Monday, February 8, 2010
BISHOP MAGARET IDAHOSA BECOMES FIRST FEMALE ARCH BISHOP IN NIGERIA
Bishop Margaret Idahosa is wife of the late Archbishop of Church of God Mission Int'l., Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa. She is currently the Presiding Bishop of the ministry with several branches and hundreds of thousand of members worldwide. She also pastors the 5,000 capacity Faith Miracle Center Church, where multiple services are held weekly. And over a decade after her husband death, she has become one of the most influential and most respectful women in Christendom today. This is on account on how she fought the many battles in her life and ministry ever since she lost her husband in 1996. And what makes her story interesting is that despite all this barriers and limitation, she went to score another first not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa. Some weeks back she was consecrated as the First Female Arch Bishop in Nigeria. The consecration took place at the church’s headquarters in Benin, Edo state capital by a team of renowned arch bishops led by the president of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC), Arch Bishop David Huskins and Arch Bishop Silas Owiti, from Kenya before a capacity crowd of over 20,000. It was event that attracted prominent people from both far and near, most of who admired the courage of Arch Bishop Margaret Idahosa for stepping into her husband shoes.
Even though all seems well for this woman, she had to overcome many battle and challenges in getting to were she is today. According to what was gathered, Margaret Idahosa had to journey through the hills and valleys in the years following her husband’s death. Bishop Margaret Idahosa has proved skeptics wrong about her ability to manage her husband’s estate. And not a few people had thought that following her late husband’s death in 1996, his shoes would be too big for anyone to step into and that his legacy was going to die with him within a short time.
But having stepped into the big shoes, Bishop (Mrs) Margaret Idahosa has been able to hold together everything the late Arch Bishop left behind. Her first baptism of fire came shortly after her husband’s demise when she was asked to step into his shoes in the church’s hierarchy to prepare her for the task. She was then ordained a Bishop, a development that church members particularly the males who had thought that the baton was going to pass to them automatically didn’t like. And so Bishop Margaret Idahosa had to contend with the displeased, a battle that was fought in and out of the church, including the pages of newspapers. The attack was multifaceted. First, the male top hierarchy of the church said they could not live and work under a female leader in the church especially when it was glaring that the line of succession was being tampered with. Secondly, the body of Christ was not at that time well disposed to a woman being ordained a bishop. And so Bishop Margaret Idahosa had to fight a battle of acceptance and recognition. A chip off the block of her husband, Mrs. Idahosa’s determination to steer the ship of her husband’s legacies made her to burn the candle from both ends day and night.
As if that was not enough, there was also another phase of scandal that rose up against her late husband and the ministry couple of years. A top pastor in Benin revealed some dirty secrets about the late Idahosa mysterious power and death. It was one story that was also well orchestrated in the pages of the papers, creating a dent in the image of the church. At this point, a lot of people actually thought this was the final straw for her and she might not come out of it as it happens to be the most celebrated scandal at that time. But she did come out of it. Even at home front, she also had to deal with a lot of challenges too. The family of the husband would not let sleeping dogs lie, as many demanded the cause of their brother’s death, and what becomes of his sprawling estate But not only has she proved these people wrong by bouncing back, the ministry has also grown beyond their widest imagination.
Today, she heads all the institutions her husband established, one of which is the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, which incidentally, is the first private university to be granted license in Nigeria. The secondary school arm of the university has been rated as one of the best in terms of total education.
Just like her husband, she is blessed with the charisma and panache that has contributed to the massive growth of the church. A lot of signs and wonders have also followed her ministration which may explain why the church is always filled to the brim at each service. Some of the spectacular miracles performed by her include deliverance from the bondage of evil tradition, healing from various types of infirmities and deadly disease, healing of barrenness, open doors, deliverance from poverty amongst others. Another aspect of her ministry that is currently in the spotlight is the women arm of the ministry which goes by the name Christian Women Fellowship International (CWFI) .It’s a non-denominational body founded by Bishop Margaret Idahosa, to teach women how to discover their true potentials, be good mothers, wives and instruments for end-time evangelism. Members of this body can be found in America, Europe, Africa and Nigeria. In line with this is the building of a multipurpose facility called the Restoration Centre with a capacity to seat more than 10,000 women. This Centre serves as conference venue, office space, a skill acquisition centre and a place to rehabilitate destitute young women. .
She already has several books published. Some of which are, “The Womb of harvest”, “The Female minister”, “Tearing the veil” and “Expansion without Limit” .No doubt, this godly woman has printed her name in the sands of time both locally and internationally and the story of the Pentecostal Christianity will not be complete in Nigeria without her
Posted by Bola Akinboade