Deeper Christian Life Ministry (also known as Deeper Life Bible Church) is a non-denominational Christian Church with its international headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. Overseen by the General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi, the Church is known popularly for its emphasis on holiness and holy living.
The history of Deeper Life is very much the personal story of W.F. Kumuyi.
In 1973, while serving as a Mathematics Lecturer at the University of Lagos, W.F. Kumuyi started a Bible study group with 15 university students who had come to him requesting training in the Scriptures.
A former Anglican who joined the Apostolic Faith Church after being baptized, Kumuyi was in 1975, expelled from the church for preaching without credentials. He continued his independent ministry, which in 1982 became the Deeper Life Bible Church. By the early 1980s that small group had grown to several thousand, at which time Deeper Life Bible Church was formally established.
The church started as the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.
Deeper Life Church has spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa and then to the United Kingdom, from where branches were developed in western Europe, Russia, India, and North America.
In April, 2018, The Deeper Christian Life Ministry had its new headquarters church at Gbagada commissioned with the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo among the Dignitaries
By 1988 the congregation had grown to 50,000, and now numbers 120,000 members, and is considered one of the largest churches in sub-saharan Africa, with a sizable population in the world. Dr. Johan Combrinck reports that the Deeper Life Church not only has an attendance of 120,000 every Sunday, but has planted over 500 churches in Lagos, 5,000 in the rest of Nigeria (with an independent estimate of more than 800,000 members in Nigeria alone), and 3,000 elsewhere (with missionaries to over 40 countries of Africa) as the movement missionary contribution.
The church teaches a doctrine of holiness and living a practical Christian life. The most important teaching of the church pertains to its members living holy lives. The General Superintendent, Pastor Kumuyi almost always during all his preachings exhort members and newcomers alike to be born again so as to be qualified for the kingdom of heaven.
The church lists 22 tenets of their beliefs: the holy Bible, the Godhead, Virgin birth of Christ, total depravity, Repentance, Restitution, Justification, Water baptism, Lord’s supper, Sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism, Redemption, Personal evangelism, Marriage, Rapture, Resurrection of the Dead, Great Tribulation, Second coming of Christ, Christ’s millennial reign, Great White Throne Judgment, New Heaven and the New Earth, and Hell fire.
C. Peter Wagner, in an article titled ‘Those Amazing Post-Denominational Churches’ wrote: “By far, the most rapidly growing segment of Christianity on all six continents is a type of church that does not fit traditional categories or classifications. Missiologists have recognized its presence for some time, but it is such a recent phenomenon that they have not yet agreed on a name for it. Perhaps one title that would fit is the term ‘post-denominational.”
“Go to almost any metropolitan area and ask to visit the largest Christian Church. Chances are it will be one of these new post-denominational churches’. In Lagos, Nigeria, it would be the Deeper Life Bible Church, pastored by William Kumuyi. On a recent Sunday I saw 74,000 adults worshipping together, with 40,000 children meeting in a separate building across the street.”
On August 7, 2012, a Deeper Life church in Okene was attacked by three unidentified gunmen, who opened fire on a Bible study group with Kalashnikov assault rifles, killing 19.
In April 2013, Pastor Kumuyi was named as one of the “500 most powerful people on the planet” by the Foreign Policy Magazine (FP).