The Lead Pastor of the Cedar Mountain Chapel, Reverend Stephen Yenusom Wengam, has been inducted as the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Ghana, at a colourful ceremony that attracted hundreds of worshippers, clergymen, family, friends and other stakeholders.
The well-organised induction service, which was also the occasion for the commissioning of the new Executive Presbytery Officers of the Assemblies of God, Ghana attracted guests from the country and abroad.
It was so well attended that the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) could not accommodate all attendees, compelling the organising team to arrange seats outside and erect giant screens to enable them to join in the service.
Rev. Wengam, together with the new Presbytery Officers who were elected on August 5 last year, takes over from Rev. Professor Paul Frimpong-Manso, and thus becomes the seventh General Superintendent of the church, following in the steps of forebears such as Rev. Nyamela Panka, Rev. Simon B. Asore, William W. Dontoh (all deceased), and Moses S. Sumaila.
The new Executive Presbytery Officers of the Assemblies of God, Ghana are Rev. Dr Gordon Tito Agyei, Assistant General Superintendent; Rev. Dr Ernest Birikorang, the General Secretary and Rev. Dr Simon Abu Baba, the Treasurer.
Some of the personalities who graced the occasion are former President John Dramani Mahama, a member of the Council of State and former Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood (both members of the church); the Archbishop of the Perez Chapel International, Charles Agyinasare; former Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Dr Opoku Onyina, and queenmothers and members of the church.
The President of the Africa Assemblies of God Alliance, Rev. Barnabas Mtokambali, inducted Rev. Dr Wengam and the Executive Presbytery Officers into office.
In his first speech as General Superintendent, Rev. Dr Wengam said the new administration would continue from where its predecessors left off, with a divinely inspired strategy anchored on Micah 4:1 to shift, grow and transform the church.
The strategy, he said, would be underpinned by an agenda that had as its capsule the "Six Rs - Reach, Rebuild, Restore, Reform, Reposition and Rebrand".
Rev. Wengam said the church would aggressively disciple the country and unreached nations, and prioritise the welfare of the needy and rural pastors.
"Another element of this agenda is massive human capital and infrastructure development. The highlight would be the construction of an iconic state-of-the-art Assemblies of God Centenary Village (an international convention centre) to mark the 100th anniversary of Assemblies of God Church in the country.
Rev. Wengam mentioned what he said were the chronic difficulties in tackling corruption, illegal mining, environmental bankruptcy, despondency, dishonesty and other forms of indiscipline in the country and prescribed holiness as a solution to those problems.“
“Citizens steeped in holiness will not tell blatant lies, inflate prices of goods and services, falsify procurement figures, steal state funds, pollute water bodies, litter their surroundings, denigrate their neighbours, assassinate the character of their political opponents, do shoddy work, laze around during working hours or exploit their workers,” he stated.
He emphasised that the spirit of holiness would definitely insulate the people against evil, catalyse them to excel and empower them to pick the nation up from its socio-economic challenges .
On behalf of the church, he invited all churches to join a crusade to infuse holiness in every spectrum of national life, since it was the most effective solution to societal decay and the growing challenges on all fronts.
Rev. Wengam said the church endorsed calls for a bi-partisan and a multi-stakeholder approach to tackle the country's current economic challenges.
Its stand, he said, was predicated on the fact that God, in His superior wisdom, did not make any individual or institution or political party a repository of wisdom.
"The Bible, which is our uttermost source of wisdom and infallible guide of conduct, states in Proverbs 15:22 that without counsel plans fail but with many advisors they succeed," he said.
Commenting on the conflict in Bawku, Rev. Wengam, who hails from Bunkpurugu Paknatik in the North East Region, said the church was worried about the situation which "is potentially corrosive to Ghana's reputation as the most peaceful nation in West Africa and second in the whole of Africa".
He said no efforts should be spared at containing the hyper-sensitive and supremely complex situation which threatens to cascade into security challenges of unthinkable proportions.
Former President Mahama, who was the special guest of honour, called on members of the clergy to be balanced in their utterances irrespective of the government in power.
He said they should not be quiet when one government was in power and then be loud when another government was in power.
"We must be seen to be balanced, be non-partisan," the former President said, adding that members of the clergy must endeavour to always speak the truth to whichever government was in power.
Former President Mahama said the church did not only exist to pray for leaders and that it was also to offer suggestions and guidance to leaders.
“The church did not hang in the air, it exists in society and whatever happens in society affected it,” he stressed.
Mr Mahama noted that, for instance, the current economic crisis that Ghanaians were going through affected church congregations all across the country.
It was, therefore, necessary for the church to continue speaking out anytime it thought that things were not going on properly.
The former President commended the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) for its letter to the government to give suggestions about what should be done amid the country's economic crisis.
Mr Mahama charged Christians not to shy away from politics and that they should stand for elective offices and participate to create a sense of direction to progress and prosper the country.
Preaching on the theme: “One Giant Step for the Assemblies of God, Ghana”, Rev. Mtokambali named baby steps, ordinary steps and giant step as the three kinds of steps, the giant step being the most superior.
He expressed the belief that the church had over the years moved from baby steps through to ordinary steps and that with the coming leadership, he could see the church in his spirit heading towards “a giant step”.
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