“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-2013)
LIKE will always call unto like. That was why it was not a bit surprising when Benson Idahosa University announced it is honouring Pastor Chris Oyakhilome with an honorary doctorate degree in divinity. For a man whose life has been the epitome of the manifestation of a call of divinity, nothing could have been more exemplary. This was much highlighted by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ernest B. Izevbigie who aptly noted that the University is in recognition of the achievements and great works of a man whose evangelistic strides transcend the globe, particularly in the area of translating the widely read “Rhapsody of Realities” into 642 languages.
He further said that Benson Idahosa University bore striking similarities with the Honorary Alumnus Pastor Chris Oyakhlome, noting that the institution has also translated its values into the increased number of graduates produced yearly, many of whom are spread across the globe and doing excellently well in their various professions. Speaking further, Prof. Izevbigie said that the occasion is a testimony to the existing relationship between the would-be Alumnus of the institution and the Church of God Mission International where Pastor Chris Oyakhilome had a close contact with the late Archbishop B.A Idahosa.
Pastor Chris, as he is popularly called, is an illustrious son of Edo State. He worked closely with the late Idahosa after his secondary school education where he studied the remarkable and extraordinary works of the Archbishop’s ministry. He proceeded to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, where he obtained a degree Architecture. He also has a Ph.D. in Theology and Pneumatology and has received numerous awards/honors.
Pastor Chris has over the years been a catalyst that leavens far more bread every year. A man with an unquenchable passion to see men come into their God-given inheritance, he has extended his ministry’s reach further across the world, taking his message to millions of people, changing lives, giving hopes, and uplifting men and women. Even as he is shaping governments, as more and more government functionaries across nations of the world discover the leadership wisdom in his message. Today, The Believers Loveworld is now seen as more than a body of nations. It has grown into a new nation with no geographical demarcation crossing borders.
Everywhere he takes the gospel to, men, women and children all respond with hopes. He has also been raising leaders all over the world, which shows to a greater extent his quality of leadership. Yet his attitude to what he does is simply amazing. An ethicist worthy of note, he once told an audience that ‘the person who leads by example communicates strong work ethic (I’m willing to get down and dirty too), accountability (I won’t ask you to do anything I’m not willing to do myself), humility (I’m here as another human being on a mission not as a superior trying to boss you around), and unity (We’re in this together),”.
In the words of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges, “Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment, the moment in which a person finds out, once and for all, who they are.” This has been the major engagement of Pastor Chris, over the years, helping millions of people all over the world to know who they are, maximize the opportunities that knowledge of God’s word brings their way, and going ahead to help others have same information. This has created a global ripple effect which has produced people of like mind, with same spiritual and intellectual disposition ready to take over the world and make it a better place. He is not only making great impacts in the ministry alone but his activities cut across every field of human endeavour.
Pastor Chris’ leadership is based on the teachings of love for one another as a compassionate leader. His style typifies what Victor Frankl said in the Brain Pickings that “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
Aware that knowledge, no matter how deep, without spirituality is vain, Pastor Chris through his numerous teachings has helped millions of people around the world who listen and accept his message discover a better way of living in harmony. His ministry is where it is today because he applied practical wisdom backed up by prophecies in virtually every aspect of the Church growth. Writing on The Transforming Power of Faith, Richard G. Scott stated that “It is nobility of character, that fabric of inner strength and conviction woven from countless righteous decisions that gives life its direction. A consistent, righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression.” This captures the seemingly speed at which the ministry has grown all over the world.
As the word of God aptly captures that the hearts of kings are in the hands of God, the Church has been doing a lot in that direction. Pastor Chris has, because of this, raised countless leaders across over a hundred countries of the world. He has been teaching his leaders and members the need to contribute to the wellbeing of the countries they live in and operate from. That is why Christ Embassy in all the countries adopts their countries of residence as their responsibilities, using the Rhapsody of Realities as a tool of change. Various Church groups in different countries have been engaging in community development projects in schools, prisons, police stations, and other public agencies all geared towards contributing to the good of humanity.
