Bishop Oscar Ossai: How Idahosa impacted me

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“My first encounter with Archbishop Benson Idahosa was in 1985 but I have been under his teaching in the 80s. I used to come to visit my sister who was worshipping in Church of God Mission. I had witnessed his outreaches and crusades. As a matter of fact I received my healing of Tuberculosis under his ministration in Enugu.

I was going from Jos to Warri for Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor convention and we came to our Auchi and our car engine knocked. This was 1985. I was forced to park the car in Auchi and came to Benin and stayed in the same room with one Pastor James and then went to visit Archbishop Idahosa in the house. As soon as they told him somebody was coming to visit see him he came down to hug me and invited me to the dining He opened the fridge and the begged me to take a bottle of Sprite. He called me man of God though he had not met me before. He poured the drink into the glass for me. He sat with me and we talked for a long time. I was wondering if it was the same Idahosa we see on the television.

 

Latter I became a pastor under Bishop Duncan Williams and each time we had a convention, Williams would come Ghana to Lagos. I used to go along with Benson Idahosa whenever he is going to Ghana to preach. In Ghana there used to be a long dining table where we all sat and Idahosa would serve us. That was the kind of heart he had. He was always ready to serve.

 

That was in Ghana. I went to Ghana and told my Bishop and told him I was leaving his ministry to start what the Holy Spirit had laid in my heart. I told Idahosa later and he asked if I had any disagreement with my Bishop I said no. When he was sure there was no problem with my Bishop he was happy and he asked me to do him a letter and he said he would introduce me to wherever he goes in the world to preach. He was quite supportive of my ministry. Three months after that promise he died.

 

He was a great man. There was this bishop Francis in the US who said to me that he was Idahosa’s adjutant. He said Idahosa was an incredible man. I did not work with him as a pastor but I was one of his sons. He was a coach. He understands the need for validity in ministry. He validated a lot of people. A lot of pastors going around today were made more comfortable by Idahosa. He bought equipment for them and he sometimes travels with them and introduced them wherever he went in the world.

 

He was a coach. I have not seen any other persons with the spirit of Idahosa since he left. I have seen great men of God in Nigeria but they are only interested in running their great ministries. But Idahosa was not like that. He had a kingdom spirit. He never isolated people based on denomination.

 

Without a man like Idahosa where would the Pentecostal church in Nigeria be today? He answered all the bad names. The press contention with him was that he was flamboyant but he had to create a platform for the Pentecostal movement in Nigeria. He was blamed for many things but he took all the blows thereby making the Pentecostal church to have a voice. He chose to give a big impression of His God so that the prosperity message will be acceptable. Today we are benefiting from the acceptance that he created.

 

Let me give the benefit of the last discussion I had with Idahosa. He told me the gospel we were preaching in Lagos was not the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said if he came to Lagos he would decongest many of the churches in Lagos. He was not arrogant. He related with everybody without airs. He was a voice of the downtrodden. He spoke up for the poor people and he gave scholarship to a lot of people. There are some Bishops he took to London and he would call owners of musical instruments and ask them to equip their churches with equipment.

 

You can’t be around Idahosa and be uncomfortable. He cooked for everybody. There are some conventions you will hear 2000 eggs were cooked. He was the one behind it. His era has come and gone. It was different era. I think we need to bring about that oneness and the kingdom spirit. That was the great thing about him. He worked for kingdom prosperity.

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