A six-week long prayer meeting in all branches and Cell Centre locations of the Apostolic Faith work throughout Ghana preceded the 2019 Annual Camp-meeting Convention. The prayer meetings were held to prepare us for the convention and to get the LORD’S choicest blessings on everyone who would attend the two-week Camp-meeting, which began on Sunday, 25th August, 2019.
Preparatory activities leading up to the Camp-meeting included the demolition of the make- shift Canteen and in its place the construction of a multipurpose three storey-building. Thankfully, the decking of the first floor of the building was completed in time for use during the Camp-meeting. Other preparatory activities undertaken before the Camp-meeting included tidying up all the locations expected to accommodate participants who would come from far and near; painting; and making residential accommodation arrangements outside the campgrounds for some of the delegates.
Before the commencement of the 2019 Camp-meeting, a Workers and Ministers’ Conference was held on Friday 23rd August, 2019 on the theme: Holiness in our Relationships. We were reminded that one of the basic principles in the Bible regarding relationships is that we must choose with great care those with whom we closely associate because “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Wrong associations could set a snare for our souls; hence we should not be in any relationship that would defile us or hinder our spiritual growth.
Participants came from parts of Ghana and beyond to attend the camp-meeting. We had delegates from all the 51 branch churches and Bible Study Centers across Ghana. We also had visitors from Nigeria, Benin Republic, South Africa and La Cote d’Ivoire. Most of the delegates arrived on Thursday, 22nd August 2019.We were blessed with the presence of the District Superintendent (DS) of our work in West and Central Africa, Rev. Emmanuel Bayo Adeniran.
Two veteran ministers of the Gospel from the WECA Headquarters, Rev. Edet Bassey (the Akwa Ibom Regional Overseer) and Rev. Segun Adeliyi (Ogun State Regional Overseer), were also present. In attendance also were Rev. Dotun Ewumi (Director of Worship and Music at WECA Headquarters) and Rev. Titus Itanola (Director of Publications at WECA Headquarters) and his wife, Sister Florence Itanola. The WECA Music Consultant, Rev. John Aina with his wife, Sister Joan Aina, was also present.
Sermons and Teachings
The Camp-meeting began on 25th August, 2019 and ended on 8th September 2019. The theme of the Camp Meeting was: THE GOSPEL OF POWER AND EXPLOITS. The first sermon at the opening of the Camp-meeting, which was presented by Rev. Bassey, was based on this theme. Quoting from Psalms 91, worshipers were reminded that God has made ample provision for the welfare, protection, security and other needs of His children. He admonished us that as we continue to worship God in righteousness and holiness we would experience His miraculous intervention, favour and power in our lives.
The DS gave an inspiring message on Prayer: A Powerful Tool of Spiritual Influence. He referred the congregation to Isaiah 40: 28 – 31; 41: 8 – 13 and Matthew 28: 10, 18 – 20, reminding them that the secret of receiving power from God was to wait on Him. As we tarried in prayer, God would move on our behalf and we would be unstoppable by the devil and his emissaries. There were other Spirit-filled sermons and teachings delivered at the Camp-meeting.
We were blessed with the following teachings: The Purifying Power of the Blood; Restitution; Accessing the Power through Holy Ghost Baptism; Consecration & The Danger of Worldliness; The Power of the Living Word; The Power in the Unity of Brethren &Forgiveness; Experiencing the Power of God at Home; and The Battle for the Mind. The teachings and sermons were usually followed by effectual and fervent prayers by the worshipers. Generally, attendance at the teachings and sermons was very encouraging.
As an integral part of our formal church worship, heart-warming and inspiring testimonies were given at the various meetings that were held during the Camp-meeting. The Pastor of our work in Kumasi testified that her daughter went to church for instrument practice; on her way back home she joined a vehicle occupied by kidnappers who were taking her to a different destination. Fortunately, they met a police checkpoint and the police signaled the vehicle to stop for routine checks but it sped off. The police then requested for reinforcement, which eventually resulted in apprehending the driver and the ultimate release of the pastor’s daughter.
