April 19th, 1940 to December 7th, 2019
To fulfill God’s purpose, we should think of ourselves as humble channels for His Word and Spirit. A copper pipe cannot boast of the water that flows to the tap in our homes. We are to let the living waters flow—stay unblocked.1
Reinhard’s family lived in Germany post World War 1, and they were the least likely family that God would call. His father was a bitter and tough teenager2 and wanted nothing to do with God. An American preacher healed his father, who suffered from rheumatism, and as a result, he and his wife became Christians — Reinhard’s father. Hermann was also ill and was getting worse and could no longer conceal his sickness. Finally, Hermann agreed that if God healed him, he would give his life to Christ. When the evangelist laid hands on Hermann, was as promised immediately healed. Hermann kept his promise and yielded his life to Christ. Reinhard would be born into a family that was once a line of vile sinners, but now they were the children of God. The Holy Spirit was moving in his family
“Now let us try to make an up-to-date definition of Christianity, as Charismatic Pentecostals understand it. It is the Holy Spirit in action making the Word of God happen.”3
The Lord has a plan for us, and we can see how He changes the destiny of our families when we turn to Him. The Lord’s hand was on the Bonnke family, and He would care for them even in the most challenging hour. In part, He was calling a young boy to be a history maker for Him. Reinhard wrote…
“Which thread should I choose, Lord? There are so many. They hang before my eyes like strands of silk in a doorway. Each promising that it will weave the finest tapestry of my life. But it is not my tapestry. It is not my life. So again I ask, which thread do I choose? Which strand will pass through the eye of the needle?”4
There are many lessons to be learned from the life and ministry of Reinhard. Learning to hear His voice and allowing Him to choose which path we go done or as Reinhard put it which thread we will choose.
The Bonnke Family
When we think of Reinhard Bonnke we see the masses gathered at one of his campaigns in Africa, yet his story started in Prussia with a family who were not believers. The obedience of one man played a critical role in the Bonnke story and as Reinhard said, “I could not stand ablaze with the Holy Spirit today if this forgotten brother had not carried the flame to the Bonnke family so long ago.”5 May we never forget those whose obedience ignited such a flame in our lives! Eighteen years before Reinhard was born, Ludwig Graf, visited East Prussia and the village of Trunz. It was the spring of 1922 when this preacher turned up driving a new Mercedes. Graf was a German American, and he was a Pentecostal preacher.
Here in Trunz, his grandfather and father lived. After the WW1, his family faced the giants of disease and debt. His grandfather, who was suffering from rheumatism, had a divine appointment with the Lord. He had been invited to hear Graf preach and have him pray over him. It took some persuading, but eventually, Herr Bonnke and his wife agreed to go. That night Herr Bonnke was healed, and both of them received Jesus as Lord and Saviour.6 They shared the news with their son, Hermann, Reinhard’s dad. Herman at that time was a bitter and tough teenager, but he had become very ill with TB.7
Hermann, resisted as he ran from the Lord. However, his health had declined to the point where he could not hide it. Finally, he agreed to have the American preacher pray for him. Hermann, like his father, was instantly healed, and he decided to give his life to Jesus.
Hermann, who was in the army, wanted to quit and serve the Lord full time. However, Hermann was unable to quit and soon became known as the “Preaching Officer.”8 Hermann had searched the Scriptures and became fully persuaded by the Pentecostal message and, as a result, was bold in sharing it despite the Berlin Declaration, which denounced Pentecostalism.
Several years later, in 1933, Hermann married Meta Scheffler. Soon their first child, Martin, was born, followed by Gerhard two years later. They then had twins, Jurgen and Peter. Hermann remained a soldier, and while he had conflicts with Hitler, the Hilter propaganda machine effectively deceived him as it did many others. There were rumors of “special camps,” but few believed they existed.
On April 19th of 1939, they had their fifth son, Reinhard Willi Gottfried Bonnke. Shortly afterward, Hermann, like the rest of Germany, found himself in a war. The war years kept him very busy. Hermann looked at Martin, who was seven when Reinhard was born to become a preacher. Finally, in 1942, the Bonnke’s had a little girl, Felicitas.
As the war went on, Hermann became more convicted and troubled. He began listening to the BBC radio broadcast and learned that Germany was again losing the war. He also learned that his worst fears were true as Jews were systematically being exterminated. Hermann confronted his offer, who warned him that if he did not shut his mouth, he would find himself killed along with the Jews. 9
In 1944, it was clear Germany would be defeated and Hermann feared for his family. Meta was a powerful woman of prayer, and she trusted the Lord would take care of the family.
As the Russians continued to advance, Meta would find herself forced to evacuate with her children alone as Hermann was gone. They would not see Hermann again for another four years. The family frantically made their way to Danzig (now Gdansk), where Meta’s parents lived. Located along the coast, Meta believed it offered her family the best chance to escape. The journey was treacherous as Russian planes bombed the retreating Germany army. All night they could hear the sound of bullets and watched as exploding bombs lighted the sky. It would be a night Reinhard never forgot.
At daylight, the Bonnke’s found themselves in a wood and were finally able to rest. Reinhard decided to help out by collecting wood for a fire but soon found himself lost. He began to panic, scream, and then run in the wrong direction. Reinhard’s mother frantically began searching for him, but the Lord was watching over, and Reinhard was soon found and brought back to his mother by a woman who saw him.
Eventually, they made it to the coast. It was late in winter, and although the sea had been frozen, which had allowed people to cross the channel by foot or vehicle, it was now thawing. The Russians were drawing closer, and despite the thaw, people continue to flee across the ice as it was the only route of escape for them. The Bonnke’s hitched a ride across on a military truck. Once across, they arrived in Danzig. Shortly afterward, they heard the terrible news that the Russians had bombed the ice on the channel killing many people. The Lord had brought them across just in time.
In Danzig, which was filled with refugees, things continued to deteriorate as Russians bombed the city. A boat heading to Denmark filled with refugees was torpedoed and sank, killing all on board. Meta and her friend took hold of a promise a Bible promise box which read, “Thus saith the Lord which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters,” (Isaiah 43: 16). 10
Hitler was determined to make Konigsberg a fortress to prevent the Russian advance. Hermann was forced to stay. Hermann was now more than ever determined he would spend the rest of his life preaching the Gospel. One night at the camp, Hermann had a vision. Hermann was lying on his bed but not asleep. Suddenly when he opened his eyes, he saw the Lord and heard Him say, “I am glad you are coming.” Hermann took this as confirmation of his desire to be a preacher.11
It was a difficult time for the Bonnke family. The bitterness of the war meant the Germans were hated, and Denmark was no exception. After almost four years, the Bonnkes were back in Germany, and finally, Hermann was reunited with his family.
