…to be sure Sister Biodun Kumuyi did not seek man’s approbation. There’s no record she did. Nor is there any that she lamented the lack of popular applause. She couldn’t have, being fully conscious of her Creator’s more enduring commendation reserved for her hereafter.


How time flies! It’s been ten years since the death of Abiodun Kumuyi, beloved wife of Pastor W. F. Kumuyi, the highly revered general superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry. When this great woman passed on on April 11, 2009, very few sensed that she had unobtrusively left behind lofty precepts far beyond the ambience of church business. Fewer still were aware that although these ideas were bred in a humble religious cradle, they represented an answer to the suffocating sophistry of secular man.

Apart from her husband, their two children, Jerry and John, along with a cluster of brethren who worked with Biodun or watched her at close quarters, there was probably no other person (or group) in the church that had an inkling of the weighty work she was doing as she paced the grounds of Deeper Life Bible Church, Gbagada; Deeper Life Conference Centre, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; and International Bible Training Centre, Ayobo, now converted into Anchor University, the institution promoted by the church, and as she travelled worldwide with her spouse.

The majority of Deeper Life Church members and of the larger world may be forgiven if we did not discern her contribution in her lifetime.

This world of decadent values is given to recognising only the voluble and voluminous. Our age contemns those who shroud what they do in simplicity and meekness. Society approves the showy and upbraids the lowly. It enlists a juggernaut to crush those who stand for self-effacement.

But to be sure Sister Biodun Kumuyi did not seek man’s approbation. There’s no record she did. Nor is there any that she lamented the lack of popular applause. She couldn’t have, being fully conscious of her Creator’s more enduring commendation reserved for her hereafter.

Starting with her involvement with the Christian Women Mirror magazine, Mummy (as she was fondly called by the church folk) assembled a team of keen professionals who, of course, were in the first instance genuine believers. They shared her vision of delivering a monthly journal that would cater for the interest of the women in the church.

It was a high calling which would have instilled in others a false sense of self-esteem and achievement. Others would have flaunted the success as a personal one. The manifestation of these elsewhere would have been the ornate display of the photograph of the woman beside the pastor on billboards.


We must quickly address a point here to draw an enduring bestowal in this field. Although the magazine started in October 1992 as a forum for the sermons of the pastor, Biodun moved beyond that vision to accommodate other features needed to build a woman into an all-round Christian homemaker. Under her supervision as she heeded the plan of God for the magazine, the publication became a quiet weapon of evangelism.

By the time Biodun died a decade ago, Christian Women Mirror had become a must-have in almost every home! Although it’s a Deeper Christian Life Ministry effort, it has ceased to be a denominational journal. The reason is because its contents are catholic, rooting fundamental Biblical teachings into everyday practical use for the woman, her home, church and society.
Sensing the erosion of moral values in the country, chiefly because of failing families and ungodly training of the youth and children, Mummy Kumuyi’s publication now features well written, scripturally-based pieces to fill the gap and save the society from collapsing. A “Health Tips” column is also on offer in the magazine to complete a full-orbed presentation necessary for building a sound home.

Absolute credit for this success must, of course, be given to God. But He used Biodun Kumuyi as the vessel that bore the vision.

It was a high calling which would have instilled in others a false sense of self-esteem and achievement. Others would have flaunted the success as a personal one. The manifestation of these elsewhere would have been the ornate display of the photograph of the woman beside the pastor on billboards. But Biodun, out of deference to what the Bible teaches about the place of woman in church, operated silently behind the scenes.

This style in no way reduced her impact or influence. It rather was responsible for the giant strides of her work, both in the church, among the women and in the society. It couldn’t have been otherwise. Her modus operandi had divine approval!

The overall result is that the Christian Community within and outside Nigeria has been endowed with a publication whose objectives are non-denominational, even if it’s a denomination that publishes it! But it’s not only the church that is gaining from Sister Kumuyi’s legacy. The whole society benefits on account of the fact that when you train or educate a woman and a child, it’s the entire nation you have empowered, given the superior numerical strength of women, both in the church and in the society generally.

Mummy Biodun Kumuyi’s unostentatious lifestyle of liberality to God and man has lasting lessons for our sinking age: only through open-handed service to fellow man can we truly honour God and uplift society!


Her work in the Women Ministry of the church was no less phenomenal. She was reputed to have designed, planned and executed enriching programmes for women. For this class of citizens who the society and government had neglected or marginalised, the programmes offered hope and a sense of worth and belonging.

Countless testimonies have streamed in since the woman’s death of how she demonstrated a squared understanding of James 2:14-17. The following is one entry I came across recently: she (Biodun Kumuyi) was a virtuous woman who lived what she preached and believed. In her usual quiet and unassuming way, she was able to reach out to a lot of widows and trained a lot of fatherless children. She started women in small-scale business through a scheme whereby they took loans and paid back as their businesses grew. They didn’t pay any interests and with some she wrote off their loans. Those who were genuinely struggling with financial problems had a listening ear with her. She gave to them “liberally … Her motivation … was to ensure that no woman backslid from the faith as a result of financial or material lack … Women were lifted up from penury, (their) children’s school fees were paid, broken homes were re-united through her counselling and prayers. Most times, she gave (money) through a third party so the receivers would not idolise her.”

It is obvious that death can’t destroy this noble pitch of servanthood, discipline, humility and submissiveness wrought in a churchyard. For, everyone who has testified to Biodun Kumuyi’s exploits in evangelism has, in effect, spoken of her desire to restore life to the oppressed of the society.

In turn, these affirmations of Sister Biodun’s work represent a stinging vote of censure on our governments and institutions, whose enormous resources, far more than the woman’s, aren’t deployed to the service of the common man, but rather are ploughed into the coffers and interests of a selfish thieving class.

Mummy Biodun Kumuyi’s unostentatious lifestyle of liberality to God and man has lasting lessons for our sinking age: only through open-handed service to fellow man can we truly honour God and uplift society!

Postscript: Above is updated version of my tribute to Biodun Kumuyi on the first anniversary of her death.

Banji Ojewale writes from Ota, Ogun State.