The wife of the Central Region Zonal Pastor testified that she attended a funeral service in Cape-coast where she sat close to a group of people who were conversing among themselves.
One man in the midst was chatting with her and others and asked her where she came from. The sister replied that she came from Antem. The man, unknown to the sister, who was a spiritualist, immediately started telling about the experience he had with one pastor and his wife who happened to live at the same Antem. The sister picked interest in the conversation and asked for more information from the man. The spiritualist said that a lady came to him to help him kill one Pastor Seth Acquah and his wife, Philomina Acquah, who were always praying and disturbing her spiritually. The spiritualist said he asked the lady why she came to him for this assignment since she could consult some fetish priests in Komenda, Kissie and other places to do it for her. The woman then told the spiritualist that she had already tried killing them on several occasions but failed, citing one example that she went to a fetish priest and his wife to kill the pastor and the wife, but when the priest was performing his incantations to kill the Christian couple in presence of his own wife and the visitor, he was struck by an unknown force and he died instantly.
That lady was still not satisfied because pastor and his wife were always praying and their prayers were a nuisance to her spiritual work; so she approached the spiritualist to help “get rid of them”. However, when the spiritualist began to perform his incantations he was met with a huge obstacle that prevented him from continuing with the assignment to kill the brother and his wife. At that point, the spiritualist told the lady that he could not continue with the task. The sister then told the spiritualist that she was Mrs. Philomina Acquah, wife of Pastor Seth Acquah. The spiritualist began shaking like an aspen leaf and told the sister that they have found a right way and they must not stop praying because prayer works. A brother related in his testimony how he was delivered from a life of sin by the power in the Blood of Jesus and how he has subsequently been enjoying God’s marvelous protection, provision and deliverance. He stated that the LORD has delivered him from armed robbers and rescued unscathed from an accident involving a vehicle that somersaulted several times. A sister testified by saying that, what brought her to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was nightmares.
She would have nightmares anytime she slept whether in the night or afternoon, as a result she dreaded sleeping. But she attended an Apostolic Faith Meeting where she heard a powerful sermon that made her decide to come back to the church. She was asked to pray for salvation; and when she humbled herself to submit to God she was saved and that was the end of her nightmares. Another sister stated in her testimony that her daughter was posted to teach in a village in Western Region where she assumed duty. One day the daughter’s pupils told her that they did not like her; she enquired why they did not like her and she was told that they had attempted to kill her several times but they could not succeed and their last attempt was when they went to a fetish priest who told them that he saw the lady completely surrounded by impregnable wall of massive fire and he could not do anything to harm the lady. That was how God delivered the sister’s daughter and kept her unharmed for about six years in that village. To God be all the glory!
This year’s Camp-meeting Music Concert was presented on Saturday, 31st August, 2019 by the combined Choir and Orchestra of the Apostolic Faith Churches from Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
The Music Concert featured, among other things, works of the masters of classical music such as E.L. Ashford (Lift Up Your Heads; Czardas (by Vittorio Monti); Salvation Has Been Brought Down (by Albert E. Bramley); Glory is Coming (by Pledger James); Getting Ready to Leave this World (by Luther Presley); Symphony No. 5 in C Minor – 1st Movement, Allegro (by L.V. Beethoven); and Triumphant March (by Giuseppe Verdi). Some inspiring local airs were also performed by the Choir. These include Jesus Siarfo by Yaw Sakyi Baidoo; Ebenezer arranged by Albert Edusei Dua; Efata Wo and Mete Ase Yi by Sam Asare Bediako; Suo Mo Mu by Emmanuel K. Atah; and Hye Me Ma by George Mensa Essilfie. The highlight of the concert was the rendering of “Suo Mo Mu and Hye Me Ma” pieces conducted by Rev. John Aina who turned 81 years of age this year. The Concert was well attended by 1,839 people from all walks of life (consisting of 886 males and 953 females).
