Who is Reinhard Bonnke? Pentecostal Preacher, who clashed with Muslims in Africa to win new converts, dies at 79

Popular evangelist and founder of Christ for All Nations founder Reinhard Bonnke passed away on December 7. He was 79. Bonnke was born on 19 April 1940 in Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany and was the son of an army logistics officer. His death was announced on the official Facebook page of the renowned preacher.

Reinhard Bonnke

Reinhard Bonnke's family has requested thousands of believers mourning the demise of the popular preacher to make a donation to Christ for all Nations - Africa Crusade, instead of flowers.

Reinhard Bonnke Bonnke biography

Reinhard Bonnke encountered Christ at the young age of nine and was baptized later. He went to work as a missionary at the age of 10 to Africa.

After finishing his theological studies in Wales, and he was first ordained as a pastor in Germany and from there he went to Africa as a missionary.

Reinhard Bonnke

As per details published by Christ for all Nations, "It was there, in the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, that God placed upon his heart the vision of 'the continent of Africa, being washed in the precious Blood of Jesus' — an entire continent, from Cape Town to Cairo and from Dakar to Djibouti that needed to be reached and to hear the proclamation of the sign-following Gospel."

Pentecostal preacher Reinhard Bonnke is known across the African continent for his mass crusades that are attended by thousands.

In 1984, he commissioned the construction of the world's largest mobile structure — a tent capable of seating 34,000 people. The Christ for all Nations (CfaN) currently has offices in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.

In 2017, Bonnke held a farewell crusade, which it is reported was attended by 1.7 million people in Nigeria. In the meetings, that went on for five days, Bonnke passed on the leadership of Christ for All Nations to evangelist Daniel Kolenda due to his "health challenges."

"I don't want it to fall, I want it to go just seamlessly continue and rise. The world is so big and God gave me Daniel Kolenda and I am very very happy," Bonkke said, reported CBN.

His efforts to win new converts to Christianity in Africa was not without risks. Reinhard Bonnke with his hardcore evangelical sermons often clashed with hardline Muslims. As a result in 1991, Muslim extremists set ablaze down churches and killed several Christians in Kano, Nigeria. For nine years, Bonnke could not enter the region.

Bonnke is survived by his wife Anni, their children Kai-Uwe, Gabrielle, and Susie, and eight grandchildren

This article was first published on December 8, 2019