FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 12, 2022
CHICAGO’S PREMIER AFRICAN CHURCH BODY MARKS 25 YEARS
IN GRAND STYLE
by Nicholas Thompson
The phenomenal growth of Chicago’s premier African church body is impacting its community and beyond. From a humble beginning with three churches 25 years ago, the Council of Ghanaian Churches (CGC) has grown into an umbrella group of 24 churches and ministries stretching from Chicago to Bolingbrook, said Rev. Dr. Kofi-Noonoo, its founder and president.
On Saturday, September 10th, the CGC hosted a colorful festive 25th-anniversary celebration at the beautified Key Way to Heaven Ministries in Chicago. In an insightful opening prayer, Rev. Foster Agbe Ehia, the church pastor, expressed gratitude to God for the council’s anniversary and prayed for the group’s continued growth. Choirs of various churches sang melodious tunes prompting many to join in the dancing. Among hundreds of people present were Paa Kwesi Sam, president of Ghana National Council, community leaders, Rev. Albert Ocran, CGC treasurer, pastors, and leaders of churches and ministries.
Rev. Dr. Isaac Painstil, senior pastor of Christ Oasis Ministries, was the keynote speaker at the event. In a powerful presentation, he stressed the need for transition in CGC as in marathons. At the same time, he congratulated Rev. Dr. Noonoo for founding the group and leading it through turbulent times.
Currently, the CGC is decentralized, and two young pastors recently filled the influential treasurer and welfare positions. A new council chairperson has also been elected. Members are currently reviewing the constitution and an election is planned for December this year.
In a brief account of the council’s history, Rev. Dr. Noonoo recognized those who had rendered services to the group and the community. Council members officiate at birth ceremonies, marriages, funerals and provide counseling. In addition, the council has made donations towards Chicago school children’s back-to-school program and the upkeep of blind persons in Ghana. Amid wild applause, Rev. Dr. Noonoo was presented with a gold chain with a cross, in recognition of his leadership and services.
Several awards were also presented to various individuals and member churches and ministries for their exemplary contributions to the council. Among the recipients were Eld, MacGeoffrey Kutor, ex-CGC chairperson, and Rev. Amos Oladipo of Nigeria, who served as the council’s treasurer when he was pastor of the African Community Methodist Church. Rev. Dr. Noonoo hailed Min. Dr. Nicholas Thompson as an “able secretary.” CGC vice-president, Dr. Gabriel Amoateng-Boahen and Rev. Nana Owusu-Bempah, ex-CGC chairperson, could not attend the event, but they were remembered for their notable contributions.
Awards were presented by Rev. Ernest Baker, senior pastor of the New Hope Christian Missionary Baptist Church and chairperson of the board of trustees of the Africa Resurrection and Restoration Ministries (ARRM). Rev. Baker, an African American, is actively involved in the African community, ministering at churches and funerals, and making presentations at clergy retreats. The three-hour fun-filled event was emceed by Rev. Gideon Barden, a pastor of Christ Oasis Ministries.
Earlier in the week, a zoom anniversary health seminar was held featuring Eld. Dr. Eunice Cromwell and Mrs. Salomey Adomako, RN, FNC. The theme was “Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.”
The anniversary activities were planned and executed by a committee under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Mary Adufah, CGC chairperson. To round off the Saturday celebration, Dr. Adufah gave a powerful closing remark, prayer, and benediction. The anniversary theme was: Growing Stronger, Deeper and Higher.”
Attendees expressed satisfaction with the event. Beautiful, awesome, amazing, and historic were expressions heard from some of them as they exited the event with bags of food and drinks. “It’s a milestone for CGC, an inspiration for African Christians,” one remarked.