NOTE: A few years ago we published the account of a Nigerian
pastor who had been raised from the dead - after visiting Hell.
Little did I know that our own David Kirkwood had done a thorough
investigation into what occurred. (-He ministers in Nigeria often).
Below is David's compelling report on the incident:
"The RESURRECTION of DANIEL EKECHUKWU"
-by David Kirkwood.
Soon after it occurred in December of 2001, I heard the report of
Nigerian pastor Daniel Ekechukwu’s resurrection. Reinhard Bonnke
had been preaching at the church where Ekechukwu was resurrected
a short time before it occurred. I also watched the video documentary
of that miracle. I wanted to learn more. Since I was scheduled to
spend the first two weeks of September, 2002 in Nigeria, I told [my
friend] David Aboderin that if it would be possible, I would like to
meet pastor Ekechukwu, and I prayed that the Lord would make it
We eventually learned that pastor Ekechukwu was temporarily
staying at a hotel just five minutes from where I would be lodging
during my final three days in Nigeria. So in a country of 130 million
people, and in a city of 12 million, the man I wanted to meet was
lodging just five minutes away from me! I was given the favor of
personally meeting with Daniel Ekechukwu twice during those three
days and also talking with several people on his ministry staff who
were very familiar with his story.
The following report has been compiled from several sources: (1) from
pastor Daniel Ekechukwu himself by means of personal discussions
I had with him from September 12-14, 2002, (2) from his personal
written testimony contained in his own self-published booklet which
he gave me, titled Miracle of the 21st Century, (3) from listening to
his public testimony on September 13th at The Chapel of Glory,
Lagos, Nigeria, (4) from the documentary video produced and sold
by the ministry of Christ for all Nations, which includes the testi-
monies of pastor Daniel, the doctor who pronounced him dead,
Daniel’s wife, Daniel’s father, the mortician who embalmed Daniel,
and several pastors who were present at his resurrection, and
(5) from a personal discussion with Ede Samuel, a long-time friend
and personal assistant to Daniel, who also was an eye-witness of
many of the events surrounding Daniel’s death and resurrection.
The events described in the following report are factual to the best
of my knowledge and memory.
I am persuaded that due to complications from an automobile
accident, Nigerian pastor Daniel Ekechukwu physically died in the
late evening of Friday, November 30th, 2001, was dead for at least
42 hours, visited heaven and hell during the time of his physical
death, and was raised from the dead between 3:50pm and 5:15pm
on Sunday, Dec 2, 2001 in the basement of the Grace of God
Mission, located in Onitsha, Nigeria. Pastor Ekechukwu’s resur-
rection is the greatest modern miracle of which I’ve heard.
On Thursday, November 29th, 2001, pastor Daniel Ekechukwu
and his wife, Nneka, had a misunderstanding that degenerated into
an argument that ended in her slapping him. He was very offended
by this incident, to the point of not even acknowledging her attempt
to reconcile the next morning. Pastor Daniel admitted that through-
out the day of November 30th, he angrily thought about how he
would put his wife in her place when he returned home. He would
not, however, make it home that Friday.
As he was driving home that evening, the brakes on his 20-year old
Mercedes 230E failed as he was heading down a steep hill, and his
car crashed into a concrete pillar that was built to prevent cars from
going over a steep embankment. He was not wearing a seat belt
(few Nigerians did in 2001, but that changed in 2003, when wearing
a seat-belt become a national law), and his chest hit very forcibly
against the steering wheel and its knob, apparently doing damage
to his internal organs, as he was soon vomiting up blood and having
difficulty breathing (not to mention that he soon lost all signs of life).
Daniel was not able to remove himself from his car, but frantic on-
lookers pulled him out. One bystander volunteered her car while
another offered to drive him to St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, not
far away on the outskirts of Onitsha.
Within minutes of their arrival at the hospital, a doctor began admin-
istering emergency treatment, but Daniel knew his body was not
responding to it. He began praying the prayer of a man who knows
he is going to die, asking God to forgive him of all his sins so that
he would be ready to stand before the Lord. He also sent for his wife,
Nneka, with whom he had refused to speak when he left his home
earlier that day. She fainted upon hearing the news of her husband’s
accident and condition, but when revived was taken by a Christian
neighbor to the hospital. Daniel’s friend, Ede Samuel (whom I
interviewed at length) was with her and essentially witnessed
everything that transpired over the next three days.
When she arrived at St. Charles hospital, Daniel’s wife burst into
tears, begging her husband not to die and leave her. The doctor
admitted that there was nothing he could do to save Daniel’s life
(keep in mind this was a Third World hospital), and so Daniel
requested that he be transferred by ambulance to Umezuruike
Hospital, 80 km away. It was on the way to Umezuruike that Daniel died.
Daniel was lying in the back of the ambulance while his wife was in
the front passenger seat. He began to feel that he was not going to
survive, so he called for his wife to come to him. He began to say
goodbye, give her instructions about certain church and personal
documents, and admonished her to take care of their sons and his
church. She began sobbing greatly and amidst her tears strongly
rebuked him for such negative statements. He was a man of God
and should have faith, and not be speaking of dying!
As she was speaking, Daniel saw two large angels (they were so
large that he later wondered how they fit inside the ambulance - one
was as big as the ambulance) who were completely white (even the
pupils of their eyes). Daniel tried to speak to the angels, but one
held his finger to his lips, motioning for his silence. The angels lifted
him on either side, and Daniel realized that there were now two of
himself. The angels were holding him under each arm of his spirit
man (which was perfectly whole), while his broken body was lying
below. Once they left the ambulance, Daniel became oblivious to
the natural world.
When the ambulance arrived at Umezuruike Hospital with Daniel’s
body, it was now late at night (Friday, November 30th), and Daniel’s
doctor was not there. A member of the medical staff, however,
examined his body and sadly told Nneka that her husband was dead
and there was nothing that could be done. Nneka refused to believe
the bad report.
So they drove to the Federal Medical Center in Owerri, but found no
doctor there either. Finally they drove to the Eunice Clinic, and there
Daniel was confirmed to be dead by Doctor Jossy Anuebunwa. There
was no breathing, no heartbeat or pulse, and Daniel’s pupils were
dilated and fixed. The doctor said that there was nothing he could
do. A death certificate was issued at 11:30 P.M., Nov 30, 2001.
They then drove Daniel’s corpse to his father’s house in a nearby
village, and naturally Daniel’s father and other family members were
heartbroken at the sight of Daniel’s dead body, weeping profusely.
Daniel’s father instructed them to take his body to Ikeduru General
Hospital Mortuary not far away. They arrived there around 1:00 am
on Saturday morning. The resident mortician, Mr. Darlington Manu,
received the corpse and the family members departed.
The primitive Nigerian mortuary where Daniel’s body was taken had
no cold storage facilities, and so the mortician injected embalming
chemicals into Daniel’s fingers and into his feet. He then prepared
to fully embalm Daniel’s body by cutting Daniel’s inner thigh in order
to insert a tube by which he could inject more embalming fluid. As
he did this, he experienced a shock that pushed him away from the
corpse. This did not surprise him, as he had experienced similar
forces before and attributed them to occult powers. (Such things
are widely practiced in Africa and highly respected by all African
pastors whom I know. Africans never understand the skepticism of
Americans regarding the reality of occult power.) After a second
attempt and a second shock that somewhat paralyzed his right
arm, he concluded that Daniel must have been a member of a
powerful secret society. He assumed, however, that after some
occult sacrifices and incantations the powers in the corpse would
subside, and he could then complete his work. (This mortician, of
course, was not a Christian, but converted after Daniel’s resurrection.)
So he instructed an assistant to lay Daniel’s body in the rear of the
mortuary where many other corpses were already laid. (Incidentally,
Daniel said that people could smell the embalming chemicals
coming out of his body for two weeks after his resurrection. They
would hug him and hold their noses.)
Around 2:00 A.M. Saturday morning, the mortician, who lived very
close to the mortuary, was disturbed by songs of worship coming
from inside his mortuary, which stopped as soon as approached
the mortuary doorway. This occurred twice. Upon searching for the
music’s source, he noticed some kind of light emanating from the
face of Daniel’s corpse. This completely unnerved him.
The mortician was so disturbed over what was happing that he
located Daniel’s father on Saturday morning to inform him of what
had been happening and to request that he remove Daniel’s corpse
from his mortuary. Then, on Saturday night, while she was sleeping,
Daniel’s wife experienced a dream in which she saw the face of her
husband, and he was asking her why they had left him in the
mortuary. He stated that he was not dead and that she should take
him to Onitsha where German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke was
preaching. She determined to do so, even though her family thought
she was out of her mind. Daniel had been dead for more than 28
hours. The family finally yielded, but purchased a casket and brought
funeral clothing for the mortician to dress Daniel. Rigor mortis had
fully set in by this time. An ambulance was hired on Sunday morning,
December 2nd, and the casket that contained Daniel’s body was
taken to Grace of God Mission (a large church) in Onitsha, about one
and half hours away, where evangelist Reinhard Bonnke was preach-
ing at an afternoon service. They arrived at the church around 1:00pm.
The church grounds were being protected by swarms of federal, state
and local security guards for the sake of Reinhard Bonnke, who has
received many death threats, and who is hated by Muslims all over
Africa. (Not to mention the fact that the World Trade Center had
been destroyed by Muslim hijackers just weeks before.) For this
reason, the security guards would not allow the casket to be brought
onto church grounds, thinking it might actually contain explosives.
Daniel’s wife loudly pleaded with them, and opened the casket to
show them her dead husband, which resulted in their mocking and
even flogging her because of her persistence to gain entrance. She
caused such a disturbance that the senior pastor was notified, and
his son instructed that Daniel’s wife be permitted to bring his body
to the church without the casket, and that it be placed in the base-
ment. Daniel’s body was laid there on two tables pushed together
in a Sunday School room.
Some believers gathered around Daniel’s body and prayed while
Reinhard Bonnke, who knew nothing of the dead body in the base-
ment, preached and prayed. Eventually, it was noticed that Daniel’s
corpse twitched, and then irregular breathing started. (By this time,
Reinhard Bonnke had left the premises entirely.) The attendant
believers began praying fervently, and because his body was stiff
and cold, they began massaging his neck, arms and legs. When
those in the sanctuary got word that a dead man below was coming
back to life, the basement room was soon jammed with people.
Suddenly Daniel sneezed and arose with a jump. It was somewhere
between 3:50 and 5:15 PM on Sunday afternoon. Daniel had died
Friday night around 10:00 PM. He slowly became fully coherent
over the next few hours.
Do you doubt this account? A report on the web site of Christ for all
Nations declares: Here are some hard facts that won’t go away. For
two days Daniel did not breathe, his heart had stopped beating. It
was in a hot climate, not suspended animation in an ice chamber.
He had been injected with a harsh chemical to keep back mortifi-
cation. As a corpse he was carted around for hours, pulled about,
and lay in an airless narrow coffin for hours. He should have had
severe brain damage, but he is alive now without any ill effects.
This is no unsupported claim of bringing someone to life privately,
as in a house. Here was a public event, an open demonstration of
revival from death. If anyone has to be named, it is Nneka. Her
incurable faith alone prevented Daniel’s burial simply to bring him
where she was convinced God could bring him back to life. She
regarded Reinhard Bonnke as a man of God and that in the atmo-
sphere of faith where he ministered this miracle was possible.
The faith of Nneka dictated the whole event and her faith was
honored. By whom? Who honored her faith? If not God, who else?
I would add to this defense that if the incident was a hoax, I doubt
that pastor Ekechukwu would have invented the story of what
happened to him when he was escorted to hell, which I will relate
next. Pastor Daniel’s message is now one of repentance to the
church, to prepare the church to stand before Jesus, and many have
indeed repented after hearing his testimony. If his story is all a hoax,
the result of this hoax is real holiness. Finally, the ministry of
Reinhard Bonnke certainly needs no promotional hoax, as his
Nigerian crusades are already attended by millions. He in fact
states that he had nothing to do with the miracle, and wasn’t aware
of the dead body in the basement of the church where he was preaching.
As amazing as the story of his death and resurrection is, what
Daniel experienced after his death is even more amazing. To him,
what he experienced between his death and resurrection could have
taken only fifteen minutes, even though he was physically dead for
almost two days. After he was lifted from his body by the two angels
in the ambulance, he soon found himself momentarily alone, but was
soon joined by a different angel. Daniel stated that if he was confused
about something that he saw or experienced, or if he had a question
in his mind, this angel immediately gave him the answer. This angel
first told him that they were going to Paradise. There was no time
expended in getting anywhere the angel took him. As soon as the
angel said they were going to Paradise, they were there.
Daniel stood with the angel and watched a multitude of worshipping
people who were dressed in sparkling white garments. He immed-
iately thought they were angels, but the escorting angel told him
that they were human beings who, “while they lived on earth, served
God and had their faith focused on Christ Jesus and lived righteously.”
None appeared to be young or middle-aged or elderly, and none had
any racial distinctives in their appearance. All were focused on a
very bright light above them, and all worshipped in perfect unison.
They would all lift their hands at once and bow at once.
Daniel did notice one man who looked elderly among the multitude,
and the thought occurred to him that perhaps that man was God,
but the escorting angel immediately corrected him. The man was
father Abraham. (Read Luke 16:19-31 for a story Jesus told that
speaks of Abraham in the afterlife.) Daniel longed to join the worship-
pers, but the angel told him that there were other things Daniel
needed to see. He told Daniel they would next go to see Jesus’
promise to His followers, the mansion He had prepared for those
whom “He would find righteous on the last day.” Immediately they
were there. Daniel said there is no earthly way to describe what he
saw. The mansion had no apparent end to its height or width. It
continually moved, and each room also revolved in some manner.
