“The great hand of God is on you” – Serving Lighthouse pastors share positive notes about Bishop Dag, debunk allegations levelled against him [Details]

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

In the wake of the ‘darkness that has engulfed the Lighthouse” serving pastors have opened up about their relationship with Bishop Dag and how his leadership impacted their lives

This is a piece of exclusive information relayed by these pastors to the Fourth Estate and republished by Myjoyonline.com. It gives an account of their sacrifice, toil and sweat which was hinged on the word of God and loyalty.

“By the grace of God, I am in my 50s, and I am not tired of missions, I am even more inspired now than ever!!! The church must send, or it will end! This is the way the master went, should not the servants tread it still?”

Words of a man whose life, like many other devoted pastors and missionaries in the Lighthouse Group of Churches, has been dedicated to the relentless and selfless pursuit of the great commission at huge personal cost, as Christ himself did. Bishop Jake Godwyll has planted many churches. Now he heads one in Bouake in La Côte d’Ivoire.

He is one of many devoted pastors and missionaries in the Lighthouse Group of Churches who have come forward to celebrate their hero, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, a man whose love, leadership and guidance have made all the difference in their lives and their commitment to winning souls for Christ wherever that may be.

Like many of his colleagues, Bishop Godwyll asserts “I am a missionary, and I do not apologize for it!”. He has seen transfers across the world: from Accra to Tema. Gambia to La Côte D’Ivoire. Lagos, Nigeria to Worcester Massachusetts.

Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, the father in the trenches

Everywhere he has been, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills has been there with him. He tells the story of the trying times he faced in Nigeria and how Bishop Heward-Mills stood in the trenches with him. As he put it, he found in Dag Heward-Mills “a father who sends, and yet he is with you on the

mission and visits you on the Mission!!

He writes in his own words the following, giving the rest of the world an insight into who Bishop Dag Heward-Mills really is.

“On yet another visit to us in Lagos, after a powerful Sunday morning service, together with all the 40 pastors he came along with from Ghana on this trip (some from the UK and the USA) upstairs in my office, we heard gunshots.

Armed robbers wielding AK 47 rifles entered our church compound firing in all directions. Bishop Dag Heward-Mills was right there during the gunfire!!! A general who visits and stays with his troops even under fire!

God saved us miraculously that day!!

I can never forget how Bishop Dag led the rest of the 40 pastors to pray for me, my wife and the missionary team of Nigeria, and to clap for us, as we got off their bus near the Seme border (Lagos – Cotonou border). What a loving and caring father!!!”.

The volunteer work and building capacity through transfers

The story of Bishop Godwyll is amplified by his colleague, Bishop Emmanuel Louis Nterful. Bishop Nterful’s story is one of faith, devotion and fidelity to the rules guiding one’s conduct in the service of the great commission.

He gave up his successful career as a medical doctor to carry Christ’s cross and win souls across the world.

He says “In 1994, as a young medical doctor, I was appointed as a lay pastor – the term used to describe a pastor who has a secular job, vocation, business etc. and does pastoral work alongside in the Lighthouse Chapel International. It was made clear to me and others like me that the church’s policy was (and still is) not to pay salary or any form of allowances, remuneration or financial benefits to lay or volunteer pastors and church workers. During the pastoral training, we were pointed to scriptures that enjoined believers in Christ to make great sacrifices for the sake of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Like Bishop Godwyll, he also embraced the life of a missionary going anywhere he was sent, planting churches and winning souls.

He writes, “as a volunteer/ lay pastor I was sent by the church to start branches of LCI. Some of the places included Nyanyano Kakraba, University of Ghana campus, Achimota, Tema, Tema New Town and Sakumono. This continued for 12 years. Thus, as a lay pastor, I was transferred to 6 different places for church planting.

Additionally, I was sent around different parts of Ghana to help in church planting and church development. My travels as a volunteer pastor took me to Tamale, Kumasi, Bekwai, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ho etc.

One of the most hectic travels I used to make as an unpaid lay worker was to do training of church leaders at our then fledgeling Ho church.”

He says “For the 12 years my wife and I were involved in the lay ministry we contributed our resources as follows:

  1. We used our own car to travel around to plant churches.

2. We fueled the car.

  1. We gave financial contributions whenever the need arose to complement what LCI could provide.
  2. These financial contributions helped buy church lands, renovate church meeting venues, construct church buildings etc.
  3. Our home often served as a training venue for church leaders.
  4. I instructed my wife to stop her professional teaching career in 2000 to enable her to care for our children very well, whilst I concentrated on my medical profession and lay ministry. Thank God she understood and did.

We truly thank the Lord and LCI for those years of volunteer ministry. We will do it again if we have to!”.

He eventually became a full-time pastor giving up his thriving hospital to do God’s work in the field.

In his own words, he says “The ministry of our Lord Jesus is not a job, a means to survive, an opportunity for riches and greatness in this life. These realities must be understood by all who intend to serve the Lord. The Lord may bless ministers with prosperity, and they may also not achieve that. Paul teaches about his readiness to stay true to his calling, in abundance or in lack”.

Protecting the sanctity of marriage

Bishop Nterful’s pride in doing God’s work is only matched by his appreciation of Dag Heward-Mills about whom he says…“I want to thank my pastor, Bishop Dag for accepting me into the ministry both as a volunteer and full time. Thank you for being a blessing to my family, and especially stabilizing my marriage (hmmm…, I wanted to quit ooo), through your personal counselling, and strong stance against divorce, in accordance with the word of God”.

There is no doubt the choice to commit one’s self fully to God’s work comes at great personal cost. As bishop Nterful’s story shows, sometimes the burden takes its toll on one’s marriage. But one thing is clear, under the leadership of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills the sanctity of marriage shall never be violated.

