By Ozioruva Aliu
THE founder and President of Christ Embassy Church popularly known as Believers Love World, Rev. Chris Oyakhilome has revealed how father of modern-day Pentecostalism and founder of Church of God Mission, late Archbishop Benson Idahosa inspired him in ministry and told him about his death three months before the incident.
Oykahilome made this revelation when he commissioned a N1 billion faculty of engineering building donated to Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Edo State. March 12 made it 22 years since Idahosa transited.
Oyakhilome said: “When I gave in to the university, I was taking the opportunity afforded me to say thank you. I am one grateful person, just one among so many, I am grateful for many things, firstly for what and who the Archbishop Benson Idahosa was to me.
“When I was coming here, I thought about the legacy of the archbishop. I count myself highly honoured to have been given the opportunity to be here celebrating. On the 12th of March we will be celebrating 22 years since he transited from here.”
Continuing, he said: “On that day when it happened, Rev. Tom was in Benin and he called me on the phone and said Pastor there is something on the screen I don’t know what it is talking about and I asked what is it? He said they are announcing that the Archbishop has passed on, he said.
“I don’t understand what they are saying but I understood because he had told me. He invited me in December, he was speaking with me in December and he said to me before the 14th of March. He called the secretary and asked her where is your card and she came with the card, he wrote something on it then he said again to me remember before the 14th of March and I said yes sir!
“Then I thought, does he know why he sent for me? Then he said follow me and I followed him, he took me round and he kept saying just for inspiration and I followed him, we went round and came back, sat down and he talked about what he was doing about the university, he had a picture, a large picture in his hand and he was talking about the university and other things then he said let me pray for you, kneel down I went on my knees and I knew that was the reason he sent for me because years before, the Lord has told me what he was going to do that on a particular occasion, he will call for me and he will do this but I didn’t know when but while I was there, he said kneel down and let me pray for you. He laid hands on me and spoke words of the spirit.
“It may interest you to know that two years before then I was at a stage in my life, a young preacher just coming into the ministry, thinking of what I was going to do because I don’t just really have any ministers who will take personal interest in me.
“It is one of the problems young ministers have so I began to write down the names of the ministers I had thought to contact so I wrote three names down. The first one was the Archbishop Benson Idahosa and I wrote the other two. When I was thinking how can I contact them, I heard Him spoke about three feet above my head, don’t contact them, I will contact them for you, I will get them to contact you it was a short while after that I got the message that the archbishop wanted to see me.”
He said Idahosa changed the face of Christian worship across the world and that he was inspired by pictures of live miracles hung on the lounge of Idahosa’s office where he worked as a teenager “and I would stare and stare and stare because I could see in my bible the miracles but I only use imagination now the Archbishop had the pictures, I could see the pictures.”
According to him, Idahosa taught them praise and worship, prayers, love for God. Soul-winning among other things.
“He taught us to have bulldozer faith so that we can do big things for God. He taught us to dress well. He was the model, he changed completely the definition of the ministry not only in Nigeria but I can tell you throughout the world.
“He taught us to be educated. He showed us education was important and he stressed it, he inspired us about school and he taught us to be relevant to society. He taught us to support the poor and the government and this is an amazing combination to support the poor and the government because the Archbishop thought the government was poor so he told us to support the poor and the government that is why he did things that the government should have done,” Oyakhilome noted.