Worthy of note also is the man ARCHBISHOP BENSON IDAHOSA, whom God began to raise in the late 60’s into the 70’s. A young man, member of the Assemblies of God church. There was a revival that came into the country through the Assemblies of God and blew around the eastern Nigeria in the 50’s and 60’s.
Now, He was a Benin man and there was an Assembly of God church, He got born again and was a member of that church. He worked with BATA company in Benin City. And then, God hands began to come upon him in a remarkable way because He was such a man of prayers. He was an unconventional man, He wasn’t a religious kind of person. He was a man that loved to increase and prosper. So, one day He bought a motorbike, His pastor excommunicated Him for being worldly, every member of the church was to ride a bicycle. The same pastor that excommunicated Him from an assemblies of God church, the wife was pregnant, about to deliver and there was nobody to take her to the hospital, so He came to borrow the motorbike….HOW DOES GOD VINDICATE THE RIGHTEOUS! That was how He got reconciled.
Then, one day the pastor was preaching a message and preaching “all things are possible to him that believe” with all the faith scriptures, screaming and screaming and at the end, the young man walked up to his pastor and said, “this thing you are saying, if it is true, that means it is even possible to raise the dead”, the pastor said, “yes”, “I have never done it but if the Bible said it, then it is true”. He(Archbishop Benson Idahosa) said, “okay”, I’m going to look for one. And from when the church ended in the afternoon that day till about 4, 4:30pm in the evening, He rode his bicycle, all over Benin City, looking for the dead person from street to street. Somewhere, around 4:30pm He saw a crowd of people and they said, “one girl has just died”, He said, “praise God”. He asked to pray for her, they didn’t want to agree at first, after some time they allowed Him to enter the room and He prayed and this girl came back to life… That was the beginning of one of the mightiest ministry this Nation has ever seen.
He started a fellowship that grew to about 500, after some years, and then God sent Him to meet with this missionary in Illesia “Pa Elton” and it was “Pa Elton” that arranged for Him to be trained. Elton told Him, “the Grace of God is upon your life young man but you need training so you can have the word and last”
Elton arranged for Him to go to Gordon Lindsey’s Bible school in the United States Of America. He travelled to “Christ for all Nations” at its very inception. He was among the first generation of students but He never completed the Bible school because He just kept fasting and praying He had such passion…. His passion was for Africa!
The Bible school was to last for two years, after one year He came to Gordon Lindsey and said, “why should I be sitting here when Africans are dying, release me let me go….” So He had a private consecration service for Him and He was the only student that actually saw Gordon Lindsay released Him, because before others graduated, Gordon Lindsey had died. He came back to Benin City with multiplied anointing. It is reported that those who came to welcome Him at the airport, nobody could touch Him, everyone that stepped within 20yards from Him collapsed and it was wild fire from that time on.
His way of spreading church ministry and doing crusade at that time was very raw and to the point. He was another very forceful personality. We know that God uses all kinds of people, Archbishop Benson Idahosa was an unconventional man
In those days, with the miracle working power of God, He will go into little villages and towns all over the south south of Nigeria. Sometimes without any publicity, He would go into the market square and look for the blind or a cripple. He would put two drums and a plank, hold you like He is trying to give you something and drag to where the plank and the two drums are, that is His platform and He will heal you instantly, open your blind eyes or get the crippled walking. A crowd would gather, He would climb the drum and preach the Gospel, people will give their life to Christ, a church will start.
He was a man that believed in prosperity and God increased Him lavishly. He was first in many things in Nigeria..
He was the first Assemblies of God young man to motorbike in Benin City and got excommunicated for it.
He was the first Nigerian minister to use a Mercedes Benz car for which He was criticized and called a thief and called many names. He took the fire, now a pastor can buy an airline and everybody is happy. In those days, you were called a devil for attempting to prosper. He made it popular to preach in Babariga. In His days, every evangelist in Nigeria wanted to wear Babariga to preach and some people didn’t like that but that was just Benson Idahosa.
He was the first Nigerian minister to preach on Radio.
The first to preach on Television.
The first to own mass crusade equipment and move from city to city in Africa and even abroad doing meetings.
During His life time, He Ministered in over 130 countries. Many of those meetings were not invitational. He went into nations with His own money and arrested Nations with the power of God. When it comes to signs and wonders, particularly the gift of the working of miracles, but the gift of the working of miracles can produce healing results, it can also make signs to multiply. One of the last miracles that happened in Benin City before Archbishop Benson Idahosa died, He came to the building site of Benson Idahosa University, He had travelled for several weeks and when He came back, He was told building materials had finished, He commanded the materials to multiply and it was so. Archbishop’s story will make you wonder whether somebody is not exaggerating. A boy fell from 3 story building and broke his skull on the concrete floor, His skull was cracked, his brain was pouring out and they called for Him, He gather the skull and began to pray in tongues and his skull joined back together.
I remembered one famous story that happened, the world council of witches had their headquarter in Benin City at that time, and there was a very vocal witch who was always boasting he was a witch and he was the head of all the witches and then he announced that they were going to have their international conference in Benin City. Then Archbishop Benson Idahosa was already on Television, so He went on His own T.V and said, “you have heard that witches are coming to do their meeting in Benin City”, He said, “they will not come, I cancel that meeting”
So, this other man, they went to him to interview him, they said this is what Archbishop Benson Idahosa said, what do you have to say? The man laughed and said, “even if Jesus Christ comes down, He can not stop us”
Benson Idahosa went back on air and said, Jesus does not need to come down to stop this meeting, that’s why I’m here.
They now put them on set together. NTA Benin City invited the two of them.. Panel discussion! He said the meeting will hold but Archbishop said, the meeting will not hold, that’s I’m here and Archbishop Benson Idahosa turn and said, to be honest, there are no witches in Benin City, the ones that were witches have run away, even this man is not a witch and He looked at the man and said, the Bible said, “thou shall not suffer a witch to live, if you are a witch confess it right now and I will kill you right here”. The man said, he is not a witch. That was the caliber of man Benson Idahosa was.
I remembered He had a guest one time, many years ago in the 80’s and the airport was about to take off from Benin City, He ran to the tarmac because His guest had no ticket and waved the aircraft to stop, they had to open the door. He entered the plane and said, “I have two, three guests, I want some of you passengers to get down and some people offer their seat… That was the kind of person He was! He was a very unusual man.
He brought glory, honor and attention to Benin City. People use to travelled all over the world to Benin City. Benin City was the headquarter of the Gospel in Africa in the days of Archbishop Benson Idahosa. Lagos was larger, but more people came to Benin because of a man’s grace..
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