Archbishop Benson Andrew Idahosa — Nigerian Pilot News
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Archbishop Benson Andrew Idahosa

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Benson Andrew Idahosa (September 11, 1938 – March 12, 1998) was a Charismatic Pentecostal preacher, and founder of the Church of God Mission International with headquarters in Benin City, Nigeria. As the first Pentecostal archbishop in Nigeria, he was renowned for his robust faith.

He grew up in a poor household. Like most of the surrounding houses, his family home was a mud house. This reality denied him access to education until he was fourteen years old, when he was able to attend a local government school.

In 1971, he earned a diploma in Divinity from Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. In 1981, he earned a Doctorate of Divinity from the Word of Faith College in New Orleans. In 1984, he earned a Doctorate in Law at the Oral Roberts University.

He was the founding president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, He was a member of the College of Bishops of the International Communion of Christian Churches. Also, he was once the President of All Nations for Christ Bible Institute.

It was still around 1971 that he had established churches all over Nigeria and Ghana. Known for his boldness, power and prosperity-based preaching, as well as an enormous faith in the supernatural, he was instrumental to the strong wave of revival in Christianity and marked conversions from animism that occurred between the 1970s and 1990s in Nigeria.

He is regarded by Christian foes as the father of Pentecostalism in Nigeria, and was the founding President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN. Many prominent Nigerian pastors like Ayo Oritsejafor, Bishop David Oyedepo, Felix Omobude, Fred Addo and Chris Oyakhilome were his protégés.

The headquarters of his ministry, Faith Miracle Center, is a cathedral that seats up to 10,000 people. Church of God Mission has branches the world over, from Europe to Africa to Asia to America. With his main task being evangelism, he launched Idahosa World Outreach television ministry, IWO TV, which was a broadcast reaching a potential viewing audience of 50 million people.

He is reported to have been used by God in performing many miracles, including healing the blind, and raising up to twenty-eight people from the dead at different times in his ministry. A claim made by Idahosa that he had raised eight people from the dead was dropped when challenged by the Advertising Standards Authority, who sought evidence that the individuals concerned had in fact been dead.

He had strong links with international gospel ministers like Billy Graham, T. L. Osborn, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke, Morris Cerullo, Oral Roberts, amongst others; and took the gospel to 145 nations in his lifetime. At the time of his death in 1998, he was reputed as having preached to more whites than any black man, and to more blacks than any white man.

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