The-Church-of-Pentecost-Launches-2nd-Agent-Of-Peace-Campaign1

Church of Pentecost Launches ‘Agent Of Peace’ Campaign

History was made over the weekends when The Church of Pentecost, a leading global Pentecostal church, launched its second edition of peace campaign dubbed ‘Agent of Peace’ at the Burma Camp in Accra.

The launch which was held under the theme, “Seek Peace and Pursue It” – Psalm 34:17b, kick-started numerous interventions by The Church of Pentecost in all its branches across the country, numbering about 17,000. This year’s edition was inspired by the Vision 2023 agenda of the Church, which has as its overarching theme, ‘Possessing the Nations: Transforming every Sphere of Society with Values and Principles of the Kingdom of God.’

The glamorous event which had the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Jean Mensa, as the special guest of honour, attracted the movers and shakers of the Christian community such as the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana and Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, Most Rev. Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo; President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Most Rev. Philip Naameh; President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) and General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso, heads of churches among others. The Deputy Ameer, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, Alhajj Ahmad Suleman Anderson, was also present.

Also in attendance were the top echelons of the Police Administration, Ghana Armed Forces and other security agencies.

The political parties and their representatives were also present, including the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta; National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Members of Parliament, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mrs. Josephine Nkrumah, traditional authorities, among others.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Church, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, was hopeful that the launch would contribute significantly to a peaceful electioneering process.

According to him, God has been gracious to Ghana as the country has over the years enjoyed peace, especially during elections. “Ghana is celebrated across the world as an oasis of peace in the West African sub-region and even in the whole of Africa. As a nation, we have experienced seven peaceful general elections, with numerous by-elections in the Fourth Republic.

“These great accomplishments did not come by chance but by contributions from various stakeholders, key among who are represented here today,” he stressed.

He noted that for the nation to continue to enjoy peace within her walls, the citizenry must arise, seek and pursue peace.

“The Church of Pentecost believes that the Church as the body of Christ has been called to belong to God and sent back into the world to serve God’s purpose. It is from such understanding that we have over the years shown unalloyed commitment to efforts by various governments towards development and nation-building.

“As we move to the 2020 General Elections, we are confident that the Lord will once again grant Ghana His abiding peace. This will however not come by chance. We need to work at it. We need to seek and pursue it.

“Together, we can continue to make Ghana a beacon of stability and democracy in Africa. We have done it before, and we can do it again,” he stated.

The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa, pledged her absolute commitment to peace and supervising over fair, free and transparent elections. “Today I stand before the Almighty God to pledge and present myself as an Agent of Peace in our nation Ghana and the rest of the world.

“As a representative of God, responsible for the conduct of free, fair, credible, transparent and peaceful elections in Ghana, it is important that I and indeed the leadership of the Electoral Commission, signal peace in all our operations, activities and speech. As individuals at the helm of affairs, we have a duty to conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes peace and builds trust.

“We recognise that how we speak, what we say, and our posture will help promote peace or otherwise in our dear nation. It is vital that in all we do we build trust and confidence in our processes as this will go a long way to foster peace in our society,” she stated.

It would be recalled that The Church of Pentecost in the 2016 general elections launched the maiden ‘Agents of Peace’ campaign to impress on its members to be peace ambassadors.

3 Synergy eVote for The COP

The Church of Pentecost conducts first-ever virtual election

From the thousands of lives lost, the imposition of human restrictions and bans as well as other disturbing developments such as loss of jobs, public health crises and the closure of churches across the globe, COVID-19, also known as “coronavirus,” will certainly be very difficult to forget.

Indeed, the Church is undoubtedly one of the hardest-hit institutions in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The ban on mass gathering, in particular, resulted in the indefinite suspension of most (if not all) activities and events scheduled by some churches this year.

That notwithstanding, in this trying period, the church has had to go all out to support needy members during the lockdown period, while at the same time dealing with the expected decline in its revenue generation efforts and dwindling finances.

That said, all has not been doom and gloom. This is because the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the church very positive lessons particularly on the need to prioritise personal and family devotional life as much as congregational worship. However, one key legacy of this pandemic is most probably how the Church has been coerced to embrace technology.

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 12, 2020, church life has never been the same. The increased restrictions on human activities and the general panic that greeted this announcement was evidence of the uncomfortable times ahead.

As a result, church leaders looked for possible ways to reach out and maintain fellowship with their members.

In all of the strategies pursued, technology has proven to be the most effective and the tool generally adopted by the Church for the work of the ministry in these turbulent times. This, therefore, sparked widespread use of digital tools by the churches to pursue their evangelism and discipleship mandate.

With The Church of Pentecost, a global Pentecostal church with a presence in 105 countries, the story was no different.

The church therefore resorted to her various media outlets, particularly Pent TV and Social Media, as well as other measures like Family Fellowship and Home Cell Meetings to continue to minister to the spiritual needs of her over 3million membership worldwide.

The impact of the pandemic, was, however, well felt in April, when the church had to organise its first-ever virtual Easter Convention. This was, in fact, a foreshadow of what would soon be known as “the new normal.”

After conducting a successful virtual Easter Convention, the leadership of The Church of Pentecost set their sights on arguably the most significant and biggest meeting on the church calendar – the General Council Meetings.

During Council meetings, participants, mainly ministers come from all over the world to converge at a venue – the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC) – to fraternise, pray together, discuss emerging issues in the church and take key church decisions.

This year’s meeting albeit was very crucial because it would witness the election of new members to serve on the Executive Council of the church.
In navigating this, the first step taken by leadership was to issue a circular announcing that the event had been rescheduled from May to June due to obvious reasons in anticipation of eased restrictions and a general decline in active COVID-19 cases.

However, after it became apparent that the pandemic would persist for a while longer, the Church once again resorted to technology and explored how the meetings and elections could be conducted virtually.

In view of this, several consultative meetings were held at various levels and eventually AO Holdings Limited, a Digital Solutions company owned by a member of the Church, was contracted to come up with an online election software to conduct the elections virtually across the continents.

After several weeks of hard work, an online election software dubbed “Synergy eVote” was presented to the Church leadership by AO Holdings Limited, which was subsequently accepted.

A unique identification number was thus generated for each of the 1,237 registered voters, with which they would be able to access the voting platform to cast their vote.

To test the veracity of the platform and ensure that elections would not be compromised in any way, five mock elections were organised for Councilors before the scheduled date (Wednesday, June 3, 2020).

In the early hours of Wednesday at about 6:00 GMT, Councilors in Ghana converged at the various Area Offices to cast their votes, whilst those in the external nations convened at their respective National Offices to partake in the exercise. Some external Councillors living in lockdown areas were also allowed to vote from home.

In all, out of the 1,237 registered voters, a total of 1,194 votes were cast, 967 of which were cast by Councilors in Ghana, with the remaining 227 by External Councilors. The entire election process lasted for just an hour. In fact, more than 1,000 votes were cast in less than 15 minutes.

At the end of the polls, Apostles Yaw Adjei Kwarteng (Hohoe Area Head), Samuel Osei Asante (Koforidua Area Head) and Isaac Kotei Djani (Tamale Area Head) were all re-elected to serve a second term on the Council.

On the other hand, Apostles Sylvester Arhin (Assin Foso Area Head), Dr Dela Quampah (Head of the School of Theology Leadership and Missions) and Mike Etrue (Kaneshie Area Head) were elected to replace members of the Council who have completed their terms.

Apostle James Raj (India National Head) has also been elected onto the Council as the Representative for nations outside Africa.

2020 may be widely touted as the year of COVID-19, but for The Church of Pentecost, it will go down in history as the year when the church organised its first-ever virtual election.