Church of Pentecost History: The Church of Pentecost is one of the largest religious groups in Ghana and has a population that has surpassed 3 million people.
What do you know about the Church that has arguably more members than any other church in Ghana and has a presence in so many countries in Africa and worldwide?
The Church of Pentecost history
Headquartered in Ghana, the Church of Pentecost history dates back to the 1930s when European Missionaries started propagating the gospel to the people of West Africa. The activities of the church begun through missionary Pastor James McKeown.
Pastor James McKeown was an Irish missionary sent by the Apostolic Church, Bradford, UK, to the then GoldCoast (now Ghana) in 1937.
He came to nurture a group of believers of the Apostolic Faith yearning for the fruit and power of the Holy Spirit.
The group was based in Asamankese in the Eastern Region of Ghana and led by one Peter Newman Anim.
The group split in 1939 under doctrinal differences into the Christ Apostolic Church and the Apostolic Church, Gold Coast.
The latter grew rapidly under Pastor James McKeown.
A constitutional crisis in the church in 1953 led to the founding of the Gold Coast Apostolic Church with Pastor James McKeown as the leader.
On the country’s attainment of independence in 1957 and its adoption of the name Ghana, the Gold Coast Apostolic Church was renamed the Ghana Apostolic Church. The Church later adopted the name The Church of Pentecost on August 1, 1962.
Church of Pentecost founder
Pastor James McKeown is credit as the founder of the Church of Pentecost as after the split as a result of the rift between the Christ Apostolic Church and the Gold Coast Apostolic Church, his breakaway church known as Gold Coast Apostolic Church, later renamed the Church of Pentecost, grew stronger and stronger with more members joining the church which has now become so popular. McKeown is, thus, the church’s first chairman.
Past and current chairmen who ensured that the Church of Pentecost history is maintained
The Church of Pentecost doesn’t operate like the “one-man church” that is being seen elsewhere, instead, they have elected chairmen who see to the running of the church from its base in Ghana where its headquarters is located. An elected chairman of the Church of Pentecost serves for a term of five years of two terms maximum.
The first chairman of the Church of Pentecost
The church’s first chairman was its founder, Ps. James McKeown. McKeown was chairman of the church for a period of 20 years from 1962-1982.
After Ps James McKeown, the next chairman of the Church of Pentecost was Apostle Fred Stephen Sarfo who served for just a single term of five years from 1982-1987.
After Apostle Fred Stephen Sarfo’s reign as chairman of the Church of Pentecost was Prophet M.K Yeboah. M.K Yeboah served for two terms as chairman of the church between 1988 and 1998 when he handed over the chairmanship position the relatively young, at the time, Apostle Dr. M.K Ntumy who also served for two terms between 1998 and 2008.
Apostle Dr. M.K Ntumy’s predecessor was Apostle Prof. Opoku Onyinah, under whose reign the church grew strength to strength. He served for a period of two terms after succeeding M.K Ntumy from 2008-2018
Current chairman protecting the Church of Pentecost history
The current chairman of the Church of Pentecost is Apostle Eric Kwabena Nyamekye. He was elected chairman of the church after Opoku Onyinah retired in 2018.
Election of Apostle Eric Kwabena Nyamekye as chairman of the Church of Pentecost
The election took place on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC) during the 43rd General Council Meeting of the Church. Apostle Eric Nyamekye, 53, was nominated by the Executive Council, led by the outgoing Chairman, Apostle Prof. Opoku Onyinah.
He secured a total of 147 Yes votes as against four (4) Nos, out of the 151 total valid votes cast, obtaining 97.5% of the total valid votes cast by the Electoral College, comprising Members of the Executive Council, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, all Area Heads in Ghana and National Heads who are apostles, prophets or evangelists.
There was no abstention. The overwhelming endorsement of his candidature by the Electoral College, therefore, qualified him to be presented to the General Council for their affirmation.
At the General Council election which was the final lap, he polled a total of 994 votes out of the 1,009 total votes cast, representing 98.5%.
The No votes were 14 with, one (1) abstention. The massive votes he garnered were more than the 2/3 majority votes prescribed by the Constitution of the Church which states that “The candidate so elected at the Electoral College shall be presented to the General Council for approval by two-thirds (2/3) majority votes of the members present and voting.”
Owing to the many social responsibilities undertaken by the church, many people have come to appreciate the work that they are putting into people. Theirs is not just to win the souls, but how to make sure the souls are better off in Christ. They have over the years, built clinics, schools, prison facilities, and many other interventions.
Their presence is felt all over the country with assemblies, and places of worship in every District of Ghana.