The Church of Pentecost, like most great institutions, started in a small way. The Church’s beginnings are linked to the ministry of Pastor James McKeown (1900-1989), an Irish missionary sent by the Apostolic Church, Bradford, UK to the then Gold Coast (now Ghana) arrived on 4th March 1937 to help a group of believers of the Apostolic Faith led by one Peter Newman Anim in a town called Asamankese in the Eastern Region. In September of the same year, Mrs. Sophia Mckeown joined her husband who had settled at Asamankese in the eastern part of the then Colony.
Church of Pentecost Council 1954 James McKoewn center and his brother on the right. Courtesy Church of Pentecost Canada
Due to doctrinal differences based on divine healing, the group split in 1939 into the Christ Apostolic Church and the Apostolic Church, Gold Coast. The latter saw great expansion under Pastor James McKeown. In 1953, a constitutional crisis led to the founding of the Gold Coast Apostolic Church led by Pastor James McKeown.
On the attainment of independence by the country in 1957 and following the change of its name to Ghana, the Gold Coast Apostolic Church was renamed the Ghana Apostolic Church. The split in 1953 did not end the crisis. New conflicts compelled the then President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, to advise the leadership of the Ghana Apostolic Church, to adopt a new name in order to foster peace and harmony on the Pentecostal front. Therefore, on August 1, 1962, the new name, The Church of Pentecost, legally replaced the Ghana Apostolic Church.
The Church of Pentecost is a worldwide, non-profit-making Pentecostal church with its headquarters in Accra, Ghana. It has branches in over eighty-two (82) countries in five continents as at 2011.
With the retirement of the founder in 1982, Apostle Frederick Stephen Safo succeeded Rev. James Mckeown as Chairman from 1982 till his death in 1987. He was succeeded by Prophet Martinson K. Yeboah from 1988 to 1998 when Apostle Dr. Michael Kwabena Ntumy was handed the leadership mantle. At the expiration of his tenure, Apostle Dr. Ntumy handed over to Apostle Dr. Opoku Onyinah who has since 2008 been the Chairman of the Church.
The Church has a nine-member Executive Council headed by the Chairman. The current membership is as follows: Apostle Dr. Opoku-Onyinah (Chairman), Apostle Alfred Kodua (General Secretary), Apostle Dr. Stephen Kofi Baidoo (International Missions Director), Apostle Albert Amoah, Apostle Francis Ofori-Yeboah, Apostle J.S. Gyimah, Prophet J.E. Ameyaw, Apostle Ekow Badu-Woode, ApÃ´tre Ousmane Zabre (all Members) and Apostle Dr. Michael K. Ntumy (Co-opted Member)
Since assuming office the current Executive Council, led by Apostle Dr. Opoku Onyinah has fashioned out a five-year strategic vision – Vision 2013.