The following account of Bishop Oko Bortei-Doku who pastors the church in Yopougon, La Côte d’Ivoire tells the whole story. He made the choice to be a missionary and found marital bliss while traveling the world winning souls for Christ.

He says “It has been eighteen years of marriage. A lot happens in eighteen years. The good, the not so good and the bad. Through every one of these seasons of my life, Bishop Dag demonstrated his faith in marriage and the fact that it is worth paying whatever price to stay married. His counsel guided us through every season.”

He continues, “On the mission in La Côte d’Ivoire, Ama (as his wife is called and I have become closer. We work so well together. Ama, having also worked in the Missions office and Denominations Offices, her experience has been invaluable.

We smile more with each other. We spend time together. We even take walks in the evenings together. Thank you, Prophet”.

He captures his life’s lessons in the following elucidating words, “to agree to be engaged in full time took the careful consideration of the individual involved. I did not mind the sacrifices involved. My heart was all out. No one tricked me, no one took advantage of me. I took the challenge to come in and as would be expected of any man of honour, I have stood by this decision to date”.

The full story

May 14th is the 58th birthday of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, the founder of the United Denomination Originating from the Lighthouse Group of Churches (UD-OLGC). It has been some 33 years (the recorded age of our Lord Jesus Christ), since Bishop Dag set out in full-time ministry.

On his birthday, some pastors of the UD-OLGC reflect on 33 years of the ministry, recounting personal stories of their experiences working as volunteers, lay pastors, and fulltime ministers. These accounts paint the clearest picture of how the UD-OLGC operates behind the scenes, and the depth of relationships ministers in the UD-OLGC have with this great man of God.

The depths of personal relationships in the UD-OLGC

I remember! How I first joined the church in Korle Gonno Cathedral just after finishing secondary school. Something about Bishop Dag and his passion for souls made me fall in love with him immediately. I joined the youth ministry and later Leadership International going to various secondary schools preaching the gospel of salvation.

Little did I know that a few years down the line he would come to know me and become a father to me. But that was exactly what happened. This man not only took over fathering me when my biological father died but paid my fees through law school to become a lawyer! How can I forget?

I had given up my dream of becoming a lawyer after Legon, but when I told him, he disagreed, and rather sent me to the law school and paid for my tuition, including my textbooks. Not only did he do that, but he also organized a party for me when I was called to the bar! Now, who does that? He made an example out of me so that I could become a good role model for other young girls in the church! Now, that is a shepherd!

I was not the easiest sheep to lead though, especially when it came to the issue of humbling myself to be marriageable. I was known to simply ‘bounce’ the brothers. Yet again, my shepherd counseled me, and through his influence, I got married to a peaceful and loving friend, one I remember ‘bouncing’ several times!

Today not only am I a lawyer, but a fulltime pastor, wife, and mother of three children.

Anytime I get an opportunity to thank Bishop Dag, I say thank you for being there.

What would have happened to the little girl with no father and no guide in her teenage years? What would have happened if you were not there to insist, I go to the law school? What would have happened if you were not there to pay my fees?

What if you were not there to point out my foolishness in refusing a good brother?

Thanks for being there! I will remember!!

The Account of Rev Dr Nelson Cudjoe Agbemava, Missionary, Maputo, Mozambique

I am a Dentist, and my wife, a graduate nurse.

We got married in 2009 and after 5 years of trying to have a child without success, we met Prophet Dag after one of the First Love services at Central Cafeteria. I remember it as clear as yesterday. He had an intimate counseling session with my wife, and then casually prophesied that the childbirth problem would be resolved, after which we would proceed on missions. Prophet graciously stepped in to guide and counsel us on what to do from that day. It was a divine encounter.

By the grace and mercies of God my wife got pregnant. Throughout the pregnancy, my wife had to be admitted at the then Lighthouse Missions Hospital, now St Kathryn’s Hospital, where she was given special care in the private ward, with daily and regular checks by the hospital team. Amazingly, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills took care of the hospital bills. What a blessing!

Even more amazing was the fact that while in the hospital, Prophet himself would make time to visit and pray powerfully for my wife! Utterly amazing!

I can confidently testify that through the prayers, guidance and personal involvement of Bishop Dag, my wife and I were blessed with a miracle baby girl after a year of our first encounter with the prophet.

We are currently on missions and serving the Lord with gladness in Mozambique!

Thank you, Prophet, for the love, care, guidance, and personal involvement in our lives, without which we will not have a child, and we would not be on missions today. We love you dearly, and we are eternally grateful for your timely involvement in our lives.

HOW LEADERSHIP SKILLS ARE DEVELOPED IN THE UD-OLGC THROUGH TRANSFERS

Happy birthday Bishop. I bless God for your life and am grateful I met you several years ago in the medical school.

For me I had to be there for our paths to cross.

I am incredibly grateful for your covering and fatherhood since the school of hygiene days.

God bless you for saying yes to the call and creating a platform for us to do ministry. Thank you for always encouraging us to build the church of God.

I have been tremendously blessed and now a better person.

Thank you for my pastoral appointment.

My marriage and children are blessed.

Thanks for the privileged fellowship of Bishops; I am very grateful.

use

As a medical Doctor Takoradi was an experience. Thanks for transferring me to Takoradi.  Thank you for the privilege to belong to the church family and Sister Adelaide’s family in Takoradi. I had all my children in Takoradi and was blessed to build a house for which am grateful. I was blessed to have visits from you and other senior ministers from the UD. Thanks for the privilege to develop leadership skills.

The national shepherd camps were a blessing.

My next transfer was to Abidjan (Cote D’ Ivoire) where I had  the privilege to minister to non Ghanaians for the first time.

In South Africa I was privileged and very blessed to be transferred to Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nelspruit and then back to Cape Town. I visited Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Mozambique.