A New Beginning
In 1949, Meta led the young Reinhard to the Lord. He would then officially accept Jesus as Lord and Savior during an altar call at church.12 For young Reinhard, Jesus had become the center of his world. “It would be true to say that when Reinhard gave his life to Jesus he fell in love with Him- totally.”13 Reinhard, even at this early age, would go into the woods and preach the Gospel to the trees.
Reinhard, who had a musical ear, learned to play the piano and accordion, which helped later when he went into ministry.
The Bonnke’s believed in strict German disciple and the Pentecostal holiness message. Reinhard was expected to attend church on Sunday, but prayer meetings were not obligatory. However, Reinhard longed to attend the prayer meetings. Every time, his parents refused to let him go, Reinhard would weep. Finally, they relented, and during a mid-week prayer meeting, a woman shared how the Lord gave her a vision of a young boy “breaking bread before thousands of Black people.” She then turned and stated that Reinhard, who then ten, was that boy. 15
Later, when Reinhard was a teenager, he had a vision where he saw a map of Africa with the name of the city of Johannesburg on it.16 When Reinhard awoke, he immediately sought out a map of Africa. In his dream, he saw Johannesburg in the south, but he believed it was somewhere in central Africa. The Lord was right; Johannesburg was in South Africa.
In 1951, the Finnish Pentecostal preacher, Revd Kukula visited Gluckstadt. He was known for leading people in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Hermann asked Reinhard to accompany him, and Reinhard didn’t need to be asked twice.
Kukula invited those seeking the baptism to kneel and pray. Reinhard got on his knees and immediately felt the power of God come upon him. He could feel a river beginning to flow from inside of a river that never stopped flowing. Reinhard said of the event, “ the whole experience boosted my faith like super-charging a car engine.” 16 Reinhard also discovered, “God gives us the power to do what He commands.”17
At the age of fourteen, Reinhard would accompany his father every Sunday as he traveled to Krempe to preach on Sunday morning. This time together allowed the bond between them to grow. Hermann had always wanted his oldest son, Martin, to follow him in ministry. But the pressure of being part of a Pentecostal family proved too much for the older sons, who by now were being drawn by the world. Reinhard and his younger sister, Felicitas, were the only ones who continued to follow the Lord. Many years later, Reinhard, in 1987, would lead his older brother, Jurgen, to the Lord. 18
The First Preaching Opportunity
Reinhard had shared his vision and burden for Africa with his father, who just rejected it. However, one day his father told him that if he were going to Africa as a missionary, he would need to learn a trade. So, Reinhard found a carpentry school in Krempe. But young Reinhard was not called to be a carpenter, and soon his apprenticeship master kicked him out.
At the age of fifteen, Reinhard got an internship at the EDEKA Wholesale and Export. Here he was trained to be a professional merchant. Reinhard took his earnings and put them in a jar. Slowly he watched the money grow.
Shortly, after Reinhard had the vision of Africa when he was sixteen,19, the Lord spoke to him and told him to go to Tosdedt and preacher there. The Lord was preparing Reinhard for his divine purpose. Confident he had heard from the Holy Spirit, Reinhard wrote to the pastor in Tostedt. The pastor agreed, and a date was set for Reinhard to preach. Reinhard went with a friend, and both were “prayed up and fired up.”20 As Reinhard preached, the Holy Spirit began moving, and soon, people throughout the church were weeping. Reinhard told his father what happened but refused to give him a preaching opportunity in his church. Hermann made it clear, “Martin shall be my successor.”21
A Time of Preparation
Hermann felt led to invite and Englis preacher, Reverent Morris, to preach at his church. When he came, he was very impressed with the spiritual fervor of the youth and invited them to come to Britain. Reinhard was excited as he had read about John Wesley and the Welsh Revival.
In Britain, Reverend Morris interpreted, and Reinhard spoke. When he spoke at Liverpool, the pastor, Reverend Kayes, took Reinhard aside. Kayes told Reinhard he should consider Bible School and recommended the Bible College in Swansea, Wales. The school had been started by Rees Howells, who was a miner converted during the Welsh Revival of 1904-05.
Reinhard returned home and told his parents. They were against the Welsh Bible School, preferring that he attend a German one. His brothers told Reinhard he was wasting his life, pursuing ministry.
It was a season where Reinhard learned about the Holy Spirit, “I needed to learn to obey and not to question.”22 He discovered how easy the wrong decision could derail his call. Reinhard applied to get into Swansea Bible School, and while he waited, he moved to Berlin to work among refugees. When he left home, it broke his mother’s heart.
After working at the Berlin Mission for three months, he finally got a response from Swansea. He had been rejected. Reinhard could not speak English, a requirement for Swansea. However, Reinhard trusted that the Lord would get him into Swansea. Again, Reinhard’s father opposed what he was doing. Reinhard told him, “Father, I will always listen to you. I will not always agree with you.” We are called to radical obedience to the Lord and submission to man. Submission is a heart attitude of honor and respect but never loses sight of obedience to the Lord. His parents discovered that Reinhard had to take a path not of their choosing but one that God was blessing.23
Finally, Reverend Morris intervened and wrote a personal letter to Swansea. Finally, Swansea agreed to let Reinhard come and undertake two years of study. He would have to learn English. Just before Reinhard left for Swansea, Hermann finally allowed Reinhard to preach in his church. Once again as he preached the people began to weep.24
Live by Faith
Soon, Reinhard was off to Swansea. “His decision to attend the Welsh College was soon confirmed. As he went to lectures he realized just how little he really knew about the Word of God. New and wonderful truths began to unfold as he immersed himself in his studies.”25
At Swansea, Reinhard found that because he was a foreigner, he could speak in tongues without offending his lecturers or fellow students. Reinhard also learned how to “live by faith.” None of the staff took a salary but trusted God to take care of their needs. They would pray and ask regarding the need in private, and when the need was met, they would declare, “I’ve been delivered.” 26
Reinhard decided, “Lord I want to be a man of faith, if you are prepared to trust me.”27 Reinhard had his finances provided by his parents and members of the church. The Lord told Reinhard to give all of his money to a missionary and then to trust Him. Reinhard agreed but kept a pound back. Reinhard became heavily convicted, but progressively, he learned to walk by faith. Soon, Reinhard had an opportunity to see the Lord work. He was invited to speak at a Sunshine Corner meeting along the beachfront. Reinhard asked his Dutch friend and fellow student, Tuin, to come with him.
