Benson Idahosa (11 September 1938 – 12 March 1998), was a Charismatic Pentecostal preacher. He is the founder of Church of God Mission International , Archbishop Benson Idahosa was popularly referred to as the father of Pentecostalism in Nigeria.
Idahosa was the founder of Benson Idahosa University (BIU) in
Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. His only son, Bishop F.E.B. Idahosa, is now the president of BIU, founder and president of Big Ben’s Children Hospital, vice-president of All Nations for Christ Bible Institute International, among other positions.
Here some interesting facts about this man of God You never knew :
1. Benson Idahosa got born again in the Assemblies of God in January 1960.
2. Benson was excommunicated from the Assemblies of God Church by his pastor (Pastor Oko) for buying a motorbike. (at that time, only bicycles were considered proper for believers and a motorbike was considered extravagant and worldly).
A few months later, Pastor Oko’s wife was pregnant and had to be taken to the hospital on Benson’s motorbike and that was when the pastor accepted him back into the church.
3. Benson Idahosa was the first pastor in Nigeria to buy and use a Mercedes Benz and he was criticized for that by a lot of ministers especially from the orthodox churches for being ‘worldly.
4. Idahosa was the first minister in Nigeria to preach on radio and show a Christian program on Television. It was considered wasteful and a show-off by both Christians and non-Christians.
5. Benson was the first pastor to start a ministry and go on evangelism from Nigeria to other countries.
6. Idahosa travelled to about 145 countries to preach mostly without being invited but just to preach the gospel.
7. Benson preached until his death to more whites than any black man and to more blacks than any white man.
8. In his lifetime, God used him to raise 14 dead people.
9. He introduced the use of ‘agbada’ (big traditional garb or clothing commonly used in traditional parlance for ceremonies etc or by Royalty)to preach and he was highly condemned for that.
10. Before Benson Idahosa, people often linked poverty to the church ‘as poor as a church rat’. After Idahosa, people now link the church among the wealthiest institutions.
11. Idahosa was the first Nigerian to suggest the idea of a private university in 1979 (He said God told him) and today, we have Benson Idahosa University, one of the first generation private universities in Nigeria.
12. Aliko Dangote’s wealth is linked to a prayer by Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa.
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