Late Rt. Rev. Apostle (Dr.) Samuel Enoragbon Ogbonmwan JP, was born in 1930, to the great Ogbonmwan-Oghodu dynasty. His father was Ogbonmwan Okunwague and his mother was Deaconess Ruemwinyogho Ogbonmwan. He was born at Emodu Village, otherwise known as Ogunmwenyin Village, in Ovia North East L.G.A. of Edo State. He married his heartthrob, Deaconess Grace Ogbonmwan (Nee Obasuyi) in 1965. They are blessed with five children.

His biography "The Man Apostle Ogbonmwan"is a must read, in this book he described his bitter ordeal. Between 1948 and 1949, he had lost his sight, 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.

HIS CONVERSION

In 1954 the lord came to the Apostle and he was converted to the Christian Faith. The Lord had informed the Apostle that He had to the the power to restore his sight, but if He did, Samuel would not serve Him, as the vessel He had planned to use

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.

"Children 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.

He 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.

The 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.

At 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.

However, 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.

However, 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. 12:7-9.

He joined 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.

On 17th 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.

EVANGELICAL THRUSTS
He 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 followership.

GOSPEL MUSIC
Another 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
His 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.

AWARDS

- On 9th Nov. 1991, he was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Practical Theology, by Oral Roberts University, U.S.A.

- Edo State Government awarded him Justice of Peace (JP) on 12th Sept. 2001

- In 1999, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) gave him an award in appreciation of his Gospel work.

- In 2000, the Merit Media Network of Nigeria honoured him with a Certificate of Merit,

- In 2005, he was honoured by Vie Group as the best Edo Gospel Christian Singer in the Federation.

- In 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.

- To crown it all, our Royal Father, the Oba of Benin, gave him an award of "Benin Achiever", in January 2007.

His 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.

Papa Ogbonmwan's full Biography is contained in the books titled "THE MAN APOSTLE OGBONMWAN" (1995) and "YOU CAN MAKE IT OGBONMWAN'S WAY" (2007).

Yes, 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.

LESSON
A 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, Adieu, Papa Ogbonmwan, the people's Prophet. May your soul rest in perfect peace. Amen"

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