President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the passing of renowned evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, 79, describing his transition as a great loss to Nigeria, Africa and entire world.
Mr Buhari condoled with the government and people of Germany, family and friends of the great preacher and teacher of the Bible, and all his co-labourers in the vineyard, praying that the good Lord will comfort all those that mourn him.
President Buhari affirmed that Bonnke’s crusades in Nigeria, across Africa and the globe strongly accentuated the message of Jesus Christ, and his vision and zeal for the salvation of souls clearly helped the world in understanding the power of love and kindness as universal language.
“The President prays that the Almighty God will accept the soul of the departed preacher, believing that his legendary contributions to the body of Christ in teaching and writing will always be remembered by posterity,” spokesperson Femi Adesina said in a statement.
A post on Saturday on Bonnke’s Facebook page, announced the passing of the pentecostal minister.
“It is with sorrow that the Bonnke Family would like to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke,” the post read. “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 post noted.
Reinhard Bonnke was born April 19, 1940, and was principally known for his gospel missions throughout Africa.
Bonnke was known for his missionary incursions into Africa since 1967. Mr Bonnke oversaw over 75 million recorded conversions to Christ.
Controversial visit to Nigeria
In 1991, during Mr Bonnke’s visit to Kano in Nigeria, there were riots in the city as irate youth protested over controversial remarks he had reportedly made about Islam in Kaduna on his way to Kano.
A rumour was then spread that Mr Bonnke was planning to “lead an invasion” into Kano.
The mob gathered at the Kofar Mata Eide-ground where they were addressed by several clerics who claimed that Mr Bonnke was going to blaspheme Islam.
About 8,000 youth gathered and after noon prayers, the riots ensued, during which many sustained injuries and several buildings were razed.
He would later return to Nigeria to preach nine years later.