Before 1922, there was a group of Ghanaian believers at Asamankese, who unlike many at that time, felt that, there was more to Christianity than what existed. They believed that, the "Acts of the Apostles" recorded in the Bible that saw the lame walking after a short prayer, the blind seeing and people being baptized with Holy Ghost and power should be the order of the day in their christian meetings, but was not!
Rev. Peter Newman Anim was the groups leader and the group met regularly; engaging in long fasts, praying and studying doctrines concerning the New Testament Church, the new birth, baptism of the Holy Spirit and the resultant gifts.
As part of fulfilling this hunger to see what they called the manifest hand of God at work in their lives, meetings and in their city and nation, they were successful in making contact with an African-American Pastor named A.Clarke, who was a non-Pentecostal, healing and holiness preacher.
On the 15th of October 1922, Rev. Anim and Elder Kwabena Asare held a revival service was held in the latter's house and many souls were won, having been inspired by Rev. Anim, who had then been baptized with the Holy Spirit whilst reading and studying “The Sword of the Spirit”, a publication of the Faith Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia. Rev. Anim and another leader, Rev. Armah, also devotee of the Faith Tabernacle at Nsawam, decided to work together and officially adopted the name, “FAITH TABERNACLE”.
Nana Kwaku Amoah, a traditional chief of Asamankese, offered them a piece of land upon which they constructed their church building. Pastor A. Clarke issued Rev. Anim with a certificate of registration in October 1923, assigning him to the service of God and the right to baptize and appoint workers. Rev. Anim’s movement held their first convention in 1923, which attracted several people. The Pentecostal experience quickly spread to other parts of the country and many believers also began to experience the Holy Spirit baptism through constant prayers and fasting.
In 1930, Rev. Anim came into contact with The Apostolic's resulting in a new name, “APOSTOLIC FAITH.” Then on the 4th of March 1937, Rev. James Mckeown of the Bradford Apostolic Faith U.K. arrived in Accra Gold Coast. He was taken to Asamankese as the first missionary of the Apostolic Faith, Gold Coast and upon his arrival the leaders adopted the name “THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH of Gold Coast”.
Few years after Missionary Mckweon's stay in Ghana, specifically in June 1937, Rev. James Mckweon was seriously attacked by a near-death disease, which later became known as malaria and was kept in his room at Asamankese for some days without medication in accordance with the rules, belief and practice of the Apostolic Faith. Remember that, they had total belief in the healing powers of God and were therefore of the firm conviction that, the use of medicine to treat diseases was a sure sign of lack of faith and trust in God's healing power and even worse, a trust in the arm of flesh, which was akin to denying a persons faith totally.
Though the leaders continued to pray daily for his healing, his condition worsened. One Mr. Turkson of Asamankese informed the then District Commissioner at Kibi. The District Commissioner, who was on a special visit to Asamankese area rushed to see Rev. Mckeown, took him in his own vehicle and sent him to the European Hospital, (currently the Ridge Hospital in Accra).
He spent about two weeks at the hospital where he fully recovered. On his return to Asamankese, the leaders confronted him on the obvious fact that, he had violated the rules and principles of the church because he had sought for medication at the hospital. In June 1938, a general meeting was held by all members from the country to discuss this unpleasant situation but the leaders at Asamankese deliberately refused and condemned Rev. Mckeown for lack of faith in prayers for healing.
This led to a big conflict and a fraction demanded that Rev. Mckeown returns to the UK, to prevent him, as a leading figure in the faith, from unduly influencing many from seeking an alternative to God's healing grace and power, as they had always taught their members, but the Asamankese local officers separated themselves from the majority of members who rooted for Rev. Mckeown.
This new group, therefore adopted the name “CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH” whilst other old members who stayed loyal to the old teachings maintained the name “THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH”. The late James Gyimah who had delegated the late J.A. Bimpong and Nyarko Kwabena to the said meeting had instructed that they were not to append their signature to any document when the need arose. He sent five people to Asamankese to convey Rev. James Mckeown and his belongings. They had to walk a distance of ten miles (16 km) and Rev. Mckeown had to be carried on their backs to cross rivers on the way. On the arrival at Akroso, he was sent to the guesthouse, where he stayed for three weeks.
The group loyal to Rev. James Mckeown eventually became “THE GOLD COAST APOSTOLIC CHURCH” and the old church became “THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF GOLD COAST” Then Ghana came into existence, replacing Gold Coast after the independence in 1957, many misunderstandings continued between the two groups, ranging among other things, the seeming similarity of their names: ie. Ghana Apostolic Church and Apostolic Church Ghana, reaching its crescendo around 1960.
By 1962, Ghana's first Head of State, President Kwame Nkrumah, was forced to personally intervene in this long standing dispute which had plagued the two church groups. was finally settled and the Ghana Apostolic Church, headed by Rev. James Mckeown, was requested to change their name and heeding to the Presidents counsel, from August 1st 1962, the Ghana Apostolic Church became known as “THE CHURCH OF PENTECOST”.
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