Eugene went to the Cass Technical High School and got fascinated by the African culture. He also got exposed to the Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe at the age of 20 which increased his love for the African culture, particularly that of the Yorubas.
On August 26, 1959, Eugene became the first African born in America to become fully initiated into the Orisa-Vodun African priesthood by African Cubans in Matanzas, Cuba. This marked the beginning of the spread of Yoruba religion and culture among African Americans.
With a few followers, and after dissolution of the Order of Damballah Hwedo, Eugene founded the Sango Temple in New York and incorporated the African Theological Arch Ministry in 1960. The Sango Temple was relocated and renamed the Yoruba Temple the same year.
In the fall of 1970, Eugene founded the Yoruba Village of Oyotunji in Beaufort County South Carolina, and began the careful reorganization of the Orisa-Vodu Priesthood along traditional Nigerian lines. He was initiated to the Ifa priesthood by the Oluwa of Ijeun at Abeokuta, Nigeria, in August of 1972.
He was named king of Oyotunji community in 1972 with the designation, His Royal Highness Oba (King) Ofuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi I, born Baba Adefunmi. He later died and his son, Adefunmi Adejuyigbe took over as king.