It was a privilege and a blessing to move from city to city. I had the privilege of visiting almost all provinces. Some South Africans I met had not had this opportunity. All these experiences helped me have more opportunities to develop people handling skills, I became a better leader. My wife and children are a blessing. The children are grateful for their formative years in South Africa.

My wife was blessed to be in Trinidad and Tobago for almost six months because we had been transferred there, before a decision was taken for us not to move.

Back in Ghana I have the privilege to serve in The Emmanuel and the Light of the World Cathedrals. 

Am so blessed and grateful for the privilege to be in ministry.

I am grateful for the time you spent fellowshipping with us and teaching us. There were several days and nights when you ministered and shared personal life experiences. These opportunities are priceless and cannot be quantified monetarily.

You were interested in our health and personal wellbeing.

Thanks for several opportunities to travel and Minister.

 All my children love the Lord and love you.

 They are privileged to be in ministry by the grace of God.  My children are grateful because they have international friends.

I am so grateful for your love and support.

You are a great and beautiful gift from God.

Thank you for the books, audio, and video messages.

Our Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher.

Our Trainer and Motivator

You inspire and urge us on

May the anointing on your life increase.

May God bless you with uncommon favor and wisdom. 

May you be helped tremendously.

Lots of love 

Happy birthday.

TRANSITION INTO FULL-TIME MINISTRY, AND THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE IN THE UD-OLGC

The Account of Bishop Oko Bortei-Doku, Yopugon, La Côte d’Ivoire

Sending Me on Missions has made my Marriage Sweeter!

Bishop Dag climbed the makeshift wooden stage. A big hole had been dug behind the stage which would eventually become the basement of the Korle Gonno Cathedral. I had followed my older brother and two of his friends for the first night of Anagkazo Convention with Rev. Eastwood Anaba. But what was to follow was perhaps to shock me and shape the rest of my life.

“There is a young man here, very anointed of God. We want to invite him up here to bless us with a song before the preacher preaches. Shall we welcome Brother Oko”, said Bishop Dag Heward-Mills. I was being introduced to sing… and I did not even know it!

I joined those applauding the anticipated singer. “There is an ‘Oko’ in this church” I remarked to myself. Unknown to me, the one being introduced was yours truly! I do not know how I ended up on stage or how I g

ot through to the end of the song. I was in total shock. I was not ready for this. I had never sung publicly and moreover this was my first ever church service at the Lighthouse Cathedral, Korle Gonno.

When I was done singing, heart thumping throughout the time, Bishop Dag took the microphone and asked the crowd, “how many of you would like to hear Brother Oko sing here EVERY SUNDAY?” I thought to myself that they could only be out of their minds. But in the realm of the spirit, this prophetic pronouncement of Prophet Dag said in his typically casual manner was to seal the path of my future.

After the interesting episode and ‘visiting’ the church for the rest of the semester break, I returned to the University of Science and Technology (as it was called in those days) to continue my studies as a second-year student reading Chemical Engineering.

Semester Break after semester break, though on campus I attended my ‘mother church’, I found myself Sunday after Sunday at the Lighthouse Cathedral. By now I had a personal relationship with the Founder, Prophet, and Pastor, Bishop Dag.

After finishing school, the time came to decide to fully join the Lighthouse Chapel International. It was easy, Bishop was down to earth. He was genuine, loving, faithful, and had a heart which was unquestionably bent on fulfilling God’s will for his life through preaching the pure and simple Gospel, and encouraging whoever he could get to give his best to serve the Lord. Bishop Dag Heward-Mills’ love for God and his work was infectious. By then I had only one desire: to serve God with my life!

Whilst still in school, as often as I possibly could, I would take the stroll from Independence Hall Annex to Paa Joe football field to spend time in prayer. I had two major prayer topics that stood out for me: ‘Lord, give me a great wife’ and the other being ‘Lord, give me a job that would allow me to serve you’.

God answered both prayers.

When I was done with school, I was offered a rare opportunity to join the full-time staff of the Lighthouse Chapel. It was a small team. Bishop Dag’s heart was to give people the opportunity to fulfil their dream of serving God. Most of the workforce did it in a lay capacity.

To agree to be engaged in full time took the careful consideration of the individual involved. I did not mind the sacrifices involved. My heart was all out. No one tricked me, no one took advantage of me. I took the challenge to come in and as would be expected of any man of honour, I have stood by this decision to date.

Coming full-time as a young man straight out of school came at a price. The first strangely had to do with the quest to find a wife to marry. My first prayer topic had been answered but my second was yet to be. If you are looking for stigma, do not look far, look for a graduate who has decided to serve God full time and looking for a wife. Through this very trying time, the arm I leaned on, the voice that soothed me after each heart ache, the one who continually told me, “Oko, I still believe in you” was that of the one man I am indebted to for life, Bishop Dag.

Finally, she came into my life and what a joy it was for all of us! The chosen one, Dr. Ama! Funnily, she was the one who did not seem to be swayed by my ‘stardom’ (by then, I had become a prominent soloist and singer in the church). And guess who summoned the Doctor to convince her to say ‘yes’ to me? Your guess is as good as mine. And it worked. She said ‘YES’.

For my wedding, Bishop gave me his car to use as our wedding car, he paid for a four-star hotel for the wedding night, he paid for our honeymoon. He even gave me money to take her out for dinner on the night of the wedding. We went to Dynasty Chinese restaurant, Osu. 

It has been eighteen years of marriage. A lot happens in eighteen years. The good, the not so good and the bad. Through every one of these seasons of my life, Bishop Dag demonstrated his faith in marriage and the fact that it is worth paying whatever price to stay married. His counsel guided us through every season.

On the mission in La Côte d’Ivoire, Ama and I have become closer. We work so well together. Ama, having also worked in the Missions office and Denominations Offices, her experience has been invaluable.

We smile more with each other. We spend time together. We even take walks in the evenings together.

Thank you, Prophet.

