“The Mountain of Transfiguration” – Takoradi Church Planting, Ghana
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light… Matthew 17:1-2
Sunday October, 17th 2021 saw the inauguration of the Takoradi church of ICOC, Ghana. The theme for the day was “The Mountain of Transfiguration”.
God answered our prayers as we saw more than 189 in attendance (including 96 visitors and 67 virtual on zoom from both Lagos and Accra).
Takoradi is a town located on the South Western part of Ghana. It is a twin city and the capital city of the Western Region of Ghana. Its sister city, Sekondi is located east of Takoradi. Takoradi was established by the Europeans, during the construction of the harbour. It became a twin city in 1946 and is nobody’s hometown, not even the Ahantas. It is believed that, the Europeans consulted the local inhabitants for the construction of the port as well as the township. The Ahantas come from Apowa, Beaho, Anaji, Assakae and surrounding areas. Everybody else in the city of Takoradi is a migrant, tourist or visitor.
The city of Takoradi is Ghana’s third vibrant city and unofficially known as the oil city since the discovery of oil in the Region in which it is situated. ‘Taadi’ as the indigenes affectionately call it, has its own unique lingua franca with new terminologies emerging every now and then. Fantis is the dominant language spoken in Takoradi.
The city boasts of a beautiful university campus, the Takoradi Technical University which was established in September 2016, as a result of the government’s policy to convert Takoradi Polytechnic, among five other Polytechnics, to the status of a Technical University. In effect, since April 1954, Takoradi Technical University (formerly Takoradi Polytechnic) has existed as a Government Technical Institute under the Ghana Education Service of the Ministry of Education.
Sekondi Takoradi’s 2021 population is now estimated at 990,661. It has grown by 45,142 since 2015, which represents a 4.77% annual change.
The Takoradi Seed Fellowship
The Takoradi seed fellowship began with two families, the Balogun’s and the Onwosi’s who were living in Takoradi and periodically travelling to Accra for church services. In 2009, when Trevor and Eunice Cook who had re-located from London moved to Cape-Coast to start a fellowship in that city, these two families and other disciples who had come to settle in Takoradi joined them to attend services in Cape Coast. Cape Coast is 82 kilometers from Takoradi – about two hours’ drive.
In 2011, the Takoradi disciples made a request to start their own seed fellowship which was granted and in 2012 it was recognized as a seed fellowship of the ICOC.
In the ten-year period to date, other disciples have joined the fellowship as a result of transfers, relocation and baptisms. God has done amazing things in their lives as the Onwosi‘s have baptized three of their children and the Balogun’s baptized two of their children. They have been joined by the Haizel’s making them three families. There is also Mrs. Yayra Ashong Mettle whose job transferred her to Takoradi a year ago and Emeka, a single brother. They are 14 in total as Precious Onwosi now a University student is in Kumasi at KNUST.
God is indeed faithful – Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fails. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness
Lamentations 3: 22-23
Arrival of volunteers
The Takoradi church planting witnessed a great turnout of willing disciples and volunteers from Accra, Cape-Coast and Kumasi. The team was also honoured to have Chris and Rolayo Ogbonnaya, WAM Regional leaders and Sam Onuoha the Regional Administrator who joined us to evangelize the city of Takoradi prior to the Inaugural service on Sunday.
Disciples hit the ground running as soon as they arrived in the city, evangelizing in twos at the market circle which is the third largest market in Ghana, at the Takoradi mall, the University campus and all the surrounding areas.
Young brothers and sisters from all the campus ministries in Ghana joined in and evangelized the campus as soon as they arrived in the city holding bible discussions and sharing the word of God to men and women who were willing to embrace the truth of Gods salvation plan.
Led by our Lead Evangelist Francis and his wife Paule Dasse, we reached out to as many as possible from morning till evening each day after devotionals in the mornings. It was an amazing experience as disciples worked together to bring glory to God’s name. God blessed us as we discovered that most people were open hearted and sincere towards God word.
Visit to Orphanage
A poor outreach was held on Saturday October, 16th a day before the inaugural service where a team visited the Egyam Children’s Home, an orphanage in the city. Disciples made a donation and sang and danced with the children.
The final lap of reaching out took place with a Jericho walk from Asempa Hotel to the Takoradi mall as disciples reached out to anyone they met with the campus students singing and dancing alongside. It was a joyful walk for both young and old. God’s immeasurable greatness of his power was revealed as many who were met on the streets came to church on Sunday.
The climax of the series of events was the Inaugural worship service on Sunday, October 17th. The inaugural service began with worship and thanksgiving. This was followed by a sermon from Chris Ogbonnaya, the Regional Leader of ICOC, West Africa whose message was taken from the theme of the service, titled “The Mountain of Transfiguration”. The central point of the message was hinged on the word, “Transfiguration” with his main text from Matthew 17:1-9.
He made three points:
- Come and see God’s nature
- Respond to Gods Calling
- Stay in Gods Calling
He appealed to the congregation to come and see God’s nature indicating that we have not come to start a new church but calling them to die to religiosity. The message was very practical as he shared about his life before he was called to become a disciple on October 24th 1989 at the age of 24 and the transformation that has occurred. Using the text from Matthew 17, he said the story is told to make the identity of Jesus perfectly clear – it revealed that he is the Lord of Glory, that everything he did pleased the father and that he is the one to be obeyed.
To the disciples gathered, he reminded them that they are the light of the world and God has brought us into his glory so that we can have one life. He had a message for all gathered, the teenagers, parents, husbands and wives, business owners etc.
He urged the congregation not to hold on to this life that death will take away but to make Jesus the Lord and Master of our lives. He asked the visitors to make time to study the bible for God to transform their lives.
It was a day of celebration, feeding from God’s word with joy and thanksgiving.
The members of the Takoradi church were officially introduced to the congregation. A team of 13 disciples make up the church led by Divine and Vida Ofori who have led the church in Kumasi for 12 years. They move to Takoradi with their two children, Francesca and Ruth.
Takoradi becomes the 5th church planted in Ghana since the Accra planting in 1992.
We ask the ICOC fellowship of churches to keep the Takoradi church in prayers for a multiple harvest of souls that will last.
The fellowship after the service was awesome. Refreshments were served for all in attendance while bible studies continued after the service in small groups.
Missionaries began returning back home but this didn’t deter the work of salvation. By the special grace of God Takoradi witnessed its first baptism on Monday, October 18th as Samuel Mensah made Jesus Lord of his life and got baptized
We look forward to harvesting more faithful souls through baptisms into the body of Christ.
It has been an amazing experience seeing God working through his children to plant this Church.
11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 1 Chronicles 29:11
Please keep praying for the good work God has started in Takoradi and for the fruits to be bountiful.