The story of the mission organization Christ for all Nations
A blood-washed Africa – a continent washed clean in the blood of Jesus Christ. That was the vision that God gave Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke 40 years ago. Since that day he has been filled with the burning desire to take Africa for Jesus Christ.
The salvation of a continent is becoming a reality – “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”
The First Decade
1974 – Africa shall be saved!
Christ for all Nations was founded by Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke in 1974 after he had spent a number of years working as a regular missionary in Africa. His burning desire to see the nations saved grew out of a series of visions in which he saw the entire continent of Africa washed in the blood of Jesus and heard the voice of the Holy Spirit in his heart whispering “Africa shall be saved!” over and over again. This resulted in him stepping out in faith with a very small team and starting this evangelistic ministry to Africa – “from Cape Town to Cairo.”
1974 – The Beginning
Reinhard moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1974 to focus on evangelism, having resigned his position with the missionary board he had worked for since 1968. One day he drove past a large abandoned farmhouse, and at that moment the Holy Spirit said, “This is your new headquarters.”
Its landscaping was overgrown and unattended but it fitted the need. Without any money in hand, Reinhard went to the owners and made an offer. They accepted and Reinhard soon had received enough money to close the deal. The renovated farmhouse became the new CfaN headquarters.
Christ for all Nations was founded there in Witfield, South Africa, on December, 1974.
1978 – The “Yellow Tent”
CfaN’s evangelistic meetings were often hampered by bad weather. Since 1974 Reinhard Bonnke and his team had been holding outreach meetings in southern Africa in a small tent which provided shelter for around 800 people, but that tent was soon not big enough for the vast numbers of people who wanted to attend the meetings. Something had to be done! CfaN needed a larger tent – large enough for 10,000 people.
The Second Decade
1984 – The “Big Tent”
Soon the “Yellow Tent” also became too small for the masses that flocked to the meetings. Over the next few years it became increasingly obvious that an even larger tent was needed, as the Lord had expanded the vision even further: “The day of the sickle is past. This is the day of the combine harvester!”
1987 – The Euro-Fire Conferences
The powerful working of God in Africa also inspired faith for spiritual renewal in Europe. Led by the Holy Spirit, CfaN also began to arrange Fire Conferences in Europe, the aim being to motivate Christians in the Western world for evangelism. The first “Euro-Fire” was held in Frankfurt in 1987; one year later the venue was Birmingham, England, moving to Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, in 1990. All these conferences have had a lasting impact beyond national borders.
1990 – Under an Open Heaven
During the 1980s, the CfaN team gradually moved north from South Africa into the rest of the vast continent and time after time the meetings seemed to explode in size. Reinhard Bonnke gave up preaching in tents and most campaigns have since been held on large open spaces.
The CfaN meetings concluded with a total attendance of 1,670,000. At that time it was the largest campaign in CfaN’s history.
In this one campaign in Nigeria, Reinhard and his team had preached to more people than in the entire year of 1987, just three years before!
1987 - 1999
In the 13 years from 1987 until the end of 1999, more than 42 million people attended CfaN’s Great Gospel Campaigns. Ten million of them made a decision for Jesus Christ and were ushered into the follow-up programs run by the local church fellowships.
The salvation of a continent was becoming a reality – “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
1999 – The Start of the Great Nigerian Outpouring
In November 1999, it was as if God were shifting into a “higher gear.” Because of the political situation, since the early 1990s all missionary activity had been banned in Nigeria, the most densely populated country in Africa.
When power changed hands and evangelism was permitted again, Reinhard Bonnke and his team immediately started planning a number of campaigns in Nigeria – home to nearly one-quarter of the population of Africa – in an effort to make up for more than eight years when the country was closed to them.
1999 – A Great 25th Anniversary!
Exactly 25 years after the launch of the ministry on December 6, 1974, during the Great Gospel Crusade in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, as many as 525,000 people attended a single service! In the six days from December 7 through 12, 1999, 2.1 million people attended the meetings and more than 1.1 million accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It was a truly great anniversary!
2000 – The Year of the Millennium Campaign
Since CfaN returned to Nigeria 1999, there have been more than 100 Gospel Campaigns, mainly in Nigerian towns and cities – a veritable triumphal gospel parade. At the very first campaign in Benin City, 500,000 people attended just one meeting and over the six-day event a total of 2 million was counted. The campaign was followed by others in Port Harcourt, Calabar and Aba. In those four campaigns alone, 4 million people made decisions for Jesus.
At the end of April 2000, the Evangelist preached to 210,000 people in Khartoum, the capital of Muslim-governed Sudan. During the six-day campaign, more than 130,000 people, most of them Muslims, made decisions for Jesus.
Some six million people attended the six-day campaign in Lagos, Nigeria, the eighth-largest city in the world. The final meeting on November 12, 2000 was attended by 1.6 million people. It was like looking out across a huge tossing sea of people. It was the largest crowd in the history of Christ for all Nations.
2000 – Over 1.6 Million People Attended the Meeting on the Final Night
Around 200,000 trained counselors handed out a total of 3.9 million “Now that you are saved” booklets to the respondents and collected 3.4 million completed decision cards.
In parallel with the campaign, a Fire Conference was held in the national stadium in Lagos. It was attended by some 80,000 pastors, evangelists and churchworkers.
The outreach in Ibadan in 2001 – 3.9 million visitors over five days, 1.3 million at the closing meeting and 2.65 million decision cards completed – was the second-largest CfaN campaign to date.
2003 – The Year of a Double Harvest
In 2003, CfaN intensified its evangelistic efforts, almost doubling the number of campaigns in Nigeria. This was the year of the “double harvest!”
Ten awesome outpourings of God’s love and grace engulfed the nation as more than 7.5 million souls embraced the saving power of Jesus Christ. God strongly demonstrated His healing virtue, His delivering freedom and unifying anointing among the churches. CfaN saw a total of 7,571,987 salvations in this year of “double harvest”.
2007 – The Next Generation Begins
In 2007 a young evangelist joined CfaN and started preaching before Reinhard at some of the campaigns. Reinhard commented, “I saw this young man preaching and knew that he had the heart of an evangelist.” The young man, Daniel Kolenda, continued preaching at the campaigns and, over the following years, started taking a forefront role. Reinhard would preach at one or two meetings and Daniel would preach at the remainder, until Reinhard eventually decided to leave a few of the campaigns to Daniel entirely. The same crowds turned out for Daniel as for Reinhard. The harvest and salvations continued.
2010 – Living a Life of Fire
“Living a Life of Fire,” the autobiography by Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke is the amazing life story of one of the world’s most successful proclaimers of the Christian message.
He often says he went from “zero to hero,” which is an accurate portrayal of the youngest son of preacher from a small village in Northern Germany.
The “fire” in this title refers to Bonnke’s continual partnership with and reliance on the Holy Spirit throughout his life and ministry. This book is not a Pentecostal apologetic, but a challenge to Christians everywhere to embrace the same Biblical doctrine which Bonnke has employed with astonishing success.
2000 – 2014
In the years from early 2000 until the end of 2014, a total of more than 97 million people attended over 100 campaigns, mainly in West African towns and cities. Decisions for Jesus Christ were made by more than 63 million people, documented through a personal decision card.
2018 – The Current Campaigns
What is the “secret” that makes CfaN’s mission work so effective? The major evangelistic campaigns in Africa are planned strategically many months in advance and are held in close cooperation with the local church fellowships. Support comes from a broad spectrum of Christian churches and fellowships including Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Pentecostals, charismatic fellowships and so on. Several hundred church fellowships work in up to 16 different working groups and thus grow closer together.