The other day in church, while preaching, I told the church my story, how I used to spend my nights praying on the field for a wife. Then I turned to look at my wife and I believe the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “that was my answer to your prayer”.

Bishop, on your birthday, I want to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. thank you for being there every step of the way, thank you for MAKING MY MARRIAGE SWEETER ON THE MISSION.

THE REASON FOR MISSIONS AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF MISSIONARIES IN THE UD-OLGC

The Account of Bishop Jake Godwyll, Bouake, La Côte d’Ivoire

May 14th is the birthday of someone special to me; a man who has helped me, fathered me in ministry, and taught me many things in life and ministry. Since I met him, my life and ministry have only experienced Tsalach – advancement, breaking forth, and fruitfulness!

Let me tell you a bit of my story!!

I am a missionary, and I do not apologize for it! I believe in the practical fulfillment of the Great Commission!! Each time I have the opportunity, I want some Christian somewhere to rise, and Go somewhere and preach the gospel, and gather people and make them disciples of Jesus Christ!!!

In 1996, I had an unusual encounter with God, after which I knew that God was calling me into ministry. But I did not know how to go about it or what to do.

Thanks to my big brother, Bede’s counsel, I chose Legon Hall, as I was entering the University of Ghana. He strongly desired for me to be roommates with a vibrant Christian brother, Brother Eddy Addy.

By God’s ordained arrangement, I did become his roommate. I did not know he was closely knit with Brother E. A. T. Sackey and Brother Dag. Oh, what a blessing!!! Here I was, surrounded by such godly, zealous Christian student leaders in university!

I had heard many adventurous Christian stories about Brother Dag, his desire for radical evangelism and the all-out-serving God fire he carried.

“Lord, this is what I’ve desired… This is the kind of Christian life I want to live…” that was my prayer, and I desired to be close to him. I was surprised, and blessed when one day, when Brother Dag visited me in our room, H5 Legon Hall, and invited me to church. He said “We have started a church in Korle Bu, which is going to be the launching pad for evangelistic crusades to all the towns and villages in Ghana…” This must have been sometime close to the end of 1996. What a prophecy!!! Did he see the Healing Jesus Campaigns way back then? Did the Lord show him all these massive and beautiful crusades that have saved hundreds of thousands of people round the world, way back then? Doubtless the Lord did. But I never knew him as a Prophet then!!! I am eternally grateful to God for the day I met him.

My Pastor

In 1989, I took a quality decision to fully commit and join the Lighthouse Chapel International. I knew the Lord had many things to teach through Pastor Dag. And I was not wrong!!

Sundays and Tuesdays at the Medical School Canteen in Korle Bu, I remember them like yesterday, the sweet and illuminating teachings from the book of James, teachings about the Prodigal Son, the Seven Great Principles, The Joshua Generation, The Can-do man, Anagkazo, Biazo, Anaideia .. The ABCs of Faith… Yoh!!! I had never heard Teachings like these. Thank you, Bishop Dag, I am eternally grateful that you pastored me all these years!

My Evangelist, my Mentor and Father in Evangelism

In 1990/91, he gave me the opportunity to start crusades all over Accra. Whew!! Cold Sweat! But we began, at Korle Bu Nurses’ flats, Mamprobi, Dansoman, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Labone, Ringway, Madina, Adenta, Accra Central… Evangelist Jake!! Thank you, Bishop Dag, for the opportunity and the many encouragements!!

Many times, I was so afraid, so scared to preach, but he would say to me “Captain Jake, preach as if you are preaching to 200 people”, while in fact there were just about 30/40 adults with many children all over. I would then mount the stage full of faith and confidence and power, because my mentor, my coach, my pastor, my father, was right there to encourage me and to cheer me on.

I was a lay-person and not even a pastor then. I maintained my secular job and served in the ministry.

This mentoring and fathering built in me a solid foundation for many mammoth Gospel crusades I would later hold in Lagos, Pretoria, all over Cape Coast and La Côte d’Ivoire. Thank you, Bishop Dag, I am eternally grateful! Your passion for Evangelism has never waned, it has only increased in leaps and bounds over the years!! May God continue to bless you abundantly!

My Apostle

In the mid-nineties, he sent me to help one of our pastors in starting our first Branch church Tema, at the Tema General Hospital OPD. I travelled from Accra to Tema during the week and on Sundays. It was such a joy to see a church sprouting, and today it has metamorphosed into healthy thriving churches all over Tema and beyond.

I can still remember as if it was just yesterday, some of the faithful brothers of the fledgling church, today two of them are fine Bishops of our church. Thank you, Bishop Dag for even this “little opportunity”. I am eternally grateful!

In 1996, he had established Lighthouse Missions Society and made me the Missions Director and sent me to The Gambia to start our Mission church there, and to have practical experience in Missions. When I arrived in The Gambia, everything pointed to a mission-impossible, but for the teachings on the Anagkazo story of Luke 14 and the Can-do Man I had received years earlier. The church began and today we have thriving churches in The Gambia by the grace of God!! Thanks to my friends and hosts Atonzie (Joseph Cann) and Victoria, LP Maranatha John & Rev Wilmot John, and Auntie (LP) Philippa Aggrey-Mensah.

I thank God for His grace and thank you Bishop Dag for this stint in The Gambia. I am eternally grateful!

In 1997, he sent me to Worcester Massachusetts, USA to start a church there. And by the grace of God beautiful churches have been planted all over there today. I am grateful for this opportunity! Church planting in Africa and in America and back to Africa.

In 2001, he sent me to Lagos, Nigeria. The amazing truth is he did not just send me, he was with us throughout. I remember the many phone calls… I remember the encouragements to keep finding the appropriate property to be bought for the church…  I remember the financial support for the mission and for our personal upkeep… Above all, the number of visits he made to Nigeria to visit us and preach in our growing church.