Tuin had no money, and Reinhard had just enough to get them to the meeting. They agreed they would both trust the Lord to get them home. After Reinhard shared, they saw a local pastor that they both knew. They joined him for tea and thought for sure the Lord would use this man to meet their need. But he gave them no money. It was time for them to leave, and they still had no money for the return bus fare. Suddenly, a woman approached them and explained how she had been blessed by his message. She fumbled through her pursue and produce the right amount to cover their trip home. God had proven Himself to Reinhard.
During his time at the Bible school, Reinhard’s missionary zeal grew, and he knew his faith had to grow by being exercised. During the next holiday recess, Reinhard heard the Lord tell him to go home. Reinhard knew he heard, and though he didn’t have the money, he knew God would provide. Time went by, and the deadline was fast arriving, but the money still had not come. Reinhard found himself spending a lot of time on his knees. Finally, the morning came, and it was time to buy the ticket. Reinhard had received a letter and assumed money would be inside, but there was none. It was now after nine in the morning, and his train left at one. Reinhard asked his friend to pray with him. They went and found a classroom where they could shout and pray out loud. After singing a song, Reinhard suddenly knew the money was there. Together the men ran back to the hostel when a man stopped them. He asked Reinhard regarding how much he needed. Reinhard responded that God knew, and he was not telling. Reinhard counted the money, and it was exactly what he needed.
“God answered prayer and if He could provide for an unknown German Bible student in Britain, then He would provide for him when he eventually Africa.”28
A Divine Appointment
When Reinhard finished Bible School he decided to travel to London. As he walked around London he came to Clapham Commons. Suddenly, Einhard saw a plaque which had the name “George Jeffreys” on it. Reinhard knew about George Jeffreys, one of Britains greatest evangrlists since Wesley and Whitefield, whose evangelistic campaigns in Britain and Ireland saw thousands come to Christ. Reinhard wondered if this truly could be the residence of this great hero of faith. Reinhard got the courage and knocked on the door.
“Pardon my intrusion, ma’am. Does George Jeffreys live here who was the famous firebrand evangelist I have heard so much about?” Reinhard asked the lady who answered the door. The woman told Reinhard he did, but he didn’t want to be disturbed. However, as she said that a voice spoke saying to let the young man in.
Down the stairs came the great general, George Jeffreys. Rinhard introduced himself and shared his vision to preach the Gospel in Africa. George Jeffreys then took Reinhard by the shoulders and pulled him to the floor with himself. Jeffreys placed his hand on his head and blessed him as a father blesses a son. Suddenly, Reinhard felt electricity in his body as it tingled with divine energy. 29
Reinhard left and made his way for his bus. He was like a drunk man. Finally, Reinhard made it home and a short time latter they heard the news that Goerge Jeffreys had gone home to heaven. Reinhard understood that he had received a mantle that day with George Jeffreys similar to Elias and Elijah.
“The fire is always fresh, but the baton of the Gospel is always old, as it is passed on from generation to generation.”30
Pastoring in Germany
Reinhard finished is schooling and got his diplomia. While his heart was on going to Africa, the door was not opening and he found himself back in Germany. Here Reinhard discovered that the Germany ACD did not recognize the college he had attended in Wales and his academic credits didn’t count so he would have to start over again at a German Bible School.
The enemy always loves to come especially when we are down to take us out of the fight. No surprising, Reinhard’s older brother Martin, told Reinhard he was wasting his time and that he would not be able to take care of a family if he pursued ministry. Reinhard went after the Lord in prayer and was given Nehemiah 9: 15. Reinhard surrendered to the Lord knowing that while he might not live a life of luxury, the Lord would provide his bread and water.
“If You provide me bread and water that is good enough for me. I accept it, and it will be like a gourmet mwal to me. I would rather serve You and eat Your bread and drink Your water than feast with wealthy men who do not know or care about You.”31
Reinhard soon learned that the Lord’s supply was always more than He asked for.
In Germany Reinhard started holding crusades under canvas canopies. He then moved to Flensburg, in northern Germany where he pioneered a church.
God provides a Helpmate
While Reinhard was attending a musical youth rally with his father in Neumunster, his eye caught sight of a young lady who played the mandolin. Reinhard was captivated by her and prayed she was smitten with him. After the event was finished Reinhard asked who the young lady that played the mandolin was. He discovered her name was Anni Sulze.
Reinhard prayed for a way to connect with the lady. Suddenly, Reinhard had an idea and asked the pastor of Marne where the lady was from if he could preach in Marne in exchange for the local pastor preaching in Krempe. The pastor agreed. In Marne, Reinhard finally met her and discovered that she was from Romania and how she accepted Jesus during Sunday school. He also discovered she was attending ACD Bible School.
Much to Reinhard’s delight, he discovered Anni had wanted to be a nurse so she could serve on the mission field. Reinhard then sought the Lord regarding Anni as he knew the importance of choosing the right spouse. Hermann, however, was opposed to the relationship. Reinhard and Anni decided to put their relationship on hold. Reinhard began looking for a wife, but soon found he could not find a more perfect person than Anni. Finally, in February of 1965, Reinhard wrote to Anni.
Reinhard arranged to visit Anni at the Bible school. At this time Reinhard was finishing up his practicum and would soon be ordained. He would then have to serve under a pastor for two years to receive a missionary appointment. He had decided that he would achieve this by pioneering a church in a city that had no Pentecostal church. 32
In March of that year, Reinhard was ordained. In May, he asked Annie to marry him. They were married on November 20th. The couple would begin their married life pastoring a new church in Flensburg. Once again, Hermann was opposed to it. Reinhard had to make a stand and tell his father he was going to Flensburg as he knew the Lord had called him there.
Africa was Calling
During his time in Flensburg, the call to Africa remained. After two years, Reinhard applied to the Velberter Missio9n, the Foreign Mission arm of the BFP. During the interview Reinhard was asked where in Africa he wanted to go, “South Africa” was his response.33
However, they explained that they didn’t send missionaries to South Africa but Zambia. But, Reinhard knew the call was to South Africa and stuck to it. Finally and miraculously, they agreed to send him to South Africa. In early 1967, the Bonnke family set sail for South Africa.
A Challenging Start
The trip to South Africa presented many challenges. Anni was pregnant and sea sick. In addition, as they passed through the Suez Canal, the Middle East was on the verge of war. In fact, just after they made their way through the Canal it was closed when the Six Day War broke out.
When they arrived in South Africa they had to serve a year under probation. This would prove to be one of the most difficult years they knew. Reinhard had numerous restrictions placed upon him, including that he could not preach, and he would have to be ordained again by the AFM.
