ABOUT THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD HEAVEN’S GLORIOUS EMBASSY, DALLAS, TX
The first step that Pastor E.A. Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, took in 1988 towards the expansion of the church was to create what he called “Model Parishes”. Each model parish was to encourage the young educated, the unchurched, young executives, all and sundry, to feel free to come to church “just as they were”, and in their own neighborhoods. Contrary to expectations at the time, they did flock into the church by the hundreds.
The first “Model Parish”, established in a high-brow area of Ikeja of Lagos State, Nigeria, grew very rapidly. Ten years later, many of those who had become “Workers”, “Ministers” and Pastors or Assistant Pastors in that church were Bankers, Professors, Lawyers, Engineers, Medical Doctors, Entrepreneurs, and other successful professionals from all walks of life. Among them was a group of young professionals working for various oil companies, and they discovered that they were often in Dallas, Texas, for projects that sometimes lasted anywhere from two weeks to two years at a time. They now began to request that the church should start a parish in Dallas, Texas because they did not want to be cut off from the peculiar mode of worship of the church while away from Nigeria. The Pastor of the Model parish in Ikeja at the time, Pastor Ayo Adeloye, having consulted with the General Overseer, therefore came to Dallas, Texas, in October 1994 and started a small fellowship with twelve of these professionals who were then in Dallas. He registered the business name (The Redeemed Christian Church of God), and retuned to Nigeria at the end of October, 1994.
One of the members of the Ikeja Model Parish was Dr. Ajibike Akinkoye, a former lecturer of Modern European Languages at the University of Ibadan who had become the Co-Founder and CEO of a flourishing group of corporations in Lagos. The businesses all had an international flavor, drawing on the CEO’s ability to speak English, French, German and Spanish in that order of fluency. One of the businesses undertook a world-bank financed project for the Federal Government of Nigeria, with Dr. Akinkoye as the Chief Consultant. Another one of the corporations headed by Dr. Akinkoye established a small office in Detroit, Michigan; Antwerp, Belgium and Paris, France.
It was in the midst of the business expansion that Dr. Akinkoye was pursuing that he received a call from Pastor Adeloye. The latter announced that he was returning to Nigeria, and he needed a Pastor or Assistant Pastor who had some knowledge of the USA, someone who already had a valid visa or could quickly obtain one, to come and oversee the new fellowship in Dallas until a substantive Pastor could be appointed. Dr. Akinkoye had been ordained an Assistant Pastor at the time, and he was probably the only member of the Model Parish in Ikeja who had the basic qualifications that Pastor Adeloye was looking for. He was also available because of the relatively flexible nature of his business schedules.
Pastor Akinkoye arrived in Dallas, Texas, on November 4, 1994, to do the bidding of the church, as he thought. By the time he arrived, ten of the twelve founding members of the fellowship had completed their projects with Mobil or Exxon and returned to Nigeria. He started the church with the two members left on ground. With his previous knowledge of certain facilities and procedures in America, he planned to organized crusades, outreaches and special programs that would cause the little fellowship to grow into a mid-sized or fairly big church in record time, and then return to his businesses. Then some strange things happened.
Using the methods and facilities he knew, Pastor Akinkoye held his first crusade on December 4, 1994, exactly one month after he arrived in Dallas. In the middle of the program he heard the voice of God telling him, “You are not going to build a mega-church yet. You are going to plant little parishes around the Dallas metroplex, and then I will give you a camp…” He kept this strange communication to himself until the General Overseer visited Dallas in 1995 to dedicate the young church. When he mentioned it to Pastor Adeboye, the latter smiled, nodded and told him, “You heard right. The Lord told me about ten years ago, years before we had any parish in North America, while I was on one of my trips to the Kenneth Hagin Camp Meeting, that he would one day give us a camp ground in Dallas.” The rest is now history.
Pastor Akinkoye never went back to his old businesses. By 1999, he had planted a few parishes in the Dallas area. In the Year 2000, the Lord miraculously gave the church the first 114 acres of the Redemption Camp, Dallas which keeps expanding each year, and in 2004, ten years after the first parish started in Dallas, the church now counts about fifteen parishes in the Dallas area. He also planted or participated in the planting of the first parish in Atlanta, Georgia, the first parish in Chicago, Illinois, the first parish in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the first parish in Laurel, Maryland, the first parish in Houston, Texas, and many others.
In 2004, the Lord also miraculously provided the first parish in Dallas, now known as Heaven’s Glorious Embassy, (or simply “The Embassy”, Meeting place of Ambassadors for Christ), with 11.8 acres of land in the high-brow Plano area of the Dallas metroplex. That is where the new “Embassy” building is being constructed, and there is a segment on the land for a sports arena (including a soccer pitch) and a beautiful recreational park on the banks of the creek that flows close to the eastern border of the land.
Welcome to the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Heaven’s Glorious Embassy, where we exalt God in worship, expand His Kingdom in Evangelism and establish His Kingdom in Discipleship.