General Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William Folorunsho Kumuyi has explained how he started the ministry in August 1973, with 15 “truth-seekers.”
While speaking at the launch of his book, he also stated why he’s known as Defender of Faith. The speech is reproduced below:
Why I’m called Defender of the Faith
I never knew that the words The Defender of the Faith were part of my name and calling. We were in Singapore for a conference with attendees from different parts of the world, and my humble self was required to give series of messages.
After I finished the series, one of the ministers came and asked me if I knew the meaning of my name, William. I responded that I never thought about it.
Actually, when I was a young Anglican and I was to be christened, my father asked me what christian name I would love to bear. I said I would love to bear the name Johnson. There was a Johnson in our community who was very vocal, fervent, bold and courageous and I had learnt to appreciate him. It was agreed that I would be Johnson. But then when we got to the Church something else happened. As the ceremony was being preformed the minister said “This boy shall be called William”. I wondered why I had to bear that name.
It wasn’t many years later after I got converted on April 5 1964 and I became a preacher, travelling teacher and evangelist that we got to this meeting in Singapore. I met this minister who had studied the meanings of names. For one reason or the other he had checked the root and etymology of my name, William.
He told me: “Your name, William, means THE DEFENDER OF THE FAITH”. He added that what I’d done there in Singapore was prophetic, a reflection of the mission and vision of man elected to fight for the faith. Whereupon he prayed along with me. Since that time I’ve been more conscious of the fact that God called me.
I emphasize “called me” because I had the knowledge and understanding of who God is from 1952. Then aged 11, I put God to a test. I wanted a problem resolved. So I proceeded by telling God: “If it is going to be this way, let this happen, and if it is going to be that way, let that happen.” What I told the Lord happened, and since then in 1952, I’ve been very conscious of God being my Guide.
Then in 1964, I heard the gospel in a very simple way that God loves humanity, and everyone regardless of their status, background and religion because the scripture says unequivocally that God loves the world, and gave man His only begotten Son, and that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Before that time, all I was doing was trying to live a good and righteous life, an upright life above board and reproach. Suddenly it dawned on me that day that I could not save myself, I could not pull up myself by the bootstraps.
So on that day, the 5th of April, 1964, I said “Lord, You have sent our Lord Jesus Christ not only to save humanity but to save me. So I gave my life over to the Lord Jesus. I had a real transformation and it was clear to everyone who knew me in my alma mater, Mayflower School under Tai Solarin at that time, that a change really came, and the school knew about it.
Eventually, I moved forward, reading books. Later, Reverend Mellor of the Methodist Church handed over to me the writings of John Wesley, the illustrious English preacher. I began to read the works and found myself consecrated to the Lord. This was because I saw how John Wesley went all over England and Europe, defending the faith, even though I didn’t know the meaning of my name William then.
Finally, I told God, “If you could use a man this way at that time, then You can use me. I came across just one sentence that turned everything around.
John Wesley said:
“Give me a hundred men that fear nothing but sin and love none but God, and we will turn the world upside down”.
I plunged into deep thought about that. Could I be like John Wesley? After that inner search, I came across Charles G. Finney’s books, and I was asked if I could be like him? I answered the call because I knew that it was of God. So, I took up the challenge and we started the ministry in 1973 August 3rd, with only 15 truth seekers. From there we moved on to what we have now.