Like Bishop Benson Idahosa, Like Billy Graham
In 1998, Bishop Benson Idahosa went on to be with the Lord.
A fearless Charismatic Pentecostal preacher, and founder of the Church of God Mission International with headquarters in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, Idahosa, remains one of the greatest ministers to have come out of Africa.
He was a man that preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the uttermost part of the world. From Nigeria to Africa, America, Europe and other parts of the world, Idahosa took the supreme task of evangelism to all nations with courage, faith and power of the Holy Spirit.
As the first televangelist I came to know growing up in the 80’s, I had great respect and administration for Idahosa. And for many years, it was a secret desire of mine to meet him face to face some day.
As God would have it, that silent wish came to fulfilment in 1997 when he happened to pay a scheduled visit to the Polytechnic town of Auchi where I was schooling at that point in time. Needless, to say, I made it a point of duty to see the Bishop that day and even touched him. It was a fulfilling experience for me – a dream come through!
Outside this shores at that time, one renown evangelist I also heard about so much then was American preacher, Billy Graham. I was not born yet when he held some of his gospel crusades across some cities in Nigeria in the 60’s, but his reputation as a fiery, respectable man of God did not escape me.
In some ways, one could say that Bishop Benson Idahosa was to Nigeria and the world what Billy Graham was to America and the world. While I had the privilege of meeting the former before he passed on to glory, I was not able to meet the latter in person. And sadly, I would no longer be able to do so again on this side of life.
It is no longer news that the legendary American evangelist has recently passed on to glory. He was indisputably one of the greatest Christian leaders ever known in this century; he was a good soldier of Christ here on earth who was highly respected around the world.
As the stories about Billy Graham’s ministry, life and time on earth continue to pour into our consciousness through various media, I came to realise something I never really knew I had – a wish to have met him.
Unlike being able to meet Bishop Idahosa before he passed on, I would be unable to meet Graham any more.
However, from the many available reports about him, there are some interesting things that one would easily cherish:
- He was a man of great character and integrity;
- He stayed true to his divine calling – evangelism;
- He was highly respected around the world;
- He was “a spiritual adviser to American presidents…”
- He was very influential as a christian leader;
- He insisted on racial integration in his crusades;
- He remained conscious of Heaven all through his life.
Billy Graham has now left the world to be with with Lord. And it is gratifying to note that he finished strongly.
Just like Apostle Paul, we can say of him “Graham fought the good fight, Graham finished the race, Graham kept the faith.”
Though I never got to meet him while on this Earth, I take solace in the fact that we shall some day meet at the Lord’s bosom – in Heaven that he so much believed in and preached about.
My home is in heaven. I’m just travelling through this world – Billy Graham.
©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne