MEET OUR AMIABLE GENERAL OVERSEER – COSMAS ILECHUKWU
Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu was born to the family of Late Chief P.J.O. Ilechukwu of Olie-Uru,Umudim Nnewi in Anambra State, on the 27th September 1954.He is the first in the family of 10 children.He attended both his primary and secondary Schools at Nnewi. Before gaining admission into university, he served as an auxiliary teacher with National Secondary School, Nnewi where he taught Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology in 1976-1977 academic session. He studied Micro Biologyat the University of Ife, now ObafemiAwolowo University,Ile-Ife OSUN State in 1977-1984. He also attended Imo State University where he obtained PGD in Public Administration. His theological education began with his obtaining M.A in Christian Leadership from West African Theological Seminary (WATS), Lagosand Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership from Bakke graduate University, Seattle Washington State U.S.A.
CONVERSION AND PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
Being born into a Roman Catholic family, he was so proud of his religion and was ardent and dogmatic inthe defence of his faith in his religion and grew up with a disdainful view of non-Catholics. But the tide of events changed in his days at Ife when the moments of his life was defined. There at Ife, he got born again in November 1977, called and prepared for Ministry which is thepassion of his life now. His experience became a living commentary of the word of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away behold, all things are become new”. He was indeed a new creation. A Few months later, he went through the Life in the Spirit seminar where he was graciously baptized in the Spirit. Immediately, it dawned on him that he will spend the rest of life helping Catholics share in this ineffable experience of new birth. This has been the defining passion of his Ministry to date.
He did not have a normal student career in the university simply because he was not a normal student. God used the experience of those years on the campus to prepare him for ministry. Upon his graduation in 1984, he went into full time ministry beginning with the National Youth service
BIRTHING OF CHARISMATIC RENEWAL MINISTRIES
The seed of what is now known as the Charismatic Renewal Ministries was the word of prophecy from God on the 18th of February 1980 which commands us to “start preparing men for a great harvest in the Catholic church..” God gave him an understanding of this vision and the mandate to pursue it leading to the founding of Charismatic Renewal Ministries 1984.This ministry became a major catalyst for the revival that swept through the Catholic Church in Nigeria in the eighties. Catholic youths inflamed by the Holy Spirit in different campuses spread the fire of revival to all the nooks and crannies of this nation.
Looking back, the past sixty years of his life, is filled with praise for a life fully dedicated to the vision of catalyzing revival and preparing men for the great harvest in the Catholic Church. It is life juxtaposed with moments of struggles and successes, travails and triumphs. He can be compared to a man in the arena “whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though chequered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat” (Teddy Roosevelt).
Still looking back, we have a strong cause to thank God for the opportunity He has given to us to have this man as our leader. Thus we look back with a sense of awe at the amazing wonders of God’s grace that has transformed a timid Catholic boy into a useable instrument in the expansion of His kingdom.
Today, Dr. Ilechukwu is not only the General Overseer of the Charismatic Renewal Ministries Inc. He is the Founder and Chairman of African Centre for Christian Leadership, former Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Imo State. He is also the Deputy National Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), the Chairman Global Governing Council of the International Ministers Fellowship (IMF) a global network of churches and ministries in over 23 countries in Africa, UK and U.S.A. He is on the board of Reference of Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, USA and a member of the Governing Council of West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS), Lagos. He is an avid reader, a prolific writer,and also a gifted teacher of the Word; he has been in Ministry for close to four decades.Dr. Ilechukwu has authored several books including ‘Understanding the Ministry of Intercession’, ‘Pray or Perish’, ‘Breaking Forth with Kingdom Power’, ‘You can make the Difference’, ‘The Church of His Vision’, amongst others.
He met Miss AdeolaOlugunna in 1978 in the Charismatic Fellowship at the University of Ife. A series of events ensued that coalesced in their getting married on the 22nd of April 1989. God blessed their marriage with four wonderful children: a girl, Chidera and the boys: Nzubechukwu, Chibuokem, and Kosoluchukwu. One cannot ask for a better family for he has the very best of what God can offer a man as a family. Their marriage is celebrating 25 years of sweetness and of going from glory to glory.
What can we say in all of these; our General Overseer is a man blessed by God and his story is akin to the one that the devil does not know what to do with because he just would not give up. Our G.O’s passion has been to be functionally relevant for the purpose of God as long as he lives and to do his very best and to help others do the same. We foresee visions of new possibilities of greater service to God and mankind. According to Richter, an 18th Century German humorist; “Like a morning dream, life becomes brighter and brighter the longer we live and the reason for everything appears clearer. What has puzzled us before seems less mysterious, and the crooked path looks straight as we approach the end.”