South Africa was in the middle of Apartheid, and the minister Reinhard had to serve under Reverend Stephanus Spies was a racist and a strong supporter of Apartheid. He told Reinhard he could not call black believers brothers and sisters. They were merely men and women.
“This so-called year of probation was one in which he died a thousand deaths.”34
Reinhard came to the breaking point and finally asked Reverend Spies if he could talk with the AFM. He was seriously considering just going to Zambia. Reinhard spoke with Dr. Moller in Johannesburg and was finally given freedom to preach. Despite their great differences, ultimately, Reverend Spies and Reinhard would become good friends.
After completing his probationary period, Reinhard was free to begin his ministry and receive financial support from the BFP in Germany.
Ministry in Lesotho
Reinhard looked to Lesotho or the old British Protectorate of Basutoland. He moved his family yo Ladybrand in the Orange Free State as he was unable to find housing in Lesotho. Here they found themselves among the Africans. Reinhard’s success in the pulpit caused him to receive many ministry invitations to white churches throughout South Africa. He even received an offer to take over a church by a minister who was retiring. But Reinhard had to stay true to the call of the Lord.
He received permission to pioneer a new work in Maseru, the capital of the mountainous Lesotho. Here he found people overwhelmed with hopelessness and helplessness. Reinhard knew that he was to start a work here.
In 1969, the Bonnke’s welcomed their third child, another daughter, Susanne Herta. Finally, in May of that year, they were able to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Maseru. He was now living among the black people that he wanted to identify with, for he was against apartheid.
Every week, Reinhard would drive off in his VW camping van and hold a meeting in the mountains. He would then return on Sunday. He used every opportunity, including funerals, to reach people for Christ. Anni would begin leading woman’s meetings where she taught them the Word of God and practical skills like knitting.
Reinhard, however, was grieved that some of the strongest supporters of apartheid were found in the church. Reinhard would remain outspoken against it.
Open Air Meetings
Once settled in Maseru, Reinhard started holding open-air Gospel meetings in the Bus Station. He used an interpreter to reach the people. The Holy Spirit moved, and people began responding to the Gospel.
“Reinhard’s evangelism and passion for souls is infectious.”35
Reinhard, from his earliest days, understood the importance of not just reaching souls for Jesus but raising soul winners. As for his preaching, Reinhard said- “I felt a great anointing. It was a message from the throne of God. And I could tell that the Lord answered my prayer. The faces of those beautiful people lit up with delight as I delivered the ABCs of the Gospel in a way that made them know they were the apple of God’s eye, not second-class citizens in the kingdom of heaven.”36
In Maseru, he rented a building for his office. The next store was the local communist party headquarters. Reinhard could hear them cursing and blaspheming. One day Reinhard was confronted by a group communists who cursed God and blasphemed the Name of Jesus. Suddenly, Reinhard’s spirit was stirred, and he said, “In the Name of the One whom you are cursing, I say to you that within a year your feet will no more walk the streets of Maseru.”37 Within a few months, the prime minister declared a state of emergency, and the communists were rounded up and put in jail.
Persecution from other ministries grew as they sought to discredit him. They claimed he was motivated simply by ambition and not by the Holy Spirit. Reinhard prayed and learned that he had to trust the Lord to defend and vindicate him.
The Ministry Grows
Reinhard’s congregation in Maseru was mostly unemployed so, he decided to employ many of them by giving them a bicycle and sending them house to house evangelizing. It became Reinhard’s form of circuit-riding preachers.
Reinhard put together a Bible School correspondence course to which thousands enrolled. The success led him to buy a small offset printing press. However, as the success of the school continued it became necessary to purchase a bigger printer. At its peak, 50,000 people were taking the course. Reinhard then began an evangelistic newsletter, “The Apostolic Message.”
One night Reinhard took a team to Kimberley. It was 11:30 p.m., and the crowd was dancing in a local disco. Reinhard slipped in with his piano-accordion under a security blanket. At midnight, Reinhard jumped up on the stage and began preaching. The Holy Spirit began to move, and people began weeping. As Reinhard made an altar call, every hand in the place went up as they asked to receive Jesus.38
Africa for Jesus
Reinhard had a dream in which he saw a map of all of Africa. Suddenly the map became covered with blood. The Holy Spirit revealed to Reinhard that it was the blood of Jesus and spoke the words, “Africa shall be saved!” 39
Reinhard realized that in five years, his church in Maseru had reached fifty people, and his Bible correspondence 50,000 people. How was he to reach almost 500 million people living in Africa? It seemed impossible. Reinhard also felt convicted that they did not see miracles, “My church is a miracle-free zone. What is wrong?”40
The Lord opened Reinhard’s eyes to the miraculous through the Zulu evangelist, Richard Ngidid. He came to know him through the AFM conferences. He invited him to preach at his church. Richard came, and the Holy Spirit moved to deliver the people of all kinds of sickness and disease. Reinhard told Anni, “When God speaks it is not for us to ask questions but to obey the prompting of His voice. His Word is above all else. I can see it now!”41
Reinhard decided to invite another minister, John Bosman to preach. Like Richard, he also was known for the miraculous. Reinhard decided he would begin advertising.
Meanwhile, Reinhard’s newsletter’s name started to get him in trouble. Reinhard asked the Lord what he should call it, and he heard, “Christ for all nations.” This name would define his ministry.42
Reinhard now preached with what he called a “holy wrath.” He declared to the Lord, “Lord, I am not a big-time evangelist, but I am Your servant also. Now I will go and do the preaching and praying for the sick and You will do the miracles.”43
Reinhard began to preach and pray for the sick boldly. He told the blind that they would see, and they did. One lady who began to see, he asked her to read from the Bible to confirm the restoration of her sight. He then prayed for a young boy whose arms and legs were twisted. As he prayed, the boy slipped from his arms, totally healed. Reinhard understood that the Holy Spirit was the Healing Spirit.44
The Holy Spirit spoke to Reinhard and told him, “You will plunder hell and populate heaven for calvary’s sake” This became Reinhard’s motto. 45
One Million Dollars
The ministry was seeing great results, and Reinhard’s vision was expanding. But he faced an immediate need of thirty dollars. So he prayed, and the Lord answered him would he like a million dollars. Reinhard’s response was “No, Lord don’t give me a million dollars. Rather Lord, give me a million souls for Christ.”46
Towards the end of 1974, Reinhard felt led to relocate his headquarters to Johannesburg. It had been two years since the Lord gave him the vision for all of Africa. But as they moved into their new location, Reinhard looked physically and spiritually drained. Reinhard wanted to be obedient but he simply did not know how to do it.