Today, Rhapsody of Realities daily devotion, which is the number one daily devotional in the world, had been translated into close to 600 languages. No other book, aside the Bible has this record. Pastor Chris is changing the destiny of nations. The Reachout program of Rhapsody of Realities has become the number one project so many different countries look up to annually. Many communities in many countries have benefitted immensely especially places where the government efforts have made little impact. Many communities in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Cameroon among others benefitted from the ReachOut programs which saw, among others, schools getting free hand sanitizers against the Ebola outbreak, prisons getting thousands of mattresses, generators, Police Stations being beautified and equipped and schools getting rehabilitated. Also, some of the zonal churches held free skills acquisition training for unemployed graduates. Only a generation with desire to change the land can do this.
Raising leaders for Christ
Highlighting the differences between a boss and a leader, H. Gordon Selfridge, said, “”The boss drives people; the leader coaches them. The boss depends on authority; the leader on goodwill. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The boss says “I”; the leader says “WE”. The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The boss says, “GO”; the leader says “LET’S GO!”
The statement above aptly captures the manner Pastor Chris has been raising leaders across the world through the International School of Ministry, which is the first of its kind in Christendom since 2007. The burning desire to bring God’s Word to all men in simplicity and with the power of the Spirit inspired Pastor Chris to envision the International School of Ministry, specifically, to train and equip ministers of the Gospel of Christ, irrespective of their denominations, building in them the realities of God’s Word and empowering them to carry the message of eternal life in Christ Jesus to their world, with great demonstration of the miraculous power of God. The vision of ISM is teaching, demonstration and impartation.
Since inception in 2007, the ISM has trained and equipped thousands of ministers from different nations of the world. It has literally reproduced the same vision of teaching, demonstration and impartation of the Spirit, in the lives of many of her graduated students who are now producing amazing results in their lives and ministries with the Word of God.
The Internet was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automatic information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes for information dissemination; a medium for collaboration and interaction between them without regard for geographic location. Pastor Chris has variously adopted cutting-edge mobile applications and the deployment of various mobile technologies. A whole new race is now being impacted with the gospel through the ministry of Pastor Chris. It is estimated that over 4 billion people in the world today are active mobile users and through the various mobile applications, the gospel is been made available to them in the palm of their hands. As media content consumption channels shifted from traditional terrestrial media channels to the worldwide web, Pastor Chris once again made a strategic decision by the Spirit to stay ahead by setting up Internet television platforms through the Internet multimedia ministry. This gave birth to the development of platforms like the Live-TV application, the Pastor Chris online Channel and the CEFLIX platform.
The Live-Tv app brings together our three satellite TV stations of the ministry, and streams their content on the web; this makes it possible for people to enjoy a wider variety of our life-transforming programmes no matter their location.
Yookos is Africa’s answer to the global technological revolution especially the social media. It is the first of its kind from Africa by Africans. Launched in 2011, it has made tremendous impact and contributions in knowledge sharing. It has helped millions in and outside the ministry have an alternative means of online interaction that is secured, devoid of all the social ills the other platforms are suffering from. Today, Yookos subscribers are in the neighborhood of 50 million people – and still counting. Through this platform, Pastor Chris has increased his daily interactions with members and awesome things have been coming off it
Service to the world
Every December 7, Christ Embassy churches all over the world embark on special charity projects to reach the needy in their environment in commemoration of the birthday of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. This involves raising money, food stuff, and materials for the needy in the society especially Motherless Babies Homes, old people’s homes, Remand Homes and Prisons among others. There is no event like it as each church caters for those within its own vicinity. All over the world, Pastor Chris is raising a new generation that sees the world differently and are eager to rise to be counted. His influence across the world is expanding at the speed of sound and men and women across racial, ethnic and linguistic divides are all accepting his message, making him one of the global influencers with the widest reach.
Getting them young for Christ
The Believers Loveworld Campus Ministry is simply one of the largest single youth forums in the world with a population running into hundreds of thousands under one umbrella. It is the campus arm of the Believer’s Loveworld. According to the BLW Campus ministry, “it began because every young man deserves to know the most awesome personality who walked this planet; it began because every young person deserves to meet him. At BLW Campus Ministry, what we do is simple—we bring you God in his simplicity. We will show you that there is no need to try to find God, or to seek a way to live a fulfilling life; we bring you a message where God is the one who came in search of you, and we will show you how a young man can live the God-life—simply”.
