Establishment Of The Church – Welsh Revival
In 1904/5 Wales experienced an out break of Revival, which had tremendous effects on many parts of the British Isles. This was followed by a MIGHTY VISITATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, which fell simultaneously on many parts of the world, during which many received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with signs following.
As a result, there sprung up Pentecostal groups worldwide which also believed that the gifts of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers of Ephesians 4:11, should operate in the Church together with the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit spelt out in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. The Apostolic Church was therefore born in 1915 in Penygroes, South Wales, United Kingdom.
It was the vision of Apostolic doctrine that gripped the first leader of the Fellowship, Daniel Powell Williams, who in 1913, was ordained an Apostle in the Body of Christ and later became the first President of The Apostolic Church Council and remained so until his death in 1947. The Lord also called brother William Jones Williams, as a Prophet in the Body of Christ and in 1913 he was ordained into the full-time ministry of the Church. Thus they were called together with others to demonstrate the New Testament offices of Apostle and Prophet in the United Kingdom. Subsequently these ministries were exercised in other countries and continents of the World.
Establishment Of The Ghana Church
With time, the Lord in a remarkable way brought many groups to link with the Church in Penygroes under the name The Apostolic Church, and Ghana was no exception. The Gold Coast, now Ghana saw the emergence of Christians in the country who were seeking spiritual awakening in their hearts and lives. This desire to know more about spiritual truths drove many to write for literature from various missions abroad. Through contacts with the Faith Tabernacle of Nigeria, a group of Christians at the small town of Asamankese were introduced to The Apostolic Church, which had started a missionary work in Nigeria.
The Asamankese group then requested The Apostolic church in Bradford, England, to send a delegation shall visit them. As a result, in 1935, Pastor George Perfect, a British missionary who had been posted to Nigeria was directed by the Missionary Office in Bradford, England to visit the Christian group at Asamankese. This group of believers experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and needed instructions and guidance. Pastor George Perfect met the Asamankese group led by the late Apostle Peter Newman Anim.
Eventually, the Asamankese group accepted to become members of The Apostolic Church and wholeheartedly embraced the Tenets of the Church. Pastor George Perfect formally ordained the leader of the group, Pastor Peter Newman Anim as the first African Pastor of The Apostolic Church, Gold Coast.
In 1936, Pastor Vivian Wellings, the then Missionary Secretary of the Church in Bradford visited the infant Apostolic Church at Asamankese. On his return to Bradford, England, he recommended that a resident Missionary should be sent to Asamankese because the new Church was growing at a fast rate.
On March 2, 1937, Pastor James McKeown arrived in the then Gold Coast to take up the mantle as the first resident Missionary. His wife, Sophia arrived later in September, the same year to support her husband. Barely six months after his arrival, Pastor James McKeown was taken ill with malaria fever. A controversy broke out over his being taken to the Ridge Hospital by an English District Commissioner.
The Faith Tabernacle Church members who had joined The Apostolic Church still held in a fanatic way the doctrine of divine healing. During a Christmas Convention at Asamankese, Pastor McKeown’s belief in medication was question by Pastor Anim and some of the Elders. This led to a split in the infant Church with Pastor Anim leading a faction of the Church to breakaway to form Christ Apostolic Church in 1938.
Three years later, the headquarters of The Apostolic Church was transferred to Cape Coast where a Church had been planted. The Apostolic Church, however, flourished rapidly throughout the Country with Pastor McKeown as the Superintendent Missionary. Pastors R.S. Asomaning, J.A.C.Anaman, J.A. Bimpong, D.K. Boateng, S.K. Frimpong and others supported him.
In 1944 some Christian believers including Pastor Lartey Adotey, Pastor A.S. Mallet, Elder Q.A.L. Quarshie, and Pastor C.K. Diaba and others invited The Apostolic Church from Cape Coast to establish the Church in Accra.
