HOW THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF PENTECOST HAS PREPARED HER MINISTRY TODAY AND TOMORROW
On the 21st of October we learnt about the history of our church and how it has prepared us for the future generation and we were blessed unto by the Area pastor of the Asokwa sector Apostle Ekow Badu Wood, it was very insightful as we delved into the history of the church and how the church is preparing the next generation too continue fulfilling the great commission. It was an interactive lecture between the apostle and the congregation, many questions were asked and many truths were unveiled.
He started by saying that History is divine and it’s a divine requirement and made we understand that most of the things about the Bible were narrative and hence had history backing it. He stated that 10% of the is expository, 15% is poetic and 75% of the bible is narrative which means that the bible was based on history. He highlighted on the fact that too be part of the future you will have to appreciate the past which is the history and also the present then you can integrate the future. He defined Pentecostalism as a branch of Christianity that believes and practice the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit through speaking in tongues and manifestation of spiritual gifts.
He said Pentecostalism started in the early 20th century where on the 1st of January 1899 at a church service a lady named Agnes was the first person to speak in tongues, the whole church marveled at the miracle and also desired to speak in the language of the spirit too. A British missionary named Charles Panam was the first source of the Pentecostal stream he was the first to find out that the of the Holy Ghost in someone is the speaking of tongues and linking the holy spirit baptism with Pentecostalism. After this experience it was left with one to propagate it. In one Charles Panam’s meetings a one eyed Liberian slave child named William who was not well educated wanted to study with Charles Panam’s people but because of discrimination he was allowed to sit outside and peep through the window and witness the meeting. In Azuza William lived and many churches were established and those that came out from it were called the Classical Pentecostals*. In two years the Azuza revival was established and spread vastly and this was followed by the Welsh revival between the period from 1904-1905. A man named Thomas Bally Barat experienced Pentecostalism in Azuza and that lead to the origin of contemporary Pentecostalism in UK.
The Bradford missions of the Apostolic church sent James McKeon as missionary and a prophecy came saying that “if they are faithful God will send people to preach the gospel”. In the 19th century that was when the first catholic church was able to set up a church I Ghana, and the church over the years helped a lot in developing the nation; some of the benefits of the church in the nation was the establishment of schools, hospitals and modern ways of treatment and also writing the vernacular into alphabets. One of the characters of Africans was that they liked to see more of the demonstration of power than ideas and one of the consequences of this theological deficit was the inability of Christians to live true ones. Pentecostal churches preceded spiritual churches. After some years William Harris the salve child was one of the black people God raised before classical Pentecostalism arrived in Ghana and he hardly read from the bible and some of the things he used was a white with a sash, a bamboo cross and a stone in his hands and all he talked about was that Africans should refrain from their evil acta and he also did many miracles. In 1941 his ministry has spread over the western Axim. He prophesied about a white coming to Ghana and that was fulfilled in Apostle James Mckweon so when The Apostolic church heard of it they welcomed him with no haste. Survivors of that time were the Mozamadiscokristo church and some of the things they did during their worship was burning incense, walking barefooted, having prolonged church services, wearing white gowns and they worshipped angels, and they have maximum of 8,000 churches with 343,000 followers and increasing.
The lecture ended and we received a ministration from the kings praise a song written by our own mother Madam Eunice Addison from 1963-1982 and then question time followed and some of the questions were
- How was John Calvin related with Pentecostalism?
- Was it because of ignorance that some other great men of God did not speak in tongues?
- Why are ladies not made to be leaders in the church because the first person in the early Pentecostal era to speak in tongues was a lady?
- How did the leaders of the past go far in spreading the gospel even though they were not well educated?
- Why do we speak in tongues in church because speaking is for personal edification so why not in our personal closets only?
- What do you do when you find it difficult to speak in tongues even after several laying on of hands?
The questions will be answered respectively after the excerpt
He continued by giving some statistics about the divisions of the Christian population
Other Christian churches-11%
The origin of classical Pentecostalism in Ghana were from 2 sources and they the Apostolic churches and 2 indigenous preachers namely Peter Newman Anim and James Kwaku Gyimah.
James Kwaku was the first to speak in tongues in the Gold coast in 1931.At 30 he lost his wife and three of his four children, and after some time lost the last one. He was also attacked by Guinea worm diseases and stomach aches. During that they believed that no medicine is needed for treatment and only God can heal. One day he was a reading a magazine and saw he faith tabernacle church he believed and followed them, he also built a branch in Ghana. Apostle listed a few of some Pentecostal churchrs and they were the
- Congregational churches
- Episcopal Hierarchy- where the priests are the highest and closest to God
- Apostolic Churches- Administrative hierarchy
He also talked about the routes of the Apostle James Mckweon in establishing the church and they were as follows
Asamankese- Akroso- Winneba- Cape coast- Accra and when he got to Accra he stopped because Accra was the capital
He talked about a pastor in the UK called Dr. Way at a pastor of the Apostolic church in the UK. He didn’t agree with some doctrines and practices that were brought up for example lifting up of hands during churches. America left Europe because they didn’t like anyone to dictate for them, and what was even worse he has divorced and remarried which was out of doctrines of the church. The church still wanted Him as their pastor and when he came to Ghana may miracles happened, the dead was raised, the sick was healed and many more. Suddenly it came in a shock that the church has dismissed Apostle James Mckweon so he went to the states to publish his dismissal. There and then the church received a call from the church’s first pastor Pastor Annamma inviting Apostle Mckweon for a program indirectly calling him back into the church and said that it was not negotiable. So, arrangements were made, money was sent to him to come back and set up his own church; and because almost the apostolic churches were many it was difficult looking for a name to give it. Then a name was decided The Gold Coast Apostolic church until when the enation became a republic and then changed it to Ghana Apostolic Church.
Finally, at a meeting Apostle James McKeon asked the people which name they will give to their churches it they are to set up one. There and then Apostle George Badu Wood stood up and answered that he will use THE CHURCH OF PENTECOST, and since then that has been the name of the church and God has mightily used the church to accomplish many.
Many people battle with the question do we believe in prophecy the answer is yes but we as the people of God must safeguard the problems of the past that they do not repeat themselves in the future.
May the Lord help us even as we have learnt the history of the church continue to carry the legacy of Pentecostalism even as we wait for the latter rain for us to be raptured/even as we continue to carry the legacy of the church far that the future may be bright.
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS ASKED DURING THE LECTURE
- Between the apostolic era and Charles Pannam era there were many attempts to bring Christianity to its stand. Yes, John Calvin and other great men like Billy Graham, Martin Luther King brought in Pentecostalism but they went to a different level of Christianity that was sanctification and Charles Panam discovered that sanctification is being baptized by the Holy spirit.
- Many people of that time didn’t believe in speaking tongues so they saw it awkward or odd to believe and speak in it. Apostle gave an example relating to putting the old self and putting the new one on and said that it will take more time for someone who was trained not to speak in tongues to do so.
- It is the sole responsibility of the woman to be submissive to the authority.
- It was with the experience with the Holy ghost that made them go far in spreading the gospel but now we are trying to add knowledge with our experience. That is why pastors are getting educated in recent times as a requirement to work in the house of God.
- The church is the market place of God. Apostle Badu Wood gave an example relating to the market place that everybody in the market are negotiating for an affordable price to buy goods an as the currency in the market place is money so is faith our currency in prayer being expectant of an answer.
- When you want to speak in the language of the spirit and you find it difficult, be more desperate for it and you will receive it.
QUOTES MADE BY APOSTLE EKOW BADU WOOD DURING THE LECTURE
- The infilling of the Holy Ghost is a continuous practice.
- When it comes to the things of God be intentional not casual.
- The church gives revelational knowledge that is higher that educational knowledge
- Question: The church will be 100 years in 2053, For the next 36 years, what are we doing to maintain the integrity of the church?
- Charismatic is Pentecost outside Pentecost
- We become perfect when we live this world. We as Christians are just trying to be blameless
- No one is perfect except spirit beings that were created perfect.
- We are of equal access to the grace of God no one is higher than anyone in Pentecostalism
- Be desperate, seek and yearn more when you need the Holy Spirit
- If we want the church to grow we must pay the price with our lives in tithe, fasting, prayers, and preaching.
- Let the church be the demonstration of powers backing ideas.
- Faith is a personal experience.
[Written by the Excerpt Crew of the Editorial Committee]