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African Christians want ‘to evangelize North America and beyond’

Members of the Church of Christ (Ghanaian Congregation) in Maryland celebrate their congregation’s fifth anniversary. (Photo provided by Kingsley Boateng)

I received an update from friends at the Church of Christ (Ghanaian Congregation) that meets in the building of the University Park Church of Christ in Hyattsville, Md.
I visited the church earlier this year — during a reporting trip to the Washington area with Bobby Ross — and reported on Ghanaian congregation as part of our ongoing Global South series. (I also wrote a blog post about my time with the Ghanaian Christians.)
(Worshiping in the twi language on U.S. soil was a unique experience. I also remember that, as I snapped photos during the service, one of the church members offered to use my camera to take some photos of me singing with the congregation. That was a first.)
Recently, the Ghanaian church celebrated its fifth anniversary. Members participated in an all-night prayer service “aimed at thanking God for his guidance and blessings over the church since its inception, and (asking) God to revitalize us with renewed strength to grow the church,” said Kingsley Boateng, a member of the Maryland church and a research fellow for the National Institutes of Health.
The church also hosted a picnic, featuring a variety of Ghanaian dishes (hopefully, they enjoyed some Red Red — my personal favorite) and a thanksgiving and memorial service. Richard Adu Sr., one of the church’s pioneers, presented a history of the congregation. Adu is a senior microbiologist at George Washington Hospital.
Earlier this year, the church hosted an international lectureship for Ghanaian congregations in the U.S. and Canada. About 212 people attended, representing 10 U.S. states and Canada. The theme was “Church Leadership and Governance.” Speakers included:

  • Stephen Opoku-Duah, associate professor of physical sciences at  Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W.Va.
  • Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah, longtime minister for the Nsawam Road Church of Christ in Accra, Ghana, and school administrator
  • Leonard Amanatey, minister for a Ghanaian congregation in Montreal, Quebec
  • Paul Oppong, minister for a Ghanaian Church of Christ in New York

Organizing the event was Representatives of Churches of Christ, or ROCC, a group of leaders among the Ghanaian congregations who share a common goal — “to evangelize North America and beyond,” according to a report prepared by Kingsley and fellow church members Sampson Kumi and Safo Dankwa.
Here’s an excerpt from the report, in which the Ghanaian Christians explain the purpose of the lectureship. They begin by quoting instructions about the selection of church elders in Titus 1:6-9:

In many ways, churches tend to grow or remain stagnant based on the quality of their leaders. Strong, godly leadership is important, as is good governance, clear decision-making processes and appropriate accountability.
When it comes to the subjects of leadership and governance, the New Testament presents a fairly fluid and emerging model for local churches. That’s why there are so many different views on what church leadership should look like today and the extent of authority they posses. There is some confusion and uncertainty among churches today — especially among Ghanaian congregations in the diaspora — on leadership authority. For some, the congregation is the group vested with authority on church matters. Others see the call to the ministry of the minister and/or elders (business committee) and the endowment of spiritual.gif?Action=thumbnail&Width=460&algorithm=proportionalts as license for authoritative action.
This lectureship sought to highlight the specific, divinely determined role, requirements and expectations on leaders within the church in this present day and age. A changing and relevant priesthood demands that we constantly re-examine our operations of leadership and stewardship of the church. The caliber and functions of leadership must be based on biblically sound and spiritually accurate principles.
A new breed of leaders in all spheres of church responsibility must be raised to give oversight to God’s kingdom — his Body — and to provide accelerated momentum to the rate at which his eternal purposes are efficiently and effectively accomplished on earth.

Here is a video I shot during my visit to the Maryland congregation:

  • Feedback
    I praise God to hear you brothers and sisters here in our country. It is my belief that every generation must be evangelized. And our African brothers and sisters who now number over 1 million may be the ones to bring the gospel back to this continent, just as people from this continent took it to Africa. I have been there and done that, and that is what I told our brothers in Kenya they should do. Take it to others and maybe some day they would need to bring it to us. The gospel went to Africa before it went to Europe, and it had to be taken back there. Teach your children. God loves you.
    Lawrence Barr
    November, 11 2010

    I’m encouraged by this article. I now know and see that some of our brotherhood are expressing the appreciation that is deserved for our friends in the USA. They’re in our prayers and admiration. I pray that more will join up in this call and vision and the gospel will be re-kindled in the USA, Canada and Europe as we keep it life here in Africa and Asia as well.
    Grace Nyanga
    November, 12 2010

    Thank God for your vision. As Proverbs 11:30b says “He who wins souls is wise”. I am proud of you guys. Stay focused, no turning back. Daniel Kyei(GHANA).
    Daniel K. Kyei
    November, 12 2010

    It is thrilling to hear of the Ghanaian congregations and outreach in the USA. In my native land of England there are Christians from the West Indies, West Africa, Central Africa, South Africa and India who are active in congregations and outreach. The Great Commission is for all Christians to carry out everywhere !
    Dr Chester Woodhall
    November, 18 2010

Filed under: News Extras Photos and Videos Travel Reports

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