His upbringing in a polygamous setting
pushed him into a difficult beginning like others of his
time, but his own situation was peculiar. He cried for survival.
do cry ordinarily to attract parental attention but little
Samuel's cry, as a child, was much more than that. He cried
because he felt society was unkind to him. He cried because
he thought there was no more hope. He cried, like Robinson
Crusoe, ship-wrecked on a lonely Island. He cried for Divine
Succour as if, at that early age, he had come to terms with
the message of Psalm 50:15. The story of his childhood was
a satire on society". That is a glimpse of the picture
painted of Papa Ogbonmwan's difficult beginning, in his
biography (The MAN, 1995: pg.14). Reprinted in 2007.
pleaded to be sent to school whereas, today, children are
entreated to go to school. At that time, by reason of the
number of children and the lean resources available, only
the eldest son (not daughter) of each wife was entitled
to be sent to school. His own lot, therefore, was to be
sent out as house-help. Education was even not considered
important for young Samuel. The name "Enoragbon"
(meaning: only the person who stays alive can ......) given
to him at birth, was to tell discernible minds that, being
alive, was more important than anything else. His being
sent out as house-help, which delayed his education was,
therefore, a flight to safety.
use of the pejorative term "my servant" to describe
young Samuel by the two uncles he stayed with, on two different
occasions, made him to run away to his parents. Back home,
he still insisted on going to school. His parents yielded
to his pleadings. He was sent to school at the advanced
age of fourteen years.
school, he was brilliant. He had an accelerated promotion
to standard II and a double promotion to move to standard
III. He was equally good in sporting activities; he represented
Ahmaddiya Primary School (now called Idah Prim. School)
at "Empire Days", a colonial conception.
his quest and interest for education became short-lived.
Between 1948 and 1949, he had lost his sight. Unable to
see, without any means of livelihood, conscious of his parents'
agony, which was made worse by the despicable behaviour
of the juju priests and traditional doctors contracted to
heal him, he collapsed into self pity. He felt society was
unkind to him; he lost all hope. On three occasions, he
attempted suicide. The survival instinct, that influenced
his being sent away from home as house-help, could now be
appreciated. His situation had been made worse with the
death, in 1958, of his elder brother, Mr. Clifford Idehen
Ogbonmwan. under mysterious circumstances. He was his main
source of livelihood. It was during one of such journeys
to bring foodstuff to the Apostle in Benin, where he (Apostle)
was living in an 8' by 6' bed-room that, while on Asoro
hill, Clifford was hit on the chest with an unseen axe and
by an unseen hand.
the Lord came to his rescue. He was converted to the Christian
Faith in 1954. On ,. occasions, God opened his eyes but
would close them back again-. The Lord said He wanted the
Apostle to know He had the power to restore his sight, but
that if He did, Ogbonmwan would not serve Him, as a vessel
He had planned to use. This reminds us of the thorn that
Satan (the enemy) planted in Apostle Paul's body, in order
to torment him and for which he sought God's solution. However,
God told him that His grace was sufficient for him. II Cor.
Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Ofunmwegbe Street, Oliha Quarters,
Benin City, until God told him to move away to found a different
Mission. So, on 3rd January, 1974, he founded Christ Apostolic
Church of God Mission, over which he was the General Superintendent/Head
of Mission, until his glorious Home-call on 3rd July, 2007.
August 1970, he was ordained a Prophet. Five days after,
he had his first son, Pastor Emmanuel Ogbonmwan. In 1980,
he was ordained an Apostle.
led crusade teams to all parts of Edo and Delta States (then
known as Bendel) and many souls were converted in the process.
Between 1981 and December 2006, he went round Europe, Canada
and the U.S. to plant churches and to strengthen existing
ones. Through his evangelical capacity, the gift of prayer
and counselling, he was able to win thousands of souls to
the Lord. Through him, majority of Edo people are now converted
and have abandoned idol worshipping. There are presently
more than 300 Branches of this Mission, both within and
outside Nigeria. God told him to make The Fear of God, Love,
Obedience and Patience the kernel of his messages. With
these four pillars, he was able to build a formidable and
successful pastoral image, church administration and mass
potent weapon which he used to convert souls is music, most
of which he composed from the Holy Bible. His musical outfit
is the "Glad Tidings Singers". His Gospel Music
is contained in fourteen music Albums. His Christian music
is a booster to his gospel ministry. He could be compared
to Beethoven who, though completely deaf at the prime age
of 31 years, was a great German Composer and an exponent
of choral music (1770-1827) and, more importantly, to biblical
David, who was a poet and music maestro (1012-972BC).
television ministry added pep to his evangelical exploits.
Like the harmattan bush fire, the ministry is rapidly spreading
its tentacles beyond the confines of this country. Each
of his messages was always embellished with rich and soul-soothing
Bini lyrics, for effect.
On 9th Nov. 1991, he was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree
in Practical Theology, by Oral Roberts University, U.S.A.
State Government awarded him Justice of Peace (JP) on 12th
1999, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) gave him
an award in appreciation of his Gospel work.
2000, the Merit Media Network of Nigeria honoured him with
a Certificate of Merit,
2005, he was honoured by Vie Group as the best Edo Gospel
Christian Singer in the Federation.
2006, the Christian Gospel Artistes Association of Nigeria
honoured him with the Year's best Edo Gospel Music Producer,
after making him their Grand Patron.
crown it all, our Royal Father, the Oba of Benin, gave him
an award of "Benin Achiever", in January 2007.
life is a perfect marriage of the lives of great men of
God. He was like Moses the leader and Intercessor, Paul
the Preacher, David the Singer, Nehemiah the builder, Hezekiah
the Reformer, Apollos the Orator, Job the Faithful and perseverant,
Peter the Rock and Samuel the Prophet. He was like the biblical
Joseph, through whose life story came into effect the truism
that human spoiling cannot stop God's work (Gen. 50:20).
The scar inflicted on him metamorphosed into a star, to
guide men to God. It is the Lord's doing.
Ogbonmwan's full Biography is contained in the books titled
"THE MAN APOSTLE OGBONMWAN" (1995) and "YOU
CAN MAKE IT OGBONMWAN'S WAY" (2007).
Rt. Rev. Apostle (Dr.) S. E. Ogbonmwan lived a fulfilled
life and placed CACGM on a sound footing before he left
us. His work will not die, because he selflessly laid a
solid foundation for us to build upon.
very invaluable lesson learnt from the life history of the
Apostle is that Christianity does not necessarily remove
us from the world and its problems; it makes us fit to live
in it triumphantly and usefully.
Adieu, Papa Ogbonmwan, the people's Prophet. May your soul
rest in perfect peace. Amen"