ECCLESIA 2019: African Association for Ecclesiastical Affairs celebrates the Life of World Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke

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The African Association for Ecclesiastical Affairs (AAEA) and Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA) commensurate with the family and the entire African, Nigerian and Christian world families on the glorious transition of our brother, 'The Popular Evangelist', Reinhard Bonnke, whose glorious exit was announced in a statement signed by his wife Anni Bonnke on 7th. December 2019.

Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, the celebrated German world evangelist, has moved on to glory at the age of 79. During his more than 60 years of preaching the GOSPEL OF CHRIST, Bonnke was best known for his work with the Great Gospel Crusades throughout Africa.

The statement reads in part, “It is with sorrow that the Bonnke Family would like to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on December 7, 2019. For the past 60 years, he has preached the glorious Gospel of Jesus throughout the entire world. We want to thank you on behalf of him and our family, for your kind love and unwavering support, which enabled him to preach the matchless message of salvation to countless people.”

The statement written by Bonnke’s wife, Sister Anni Bonnke says that, "addition to his wife, Bonnke is survived by his three children, Kai-Uwe Bonnke, Gabrielle Bonnke and Susie Bonnke, as well as eight grandchildren. Rev. Bonnke said previously that he met his wife at a Christian music festival, where she had been performing, in 1964. Bonnke said he was drawn to Anni after she recovered from a disastrous musical performance."

"Along with the statement, Bonnke’s wife posted these words to Revelation 15:3-4, which includes the words, “For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.” An hour after being posted, the statement has 22,000 shares and generated more than 30,000 reactions and 17,000 comments - still on going."

"The Pentecostal preacher over-saw more than 79 million conversions to Christianity", his organisation said "It's no exaggeration to say that his work transformed the continent," it said in a statement. Sometimes "at huge rallies - including one in Lagos, Nigeria in 2000 that was said to have drawn 1.6 million people - Bonnke healed many people using the power of God."

"Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to the evangelist, saying his death was a "great loss to Nigeria, Africa and [the] entire world". He affirms that Bonnke’s crusades in Nigeria, across Africa and the globe strongly accentuated the message of Jesus Christ, & his vision and zeal for the salvation of souls clearly helped the world in understanding the power of love, peace and kindness as universal language."

"Bonnke was born in 1940 in Königsberg, Germany. The city on the Baltic Sea is now called Kaliningrad, and is part of Russia. He became involved in missionary work in Africa at a very young age and in 1974 founded the Christ For All Nations Mission Organisation, which was headquartered in South Africa and later in Germany."

On his Twitter page, Bonnke said that he was living in Orlando, Florida, at the time of his death. In October 2017, Bonnke undertook his farewell crusade to Nigeria where he spoke to 1.7 million people. Bonnke handed over the reins of leadership of Christ of All Nations to fellow evangelist Daniel Kolenda due to his health issues. In the wake of Bonnke’s death, Kolenda referred to Bonnke as a “friend and spiritual father".

"Bonnke founded his Christ for All Nations Fellowship in the 1970s. The organization has offices in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. The organization was originally based in Johannesburg, South Africa during apartheid. Bonnke moved the headquarters to Frankfurt, Germany, in order to distance his group from the oppressive government."

In 1991, there were religious riots in the Nigerian city of Kaduna after police granted permission for Bonnke to hold a revival meeting and thousands of Muslims took to the streets in uproar. At least eight people were reported killed. In 1999, 16 people died in a stampede during a rally organised by Bonnke in Benin City, Nigeria.

More over "Between 1990 and 1999, Bonnke’s ministry was unable to operate in Nigeria after Muslim extremists burned down Christian churches and killed Christians in the city of Kano. Bonnke returned to Nigeria in 2001 with the message, “My full attention is on Africa. I have no message of hate. I do not attack any religion. I just preach Jesus.” Nigerian missionary Rou Jarvis criticized Bonnke saying, “He’s very confrontational with Islam, and that’s not good. If I’m going to win someone to Christ, I’m not going to tell them first that their faith is wrong.”

Across the world today, Evangelist Bonnke’s followers and contemporaries are mourning his passing. Many have taken to social media to express their grief. Here is one of the most poignant messages of remembrance:

"You affected me so much with your radical passion for evangelism ... you finished your assignment and in your lifetime handed over to your successor ... rest in peace EVANGELIST REINHARD BONNKE ... may we also finish well. Goodnight sir...' says one!

The entire African community says goodbye to our brother, father, friend and evangelist in Nigeria and Africa. We believe your soul is resting in perfect peace; as "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints" Psalm 116:15. Adiu and sleep on -A world evangelist icon. We know and are assured, "The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot."

Proverbs 10:7.
Bishop Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
Secretary, Elder's Council
Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA) (FOR THE AFRICAN ASSOCIATION