'Billy Graham of Africa,' Evangelist Stephen Lungu, Dies of Coronavirus

John Paluska | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Friday, January 22, 2021
'Billy Graham of Africa,' Evangelist Stephen Lungu, Dies of Coronavirus

'Billy Graham of Africa,' Evangelist Stephen Lungu, Dies of Coronavirus

African Evangelist Stephen Lungu, who is known as the "Billy Graham of Africa," died of coronavirus on January 18th.

Lungu, the retired CEO of African Enterprise, died at the age of 78. Part of the reason he died was because he was diabetic and couldn't fight off the virus. Elderly people and those with preexisting conditions, which diabetes is considered, are considered to be particularly high risk of death if they contract the coronavirus.

Stephen Mbogo, who succeeded him as the African Enterprise's international CEO in 2014, announced Lungu’s death in a statement. Citing Psalm 116:15 he said, "We all prayed. However, it has pleased the Lord to rest him. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.”

Lungu grew up in a dysfunctional family in Zimbabwe. He grew up living on the streets and got involved in street gangs. In one testimony he gave, he recalled how he was leading his gang to throw "petrol bombs" into an evangelical tent meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe. But instead of following through with the attack, he gave his life to Christ as he heard the words of the preacher.

Lungu was both uneducated and illiterate, but the British missionary who authored the prayer guide "Operation World", Patrick Johnstone, would become his mentor.

Over the years, Lungu became an evangelist who worked with Dorothea Mission before working for African Enterprise.

"Few people had a greater passion for Christ or shared the Gospel more powerfully than Stephen Lungu. He will be greatly missed, most especially by his wife Rachel, his five children and many grandchildren, his friends in African Enterprise and countless thousands across the world who witnessed his ministry," African Enterprise stated on their website.

Michael Cassidy, honorary chairman of the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelization, who founded AE in 1961 stated of Lungu, "to be sure, there will be thousands and thousands of people in heaven because of Stephen Lungu."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Dragana991

John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.