While Reinhard’s vision had expanded to the delight of many, several including the German Mission Board were not so happy. They were concerned about the growing expenses. Reinhard decided to visit them in person and show them what was happening. The told him, “We cannot allow you to expand.”47
Reinhard got alone and poured out his heart before the Lord. He told the Lord, “O God I am sick and tired of all this fighting and hassle. Lord, let me agree with my brethren and let me live in peace with them.”48
Heaven responded- “If you drop my call I will have to look for somebody else- and I will have to drop you.”49
Reinhard decided to resign from the German Mission. Anni agreed with him, and he wrote his letter of resignation. The German Mission told him that in resigning from them, he also resigned from the AFM. The president of the AFM, begged Reinhard to reconsider. Reinhard agreed, and they began discussions. Ultimately, they agreed to let Reinhard go. Severing these links reminded Reinhard of leaving home all over again.
The National Sports Stadium
The Holy Spirit began to stretch Reinhard. He told him to book the National Sports stadium. Again, Reinhard wondered how his church of forty could fill a stadium that could seat 10,000. But Reinhard heard and was determined to obey. Reinhard started reaching out to the local pastors and told them of his plans. However, many of the local pastors disagreed with him or said they had something already on the date Reinhard had in mind.
Reinhard flew back home and began praying, fasting, and printing material for the event. He put posters up all over Gaborone, where the stadium was. Reinhard then attended an AFM conference and met up with Richard again. Richard agreed to be a part of Reinhard’s plans. His initial plan was to rent a hall that could hold 800 people.
The day came, and as Reinhard entered, the room was almost empty. Less than a hundred people had turned up despite all the advertising. Reinhard stood up and preached the ABC’s of the Gospel. Suddenly, a woman jumped and said she had just been healed. Reinhard then prayed for all who wanted prayer. Several were spontaneously healed. Others fell to the floor. A man using crutches was prayed for and immediately began to run. The room erupted in praise.
Within two nights, the crowds outside had grown to 2,000 people. Reinhard began to see people running to the front to receive Jesus. All he could do was keep repeating the phrase, “Africa shall be saved.” 50
It was time to move into the Sports Stadium. By the end of the campaign, almost half of Gaborone had packed themselves into the stadium. Reinhard now realized he had the pattern by which all of Africa would be blood washed.
Next, he planned a campaign in Cape Town. The thirty-five-year-old Renhard then heard the Lord say that next year he would preach in America. As people continued to be healed at his meetings, word began to spread.
Reinhard decided to resign from the German Mission. Anni agreed with him, and he wrote his letter of resignation. The German Mission told him that in resigning from them, he also resigned from the AFM. The president of the AFM, begged Reinhard to reconsider. Reinhard agreed, and they began discussions. Ultimately, they agreed to let Reinhard go. Severing these links reminded Reinhard of leaving home all over again.
Christ for All Nations
Gaborone was the launching pad for Reinhard, but it was still just a small step forward. “After that tornado of God’s Spirit at Gaborone he was positively persuaded that the keys to world evangelism as the mass outpouring of the Holy Spirit which will break the devil’s hold.”51
Reinhard was burdened to reach Soweto, and so he put together a force of one hundred evangelists to go on bicycles to personally evangelize and provide literature. In early 1976, unrest against apartheid was growing, and on June 18th, riots broke out in Soweto. Reinhard understood why he had such a sense of urgency to reach Soweto and that God’s timing was perfect.
Christ for All Nations set up campaigns in Brighton, Port Elizabeth, Katutura, Windhoek, Nambia, and Swaziland. In Swaziland, Reinhard even preached to the royal household.
His campaigns were seeing great success. Converts made restitution for things they had stolen, other surrendered weapons they possessed, or things tied to witchcraft.
Reinhard wanted a tent to hold his large campaigns under, but he didn’t have enough money. He prayed, and the Lord once again told him-
“Don’t plan with what is in your pockets, plans with what is in Mine.”52
The Combine Harvester
“The day of the sickle is past, this is the day of the combine harvester.”53
The Lord was continuing to stretch Reinhard and increase the vision. As his campaigns grew and spread, so did his reputation. One day he got a call asking for him to come to pray for a lady dying with cancer. Initially, Reinhard planned to refuse but the Holy Spirit told him to go. He then gave him a verse, Habakkuk chapter 3, verses seventeen and nineteen. Reinhard brought with him his black interpreter Michael. When he arrived at the home of the lady who was part of the Dutch Reformed Church, he was told that Michael, being black, would not be welcome. Reluctantly, Reinhard agreed to have Michael stay in the car.
The lady, Mrs. Dinnie Viljoen, had asked her husband to get an Andrew Murray book on prayer but he accidentally bought “Hinds Feet for High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. The book was based upon Habakkuk chapter three, verses seventeen and nineteen. Dinnie had listened to tapes of Reinhard preaching with Michael and so immediately asked where he was. They brought Michael in, and Reinhard shared the verses. Immediately, the lady knew the Lord was telling her she was going to be healed. Reinhard prayed for her and left. A few days later, Dinnie went back to the hospital for three days of tests. She was cancer-free! Her testimony opened new doors for Reinhard across South Africa. On the anniversary of her healing, he was invited to preach at a thanksgiving service attended by 400 women.
Reinhard then was asked to pray for Mr. Kruger, a man dying with leukemia in Johannesburg hospital. The man was extremely ill. Reinhard declared Psalm 118, verse seventeen over him. A year later, a man walked into Reinhard’s office. The mas asked if Reinhard remembered him, but he did not. He explained that was Mr. Kruger and how he was dying of leukemia but Reinhard prayed for him, and God healed him.
In 1977, Reinhard’s team held three major campaigns in South Africa. Once again, many were converted, and many saw instant healings. The campaign in Vendaland would become the highlight of the year. When the event began, the cold and wet weather drove numbers down to 200. But over the next couple of weeks, the weather improved, and numbers grew to 30,000. People from all around heard of the miracles and conversions. Reinhard was invited to visit the nation’s president. Reinhard took the opportunity and preached the Gospel to him. The president gave his heart to the Lord. On the final night of the campaign, 40,000 came.
New Levels, New Devils
In 1978, CfAN opened a new office and secured a new Yellow tent. It was bigger than a circus tent and would cover the growing crowds. The cost, however, was double the initial estimate. But the Lord covered it. Reinhard had flown to Milan to order the tent which was designed to hold 10,000 people.
