Archbishop Margaret E. Benson-Idahosa at 70

Benin-City – Archbishop Margaret E. Benson-Idahosa is wife of the late Archbishop of Church of God Mission Int’l. Inc.; Most Rev. Benson Idahosa, and currently the Archbishop of the ministry with several branches and hundreds of thousands of members worldwide. She also pastors the 5,000 capacity Faith Miracle Center Church, where multiple services are held weekly. Archbishop Margaret Benson -Idahosa was born on the 29th of July, 1943, into the royal lineage of the Benin Kingdom. She was ordained into the ministry on the 24th of May, 1983 and consecrated Bishop on the 5th of April, 1998. This position makes her the first female Pentecostal Bishop of a ministry of this magnitude in Africa.
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Together with her husband, she has preached the gospel of Jesus Christ in more than 140 nations covering the entire continents of the world. She is not just a woman preacher; she doubles as a father and mother to many spiritual children all over the world. Her vision and mission is to “reach the un-reached” irrespective of their location whether in the desert or riverine creeks. Since her consecration as Bishop, she has frequently traveled to America, Europe and parts of Africa and in communities far-flung from major towns and cities preaching, teaching and healing the sick. She also is the Vice President of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC), the Chancellor/Visitor of Benson Idahosa University (BIU), General Overseer, Idahosa World Outreach (IWO) and the President of Christian Women Fellowship International (CWFI)
Archbishop Margaret Benson-Idahosa’s love for children and strong belief that they be trained and raised properly saw to the establishment of the Word of Faith Group of Schools, which now has more than one hundred-eight (108) branches all over Nigeria. She also has to her credit an orphanage for abandoned babies. Mama Margaret Benson-Idahosa is a mother of seven children; Feb, Ruth, Daisy, Freda, Precillia, Osasu and Osagie. She is also a grandmother of seven.
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Trendy Africa Magazine recently exclusively documented a series of activities in the USA and Nigeria celebrating her 70th birthday which would be produced In an upcoming special edition. Meanwhile, enjoy the preview.
Q:How does it feel to be seventy? You look younger than that to me…
A: I feel the same on the inside of me. Although I cannot jump, dance and move like I used to, I know all of that come with age. One thing I know has been the secret of my peace is the fact that I do not hold grudges against anyone. When you offend me, I open up to you and forgive you. You see, forgiveness is not loss of memory but memory without want of vengeance, and that’s what I have on the inside of me because I’m preparing myself for heaven. I’ve been through a lot in this life and cannot afford to miss heaven.
Q: Fifteen years ago, your being handed the mantle of leadership of your husband’s church attracted a lot of criticisms from all sides; how have you managed since then?
A: One thing my husband taught me to understand is that people will always talk about anybody as long that person has the breath of God in his or her nostrils. But he always told me: “If you talk back to them, it means you’re on the same level.” So, whatever anyone says, I commit to God because He put me in this position. When my husband died, I had my own agenda. I have four biological children and three others whom I adopted. I understood I was living in a man’s world, so, I began planning how I would manage my life after my husband’s funeral.
My first plan was to go spend three months with my son in the UK, spend three months with my first daughter and then with my third child before returning to Nigeria because my fourth child was still schooling at home. My plan was to travel round to my children’s places and maybe come to Nigeria once a year to see my mother and others. The ministry was not in my agenda. So, when I was put in this position, I cried to God about how timid I was and how male dominated the world was, but God did not answer until I had made up my mind. He said to me: “Margaret, I’m not moved by tears or your needs, but by faith. If your faith says yes, I God will not say no”.
I therefore began building my faith by reading books, praying, acting and all. One day, He spoke to me again, saying, “If I made the appointment, I will release in you the ability to perform and excel”. That he has actually done all this while. If you look at the Church of God Mission, you’ll find that I’m not the best preacher. There are some that are fire-brands and whose sermons could make the heaven kiss the earth. But God has been gracious to me.
Q: At this point, do you feel fulfilled?
A: I feel fulfilled in the sense that I’m doing what God asked me to do. I feel fulfilled because I’m not copying anybody. I feel fulfilled because my children are all in the ministry. I have seen some pastors praying for their child to come to God, but I look at my children and glorify God because they discovered God on their own; not because of whom their father was or what I have done. They discovered God by themselves, and that’s the most precious thing God can do for a preacher; for the children to discover the God of their fathers and stand firmly to defend that God. I’m confident that even when I’m no longer here, they can stand until Jesus comes.
to be continued…
Photo by Chibuzor Okonta. (Interview curled from the Vanguard)

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