A lot had been said and written about him in the past and present; ‘he is a fake preacher’, ‘he is controversial’, ‘he is not a real man of God’… his main critics chorused this and much more. His incredibly ever expanding ministry however remains a parody of these cynical remarks. Reverend Chris Oyakhilome remains an enigma in Africa’s most fervid charismatic nation, Nigeria. Reports of healing and miracles at the Christ Embassy Healing School in Nigeria and South Africa and from his outreach crusades have been objects to be pored over and debated in forums like Nairaland. Allegations of manipulation and deceit have been the conclusion of most critics; accusing Pastor Chris of merely acting out a script. Why? To buoy up the number his followership, and increase sponsorship of programmes
So is he really what his critics say he is?
Through an anointed ministry spanning over 25 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, …presiding over an ever-widening network of Christ Embassy Churches and campus fellowships on all five continents, Rev. Chris also pastors one of the largest congregations in Africa. He holds massive teaching and healing crusades with crowds of over 3.5 million in a single night’s event.
Now that’s what the Christ Embassy Church website tells you…but there’s more. In 2004, in the city of Port Harcourt over 2.5 million people gathered in a single event to listen to him. Pull over, Johannesburg, South Africa where train stations were shut down and frantic announcements made asking people to turn back. That program was tagged ‘Night of Bliss’ and the gargantuan crowd mirrored his subsequent programs in London and Toronto respectively. But it isn’t just the crowd phenomenon that is synonymous with these crusades; ask the people who turn up, at times spending nights in sleeping bags in front shut venue doors, standing in careening lines tarrying for a seat; then you’d get a clearer picture:
‘I had never heard anything about Pastor Chris until about mid July 2007…no wonder one of my granddaughters at age 4, called you JESUS, when she saw your picture on the cover of the DVD “In Spirit and in Truth’ – Kate Nguini
‘The first time I saw him, I was like what kind of man is this? … I now live in his world… Pastor Chris is Woooooooow’ – Eboh Ijeoma Marthina
To others, he is a great teacher;
‘I am so blessed to finally really meet the man of God, spirit-filed and God’s chosen vessel indeed. I cannot express my joy in my spirit I have, that God finally answered my prayers and connected me with such beautiful teachings of God’s word’ – Anna Sevdianishvili
‘I came in contact with Pastor Chris through his messages in 2007 and I immediately found him to be a wonderful teacher of the Word. He so knows the Word [both the letter/written (logos) and the spirit]. I was amazed by the number of scriptures he would quote [up by heart] while he preached – Essoua Frank
Some also see him as a coach and mentor:
‘Knowing Pastor Chris has added value to my life. I can do all things, heal the sick, fill people with the Holy Spirit, preach the gospel and lots more.’ – Tina Chibuzor
‘I am a regular viewer of Pastor Chris… in the ministry of the Holy Spirit; he has made us Christians proud’ – Akinwande Tailor
And the miracle worker:
‘May the Lord continues reveals his miracles to pastor Chris. We love you the Oyakhilome family, we are blessed in Christ as this year is the seven fold increase’ – Khanyisile Sikhosana
What more can be said? He is definitely not a phony……I think he is more than a man, more than your eyes can see. Maybe not exactly an enigma to those who are acquainted with the ministry but definitely kaleidoscopic when you realize, critics et al, that this one man has traversed so many areas of ministry that often it’s almost impossible to keep up with the latest development.