Today Africa is mourning the passing of another of her great sons, Dr Tokunboh Adeyemo. Dr Adeyemo has been a leader in the evangelical church in Africa for more than 30 years, during which he has overseen the growth of many supposedly impossible projects. He led the Association of Evangelicals in Africa for 25 years, and resigned to found the Centre for Biblical Transformation, which provides training for those in leadership positions in Africa. He also made an enormous contribution to the development of the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (now the Africa International University), of which he eventually became chancellor.
The contribution for which Dr Adeyemo may be most remembered is that he served as the general editor of the Africa Bible Commentary. This groundbreaking work has been eagerly adopted across the continent. Within four years of its launch, more than 90,000 copies have been printed and it has been translated into three major African languages, with more translations in progress. The success of this book has inspired Christians on three continents to launch similar projects.
He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the new African imprint called Hippo Books, and was working on a book on systematic theology when God called him home. Hippo will be publishing a biography of Dr. Adeyemo, called A Life Transformed in 2011.
The transformations referred to in that title include his transformation from the oldest son and heir of a Muslim ruler to an outcast when he converted to Christianity. His passionate interest in politics was transformed into a passionate concern for the gospel and a deep love for the church in Africa. These transformations in his own life gave him a deep concern for a transformation in Africa, so that the African church would grow in depth as well as in numbers. He prayed that God would raise up a new generation of African leaders who would put God and his kingdom first, people second and themselves last.
Langham Literature International Programme Director Pieter Kwant sums up the man when he writes, “I remember above all that amazing enthusiasm and vision for the glory of God that never failed to inspire me and those around him. His devotion, his hard work, his kindness to all, his encouragement, his leadership, his friendship, his humour, his embrace and his humility.”