It was made of something that was transparent like glass, and the
floors appear to be made of light. Daniel didn’t see anybody in the
great mansion, but heard beautiful singing. The angel told Daniel,
“The mansion is ready but the saints of God are not. Jesus is
being delayed because Christians in the church are not ready yet.”
Next, the angel took Daniel to hell, and they stood at the gate.
When the angel lifted his hand and let it fall again, the gate opened,
and Daniel could immediately hear the awful sounds of people
screaming and weeping, but everything in hell was in total blackness.
Then a bright light shone from the angel, and Daniel could see many
groups of people in anguish. He told me of several specific groups
that went through endless cycles of torment, held captive to the
same sins they practiced on earth. One group consisted of people
who would eat their own flesh and then vomit it out onto the ground,
at which time the vomit would fly back onto their bodies and turn
back into flesh that they would eat again. The angel told Daniel these
people were those who had eaten human flesh as an occult practice.
(Such things occur in Africa all the time.) Another group, who had
stolen land from others while on earth, endlessly dug rock-hard
ground with their bare hands.
As I heard Daniel relate this scene, I couldn’t help but thinking of
how many times Scripture declares that God will repay every person
according to his or her deeds, and also promises that everyone will
reap precisely what they have sown. I remembered the story Jesus
told of Lazarus and the rich man. In the afterlife, their roles were
exactly reversed. The rich man longed for a drip of water from
Lazarus just as Lazarus had previously longed for a crumb from the
rich man’s table.
Pastor Daniel also saw the former military dictator of Nigeria. He
saw a Christian who had dabbled in occult practices and fallen away
from the Lord, and a pastor who had embezzled money from his
own church and also lied about it. The former pastor pleaded that
he would return the money if Daniel could help him escape hell.
Although there were different kinds of tortures, all of the people in
hell writhed in agony under an unseen force that would wrench
them repeatedly. All of them were shouting, wailing and gnashing
their teeth. Daniel told me that if every Christian could see what he
saw, there would be no need to preach the gospel, as every
Christian would become the gospel.
The most surprising thing is what happened next. The escorting
angel told pastor Daniel, “If your record is to be called here, you
will in no doubt be thrown into hell.” Pastor Daniel immediately
defended himself saying, “I am a man of God! I serve Him with all
my heart!” But a Bible appeared in the angel’s hand, and it was
opened to Matthew 5 where Jesus warned that if one calls his
brother a fool he is guilty enough to go into the hell of fire. Daniel
knew he was guilty for the angry words he had spoken to his wife.
The angel also reminded him that Jesus promised that God will
not forgive our sins if we do not forgive others (Matt. 6:14-15),
because we will reap what we have sown. Only those who are
merciful will obtain mercy (Matt 5:7). The angel told Daniel that
the prayers he prayed as he was dying in the hospital were of no
effect, because he refused to forgive his wife even when she
attempted to reconcile on the morning of his fatal accident.
Pastor Daniel wept at this revelation, but the angel told him not to
cry, because God was going to send him back to the earth to
grant the rich man’s request (see Luke 16:27-30). A man would
come back from the dead and warn people of hell. The angel said
that Daniel’s resurrection would serve as a sign and be the last
warning for this generation.
Finally, pastor Daniel was led to the top of a mountain, at which
there was a large hole full of darkness. There the escorting angel
handed Daniel to a man standing there whom he did not recognize
at first, but soon realized it was German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.
The angel told Daniel that man would help him spread the gospel of salvation.
Both Daniel and Rev. Bonnke fell into the hole, and that is when
Daniel jumped up from the table where he lay at the Grace of God
mission. He was back in his body after having been dead for at least
42 hours, almost two full days.
As you may imagine, pastor Daniel greatly emphasizes in his
preaching the need to forgive those who have wronged us, lest any-
one suffer the fate he almost suffered. How important it is that we
obey Jesus’ commandments regarding forgiveness and walking in
love toward each other, as well as all the rest of His commandments.
It is indeed time for the church to repent and “pursue peace with all
men, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord”
(Heb 12:14). Do not listen to false teachers who say that holiness
is not essential to ultimately gain eternal life. Jesus warned that
only those who do the will of His Father will enter the kingdom of
heaven (Matt. 7:21). Do not listen to teachers who say that if you
are once saved you are guaranteed that you will always be saved.
Jesus warned His closest disciples of the possibility of their not
being ready when He returned and being cast into hell (Matt 24-25).
If we expect God to forgive us, we must forgive others. That is
what Jesus solemnly promised. Are you ready to stand before
Jesus, sincere and blameless?
-By David Kirkwood.
[For more on this incident, see