He ate in our home. I can never forget when he stayed in our home and slept in our bedroom. He slept where we slept, ate what we ate and drank what we drank. It was the greatest honour for me and my wife Kezia and little children Esther-Natasha and Kezia-Beryl to host God’s anointed man, the International healing Evangelist in our home at Oregun, on Tairu Olugbani Crescent, Ikeja. What a blessing!! Was he not scared to stay in the place where we experienced two close armed robbery attacks? No!! He is a father who sends, and yet he is with you in the mission and visits you on the Mission!!

A General who visits his troops on the war front. I salute you, My Good General!! I salute you!!!

On yet another visit to us in Lagos, after a powerful Sunday morning service, together with all the 40 pastors he came along with from Ghana on this trip (some from the UK and the USA) upstairs in my office, we heard gun shots.

Armed robbers wielding AK 47 rifles entered our church compound firing in all directions. Bishop Dag Heward-Mills was right there during the gun fire!!! A general who visits and stays with his troops even under fire!

God saved us miraculously that day!!

I can never forget how Bishop Dag led the rest of the 40 pastors to pray for me, my wife and the missionary team of Nigeria, and to clap for us, as we got off their bus near the Seme border (Lagos – Cotonou border). What a loving and caring father!!!

Thank you, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, I am eternally grateful to God and to you for our 8-year missionary work in Lagos, Nigeria. What a blessing!!

Time and space will not allow all I would like to say of my being sent further on missions to South Africa, back to Ghana, Cape Coast, and now in Bouaké, la Côte d’Ivoire. Expect a Part 2.

Today my life is enriched with great exposure, great opportunities of serving God in other nations. I have many people of other nationalities I can call family; Nigerians, Southern Africans, Ivorians, Ghanaians…

By the grace of God, I am in my fifties, and I am not tired of Missions, I am even more inspired now than ever!!! The church must send, or it will end! This is the way the master went, should not the servants tread it still?

As you celebrate your birthday, Bishop, I want you to know how blessed I am, how eternally grateful I am, especially for all the missionary opportunities. It was never my own plan to have been in any of these nations, but God laid it on your heart, and you sent me. Thanks for choosing me and sending me.

I pray that God will be gracious to my children and send them also.

And thank you again Bishop, last year we had the honour of you blessing my first daughter’s marriage after 28 years of you blessing ours.

Of a truth, I have seen this scripture fulfilled in my life;

… And Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall he be established (Aman); believe in his prophets, so shall ye prosper (Tsalach).

2 Chron 20:20

Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Bishop. Happy Birthday in advance!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

WORKING AS A VOLUNTEER, TRANSITIONING INTO FULL TIME MINISTRY AND BUILDING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY THROUGH TRANSFERS

The Account of the Convener, Bishop Emmanuel Louis Nterful

SERVING JESUS IN THE LIGHTHOUSE CHAPEL INTERNATIONAL

….. a doctor turned pastor’s journey.

It was a Sunday morning, perhaps late morning, in early 1992.  I was in the emergency room, very idle and bored from lack of the usual hustle and bustle of this place- the emergency room of the Children’s department of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital.

Perhaps it was all divinely orchestrated, because that was the day, I first walked into the then Lighthouse Chapel International. I remember asking one of the nurses “is there any church close by, I have nothing to do, so I want to go church “I was told about a small church meeting at the Medical School canteen. I also remember an additional information that titillated me at the time- the said church was being pastored by a medical doctor. Wow!  Those were the days of the use of pagers for communication, so having given instructions to let me know when I was needed on my pager, I walked the short distance of some 100m to the church.

Little did I know that God was setting me up not only as church member, but ultimately leading me to the place for ministerial training under the tutelage of then Pastor Dag!

DOCTOR AND VOLUNTEER PASTOR

In 1994, as a young medical doctor, I was appointed as a lay pastor – the term used to describe a pastor who has a secular job, vocation, business etc., and does pastoral work alongside in the LCI. It was made clear to me and others like me that the church’s policy was (and still is) not to pay salary or any form of allowances, remuneration or financial benefits to lay or volunteer pastors and church workers. During the pastoral training we were pointed to scriptures that enjoined believers in Christ to make great sacrifices for the sake of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Romans 12:1

A Living Sacrifice

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Matthew 16:24-25

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

At the same time, we were pointed to the scriptures that promised those who make sacrifices for the gospel of Jesus Christ, to expect blessings from God Himself.

Matthew 6:31-33

Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Mark 10:28-30

Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

Such scriptures and many others, coupled with the precedents set by western missionaries to Ghana, India, Burma, Africa, and other parts of the world as volunteers, that I had heard about, greatly inspired me to take up my cross of the volunteer pastor to plants churches and work for the Lord.

CHURCH PLANTING AND TRANSFERS

As a volunteer/ lay pastor I was sent by the church to start branches of LCI. Some of the places included Nyanyano Kakraba, University of Ghana campus, Achimota, Tema, Tema New Town and Sakumono. This continued for 12 years. Thus, as a lay pastor I was transferred to 6 different places for church planting.

Additionally, I was sent around different parts of Ghana to help in church planting and church development. My travels as a volunteer pastor took me to Tamale, Kumasi, Bekwai, Sekondi-Takoradi, HO etc.

One of the most hectic travels I used to make as an unpaid lay worker were to do training of church leaders at our then fledgling Ho church. I remember often finishing up my hectic hospital duties on Fridays. Then I would drive several hours on the then 1990s bad roads to arrive at Ho. I would check into a hotel at my own expense and use my hotel room space as a training venue from early evening to the dawn of Sunday. This was followed by preaching at the Sunday morning services, after which more leadership training sessions were held. I would leave Ho in the afternoon to Accra to ensure I got a little rest before the cycle of doctor/ volunteer pastor started again on Monday.

