By Moses Akaigwe
It is quite seldom in the Christian world that you see a household where the head of the family, his wife, and his siblings live the better part of their lives on the pulpit, just as all his six biological children – five male and a female – are not just devoted and anointed men of God, but fire-breathing prophets and prophetess.
This is part of the life His Eminence, the Bishop of Rhema Deliverance Mission International, Dr. Arthur Nwachukwunyelu Nwachukwu, is leaving behind as he formally joins the saints today, February 26, 2021, in his country home in Umunya, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Aged 78, Bishop Nwachukwu died on December 28, 2020. It was as though he knew that the time to answer the heavenly call had come, and wasn’t caught unprepared. He had gathered his family, prayed and anointed them as the ‘departure’ time approached.
He was born into a renowned Christian family of high repute, one usually associated with the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and delivering people from bondage, and this resonated in “Nwachukwunyelu” (a son specially sent by God), a usually first-born name, as his father christened him.
Remarkably, the name had guided his trajectory till he breathed his last, and alongside his two brothers and one sister (and later his own six firebrand prophets) the Nwachukwus have the credit of contributing substantially to changing the believers’ landscape in Nigeria and abroad.
Though a devout Anglican and later a good catechist in the Catholic Church, one of the most notable milestones in Dr. Nwachukwu’s life was his encounter with Christ that led to his being born again: Just before he graduated from the University of Nigeria, he fell sick and was at the point of death, but his younger brother, Bishop Paul Nwachukwu Snr., interceded prayerfully, and preached to him to receive Christ as his Lord and personal saviour. With death staring him in the face, he vowed to embrace this ‘God of believers’ forever, if only his diabetes complications would be divinely healed.
He gave his life to Christ, and God spared his life. And that proved to be a turning point in his life, in a manner reminiscent of the biblical Saul (Paul) ‘arrested’ on his way to Damascus. However, unlike Paul, he didn’t persecute fellow Christians, but hitherto (before the encounter) his successes and fame as a ‘Golden Boy’ to the secular world made clapping hands and praise-worship with believers unthinkable! True to his vow, he served the Lord with his family fervently thenceforth.
Despite his health challenge then, and the task of fending for his family, he graduated in 1986 with flying colours and became the revenue officer of Abakaliki Local Government Area, where he was adjudged an honest man and the best revenue officer in the old Anambra Local Government Commission since inception. As a vibrant member of the Full Gospel of Business Men’s Fellowship, he rose to become the vice chairman of Abakaliki chapter. He started as a travelling evangelist, an instrument of God, a vessel of honour in the deliverance ministry, which he did till death.
But, it wasn’t until 1992 that he swung into full-time ministry after resigning voluntarily from his local government employment to surrender fully to God to be used as a great weapon in crushing evil forces and delivering the lives of his people from bondage.
As an Iroko and colossus in the vineyard of God, he built a large cathedral on a hilltop, against the tide of unwarranted discrimination against him as a result of his uncommon calling and style of deliverance. The edifice was dedicated by one of his spiritual mentors, the late Archbishop Benson ldahosa.
Today, his biological children, relations and the numerous teachers, preachers and deliverance ministers he raised, are spreading the word to all parts of the world, even as the ministry’s Oracle/Rhema satellite television beams the gospel to about 120 countries.
Dr. Nwachukwu got married In 1969 to his pretty wife, Rev. Dr. Patricia Okwukweka Nwachukwu (nee Zikora), and they are blessed with Drs. Chidozie, Anene, Amaechi, Christiana, Ejike, and Ebuka, all firebrand prophets popularly called the Oracles (of God).
One of them, Dr. Anene Nwachukwu, in an open tribute in his church in Iba, Lagos, recently, disclosed that, aware that his time was up, his father had announced to the congregation during the most recent deliverance crusade usually attended by believers from all parts of the world in Umunya, that the outing would be his last, because it was time for him to “rest.”
As His Eminence, the Bishop of Rhema Deliverance Mission Worldwide, Dr. Nwachukwu, is laid to rest in Umunya today, the family is taking solace in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” because he stored his treasure in heaven by living for Christ, shining the light for people in the dark to see, and winning people for the kingdom of God.