In 1904-5, Wales experienced an outbreak of a revival which had tremendous effects on many parts of the British Isles. This was followed by a MIGHTY VISITATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, which fell simultaneously on many parts of the world, during which many received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with signs following.
As a result, there sprung up Pentecostal groups worldwide which also believed that the gifts of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers of Ephesians 4:11 should operate in the church together with the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit spelt out in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. The Apostolic Church was therefore born in 1915 in Penygroes, South Wales; United Kingdom.
It was a vision of Apostolic doctrine that gripped the first leader of the Fellowship, Daniel Powell Williams, who in 1913, was ordained an Apostle in the Body of Christ and later became the first President of the Apostolic Church Council and remained so until his death in 1947. The Lord also called his brother, William Jones Williams, as a prophet in the Body of Christ. In 1913, he was ordained into full-time ministry of the Church.
Thus they were called together with others to demonstrate the New Testament offices of Apostle and Prophet in the United Kingdom.
Subsequently these ministries were exercised in other countries and Continents of the World. With time, the Lord in a remarkable way brought many groups to link with the Church in Penygroes under the name of the Apostolic Church, and Ghana was no exception. The Gold Coast, now Ghana saw the emergence of Christians in the country who were seeking spiritual awakening in their hearts and lives. This desire to know more about spiritual truths drove many to write for literature from various missions abroad. Through contacts with the Faith Tabernacle of Nigeria, a group of Christians at the small town of Asamankese were introduced to The Apostolic Church, which had started a missionary work in Nigeria. The Asamankese group then requested The Apostolic Church in Bradford, England, that a delegation should visit them. As a result in 1935, Pastor George Perfect, a British Missionary who had been posted to Nigeria was directed by the Missionary Office in Bradford, to visit the Christian group at Asamankese.
This group of believers experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and needed instructions and guidance. Pastor George Perfect met the Asamakese group led by the late Apostle Peter Newman Anim.
Eventually, the Asamankese group accepted to become members of The Apostolic Church and wholeheartedly embraced the Tenets of the Church. Pastor George Perfect formally ordained the leader of the group, Pastor Peter Newman Anim as the first African Minister of The Apostolic Church, Gold Coast.
In 1936, Pastor Vivian Wellings, the then Missionary Secretary of the Church in Bradford visited the infant Apostolic Church at Asamankese. On his return to Bradford, England, he recommended that a resident Missionary should be sent to Asamankese because the new Church was growing at a fast rate.
On 2nd March 1937, Pastor James Mckeown arrived in the then Gold Coast to take up the mantle as the first resident Missionary. His wife, Sophia arrived later in September, the same year to support her husband. Barely six months after his arrival, was Pastor James Mckeown taken ill with malaria fever. A controversy broke out over his being taken to the European Hospital in Accra by an English District Commissioner.
The Faith Tabernacle Church members who had joined The Apostolic Church still held in a fanatic way, the doctrine of divine healing. During a Christmas convention at Asamankese, Pastor Mckeown’s belief in medication was questioned by Pastor Anim and some of the Elders. This led to a split in the infant Church with Pastor Anim leading a breakaway and formed Christ Apostolic Church.
The members from Akroso led by the late Pastor R. S. Asomaning, together with Brother C. K. Frimpong, (a.k.a. Odoom), J. S. Gyima, J. A. Bimpong, K. Nyarko, R. H. Gyima, Philip Anor, Kwaku Asare and J. W. Amoako accepted Pastor Mckeown’s leadership and remained in The Apostolic Church. They arranged for him to move from Asamankese to Akroso and later to Winneba where there were some brethren who also accepted to continue with The Apostolic Church.
Three years later the headquarters of the Apostolic Church was transferred to Cape Coast where a Church had been planted. The Apostolic Church however flourished rapidly throughout the country with Pastor Mckeown as the Superintendent Missionary. He was supported by Pastor R. S. Asomaning, J. A. C. Anaman, J. A. Bimpong, D. K. Boateng, S. K. Frimpong and others.