This unpaid lay ministry lasted for 12 years. Looking back, I feel totally blessed and thankful to my Maker and LCI leaders for giving me that honor and privilege to learn the ministry and serve my Savior Jesus Christ. By the grace of God all the churches I pioneered as a volunteer pastor have blossomed, flourished into beautiful megachurches, which are reaping multitudes of sinners into God’s kingdom. I am happy I paid all the price and made all the needed sacrifices to help LCI plant those churches. 

I was also given the responsibility as a lecturer at the Bible school. A couple of times in a week I had to help train new pastors. I really enjoyed those moments too, especially because it helped me myself to deepen my knowledge in the scriptures, the pastoral training materials etc.

SACRIFICES AND RISK OF A VOLUNTEER PASTOR

Volunteer ministry comes with many personal sacrifices, and even risk to your life. I still remember the day I nearly died in an accident traveling from HO to Accra after one of those ministry trips. I was very exhausted and veered of the road because I’d momentarily fallen asleep at the wheels.

This episode, however, did not hinder me from traveling to plant or develop churches, attend funerals of dead church members or their loved ones in different parts of Ghana or undertake other ministry related programs.

As a lay pastor I have fought for church lands amidst threats of land guards. In one instance I was threatened by a corrupt police officer of being hauled into jail. At another time I had to shuttle between Accra and Tema for 3 years to attend court sessions to prevent unlawful encroachment on legally acquired church lands. All as a volunteer/ lay pastor.

All this also meant limited time with the nuclear family. I really thank God for my then young wife, who while nursing and raising our little children, accompanied me on most of all these ministry journeys, understanding the need for us as couple to serve our savior. I still remember how for several years, she had to wake up at dawn to get herself and the kids ready to follow me to church, to labour in the house of the Lord. She herself played her part in diverse roles, a situation which allowed the churches we planted to flourish.

At every place, the LCI mission office provided the basic equipment and other paraphernalia we needed. We were also willing as part of our sacrifices to serve our loving Master to compliment the church’s efforts. For the 12 years my wife and I were involved in the lay ministry we contributed our resources as follows:

1. We used our own car to travel around to plant churches.

2. We fueled the car.

3. We gave financial contributions whenever the need arose to compliment what LCI could provide.

4. These financial contributions helped buy church lands, renovate church meeting venues, construct church buildings etc.

5. Our home often served as a training venue for church leaders.

6. I instructed my wife to stop her professional teaching career in 2000 to enable her care for our children very well, whilst I concentrated on my medical profession and lay ministry. Thank God she understood and did.

We truly thank the Lord and LCI for those years of volunteer ministry. We will do it again if we have to!

THE BIG JUMP!

Full time ministry!  2005 here I come! By the early 2000s, I had a strong conviction that the Lord wanted me “to sacrifice my Isaac “to jump into full time ministry. The sound, clear and heartwarming, scriptural based sermons of my pastor, Bishop Dag, had great convincing effect on me to enter full time ministry, all out ministry. It was not an easy decision to take. By this time, I had teenage children which meant more school fees, medical bills, and housekeeping demands. But the greatest hurdle was the fact that I was now running a remarkably successful private hospital which I had started in 1998.

As the demands for both hospital work and volunteer ministry increased, I felt the need to go into private medical practice. I reasoned that, having my own practice would help me have more control over my time and even more financial resources to help my volunteer ministry. God blessed this hospital so much that by 2004, it had grown into a full-fledged hospital with all the modern equipment, ambulance, operating theatre. In addition, I was the health care provider for over 40 corporate organizations in Accra, including Latex Foam, Cowbell, Central university and Fan milk. This was the reason going into full time ministry was so difficult to do. What even heightened my anxiety was when I realized from my early checks that, even though I was a medical doctor, the church could not afford to pay me a high salary. This point was made pointedly to me at my interview for full time employment. I was asked how much I was paying myself as a private medical practitioner, and after I revealed the information, the response of the interview panel chair was “no way, we cannot employ you, because the church cannot pay that level of salary”!

But I was determined to obey the call of God for full time ministry, which by then was too strong to ignore. One important thing to understand is that ministry is a calling.

Acts 9:15

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

Romans 1:1

Greeting

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

1 Corinthians 1:26

For consider your calling….

The ministry of our Lord Jesus is not a job, a means to survive, an opportunity for riches and greatness in this life. These realities must be understood by all who intend to serve the Lord. The Lord may bless ministers with prosperity, and they may also not achieve that. Paul teaches about his readiness to stay true to his calling, in abundance or in lack.

Philippians 4:10-13

God’s Provision

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

BYE- BYE HOSPITAL

The hospital had to go! But how? For 2 years (since 2002) when I placed it on the market no one could buy it. It was too expensive then. With the godly counsel of my pastor, Bishop Dag, who pointed out to me the actual uselessness of all that we own on this earth (the wisest person to ever live on earth , King Solomon had much to say to confirm this divine truth ), I finally offered my glorious hospital at a low price , and jumped into full time ministry in 2005.

Then came more transfers. Sakumono, Korle Gonno and now Kasoa Ofaakor ( which I affectionately call DOMEABRA, meaning the place is so far that only those who really love our congregation would care to travel to us).

These transfers were difficult, especially as they happened in my mid-forties to my late fifties . You must leave behind a loving congregation, gifts from well-meaning members of the church and the sense of safety and establishment. These were the things I left behind in my last church of thousands of members.

But transfers are necessary and crucial to the expansion of the kingdom of God and the actualization of the greatest command we have been given as Christians by the Lord – THE GREAT COMMISSION ( Matt 28:18-20 and elsewhere).

When we do not go, the church cannot expand.

When we do not go, people that Jesus shed His blood for perish in hell.

When we do not go hell is populated and heaven is depleted!

Of course, it’s not easy to go, and go, and go again! But if we are going to fulfill the call to make disciples then we have no choice but to go. That means more movements, more transfers, no matter the age. I was sent to start the current church the Lord has allowed me to plant and pastor at 56 years.

