The Republic of Ghana
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Ghana was formerly known as the Gold Coast due to the fact that for a thousand years this land was a source of gold in west Africa. The present name comes from the Ghana Empire which ruled from about the eighth to the twelfth centuries. By the seventeenth century the Ashanti people established control and conducted a vigorous slave trade. Ghana came under British control in 1874 and remained a colony until becoming independent in 1956. Since that time the government has experienced varying degrees of stability as the country has begun to further develop economically.
The religious profile of the country includes 38% indigenous beliefs, 30% Muslim, 24% Christian and 8% other faiths.
In Ghana, John Gaidoo (d. 1961) a major in the Salvation Army, also came into Churches of Christ through a Bible correspondence course. He established several congregations near Accra before missionaries Jerry Reynolds and Dewayne Davenport came to Kumasi in 1961. Working with Samuel Buahin Obeng and other evangelists, they founded Ghana Bible College in 1962. Heritage Christian College followed in 1982. Since the mid 1960’s churches and institutions have been led by Ghanaians, including Village of Hope orphanage. In 2014, one online directory lists over 3000 churches with over 700,000 adherents. Ghanaian evangelists also planted churches in Togo, Cote d’Ivorie, Burkina Faso, Benin, The Gambia, Libya, Senegal, Mali, Gabon, Central African Republic, Mauritania, and Equatorial Guinea.
A second group related to the a cappella tradition are “One Cup” Churches of Christ, concentrated in the area around Tema. They are also related to the “Old Paths” Churches of Christ in the United Kingdom.
International Churches of Christ have four churches in Ghana.
In 1966 Jerry Gibson of Christian Churches/Churches of Christ went to Ghana to set up a preacher training school in Accra, the capitol city. He gathered a few students and rented a building to teach Bible classes. Very early it was seen that the work being carried out was very similar to other independent African churches that had separated themselves from the denominational mission churches to become more “African.” Many of the leaders of these churches were biblically illiterate but open to Bible teaching. The decision was made to use the school to teach Bible based leadership for these congregations. Out of these efforts, Ghana Christian College and Seminary was formed. The graduates of GCC&S then established the Ghana United Christian Churches Brotherhood as a national organization. It is a co-operative structure with national leadership, independent of the missionaries, now being led by Ghanaians Christian Adjei (Chairman) and Enoch Nyador (Vice Chairman). The Churches receive some support through missionaries connected with GCC&S.
In 1966 Ronald and Doris Rife arrived from America to take up the work of Ghana Christian College and Seminary, followed by Dorothy Eunson in 1968, who has served continuously since that time. Others of the American Christian Churches and Churches of Christ who have served in Ghana have been Rick and Coretha Fulton, Dorothy Eunson, Cyril Simkins, Richard Hostetter, Kent Taylor, and many others. Today, known as Ghana Christian University College, the school moved into a new, expanded campus is being built on the outskirts of Accra in 2003.
Other work begun by the American Christian Churches and Churches of Christ includes FAME (Fellowship of Associates of Medical Evangelism) Ghana, established in May of 1987. Since that time FAME Ghana has built at least ten clinics which have treated 80,000 people and established more than 65 churches which have baptized more than 3,000 individuals. Enoch Nyador, a native Ghanaian, gives leadership to FAME Ghana which also employs several native evangelists, nurses and field-support workers. Christian Leadership Training Institute, with Bob Sheffler as the current director, is currently doing theological education by extension in Ghana and other countries of west Africa. The Fellowship of Christian Churches had over 200 churches in 2011.
A partnership between Bishop Chester Aycock of the Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and Ghanaian minister Ebenezer Sefah of the Refreshing Hour Churches has led to 150 churches with over 10,000 members in Ghana associated with the Goldsboro-Raleigh Assembly of the Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ.
In 1992 the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada initiated involvement in Ghana through their Africa office in the Division of Overseas Ministries. Disciples efforts in Ghana include ecumenical partnership in the Christian Council of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana with both financial and personnel support.
The Fellowship of Churches of Christ in the United Kingdom also have a presence through its missionary, Brian Jennings. On the staff of Ghana Christian University, Brian is also active in training and education for the local congregations.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
Revised by Gary Holloway, July 7, 2016
Ghana United Christian Churches Brotherhood
Christian Adjei, Chairman
Ghana Christian University
P.O. Box AN5722
North American Churches of Christ contacts:
Ghana Missions (sponsor: Church of Christ of Venice, FL)
Web site: http://www.ghanamissions.com
Kennedy Osei-Hwedie (sponsor: Woodmont Hills Family of God of Nashville, TN)
Web site: http://whmc.conmergence.com/2012/07/01/kennedy-osei-hwedie-visits-with-the-mission-committee/
Church of Christ Mission (sponsor: Central Church of Christ, Athens, AL)
Web site: http://www.central-churchofchrist.com/html/Ghana.html
North American Christian Churches and Churches of Christ contacts:
(See also Ghana Christian University)
African Mission Evangelism, Inc.
Web site: http://www.ameghana.org
Fellowship of Associates of Medical Evangelism (FAME)
P.O. Box 34800
Indianapolis, IN 46234
Web site: http://www.FAMEworld.org
African Christian Leadership Training Institute
C/O: Robert and Constance Sheffler
Box DD 168, Dodowa
Web site: http://www.harvestercc.org/programs/helping/missions.htm
American Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) contact:
Division of Overseas Ministries
130 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-1986
Web site: http://www.disciples.org/dom/
United Kingdom Fellowship of Churches of Christ contact:
Ghana Christian University
British Churches of Christ (a cappella) contacts in Ghana via:
Graham A. Fisher, editor
64 Grenville Rd., Southcourt
Aylesbury, Bucks., HP 21 8EZ, England
Web site: http://www.christian-worker.org.uk
Ghana Bible College
Ghana Christian University College
Address: P.O.Box AF 919, Adenta
Web site :http://www.ghanacu.org/
Heritage Christian University
P.O.Box AN 16798,
Tel: +233 302910947 / 8
Web site: http://hcuc.edu.gh/