The first campaign was in Seshengo and was a great success. They planned the next one to be in Njele, a town in the shadow of a mountain, but a local pastor warned that a previous pastor tried, and his tent was torn to pieces. They set up the tent, and sure enough within a few days, strong winds had caused damage. They were on the verge of disaster when a man called Elijah Mulawudzi reminded Reinhard that all things were possible with God. Reinhard dug in his heels in the face of a catastrophe, refusing to surrender.
“In the Name of Jesus we are going to stay and preach the Gospel.”54
The rain soon stopped, and the tent packed with people. The Holy Spirit moved, and 1,500 received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. “The local people no longer lived in fear. Now they had a new son… ‘Jesus is stronger than the mountain demons.”55
Reinhard then did a preaching tour of Germany from May through June.56 Upon his return, and he launched campaigns in South Africa at Nmakgale, Phalaborwa, Mabopane, Pretoria, and Acornhoek. Storms again threatening, but the Holy Spirit spoke to Reinhard, “Rebuke the devil.”57
Reinhard declared, “Devil, if you destroy this tent, I am going to trust God for one three times as big.”58 Reinhard, in no way, was making an agreement with the devil. He was determined to get a bigger tent.
Reinhard was truly broken by the royal command to “Go ye and preach the Gospel in all nations.” 59 As the Holy Spirit spoke to Reinhard, “Altar call- not protocol.”60
After one campaign, as Reinhard was getting ready to leave he was met with a man called David. He was seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Reinhard prayed over him and he received the Holy Spirit. Reinhard meet him a little while later and he asked if Reinhard remembered him. He then explained how after he met Reinharad he went to a village. There he found a woman he knew holding her child. The child was seriously ill with a fever. He felt stirred by te love of Jesus and prayed for the child. The Lord immediately healed the boy and the fever left. The woman ran with her child to the village chief’s house. After feeding the child, he went outside and played. The village chief upon seeing this asked if David would pray for his child. This child was crippled. Her limbs were all twisted. But as he prayed, the limbs were restored and she asked for help to get to her feet. The girls stood for the first time and walked.
The chief summoned the whole village and announced he would hold a week long meeting where David would tell them all about Jesus. This then opened other doors for David to preach the Gospel.
Reinhard asked David what did he preach and he explained he preached everything Reinhard had preached.
Threats from Satanists
During the summer of 1978, Reinhard held a crusade in Malumelele in Gazankulu. The area was a spiritual deser and every night during the services people would make various skrieks and ear-piercing screams. There was a battle raging in the spiritual realm. But the Holy Spirit was moving and setting people free.
Reinhard was curious as to why the battle was so intense and so walked around. He soon discovered that the nearby huts were shrines to demon spirits. Reinhard would emphasize to the new converts the need to renounce the past and to get rid of all items of idolatry and witchcraft.
During these early crusades Reinhard would race around praying over people to cast out the demons. But, he realized the toll it was taking on his body and that he needed to have faith in the Holy Spirit and let Him move.
Many Satanists would come into his meetings and seek to disrupt or manifest demonic power during the meeting. But they discovered “they could not enter because it was encircled by a wall of fire.”61
The World’s Largest Tent
In 1979, Reinahrd announced he was planning to build a tent three times the size of his current one. It would provide seating for 30,000 people and would take aroun eight hours to erect. The tent would take around one and half years to produce. By 1908, CfAN had grown to 130 individuals. Reinhard was excited and planned a five month campaign in Zimbabwe. Reinhard had been invited previously to Zimbabwe, but he had refused to go. It was time to take the vision further with the goal of one day reaching Cairo. The plan was to make it to Cairo before the year 2000.
Zimbabwe was ripe, and there was real spiritual hunger. The first night alone saw 3,000 coming forth to receive Christ. Reinhard was forced to seek to use the larger Sports Stadium, which could hold 300,000 people due to the crowds. On the last night, 20,000 people came, and 5,000 came forth to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Throughout 1980, CfAN saw over 100,000 decide for Christ. So, in 1981 the plan was for even greater campaigns that would see even more souls for Jesus. The first major crusade was in Welkom in the Free State. At the event, a young boy whose eight sight was deteriorating due to nerve damage. While shopping, someone approached him and his mother and told them about the crusade. The young boy begged his mother to take him. The young boy’s eyesight was completely restored.
He then went to Soweto. Initially, Reinhard was disappointed by the low turnout. But a 66-year-old lady came. She was a chief witchdoctor and had great influence across a broad area. When Reinhard gave the altar call, she came down the aisle and stood in front of Reinhard. She then asked Reinhard for a knife, which she used to cut off the witchcraft fetishes. The crowd was in shock to see this woman receive Jesus. Her conversion caused a major stirring throughout Soweto. The next night the tent was almost packed full.
In 1982, Reinhard returned for a preaching tour in Germany. He was seeking to finance the new tent. The hope was the tent would be ready early in the year. Reinhard traveled around, sharing his visions but refused to beg for money. At one of the meetings, someone gave a word in tongues, which was interpreted, “I will give a sign today.” After the service, he was approached by a lady who had received Jesus when he had ministered there a year prior. She wanted to give money to the tent project. It was the single biggest donation so far. 62
Reinhard traveled to Canada, where he appeared on 100 Huntley Street with David Mainse. Mainse made an appeal for people to support Reinhard. They raised $35,000.
Reinhard initially projected the tent would take eighteen months, but in reality, it ended up taking five years. On Saturday, February 18th, 1984, forty thousand people gather to pack the world’s largest tent. The big tent event in Soweto drew the attention of an American TV crew as well as the BBC.
At the dedication service, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, as well as Ray McCauley, were present. Ken Copeland had generously provided money for the tent. 63,64
Reinhard then preached at the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International Conference in Singapore. On his return flight, he stopped in Calcutta to visit his sister, Felicitas, and her husband. To his surprise, she had arranged a four-day campaign for him there. Reinhard had been warned that Calcutta was “the graveyard for great evangelists.”65 During the four-day campaign, over 4,000 souls accepted Jesus. Reinhard then instructed them to get rid of their charms etc. Many were healed, including the blind seeing and the lame walking.
Reinhard then heard the news that the tent was destroyed. Reinhard, however, had already received peace from Heaven and was not worried. His critics rejoiced, and his supporters were in tears. Reinhard gathered the people under the remains of the tent to pray, and to declare the Lord would turn the disaster into an even bigger victory.
Reinhard understood from his travels the key to winning Africa was to gather all the key evangelists together in a Fire Conference. Once again, the task seemed impossible, especially in light of the financial disaster he was in after the tent’s destruction. His new vision would take two more years before it became a reality.