Whenever I look at the multitudes in attendance, I shudder to think what the spiritual impact of my refusal to go would have meant! Indeed, disobedience is too expensive!

We must be ready to pay the price of personal sacrifice, deprivation, poverty, family discomfort etc. to be able to reap the harvest of lost souls everywhere. This is what Jesus expects from us!

Matthew 16:24

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Luke 14:26

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

These are the scriptures my pastor has taught me to use as my guidelines for my calling and ministry.

My journey in the LCI as a volunteer pastor and subsequently as a full-time worker in the Lighthouse Chapel International has been truly an enjoyable roller coaster.  I am fulfilled. I am content. I’m sure I’m doing what God created me for.

This ministry is a blessing to me, and I’m forever grateful to the Lord for guiding me into it. But it has not always been a jolly ride. Over the years both as a volunteer and full pastor, I have been rebuked, disciplined, reprimanded, and even dismissed for various lapses, mistakes, noncompliance with laid down rules etc. It has taken the grace of God, great humility, and the willingness to finish my race to keep going. And it is not yet over…

I own much of this to my pastor of 3 decades, Bishop Dag, and the Lighthouse Chapel International way of doing ministry.

On your birthday, I want to thank my pastor, Bishop Dag for accepting me into the ministry both as a volunteer and full time. Thank you for being a blessing to my family, and especially stabilizing my marriage (hmmm…, I wanted to quit ooo), through your personal counseling, and strong stance against divorce, in accordance with the word of God.

May you cross 90 with ease in Jesus’ name!

YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE MISSIONS IN THE UD-OLGC

The Account of Bishop Frank Okyere (a.k.a Bishop Aparche)

n 1998, I gave my life to Christ in the then Lighthouse Chapel International in Kumasi. Exactly a year after, God brought Bishop Dag on a visit to our church in Kumasi, where he preached a message on missions that touched and transformed my life forever.

It was during that service that I believe I received an impartation and a desire to serve the Lord as a missionary. Soon after that encounter, I gained admission to the University of Cape Coast, where I had my bachelor’s degree in agriculture and had the privilege of serving as the pastor of our campus church for two years.

Soon after graduating, I applied for full time work in the church after I had expressed my desire and passion to serve the Lord as a full-time pastor. I had the privilege to work as the vicar at the headquarters at the time.

In 2005, I got married to my wife after her return from the UK, and was sent on missions to Mozambique, where I started my full-time missionary work. Before my departure to Mozambique, I had a meeting with the Mission Society of the church, and I was given all the necessary assistance to make my departure and stay in Mozambique smooth.

My pastor, Bishop Dag, prayed for me and encouraged me strongly to do my best for the Lord in Mozambique. I was excited and ready to do my best. I saw this as a great opportunity for me, as a young man, to be entrusted with a whole international mission. This was my chance to become great!

Whiles in Mozambique I constantly received financial assistance from our mission society to take care of my accommodation as well as the purchase of a car to assist me in my mission work.

It has been 16 years since I was sent to Mozambique, and today, God has blessed us with the largest charismatic mission church in Mozambique, with an average Sunday attendance of over 3500 people through the support and leadership of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills.

Besides the cathedral where I pastor in Maputo, we are building 6 other cathedrals in different parts of Mozambique. As I have remained faithful serving the Lord on the mission field God has also graciously taken care of me and my family in Mozambique. I never thought that all my three children will get free tuition from 2 of the best schools in the country. God has been very faithful to us.

As the scriptures says in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “Faithful is He who has called us, who also will do”. What God has done for me is beyond my wildest imagination, and I thank God for using Bishop Dag to send me to Mozambique, and to touch the many souls who are in church now who did not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal savior. I was a young man, but Bishop Dag had faith in me.

PERSONAL PROSPERITY AND ACQUISTION OF LEADERSHIP AND BUILDING SKILLS BY MISSIONARIES IN GHANA

The Account of Rev Raymond Stephens, Missionary to Saltpond, Central Region, Ghana

I joined the church in Aug 1990 at the early stages of the church in Korle Bu. It was exciting. I fell in love with the Lord and became a shepherd. I volunteered as a receptionist for the church office at Agbado for some time. One evening, at a crusade at Banana Inn, Bishop Dag asked me to join him in his car and invited me to stay with him. I went to stay with him and became part of the family. 

I needed to further my education in Ejura, so I asked him to send a pastor there to start a church. But to my surprise, he rather prayed for me and asked me to start the church. He gave me two pieces of advice which I have never forgotten. First, he said, “Raymond, as you are going don’t disgrace me. If you disgrace me, don’t disgrace God.” Secondly, he said told me that he believed prevention was better than cure, so I should ensure I do the right things right from the beginning. These two pieces of advice have guided me all these years, and on every occasion, I started a church. Bishop Dag was ever present in our lives, and even visited us with the family in Ejura, as well as the church, to encourage us. 

After starting the church in Ejura, I then went on to start a branch in Atebubu, then Ashanti Mampong, then finally to Saltpond. At a point, Bishop Dag suggested we move to Switzerland, but my wife and I were so happy here, so we chose to remain and establish the church in Saltpond.

Indeed, we are incredibly happy to be here. I cannot say that it has been easy, but despite my many mistakes, Bishop Dag has never given up on me. He will always pick me up, encourage me and put me back on my feet again. He has been a father to me, through and through. Spiritually, physically, and even financially, he has been there for me.

The fact that as a missionary, I have been able to build a 5-bedroom house right here in Saltpond is a miracle to me. I believe it is an anointing I caught from him. In fact, he even sowed a huge financial seed into the construction of my house. I cannot fail to mention that.

In terms of the churches, we have built 3 church buildings, and are currently building a fourth, as well as an office block, all under the guidance and financial support of Bishop Dag. 

