Pa S.G. Elton is probably one of the best things that happened to Christianity in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, if there is anyone who brought the real Gospel apart from the church-going kind of Christianity to Nigeria, I think it is Pa S.G. Elton. He was the one who taught those things about the gift of the Spirit, Holy Ghost baptism, five-fold ministry and so on and so forth.
To me, when you talk about ministry per excellence, a man who sold his life completely into the work of missions, Pa Elton is a prominent example. I think before he died he hadn’t been back to Britain for several years because he said, “What am I going there to do?” And in one of our intimate moments he said to me, “My son, I will contest Ilesha with you when Jesus returns (laughs). I’m going to tell the Lord that this is where I spent most of my life, where I did most of my work, and this is my heritage”.
Papa S.G. Elton knew the word of God and taught it with simplicity, with candour. He never held anything back; he said it as he understood it. I would not say that I agree with everything he said. That should not be a surprise because I am a mathematician, I was trained not to agree 100% with anybody (laughs). The only person I agree with is the Lord Jesus Christ and the benefit of this is it keeps your mind open so that you can learn more and more. So I’m not saying that in the sense of disagreeing per se.
He was a great instrument of God in the life of many people including myself. I visited him toward the end of his life every two weeks and I’d spend only one hour. And you can be sure we were not talking politics (laughs), we were not talking business. We were discussing the Lord Jesus Christ.
I remember that He said once that He regretted that he didn’t meet me earlier in his life, and I regretted that I hadn’t met him earlier but I thank God that the last days were profitably used and I think it’s on record that the last major meeting that He had in 1984 or 1985 was on this camp ground. He attended our convention, and the following January, he died. He slept in our little house, and we had time for fellowship together and I remember that his last sermon brought everyone of us back to the altar -general overseer, pastors, everyone. We all came back to the altar to cry before God and to rededicate our lives to the Almighty God.
So nobody can truly write the history of either pentecostalism or full gospel, as it were, in Nigeria; and leave Pastor S.G. Elton out of it. He was a tremendous influence not just on individuals but on the church of God as a whole.
Pastor E.A. Adeboye.