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For an usher wearing a shirt that reads "I'm proud to be a member of the Church of Christ," the McCarthy Hill church's three-story meeting place offers a picturesque view.
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For an usher wearing a shirt that reads "I'm proud to be a member of the Church of Christ," the McCarthy Hill church's three-story meeting place offers a picturesque view. | Photo by Erik Tryggestad

Three stories of faith

A West African church that once met under a tent is building for the future.

Accra, Ghana — Not so long ago, the McCarthy Hill Church of Christ met under a tent.

Now the congregation, planted in a western suburb of Ghana’s capital, worships in a three-story building with polished stone floors. Its members sing hymns in Twi, their native language, with lyrics projected on a closed-circuit video system. 

Douglas Boateng

Douglas Boateng

The building includes a massive balcony. It has ample room for 700 souls, maybe even 1,000 — far more space than needed for the 258 people who have gathered for worship this Sunday morning.

But Ghanaian Christians don’t do anything small. 

In McCarthy Hill, they’ve built for growth — all with their own funds.

When Douglas Boateng, a longtime elder of the Nsawam Road Church of Christ in central Accra, and his family moved into McCarthy Hill, they befriended an elderly woman who was well known and loved by the community. When she died in September 2011, Boateng conducted her funeral and talked about the eternal hope Jesus offers. Nine people were baptized as a result, and the McCarthy Hill church was born.

For the first six years, the Boatengs’ home was the church building, and their swimming pool was the baptistery. The church grew and moved to a tent. Then the Boatengs provided the funds for construction of the building.

The McCarthy Hill Church of Christ has moved from a tent to a three-story building.

The McCarthy Hill Church of Christ has moved from a tent to a three-story building.

Douglas Boateng made his fortune in the commercial fishing supply business. He’s expanded the business across West Africa, employing church members who also serve as vocational missionaries. 

As a result, Churches of Christ have sprung to life in nations from Liberia to Guinea-Bissau — even in Senegal, a predominantly Muslim nation. 

Four years ago, the elders of Nsawam Road named Boateng himself as a missionary. He now mentors new generations of church planters — while serving as a planter in his own community.

After Sunday worship at McCarthy Hill, church members hosted a small group of American visitors for lunch and shared with them the congregation’s history and spoke about the Boatengs’ role in church growth across the region.

After worship, members of the McCarthy Hill Church of Christ return home. The congregation was planted in this western suburb of Accra on Sept. 4, 2011. "Missions," "Transformation" and "Fellowship" are listed on the church building's sign.

After worship, members of the McCarthy Hill Church of Christ return home. The congregation was planted in this western suburb of Accra on Sept. 4, 2011. “Missions,” “Transformation” and “Fellowship” are listed on the church building’s sign.

“It’s a great joy and very humbling to hear these things,” Douglas Boateng said in response. “I pray that the Lord uses me as a good steward.”

Filed under: Accra Ghana International McCarthy Hill Church of Christ News Nsawam Road Church of Christ Top Stories

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