Pastor David Yonggi Cho, a cofounder of the Yoido Full Gospel Church (Assemblies of God) in South Korea is dead. Aged 85.
The popular minister of the gospel died on Tuesday morning after battling with complications from a stroke.
Prior to the emergence of Glory Dome in Abuja, owned by the Dunamis Church International Gospel Centre, Pastor Yonggi Cho had the highest church auditorium in the world.
Reacting to the death of Yonggi Cho via his verified Facebook page, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, narrated his encounters with the deceased cleric.
He wrote: “Several years ago, I visited South Korea because I heard of a man who had the largest Church in the world, he had a congregation of half a million people, by the time I visited him, he had an auditorium that could take approximately fifty thousand people, he was having seven services on Sundays. I heard him say in the service that we attended telling the members who came one Sunday to please not come back next Sunday so that those who couldn’t come last Sunday can come next Sunday.
“I said God, so you can do this?
Some years ago, I returned to South Korea, I had a meeting with the same man. The first time I was there, people like me could not come near the office but this time around, I went to his office at his invitation, when we met he said ‘I have heard of you, will you please pray for me?’
“Till we meet again on the resurrection morning, Rest in God’s presence Pastor Dr. David Yonggi Cho.”
Also, Prophet Joshua Iginla who confirmed the death via a post on his verified Facebook page on Tuesday, refered to Younggi Cho, who was regarded as God’s General, as his spiritual father.
Iginla, who expressed sadness over the demise, described the deceased as a “generational icon, trailblazer, pathfinder and a man wrapped in the immortality of God”.
The post reads, “Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity for your warm embrace as a true father who gave me wings to fly limitlessly.
“A South Korean yet spiritually available to father me regardless of tribe, distance and country. Your wisdom, teaching and instructions will abide with me forever.
“One may think with the millions of congregation under your care you may not be available for mentorship but that was never the case with you Dear Father, you could identify the few chosen among the thousands that were called and you mentored through every available means. Oh father my heart bleeds but I know some day we will meet and not part again at the feet of our Heavenly Father.
“In the channels of Divinity, mankind is a creature of Divine appointment (Job 7:1). Yet, men wrapped in the immortality of God don’t die, they only transit to another realm of GLORY. On this day, my spiritual father, a generational icon, trailblazer, pathfinder and a man wrapped in the immortality of God, in the person of PASTOR PAUL YONGI CHO has answered to his GLORIOUS HOME CALL.
“I will forever miss you Daddy, the world can never recover from the supernatural handwritings of your Divine impact and impartation. Myself and the entire family of CHAMPIONS ROYAL ASSEMBLY celebrate your life well lived to the Glory of God.
“You have fought a good fight and will forever be in my heart. REST IN PEACE DAVID YOUNGGI CHO”.
Late Pastor Yonggi Cho was born on February 14, 1936. With his mother-in-law, Choi Ja-shil, he was a cofounder of the Yoido Full Gospel Church (Assemblies of God), the world’s largest congregation.
Cho was raised a Buddhist. When he was 17, he became gravely ill from tuberculosis. He subsequently recovered, and, attributing his healing to the God of Christianity, he became a Christian.
In 1956 he graduated from Seoul’s Full Gospel Theological Seminary (now Hansei University), which was operated by the Pentecostal Assemblies of God denomination.
Just two years later, he opened a tent church on a hillside outside the city. At that time many Koreans were homeless and jobless as a consequence of the Korean War.
Cho’s hopeful message and reports that he had performed faith healings attracted many of the unfortunate to his church. It also undertook many social programs, including a welfare centre in Seoul that provided care for senior citizens who had no supporting families and vocational training to poverty-stricken young adults, a recycling drive to raise money for children in need of open-heart surgery, and “Bread of Love,” a program providing food to the poor and hungry.
The church grew into one of the most popular megachurches in the world and boasts more than 750,000 members. Yoido has more than 500 church locations across South Korea and has sent thousands of missionaries to countries around the globe, according to the church’s press release.
In Cho’s word he would say:
“All I did was offer my life just like the boy who gave the five loaves and two fish… I simply held on to the dreams that the Lord gave me, and it was He who grew Yoido Full Gospel Church to 750,000 members to become the World’s largest church,”. Cho became one of the most influential Christian leaders in his country and in the world at large.
Cho’s wife Kim Sung Hae, died in February this year. They are survived by their three sons. The eldest son Cho Hee-joon, the second son Cho Min-je, the chairman of the Kookmin Daily, and the third son Cho Seung-je, a generation director.
Cho spent more than 44 years emphasizing the importance of cell group ministry, which he believed is the key to church growth, as well as team ministry.
Cho served as chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship between 1992-2000. In 2008, Cho retired, with Young Hoon Lee succeeding him as senior pastor.
Cho died on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at about 7:13am, exactly seven months after his 85th birthday. No doubt he was a lover of God who led the revival in the Republic of Korea.