It’s no more news that Reinhard Bonnke, a German evangelist acclaimed to have overseen the recorded conversion of 77 million people to Christianity, is dead. He passed away on Saturday at the age of 79.
The late clergyman, whose wife had broken the tragic news on the same day, did not pass without leaving a lasting impression on Africans, most of whom remember him for his many massively attended crusades held in the early 2000s.
As family, acquaintances, and brethren from around the world grieve the death of the renowned evangelist, here are some quotes from the late clergyman that’ll engrave his strides in the minds of Nigerians and citizens of African countries.
“No. Doing that is the first step along the path of seeing a living faith become a dead one. The old place, the old building, the old method, the old success, is comforting. The new step is frightening. We must place our trust completely in God to move beyond these comfort zones in life.”
“When people decide not to take risks, this is why. They fear they might suffer unexpected consequences. And, as my ulcers and depression proved, the risk is real. But is that reason to hang onto the past? To cling to mediocrity?
- “Jesus did not die for pastors to have a well-paid job neither was he raised on the cross just to rasie our standard of living. He died to seek and save those who are lost. We live like we’re on a pleasure cruise when we’re really on a rescue mission from God.”
- “We are agents of omnipotence. This means that unlimited power is at our fingertips. It also means that there are no great men working in God’s Kingdom. Rather, there is a great God at work in human beings who have childlike faith.”
- “Nobody can have unity on his or her own. You cannot be married on your own. There is no such thing as an independent believer. You can’t have unity by belonging nowhere. The ties that bind a family together must surely mean more in the spirit than we can know in the flesh.”
- “Faith needs to be matched with action. Belief is not just brain cells in motion. It demands a response. Do we do what we believe? If we believe in a seed, we plant it. You have faith stories, too. No matter how small, remember them. They build your faith for what is coming next in your life.”
“It is said that resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for your enemy to die. There is no room for such a waste of energy in the service of God.”
Bonnke was known for his gospel missions throughout Africa, having been an evangelist and missionary in Africa since 1967. At the onset, he had encountered poor results from his evangelistic efforts and felt frustrated by the pace of his ministry.
The late clergyman had claimed he had a recurring dream where Africa’s map was being red as he heard the voice of God crying “Africa Shall Be Saved”. This caused him to adopt large-scale evangelism rather than the traditional missionary approach.
During Bonnke’s Kano visit in 1991, riots had ensued as Muslims took to the streets to protest remarks he had reportedly made about Islam in the city of Kaduna. This had further fueled rumours that he was up to an invasion plan.
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