The Future Africa Leaders Award
The Future Africa Leaders Award is an initiative of The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation and it is aimed at exploring and expanding the leadership potential in Africa and for Africa by identifying, celebrating and supporting young Africans who have demonstrated exemplary leadership by impacting their generation positively through education, youth empowerment and mentoring, and also through other projects aimed at building young people and preparing them for a positive future.
The Future Africa Leaders award for 2015 had 14 winners. Last year’s had 13 winners from across Africa and this year’s was even more glamorous as winners were drawn from more countries because of the popularity of the event. This year has 22 nominated candidates across Africa out of which 14 were picked for the Future Africa Leaders Award. They are; Lotan Salapei 24 years from Zimbabawe, Enoch Ofori Boamah 24 years from Ghana, Tinofara Mtuwa 22 years from Zimbabwe, Trudy Masha 22 years from South Africa, Jude Osakwe 23 years from Nigeria, Treasure Mkhonto 23 from South Africa, Shiferaw Demeke 24 from Ethiopia, Cynthia Adaeze 22 years from Nigeria, Ogbuani Ogbonna 22 years from Nigeria, Lesleyb Ndebele 27 years from Zimbabwe, Charles Miracle Lipenga 26 years from Malawi, Shawn Samoisy (junior category) 17 years from Mauritius, Afolabi Yemisi Basira (junior category) 17 years from Nigeria.
The person who emerged the Future Africa awards winner was Lotan Salapei who impacted orphaned youth and street children in his nation of Kenya through the provision of shelter and welfare packages and much needed educational and training programmes. Lotan’s compassion and resourcefulness saw him partner with corporate organizations and individuals which resulted in financial aid to needy youth to complete their education. Award winners were supported with scholarships and grants to further enhance their effectiveness and capacities.
The man Pastor Chris
Through an anointed ministry spanning more than 35 years, Pastor, Teacher, Healing Minister, Television Host, and Best-Selling Author, Rev Chris Oyakhilome has helped millions experience a victorious and purposeful life in God’s Word. He is the author of several best sellers including None of These Diseases and Rhapsody of Realities. His teachings are also available in audio and video formats. Presiding over an ever-widening network of Christ Embassy Churches and Campus fellowships on five continents, Rev. Chris also pastors one of the largest congregations in the world with membership close to 2 million people. He holds massive teaching and Healing crusades with crowds of over 3.5 million in a single night’s event. In 2003, he pioneered the first 24-hour Christian network from Africa to the rest of the world. He is also the host of Atmosphere for Miracles a program on major television networks around the world that brings God’s divine presence right into people’s homes. There are thriving Christ Embassy Churches in such places as Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, India, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Swaziland, Lesotho, DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Vietnam, Tonga, North Cyprus, Switzerland, just to mention a few. Through his International School of Ministry (ISM), Pastor Chris has built a Network of Ministers that he has trained and he’s training in ministry from over one hundred countries.
These countries include ministers and ministries from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and South Korea, Brazil, Egypt, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Zambia, South Africa, Cote d’ Ivoire, Romania, Burkina Faso, USA, UK, etc. Pastor Chris is also the founder of the world-renowned Healing School, a ministry that manifests the healing works of Jesus Christ. With campuses in Lagos, Toronto and Johannesburg, the Healing School has helped many receive healings and miracles through the operation of the gifts of the Spirit.
Pioneered, Loveworld Christian Network, the first 24-hour Christian satellite network from Africa to the rest of the world. This has morphed into 4 satellite stations: LoveWorldSat transmitting from South Africa; LoveWorld Plus transmitting from Lagos, Nigeria; LoveWorld TV transmitting from United Kingdom and LoveWorldCan transmitting from Canada.
His TV programs are amongst the most watched in the world. The reach of the TV programs all over the world should be emphasized. Atmosphere For Miracles and Pastor Chris Teaching are shown is shown in Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, France, Netherlands, USA, South Korea etc. The program is translated into 14 languages worldwide.