The Youth also performed the 2019 Camp-meeting Youth Concert on Sunday, 1st September,
2019 under the theme; “God of Miracles”. Their splendid presentation of both classical and contemporary musical pieces was a clear indication that the church has well qualified talents who would take over the mantle of leadership in this area of our work.
The musical pieces performed by the Youth Choir and Orchestra included: Fur Elise by L.V. Beethoven; Sonatina in C by M. Clementi; Jehovah Reigneth by S.K. Beazley; And the Glory by G.F. Handel; Canon by J. Pachelbel; Hooked On Praises arranged by John Aina; Trumpet Concerto by Wynton Marsalis; Ode Yen Bedu Fie by Newlove Annan; Oh Mawu Nuseto by Komi Sena Felegan; and Aseda Nwom by James Varrick Armah. The concert ended with a sketch on “Too Late to Pray” with a stage setting of worshippers praying at a prayer room most of whom were not ready when the Rapture occurred; which led to soul-searching and fervent prayers by those in attendance of the concert. The Youth Concert was well attended by 1,020 people from all walks of life (consisting of 503 males and 517 females).
Our young ones from Accra, Western, and Ada Zones took turns to present inspiring programmes on the theme of the Camp-meeting on the first, second and third Sundays of the Convention respectively.
Their various sketches from the Bible on the power in the Gospel, coupled with their recitations and songs, spoke to the hearts of all who were present. May God bless their teachers, and keep these children and use them mightily in future, if Jesus tarries.
Ordinance services were held on the last Friday of Camp meeting. Ninety-seven (73 new converts, comprising thirty-six (36) males and thirty-seven (37) females, were baptized in water. What was heart-warming was that overwhelming majority of the converts were young people. We praise God for bringing the youth to Himself and our prayer is that the LORD will keep them till He comes for His own. Four hundred and seventy-nine (479) people (213 males and 266 females) came together to observe the ordinances of Lord’s Supper and the Foot Washing.
The brethren were beaming with smile as they partook in these ordinances and sang heartily to the praise of the LORD who has redeemed them by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The DS informed the brethren that the Lord would surprise them with His choicest blessings in the new spiritual year.
We are very grateful to the almighty God for the numerous blessings that were received during the 2019 Camp-meeting. According to the final statistics received from the Information Centre, a total of 251 people were saved, 115 were sanctified, 60 were baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, 201 people healed of various sicknesses and diseases, 177 believers were re-anointed, and
159 people recorded other blessings from the Lord. This yields a total of 963 blessings received during the Camp-meeting.
Attendance at the first Sunday of the Camp-meeting was 1,565 (comprising 705 males and 860 females), while attendance at the second Sunday of the Camp-meeting was 2,003. Also, 1,803 worshipers were at the last Sunday of the Camp-meeting. The week-day Bible Teachings and Evangelistic Services were also well attended, averaging around 1,100 per service.
Concluding Remarks & Appreciation
Throughout the 2019 Camp-meeting there were round-the-clock prayer meetings by Gospel Workers, coupled with zonal prayer meetings that saw various zones gathering together after evening services to pray for God’s blessing. Furthermore, numerous prayers were also said for the 2019 Camp-meeting by many people across the world for the success of the Camp-meeting. God did answer all these prayers as demonstrated by the unprecedented number of people who prayed through to various Christian experiences during these meetings. We give God all the glory.
On the last Saturday of the Camp-meeting, the DS was able to travel to two of our branch churches (one in Osei-Krodua and the other at Kasoa) to cut the sod for the commencement of the construction of the church buildings. Do pray for us that the two projects should be completed in record time.
We give God the glory that everything went well during the convention and we thank Him for all that He did to make the event a huge success. We also thank everybody, known and unknown, seen and unseen, who contributed in one way or the other for the successful implementation of the 2019 Ghana Camp-meeting. May God richly reward you all and count you worthy of eternal life in Jesus’ mighty name.
God bless you all.
Rev. John Bekoe