TV and those who were not privileged to attend the ceremony were treated to a video replay of the ceremony in Nigeria at their Ayobo, Ipaja church. Their official outing as husband and wife was on Sunday, October 24, 2010, at The Trinity Church, Brentwood, UK, where they had gone to share the word of God.
Pastor W. F. Kumuyi started the Deeper Life Bible Church in August, 1973. The ministry began as a 15-member bible study group in his official quarters at the University of Lagos. Then, he was a Mathematics lecturer and today the membership of the ministry is in millions with branches in more than 60 countries. The ministry, over the years, has also invested heavily in real estate. Their Gbagada, Lagos multi-million naira sanctuary is nearing completion and another one is on Gbagada/Oworonshoki Expressway. The preacher also splashed millions on new coaster buses months back.
HOW KUMUYI’S WIFE DIED
Mama, as late Sister Abiodun Kumuyi was fondly called, exited planet earth on Saturday, April 11, 2009, after what was described as a brief illness in their Ayobo, Ipaja, Lagos home. Sister Abiodun was reportedly down with partial stroke. She was flown abroad and when she appeared better, returned home only for her condition to relapse and she died shortly after.
HOW THE NEWS OF HER DEATH WAS BROKEN
Sister Abiodun Kumuyi died during the Deeper Life Church Easter retreat. The news of her death was broken to her husband, Pastor Kumuyi through a phone call.
THEIR LOVE STORY
Pastor Kumuyi and his late wife, Sister Abiodun, met in 1972 and kicked off a relationship that developed into a love affair. After her education at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, she volunteered to be a helping hand in Pastor Kumuyi’s fledging ministry as well as help in the distribution of their tracts. She was a popular figure in the choir and that was because of her singing prowess. It was when the closeness became conspicuous that Kumuyi at that time 39, was being pressurized to settle down and the Osun State born preacher didn’t look beyond his close partner. Their marriage was legalized at the Ikoyi Marriage Registry and their white wedding was at The Chapel of Resurrection at the University of Lagos. The union is blessed with two children, Jeremiah and John.
VERY PRIVATE WORLD OF SISTER ABIODUN KUMUYI
Late Abiodun Kumuyi died at the age of 57. She was born in January 1952, and had a Muslim background. She hailed from Epe in Lagos. She was educated at Baptist Primary School, Surulere and New Era Girls Secondary School, Lagos. She later went through Business and Secretariat Studies at Federal College of Education, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos. She was converted to Christianity in 1972.
This story was first published in Encomium Weekly on Tuesday, November 2, 2010