Peter van der Berg
In the early 80’s Reinhard’s schedule became extremely busy and overwhelming for him. But, God provided Reinhard the man to help him. His name was Peter van den Berg. He was a fourth-generation preacher with excellent business skills and a pilot’s license. Peter, who was twenty-seven, was married with three children.66 They first meet when Reinhard was preaching in Birmingham, England. Peter believed God had told him that he was to be a part of Christ for the Nations’s work. At the meeting in Birmingham, Reinhard told Peter that he was not looking for preachers but a transport manager. Peter accepted as he had been trained as an engineer and had a business background. Peter had come at the perfect time.
Reinhard said to Anni regarding Peter-
“I think God has placed a goldfish in our pond.”67
Peter made an immediate impact, with noticeable improvements seen. The ministry had been paying traffic and parking fines for their drivers. Under Peter, this stopped. He identified the guilty party and made them pay their own fine. Before Peter, every problem was brought to Reinhard, but now the buck stopped with Peter. Peter’s leadership brought teamwork and camaraderie. 68
A New Direction
The Big Tent’s destruction was a major challenge to Reinhard and threatened to destroy him. But the vision for a “Fire conference” had burned on Reinhard’s heart for a while. As he traveled, he began telling people about it. Reinhard, during this time, learned a valuable lesson when he had an encounter again with Richard Ngidi. Richard had failed to turn up at a conference he was to speak at for Reinhard. They finally met again after eight years. Richard believed Reinhard was dependent on him and not the Lord. Reinhard discovered-
“I took it as another warning to myself. Never should I see myself above another servant of God. What God had done through me, He could do through anyone, ten times over. I didn’t want to forget that.”69
Richard died shortly afterward from complications from diabetes.
If CfAN was to go from Cape Town to Cairo, then it was time to visit Nigeria. Benson Idahosa of Nigeria asked to meet with Reinhard. Both were evangelists, and they agreed to do work together in Nigeria. The cost would be $100,00, a sum that Reinhard didn’t have. But inside his heart, he knew they had to move forward. A few days later, an American businessman told Reinhard the Lord told him to send Reinhard $40,000.
Four weeks later, Reinhard arrived in Nigeria. Benson told Reinhard he had to wear a full-length Nigerian robe as this would help identify him with the local people.
The crowds that gathered were larger than those who came to see Queen Elizabeth. Estimates put the crowds at a half million. As Reinhard preached, he would hear the occasional roar in the crowd as someone was healed. 70
From Nigeria, Reinhard went to Zambia. They made use of the Materio Soccer Stadium and had 20,000 people attend every night and over 40,000 on the weekends. In the end, 18,000 people received Jesus.
Reinhard was interviewed before the event by a local TV reporter. The reporter and his boss had come to the Lord during an early campaign by Reinhard. As a result, news of the campaign was broadcast across equatorial Africa.
The Zambian National Television sent a crew to do a documentary on CfAN’s success. The head of the documentary was Frederick Chiluba. He was ministered to and lead into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Later this man would become president of the country.
Next, he went to Zaire, where on the first night they saw 70,000 people turn up.71 Once again, it was televised, and as a result, millions saw it. However, as they were leaving Zaire, there was a terrible accident. As CfAN convoy passed through the Zaire border into Zambia, one of the trucks was involved in a head-on collision. A fuel tank that was traveling on the poorly kept road when it pulled off onto the shoulder, causing a dense blinding cloud, leading to the collision. The driver, Horst Kosanke, was instantly killed. A fire erupted that killed Horst and his cab mate. Horst’s sone was in the truck behind his dad’s and witnessed the whole event.
Explaining it to the son as not easy and as Reinhard stated, “To be comforted requires more than a doctrinal statement.”72
“There are no words of adequate comfort for the living. There is only one true Comforter. He is the Holy Spirit. His work is beyond mone and reaches like a surgeon to the inner workings of the human heart. At such a time as this, the less said the better. I am instructed to weep with those who weep.”73
In the Fall, Reinhard returned to West Africa and Ghana. Here they saw 120,000 people attend and almost 70,000 receive Christ.
The Lord had spoken to Reinhard, “You must leave South Africa, because ‘Africa shall be saved!’”74 Reinhard sought the Lord on where he was to move. Finally, Frankfurt, Germany was chosen.75
Spreading the Fire to the Nations
Reinhard continued to plan his “Fire Conference,” and he desired to honor his friend Richard Ngidi, who had died. Richard had been the one who got Reinhard “rolling.” The goal of the conference would be to get African evangelists “rolling.”76
The purpose of the conference would be to “multiply your own ministry.”77 They would teach people the divine pattern of successful evangelism through the demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. The conference would be held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in April 1986. The name FIRE came from, “For Inter-African Revival Evangelists.” 78
The conference had over 4,100 delegates, representing forty-one of the forty-four African countries. 79 Arranging the conference was a true challenge in leadership. The money required was more than a stretch, and the move to Germany meant many of his South African supporters.
“This is the mantle of leadership. Those who lead must be able to hear things like this without reacting in fear and allowing fear to cloud their vision. We must remain in faith. Self- doubt and second thoughts can paralyze the work of the Lord, and this is one of Satan’s greatest strategies.”80
Withing days the money poured in.
After the conference, Reinhard opened a letter from his brother Jurgen. Through a series of terrible situations, a divine dream, and a letter from Reinhard, he came to know the Lord and was saved.81 Like Jurgen, the lives of those who came to the conference would never be the same
Reinhard, himself, was changed. He received a prophetic word which in part said-
“The Lord will have Reinhard Bonnke to know that the Lord is no more restricting thee, that from this day forth the Lord is giving thee the door-key, the Lord is giving thee the wine, the Lord is giving thee the oil, the Lord is giving thee the abundance of the supply of the harvest. The harvest has come!”82
After the conference, the dimensions of the ministry was changed. The focus became global. The slow, steady growth the ministry had seen over the years would now become exponential. Invitations flooded in from all over the world. Reinhard then published “Evangelism by Fire, as well as some other books.83
Reinhard would extend the Fire Conference concept and, over the next four years, held them in Frankfurt (Germany), Birmingham (UK), and Lisbon (Portugal). The event in Frankfurt in 1987, saw over 14,000 attendees. The Birmingham even occurred in 1988 and saw over 12,000 delegates. A woman who was scheduled for surgery and was bound in a wheelchair was completely healed. A video was made of her testimony, which included interviews with the doctors who were treating her. They concurred she was healed. The doctors could no longer support her disability claim. She featured in newspapers like the Belfast Telegraph. 84
In 1990, the Euro-Fire meeting was held in Lisbon and again saw around 12,000 attendees. After the three Euro-Fires, Reinhard returned to Africa and held more local events. The first was in Zaire. In 1993 he held one in the predominately Muslim country of Tanzania. Reinhard shared-
“God doesn’t want a Paul or a Luther or a Wesley today. He wants us, just the way He made us. The old times and the old men was not the secret. Their secret was the Holy Spirit. You plus the Holy Spirit- you are equally as great.”85
Triumphs and Trials
The new headquarters was close to Frankfurt airport. Reinhard also found a place of residence close to the building. Reinhard had no private jet, no luxurious accommodations, and their lifestyle was modest and unpretentious. As Reinhard said, “I made a decision long ago to give up everything for the sake of the Gospel.”86
The transferring of headquarters from South Africa to Germany impacted his staff. Some chose to stay in South Africa. His long-time interpreter, Michale Kolisang, decided to stay and pastor a church. Reinhard saw it as a promotion for Michael. Journalist Ron Steele, who wrote two books on Reinhard, struggled for a while before decided it was time to part ways. He said that the four years of working with Reinhard were the “most rewarding spiritual years of” his life. 87 Those who came with Reinhard had to obtain a new nationality before they could travel to the other nations. This process, for many, took years.