Author of the best selling Rhapsody of Realities daily devotional. Rhapsody of Realities is the most widely circulated devotional in the world and is distributed in every known nation and territory of the world. Presently in its 11th year in print, it is available in over 650 languages, making it the most translated book in the world, second only to the bible. Author of the Rhapsody of Realities study bible, the first ever study bible from Africa to the rest of the world.
Pastor Chris is the author of TEEVO, a devotional for teenagers. He also authors a range of devotionals for children, aside several books and comics for children.
Has hosted several world class evangelical programs with several millions in attendance. These include the Night of Bliss in Port Harcourt with over 2.5m people in attendance and the Good Friday Miracle Night, with over 3.5 million people in a single night’s event.
Through his “ARAB INITIATIVE”, Pastor Chris has distributed millions of gospel materials and Bibles to Moslems in the Arab world through the internet downloads. This includes, specifically, the nations of Syria, UAE, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt and Palestine. The Arab Initiative also helps Christians and Churches in the Moslem world to have access to Christian books and videos which are barn in hard copy in these countries. Pioneered Yookos The first global rated social networking website from Africa to the rest of the world.
He currently has over 1.2 million followers on Twitter and over 40 million followers on Yookos. Pioneered KingsChat messaging application, the first of its kind from Africa to the world.
Host of the monthly worldwide “Global Service with Pastor Chris” where over 1.5 million people participate via satellite and internet TV to partake in the holy communion and teaching service.
Author to the world
An accomplished, prolific and best-selling author, Pastor Chris has written several books, amongst which are None Of These Diseases, The Promised Land, How To Make Your Faith Work, Join This Chariot, The Oil And The Mantle, Praying The Right Way, How To Pray Effectively, Your Rights In Christ, The Holy Spirit & You, Seven Things The Holy Spirit
Will Do For You, Seven Things The Holy Spirit Will Do In You, The Gates Of Zion, TheSeven Spirits Of God, Prophecy, The Power Of Tongues and Now That You Are Born . Some of these titles have been included in the secondary school curriculum in Ghana. A couple of private secondary schools also use them for their tuition in Nigeria. With a sitting capacity of over 25,000, his church has the largest fully air conditioned auditorium in Nigeria, The Loveworld Convocation Arena.
In adherence to the mandate of the scriptures to make disciples of all nations, Pastor Chris has dispatched missionaries to almost all nations in the world from the First World to the Third. There are missionaries in far flung areas as Fiji, closer nations like Ukraine and not so far territories like Brazil. Of particular note was the presence of missionaries in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup to preach and distribute 50,000 copies of gospel materials including bibles and Rhapsody of Realities devotional. Every year, Pastor Chris hosts the Future Africa Leaders Awards (FALA), a program designed to identify and inspire young people to embrace the challenges of leadership. Amongst the ten finalists, the winner receives a price of $100,000 while each of shortlisted candidates receives $10,000, making FALA one of the most prestigious awards in Africa in terms of price money.
Founded the Inner City Mission for Children, an NGO recognized by the United Nations and dedicated to the cause of helping indigent children around the world. The Inner City Mission runs a full boarding house with school (Primary and Secondary) for orphans and indigent
children. The boarding house operates 12months in a year and houses over forty (40) children. The facility is fully air-conditioned with satellite TV, Fully equipped games hall at no charge to the children. All the students at the inner city mission school are on scholarship.
Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF), an NGO with a mandate to improve the state of Trauma care and emergency response services. Bible for All Missions (BFAM), an Initiative that supports global evangelism by sponsoring the free distribution of the Bibles around the world. To date over 1million Bibles have been distributed around the world.
Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International, a foundation committed to raising leaders through endowments to schools and colleges, and provision of grants and sponsorships to deserving young people in their academic and professional pursuits. Built and donated an ultra modern fully air conditioned with imported seating 650 capacity lecture theatre to Ambrose Alli University, his alma mater, in 2014.
In 2014, Rev Chris Oyakhilome provided to all students of Ambrose Alli University resident in the school hostels, multi-purpose solar lamps equipped with radio and phone charging capacity to enable them read and study at night. He also installed solar street lights to light up all the roads leading to the hostel complex and the hostel complex compound in the University, making it possible for students to move around the campus with relative ease at night. He also donated over $1m worth of aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.