In 1944 some Christian believers including Pastor Lartey Adotey, Pastor A. S. Mallet, Elder Q. A. L. Quarshie, (all deceased) and Pastor C. K. Diaba and others invited The Apostolic Church from Cape Coast to establish the Church in Accra. The Church in Accra under the leadership of the late Pastor Anaman flourished so quickly that in 1948 the headquarters of the Church was transferred to Accra. More Missionaries were later posted from England to strengthen the work in the then Gold Coast Pastor C. B. Sercombe arrived in 1943 to be the Vice Superintendent. Pastor Adams Mckeown, Brother of Pastor James Mckeown as a Prophet arrived in December 1944. Pastor Albert Seaborne came in 1946, followed by Pastor S. M. Hammond in 1948. Others were Pastor H. L. Copp in 1953 and Pastor C. H. Rosser in 1962. Pastor F. Johnson arrived in 1966, and Pastor P. W. Cawthorne in 1971.
After many years of difficulties dating back to 1953, a large section of the Church followed Pastor James Mckeown to form the Gold Coast Apostolic Church, which after independence became the Ghana Apostolic Church, leaving the Apostolic Church – Gold Coast seriously affected numerically. In 1962 the name Ghana Apostolic Church was changed to the Church of Pentecost under the direction of the President of Ghana. Other Churches like the Divine Healers Church, The Apostolic Reformed Church, and The New Covenant Apostolic Church and several others are all off shoots of The Apostolic Church.
However, the Lord has continued to bless His Church in a wonderful way, and today there are more than three thousand hundred local Churches in Ghana.
The Church has also been instrumental in establishing the glorious vision and the seed of truth in Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, La Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Gambia, South Africa, Europe, and North America.
The last Missionary, Pastor E.H Williams strengthened the roots of true Apostolic flame, by systematically organising leadership training programmes for Ministers.
In 1985, the Church in Ghana celebrated her Golden Jubilee, and attained Autonomy, and the First Ghanaian President Apostle A. Ofori-Addo was appointed. He served from 1985 to 1986, and succeeded in establishing the Church on strong moral and spiritual pillars, and also oversaw the challenges of the transition to full autonomy. Pastor P. Attah Antwi followed as President from 1986 to 1996. His tenure saw growth in the Church as he introduced innovations to whip up expansion in the number of Districts and Areas. His strong apostolic and prophetic ministrations were used by God to establish and affirm the doctrinal values of the Church.
The Administrative Management Committee performed the functions of the Presidency from 1996 to 1997, followed by the Presidential Board from 1997 to 1998. Apostle Joseph Anim was appointed the President in July 1998 during the National Council Meeting. The Lord used him to steer the Church from the numerous court cases and usher her into an era of peace. After two successive terms of office, Apostle Joseph Anim handed over the Presidency to Apostle John Annan Adotey on 8th July 2006.Apostle Adotey’s tenure saw a new chapter opened in the Church’s financial regime . The policy of ” bring ye all ” introduced during his term of office , gave the Church the wherewithal to spread spiritually , and in other fields as the Church diversified into other ventures and began construction of the Apostolic Resource Conference and Retreat Centre at Fafraha . Apostle John Annan Adotey successfully steered the Church through its 75th Anniversary celebration in 2010, and retired on 29th May 2011.
His successor, Apostle E. N. Abebrese was inducted into office on 28th May 2011, and immediately launched the Vision 2015 which hinged on the following prongs: Closer Walk with God ; Deepening of Apostolic Identity ;Practical Evangelism , Discipleship and Church Growth; Sacrificial Covenant Giving; Human Resource Development , Empowerment and Utilisation ; and Infrastructural Development and Improvement . Under the Administration of Abebrese the Church by the grace has grown in leaps and bounds. The number of Administrative Areas has increased from 36 in 2011 to 50 in 2014, with a commensurate increment in the numbers of Districts, Ministers and members. The financial capacity has been strengthened, and new Units set up have improved the Church’s administrative acumen. Construction works on the third phase of the Apostolic Resource Conference and Retreat Centre is currently on course, with intensive training programmes being held for Ministers and members alike to boost their capacity.