History is useful at all times, both religious and secular histories. As Christians with different denominational backgrounds, denominational histories are equally important because they strengthen our faith in Christ and help to deepen our love for our denominational churches. Surprisingly, establishing the authenticity of the Christ Apostolic Church International, as the first Pentecostal Church in Ghana raises eye brows among Ghanaian theological scholars. This is because little is known about Apostle P. N. Anim, the father of pentecostalism in Ghana and also how satan’s stronghold in the Gold Coast began to rock on its foundation from the spirit backed Asamankese revivals. Truly, our fore-fathers, whom the Holy Spirit used to initiate the Gold Coast Pentecostal Movement at Asamankese were generally illiterate farmers, fishermen, market women and even hunters. They could not formally write books on the huge events of miracles performed by the Holy Spirit. Therefore the continuation of the Acts of the Apostles at Asamankese became an oral history. Recent research by scholars in the Church, after going through the files from 1923 has revealed more truths about Apostle Anim and the Gold Coast revivals. That is the period, when Apostle Anim began to ordain pastors and elders for ministry. Edward Rutherfurd writes ”History is a huge succession of events that created us.” According to Rutherfurd, one of the greatest benefits of studying history is that it allows us a chance to learn about where we come from. People still wonder if anything worthwhile can be gained from continued research from historic events. As a past student of Classical Civilization (i.e. the study of Greek and Roman histories and their cultures ) from the university of Ghana, I, personally agree with James Bowen, the Prosecutor for the queen of the State of Victoria 1978– 1993 on his article ” The Importance of Studying History ” According to Bowen, the study of history is us to recognize dangers to our society, both from within and externally. History also provides guidance as how to deal with those dangers when they arise. It is also true that history enables us to learn from our past mistakes to avoid repetition and rather look forward to a brighter future.
From 1938– 1939, the doctrinal battle of divine healing between Anim and Mckweon and the UK Apostolic Church and Apostolic Church Gold Coast (1953) legal battles in courts and the struggles to claim properties, all in the name of love for our Master Jesus Christ, should never be revisited.
History gives us a sense of pride and satisfaction to defend our rights and protect our heritage. One English philosopher Rooger Scruton said “denying children a solid grounding in the history of their country was calculated to produce a generation of gentle sheep that could be easily led by their political masters”. Knowing the true history of the Gold Coast Pentecostal Movement from 1917, eleven years after the Azuza Street Revival in 1906, in Los Angeles, USA is a fine point and also reveals the mind of God concerning the people of the Gold Coast (Ghana). In every dispensation, God always has a remnant to keep the faith and preserve the true teaching of the gospel. God always takes away their weaknesses and their imperfections and turn them to His glory because of their faith in Him.
As it happened in the sixteenth century, when godly men stood in opposition to the Church of Rome–Jakob Hutter (Founder of the Hutterites), John Knox of Scotland, William Tyndale (martyred for translating the New Testament into English), John Calvin of France, Ulrich Zwingli of Switzerland, and the English Reformers Cranmar and Ridley (All burned at the stake), Apostle Peter Newman Anim also came out from orthodox Christianity in 1917 to preach Christ and faith or divine healing to demonstrate a sharp contrast between Jesus Christ and
the Fetish powers of the world. He built the first indigenous temple in 1923 at Asamankese.
This dynamic spiritual movement had never happened anywhere in the Gold Coast before the arrival of the white missionaries from Europe. Evangelist William Wade Harris, a native African from Liberia, although preached in the Axim area in 1915 to win souls for the Anglican Church, however, he did not plant a Church. He left for the Ivory Coast where it was alleged, he won about two million souls for Christ.
The huge succession of Pentecostal events in the history of the Gold Coast still make the “Anim’s Movement,” which now is the Christ Apostolic Church International a highly respected Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
C.A.C. International commands an enviable respect before God and all people of truth that, it is the first indigenous Pentecostal Movement and Church in Ghana.
Apostle Joseph Sakyi, Director, Christian Education Department