The Church in Accra under the leadership of the late Pastor Anaman flourished so quickly that in 1984 the headquarters of the Church was transferred to Accra. More Missionaries were later posted from England to strengthen the work in the then Gold Coast. Pastor C. B. Sercombe arrived in 1943 to be the Vice Superintendent. Pastor Adams Mckeown, Brother of Pastor James Mckeown as a Prophet arrived in December 1944. Pastor Albert Seaborne came in 1946, followed by Pastor S. M. Hammond in 1948. Others were Pastor H. L. Copp in 1953 and Pastor C.H. Rosser in 1962. Pastor F. Johnson arrived in 1966, and Pastor P.W. Cawthorne in 1971. Then Pastor E. H. Williams also arrived in 1973.
After many years of difficulties dating back to 1953 a large section of the Church finally followed Pastor James McKeown to form the Gold Coast Apostolic Church, then Ghana Apostolic Church. And in 1962 the name was changed to the Church of Pentecost. Other Churches like the Divine Healers Church, The Apostolic Reformed Church, The New Covenant Apostolic are all off-shoots of The Apostolic Church. The Lord, however, brought all these Churches into fellowship with The Apostolic Church under the umbrella of the Ghana Pentecostal Council.
The Lord has continued to bless His Church in a wonderful way, and today there are more than one thousand five hundred local Churches in Ghana. The Church has also been instrumental in establishing the glorious vision and the seed of truth in Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, La Cote D’Ivoire, and the United States of America. The Apostolic Church, Ghana celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1985. From 1982 through 1985 Apostle A. Ofori-Addo served as the first Ghanaian Field Chairman of the church. In 1985, the Church in Ghana attained Autonomy, and Apostle A. Ofori-Addo became the first President. He served from 1985 to 1987. Apostle P. Attah Antwi followed from 1987 to 1996. An Administrative Committee steered the affairs of the Church from 1996 to 1997, followed by a Presidential Board from 1997 to 1998. Apostle Joseph Anim, was appointed the President in 1998.
Establishment Of The Church In North America
Some Ghanaians were worshipping in a predominantly African Church in New York in the later part of the 1980’s and the early part of the 1990’s. The name of the church was United African Brotherhood (UAB.) After some time several developments in the church produced unresolvable differences in the church which resulted in a split. A number of people left UAB and started a prayer group with the teachings of the Bible. This group of believers started conducting church services on Sundays. The key leaders and officers of the group were Elders David Owusu Asimeng, Philip Duah (no longer in the church), Mac Otchere, Elijah Addae, Pastor Edward Okyere (now with Miracle Church of Christ). The others were Deacon Nana Osei Tutu (now Elder), Deacon Dumfeh, Sisters Perpetual Acheampong, Juliana Kusi Dansoh and Constance Asiedu (now deaconesses). Several other people whose names shall be too many to list also contributed to the establishment of the fellowship.
As the membership of the fellowship grew, it became necessary to formally establish a church and it was at this time that Elder Owusu Asimeng mentioned this to Apostle Peter Attah Antwi, the then President of The Apostolic Church of Ghana. After visiting the USA, Apostle Attah Antwi met with the National Council who then sent Apostle Ebenezer Abebrese, the then General Secretary of the Church and Apostle Victor Boafo, the then Area Apostle for Cape Coast and leader of the National Evangelical Team, to visit the USA in August 1993. Before their visit, some of the leaders of the new church fellowship were thinking of affiliating with the Assembly of God or adopting the name “Miracle Church of Christ.” The Lord used the visit of these two servants and the teamwork among the officers to convince the members to affiliate with The Apostolic Church of Ghana. Subsequently, the name “The Apostolic Church International” was chosen to refer to the churches that shall be established in North America on behalf of The Apostolic Church of Ghana.
In November 1993, The National Council, appointed Apostle Victor Boafo as the first missionary to shepherd the flock in New York. He arrived in New York in November 1993 and began the work in North America on behalf of the National Council as National Superintendent of North America.
Since then the following have served as Superintendents:
|2002 – 2006||Apostle Ebenezer Abebrese|
|2006 – 2008||Apostle Joseph O. Boateng|
|2009 – 2012||Apostle Ben Lomotey|
|2012 – 2016||Apostle Samuel K. Awidi|
|2016 – Present||Apostle Dr. Kwabena D. Akufo|