I am an ever-grateful son, and I have named my children after him and his wife – Cyrus-Dag and Adelaide.

When we talk about exposure, I was a crude guy when I got into his house, but now, some people say I am a gentleman. I have had the opportunity to travel abroad, he took me as far as Malaysia and Korea. I can only honor this great man of God on his birthday.

SUPPORT FOR MISSIONS AND MISSIONARY WIVES IN THE UD-OLGC

The Account of Lady Pastor Irene Odei-Siaw

 qualified as a barrister-at-law from Nottingham Law School in 2001, called to the Bar of England and Wales, a member of the Lincolns Inns of Court, practiced in Queen Elizabeth Buildings, London, and a founding member of Trent Chambers, Nottingham. 

In 2006, I met a missionary-minded brother called Daniel in the Nottingham branch of my church, the UD, who was working as an accountant in Bombardier Transportation, UK. I spoke to Bishop Dag and asked for his counsel. He asked me to pray for 100 hours for the will of God concerning my marriage and my future. Little did I know where God was leading us.

Throughout our “belovedozing”, Bishop Dag was there, counseling, praying, and instructing us in the Word. And to crown it all, he graciously flew all the way from Ghana to Nottingham to bless our marriage! What a blessing!

Following our marriage, my husband approached Bishop Dag and asked to be sent on missions. Again, he asked us to pray about it. After some time of prayer, we took the bold step of leaving our jobs and everything in the UK, coming to Ghana, and applying to be full-time in the ministry. It was a truly liberating experience, to be able to finally realize our dreams of serving the Lord as missionaries!

After a short stay in Accra, we were sent on our first mission to Bamako, Mali, where we experienced the joy of leading many to Christ and establishing a thriving church, which is still there to this day.

Life on the mission was not a bed of roses, but then again, that is life! I remember struggling to get pregnant in Mali. I spoke to Bishop Dag about it, and he wrote a prescription all the way from Ghana for me, because of which I had my first child, Paula-Marie.

A year and a half later, we were recalled to Ghana, where we stayed for a year. Again, we were sent on mission to Abidjan, La Côte d’Ivoire, where we established another church for a year and a half. Sadly, I got pregnant again but lost the baby prematurely. Bishop Dag called me directly, encouraged me, and instructed that money be sent to pay for all my medical bills. He also sent our pastors all the way from the UK on his behalf to comfort us. We were never alone.

We have since been on missions to Pretoria, Johannesburg and now in Lusaka. When I became pregnant again in Pretoria, Bishop Dag constantly called to check on me. He made sure I had the best medical care, all expenses paid. He was literally on the phone while I was in surgery and named the baby Danniebelle. I felt greatly loved and cared for.

It has been 15 years of blissful marriage in the service of the Lord on many missions, and I have not regretted a day of it! On our wedding anniversary every year, I send him updates, and he always responds with a blessing! I am always amazed that he remembers us! We are just one missionary couple in a denomination with thousands of others, but he is personally and directly involved in every aspect of our lives.

We are now blessed with two mission babies, and happily serving the Lord in Lusaka! If you ask me, I do not regret a day! I would happily do it again, and earlier if possible. I was fully aware the road would be muddy and rough, but I was convinced within myself that we would get there! Heaven knows how, but we know we will!

Over the years, Bishop Dag has taught us to always be grateful and to honor fathers, and so on your birthday, I honor you, Daddy. Thank you for helping us realize our dream of serving the Lord on the mission. You have always been there for us, personally helping, directing, and supporting us the mission.

Many years ago, you pointed to me in a camp meeting and casually prophesied that my profession would be changed. Today, I am no longer throwing people in prison but leading them to Heaven! I could not have asked for a better profession! Thank you for your obedience, your genuine love and continual care. Only Heaven knows the many things you do for us in secret. I pray that God will truly reward you openly! We love you dearly!

The Account of Lady Pastor Yaa Adoma Obeng

On Tuesday 17th of June 2008, I arrived in Bamako, Mali with two of my sons, stepping out of my comfort zone into a life of faith, walking practically with God. Although the boys were too young to understand, it was evident that they could sense the excitement and adventure that lay ahead.

Bamako has been a purifying ground for my faith, an opportunity to practically lay the promises of God’s word ”on the ground” and walk on them so as to be able to say, “I am persuaded that He is able”.

We were supported financially by the church on arrival, but it was also expected that for the mission to survive, we would need to be self-sustaining at some point. To this end, I visited a nearby international school to apply for a job as soon as we arrived.

Later, I would be asked whether I knew someone who had helped me obtain the job. By the divine provision of God, and a father’s covering, I have been gainfully employed for the years I have been on this mission.

Twelve years on, I can confidently say “the Lord has led us through”. He has worked miracles: miracles of provision and miracles of protection.

By the grace of God, the Mali church has a cathedral and branches in the capital, Bamako, as well as in 3 regional capitals- Segou, Sikasso and Kayes. There is also a fledgeling branch in Yanfolila, in the region of Bougouni. What a blessing to have had the opportunity to see a nation turn to Christ!

Thank you, Bishop Dag. Indeed, no nation is too far! Thank you for coming all the way to Bamako to visit us, pray for us and to hold crusades in this country. Keep sending missionaries! Our lives and experiences have been enriched as we witness the great hand of God in nations such as this!

Meanwhile, some pastors have also shared their bitter experiences with Bishop Dag and how it influenced their decision to leave the church. Read HERE

- Advertisement -
Albert Hydehttps://ghbase.com/
Online Journalist with Ghbase.com || Blogger || Journalistalbert@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Latest News

“There is nothing wrong in this country that needs to be fixed, everything is okay in Ghana” – Kumawood actress, Matilda Asare [Video]

Kumawood actress, Matilda Asare says she does not think there is anything wrong that needs to be fixed in...

Top Stories

More Articles Like This