The new strategy soon became clear-
“First: Africa shall be saved. Africa remained the focus and priority for Christ for all Nations. Secondly: For revival in Europe. The Holy Spirit told us very clearly that our move to Frankfurt was in connection with God’s plan for Europe. Thirdly: Gospel campaigns in all the world. We will be active worldwide. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is not only in the center of our CfaN emblem, but also in the middle of our lives and ministry.”88
Reinhard, through prayer, concluded they would take Africa by attacking east and west, then moving northwards. Their West African base would be in Lagos, Nigeria. The East Africa base in Nairobi, Kenya.
Standing Before Kings
At the Harare Fire Conference, Reinhard received a prophetic word that he would stand before kings and rulers. That word would quickly come to pass.89
Reinhard had tried for two years to get permission for a campaign in Malawi. After the Harare Fire Conference, Reinhard was given an invitation to come and speak. The campaign that followed in August 1986 in Malawi was so successful that CfaN named it the ‘The Malawi Miracle.” They were invited to return, and the Life-President, Dr. Kamuzu Banda, stated he was willing to open the meeting.
When they returned in October, President Banda, asked Reinhard to address Parliament. It seemed that as Europe became hardened to the Gospel, Africa was opening up. Reinhard began meeting more heads of state in Africa.
Reinhard may have obtained the ears of leaders, but he also knew how to reach the ordinary people. As one pastor put it, “Reinhard Bonnke’s preaching is understood by the women at the market and that’s why the crowds respond so well.”90
The crowds were now too large for the Big Tent, and he gave it to Peter Pretorinus, and evangelist based in Mozambique. It was a new leaner CfaN. And it was this new CfaN that went to Nairobi Kenya in 1988. In Kenya, CfaN broke from the old mold of working only within their denomination and instead worked with 211 churches from forty-five denominations. Reinhard’s heart was to work in harmony with the whole Body of Christ.
The Kenyan campaign saw the president of Kenya attend, and afterward, he requested a meeting with Reinhard. The president ordered the campaign be broadcast on television and radio. The final day of the campaign saw over 185,000 people attend. The broadcasts reached seven surrounding nations.
The campaigns in Africa increased in number, size, and in their effectiveness. After the Nairobi event, Reinhard was challenged on why he picked a beautiful park for the event and not one of the slums. Reinhard declared that when he returned, he would go to Mathare Valley. Reinhard was true to his word. During the campaign, the presence of God was so powerful that crime dramatically decreased. CfaN had been told already in the past that their campaigns often saw crime rates drop by at least seventy-five percent.
Reinhard ten went to Jinja in Uganda. Having permission to come and preach, Reinhard held his campaign, but during the meeting, soldiers entered carrying AK-47’s and told Reinhard he had to stop. Reinhard shucked the dust from his feet and left.
In 1990, Reinhard saw crowds as big as 500,000 attend his campaigns. In his Kaduna meeting, the 6,000 counselors were overwhelmed by the 200,000 people who gave their lives to Christ. The meeting saw, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Anglican, and other churches working together in harmony to see the Gospel preached. All seemed to be comfortable with the Holy Spirit moving and gifts manifesting. After the meetings, Reinhard would meet personally with all the pastors that supported the event.
The Ice-Cap of Africa
Several countries closed to the Gospel previously, were by 1995, beginning to melt and open up. Reinhard would finally get to preach in Cairo. The first time he held campaigns in Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, and Cairo in Egypt. By 1997, Reinhard had now preached in thirty-six of Africa’s forty-four nations. After preaching in Cairo in 1995, the Egyptian government signed a contract for a Fire Conference to be held in Cairo. However, deterioration of things in the Middle East after the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister caused the Egyptian government to ask to break the contract.
Reinhard continued to publish new books which are continually being translated into more languages. They would see more than 77 million decisions for Christ before his death. CfaN would open offices in the United States, Britain, Canada, Czech Republic, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, Singapore, Austalia, Hong Kong, and of course, Germany.
In 2017, Reinhard held a farewell crusade in Nigeria. The event drew over 6 million people. His successor, Daniel Kolenda, would carry the torch going forth. Reinhard was diagnosed with cancer. On December 7th, 2019, Reinhard was promoted to Heaven. From a humble beginning, Reinhard, through a simple life of obedience, became a history maker. His ministry would change the lives of millions in Africa and worldwide. He provoked many to live a life of fire. Like Reinhard, which thread will we chose?
- Bonnke, Reinhard. Taking Action (p. 6). Charisma House. Kindle Edition
- Whittaker, Colin. Reinhard Bonnke: A Passion for the Gospel. (Celebration Edition) Kingsway Publication, Eastbourne. 1998. Page 16
- Bonnke, Reinhard. Taking Action (p. 8). Charisma House. Kindle Edition.
- Bonnke page 7
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- Whittaker page 16
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- Whittaker page 24
- Steele, Ron. Plundering Hell: The Story of Reinhard Bonnke. Marshalls Life Changing Services. Basingstoke, Hants. Christ for All Nations, 1984. 19
- Steele page 19
- Steele page21
- Steele page 21
- Whittaker page 36
- Bonnke, Reinhard. Taking Action (p. 6). Charisma House. Kindle Edition.
- Whittaker pages 39-41
- Bonnke, Reinhard. Living a Life of Fire. Harvester Services, Jupiter, FL. 2019, page 105
- Whittaker page 45
- Living a Life of Fire page 107
- Living a Life page 117
- Living a Life page 120
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- Steele page 25
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