Famed German Evangelist and founder of Christ for All Nations organisation Reinhard Bonnke has died at the age of 79.
According to a statement released by his wife Anni Bonnke on Saturday, the preacher “passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family.”
Born in 1940 in Königsberg, Germany, the deceased is credited with touching many lives through his gospel missions especially in Africa dating back to 1967 when he began.
He first visited Kenya in 1988 and instantly became a household name with a number of parents even naming their children after him.
According to the organisation he founded, Christ for All Nations, Bonnke’s ministry directly saw at least 79 million people convert to Christianity by the time of his retirement.
The evangelist drew huge crowds during his rallies; including a particular one held in Nigeria in 2000 said to have reportedly attracted about 1.6 million which is said to be one of his largest.
He chose the same country to hold his farewell ministry in 2017 where he announced that he was also stepping down as Christ for All Nations leader due to health concerns.
“Those who knew him off-stage can testify to his personal integrity, genuine kindness, and overflowing love for the Lord. His ministry was inspired and sustained by his rich prayer life, his deep understanding of the Word, and his unceasing intimacy with the Holy Spirit,” said his successor, evangelist Daniel Kolenda.
Bonnke’s ministry, however, was not devoid of controversy as a number of people are said to have lost their lives during protests and stampedes at his rallies in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in statement, termed Bonnke’s departure as “as a great loss to Nigeria, Africa & entire world.”
“President Buhari 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 & kindness as universal language,” said Buhari.
President Buhari 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 & kindness as universal language.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) December 7, 2019
Bonnke – who reportedly lived in Palm Beach, Florida – is survived by his wife, three children, and eight grandchildren.
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