A statement by Reverend Lawrence Tetteh, founder and president of Worldwide Miracle Outreach, claims that all-night church services are not spiritual.
On the August 24, 2022, episode of GBC’s Breakfast Show, the famous preacher said that the advent of all-night services in Ghana was a result of the lack of suitable worship space during the early days of the charismatic movement.
“You will be surprised a lot of people don’t understand why we do all night here today. All night has no spirituality. The reason why all night started was, that in the early days of charismatism, Dr Mensah Otabil was using Baden Powel Hall.
“They rented it. Isaac Quaye was using Social Advance Hall. Almost everybody, including Action, they were renting halls and things. You don’t have a place to have a space to be able to do a church service.
“The only place you can do it is a school church building after they have closed, and it is only during Friday nights that you have availability. If you are fortunate to have a Methodist church, Presbyterian Church or Anglican church to use, the only time you can use it is in the Friday evenings, and that is how all nights began,” he explained.
He explained that the idea behind all-nights has unfortunately been misrepresented as having a spiritual meaning behind it.
“People think that all night is spirituality. In fact, the witches in the day are more dangerous than the witches at night. So today, you realise that a lot of people are into it. And I am not killing your spiritism, but sometimes it is just a religious thing people do, and they think it is only in the all-night…
“Trust me, I have stopped all night because when you go to the all night, in the morning, I cannot go to the weddings, I cannot go to a funeral.
“And you will be surprised, you are sitting in your clerical collar, and you are dozing, and people are noticing you because you look irresponsible. Because you’ve come from an all night and Saturday is the day that you do all these things,” he said.
For Christians, Rev. Tetteh said, there must be a paradigm shift about all-night services. When hosted near residential areas, he said, such services are particularly inconvenient and disruptive.
“So there are a lot of things that we need the mindset to change so that we understand the reason why we do certain things. So today, if truly you have your own church building, then nothing prevents you from having a late evening programme, close late at least and go home instead,” he said.
The truth is, All-night service is a key aspect of Ghana’s charismatic space. However, such ceremonies have, throughout the years, prompted complaints of a nuisance to church members and others who live adjacent to church structures.