Reinhard Bonnke

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Reinhard Bonnke
Born(1940-04-19) 19 April 1940 (age 72)
Königsberg, East Prussia
OccupationEvangelist
ReligionPentecostal
Website
Christ For All Nations
 
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Reinhard Bonnke
Born(1940-04-19) 19 April 1940 (age 72)
Königsberg, East Prussia
OccupationEvangelist
ReligionPentecostal
Website
Christ For All Nations

Reinhard Bonnke (born on 19 April 1940 in Königsberg, East Prussia)[1] is a German charismatic Christian evangelist, principally known for his gospel "crusades" throughout Africa. Bonnke has been an evangelist and missionary in Africa since 1967. He is noted for the size of his meetings, reportedly sometimes preaching to crowds of over one million people. According to his website, he has personally preached to over 120 million people, making him the second most influential Christian evangelist in history, after Billy Graham.

Contents

Early life

He was reportedly born again at the age of nine. He studied at The Bible College of Wales in Swansea, where he was inspired by the Director Samuel Rees Howells. In one meeting after Samuel spoke of answered prayer, Reinhard prayed, "Lord, I also want to be a man of faith. I want to see your way of providing for needs." [2] After graduation, he pastored in Germany for seven years. He began his ministry in Africa, with which he is principally identified, preaching in Lesotho in 1967. He has subsequently held evangelical meetings across the continent.[3]

Tent meetings

Bonnke began his ministry holding tent meetings that accommodated large crowds. As attendance steadily increased, larger tents had to be purchased. According to an account published by the Christian Broadcasting Network, in 1984 he commissioned the construction of what was claimed to be the world’s largest mobile structure — a tent capable of seating 34,000. This was destroyed in a wind storm just before a major meeting. The team decided to hold the event in the open air instead.[3]

Christ for All Nations (CfaN)

Bonnke founded the international ministry of Christ for all Nations (CfaN) in 1974,[4] which currently has offices in the Nigeria, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, South Africa; Frankfurt, Germany; Birmingham and London, United Kingdom; Ontario, Canada and Orlando, Florida.[3]

Bonnke has written many books which have been printed in different languages. In the early 1990s Bonnke, who had prophesied a major world revival which would start in the United Kingdom, was involved in an initiative to reverse the decline in church attendance there. This involved the distribution of millions of copies of a booklet he had written called Minus to Plus to homes throughout the country, which was hoped to win 250,000 converts. However, only 20,000 were claimed to have been 'won over', and these were mostly those returning to the faith rather than coming to it for the first time. Church attendance in the United Kingdom continued to decline.[5]

Controversies

Bonnke's visit to Kano in Nigeria in 1991 was marred by the outbreak of riots in the city, as Muslims protested over remarks he had reportedly made about Islam in the city of Kaduna on his way to Kano.[6] A rumor was spread that Bonnke was planning to “lead an invasion” into Kano.[7] Muslim youths gathered at the Kofar Mata Eide-ground where they were addressed by several clerics who claimed that Bonnke was going to blaspheme Islam.[8] About 8,000 youths gathered at the Emir's palace, and after noon prayers the riots ensued.[9] [10]

References

  1. ^ Synan, H. Vinson (2002). "Bonnke, Reinhard Willi Gottfried". In Stanley M. Burgess. The new international dictionary of Pentecostal and charismatic movements. (Rev. and expanded ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House. pp. 438-439. ISBN 0310224810. 
  2. ^ Samuel Rees Howells: A Life of Intercession, by Richard Maton, 2012, ByFaith Media, p. 81. Used by permission of CfaN, from Reinhard's Biography.
  3. ^ a b c The 700 Club: Reinhard Bonnke: Setting Souls on Fire
  4. ^ "Christ for all Nations: A History". Christ for all Nations (CfAN). http://www.cfan.org/content/downloads/assets/presskit/files/history.doc. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Hunt 2004, p. 10
  6. ^ Marty & Appleby 1993, p. 199
  7. ^ Boer 2003, p. 44
  8. ^ Boer 2003, p. 42
  9. ^ Boer 2003, p. 41
  10. ^ http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/rbonnke.html

Bibliography

External links