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‘God’s General,’ Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke Dies: Led 79 Million to Christ

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Known as "the Billy Graham of Africa," evangelist Reinhard Bonnke passed away this weekend, leaving behind a profound legacy in Christ.


“The Gospel is ‘Good News’, not ‘Good History,’ because when it’s preached, it happens” —Reinhard Bonnke

In the last two years, the body of Christ has lost two of its greatest Generals, Billy Graham and as of this weekend, German-born evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, 79. Two men that burned with a passion for souls. Two men that made it their mission in life to fulfill the Great Commission.

Bonnke, known as “the Billy Graham of Africa,” declared that his greatest desire was to see hell empty and heaven full. It was a desire that fueled a life-long devotion to the salvation of souls; a devotion to seeing men, women and children brought into the great love story of Christ’s sacrifice.

As noted by Christ for the Nations, of which he founded, Bonnke was “principally known for his Great Gospel Crusades throughout the Continent of Africa.” With 79 million salvation decisions on record through his ministry, Reinhard’s story began when he gave his life to the Lord when he was 9-years-old. By the time he was a teenager, God had placed a fire in him for the continent of Africa.

A continent that many have declared Bonnke is in great part responsible for transforming. The President of Nigeria himself affirming “that Bonnke’s crusades in Nigeria, across Africa and the globe strongly accentuated the message of Jesus Christ.”

Upon news of his death, moving tributes to this great hero of the faith have flooded social media platforms:

A personal favorite was posted by the director of Awakening Europe, Ben Fitzgerald: “I have not stopped crying since I heard the news. A hero, father in the faith, friend and great example to us all, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke has gone to his home with Jesus. I’m pretty sure right now thousands of Africans are running up to him in heaven who were part of the 79 million people he saw make decisions for Christ”

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I have not stopped crying since I heard the news. A hero, father in the faith, friend and great example to us all, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke has gone to his home with Jesus. I’m pretty sure right now thousands of Africans are running up to him in heaven who were part of the 79 million people he saw make decisions for Christ. This man taught me so much about God, so much about how there is absolutely no greater news then the Gospel itself. Few people I’ve met in life have been so dead to themselves that it’s like they are possessed with God. I remember one of the first times I met Reinhard in a Orlando hotel I saw exactly that. I felt God say to wait on the 11th floor by the elevation at 8:30pm and Reinhard will be there. God cannot lie, Reinhard came out of the elevator then and I told him I said to him “please pray for me.” He told me to come into his room. As I sat a 2 feet away from him he starred right at me with absolute passion and said “I must go to sleep soon, for I will get up at 4am to pray. But it’s not prayer, IT’S A PRIVILEGE.” I was stunned as I felt the weight of authority upon him as he said it, I was sitting with a general who fervently prayed for the lost. That’s exactly who he was and is…a general of faith. A man who never fell, never had scandals, changed the course of nations and was a great example to all. He started the race in unwavering faith and finished it the same way. In my heart I feel these things about his passing. 1. I believe we need to honor Evangelist Reinhard’s life appropriately, tell Annie and his family how much he meant us. Leaders in pulpits all across the world can give thanks to God for such a man. 2. I think it no coincidence that both Reinhard Bonnke and Billy Graham have gone home in the last 2 years, I sense God wants to corporately give us a deep heart for the unsaved like they had. Finally, Reinhard dreamt that there were thousands just like him across the world, so let’s put the foot down and go after the harvest even more now. Rev. Reinhard, I love you, will miss you and I salute you. With many tears, Ben. "The Gospel is ‘Good News’, not ‘Good History’, because when it’s preached, it happens”-Reinhard Bonnke

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“This man taught me so much about God, so much about how there is absolutely no greater news [than] the Gospel itself. Few people I’ve met in life have been so dead to themselves that it’s like they are possessed with God,” Fitzgerald continued.

Adding, “I was stunned as I felt the weight of authority upon him…I was sitting with a general who fervently prayed for the lost. That’s exactly who he was and is…a general of faith. A man who never fell, never had scandals, changed the course of nations and was a great example to all. He started the race in unwavering faith and finished it the same way.”

Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, stated: “[The] greatest man I’ve ever met.”

Johnnie Moore, President of Congress of Christian Leaders, shared in a touching tribute: “A true giant of what I call ‘the great evangelical century’ where a generation of Christian leaders wouldn’t rest until they literally reached the entire world. No one is more responsible for—the once, unfathomable—evangelical revival throughout the continent of Africa.”

Leader of Lifestyle Christianity Todd White shared, “Today, our great King Jesus welcomed in a great champion to heaven! One that’s name has been known in heaven for his obedience to the call of God and one that is known in hell that demons trembled when he spoke!”

White continued, “Reinhard Bonnke had such an impact on my life like no other could. He ran so well, walked in purity, simplicity and power. He finished his race like few fathers that we know of. Let his burning life be a beacon of light for all ministers to imitate … We want to see hell empty and heaven full!”

To our brother in the faith, Reinhard Bonnke, we honor you today. We honor your laid-down life full of Christ’s love and power. We thank you with tears and awe of who you allowed Christ to be in and through you.