Source: Eddie Ameh
The Church of the Ghanaian Community in Chicago, COGC has celebrated its 30th anniversary in the United States. It was all joy as members of the oldest Ghanaian church in the Chicago area sang and danced to melodious tunes praising their maker for sustaining them for 30 years.
Thirty years of COGC spiritual guidance
Delivering the message, resident pastor, Rev. Emmanuel Amonoo said in spite of the difficulties of the past 30 years, the church has remained resolute in delivering spiritual guidance to Ghanaians and other people from sub Sahara Africa.
The COGC remains one which embraces the best aspects of the African Christian personality and character such as love, unity, mutual assistance, support, accountability, and transparency.
“The Gospel of Jesus calls us to serve God and our neighbor. The CGCC thus continues to do this in a non- denominational, non-tribal and non sectarian manner,” Rev. Amonoo said.
“This Church belongs to all Ghanaians and all people of African descent.”
The church was started by Rev Dr. Emmanuel Grantson then a student pastor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Speaking on the history of the church, a former associate pastor, Rev. Kwasi Amponsah-Yeboah said Rev. Dr. Grantson established the church in response to a call from God to help improve the spiritual and social lives of the Ghanaians he (Rev. Dr. Grantson) was encountering in Chicago, “who would ask for prayers or request that he conduct memorial services, weddings and naming ceremonies on their behalf.”
Rev. Amponsah-Yeboah also said the Church belongs to all Ghanaians and all people of African descent. It continues to be served by pastors of various ethnic and denominational backgrounds such as Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican and Pentecostal.
Social Interventions in Chicago and Ghana
The Church of the Ghanaian Community in Chicago is one of the very few Ghanaian churches registered with the Illinois Charitable Trust and files annual returns though it is not supposed to file because it is registered as a charitable organization with a 501 c status. The church also helps its members financially and with other resources.
The church does not forget about its roots as it is always involved with development projects back in Ghana. In the last couple of years, A total of over 300 desks at the cost of eight thousand dollars were distributed to six schools in the Greater Accra, Central and Ashanti Regions to help in the development agenda of Ghana. The church has given other donations in Ghana and the USA.
COGC over the last 30 years
The Church of the Ghanaian Community of Chicago was formed in August by a group of Ghanaian pastors led by Rev. Dr. Grantson. The others Rev. Dr. Abraham Akrong, former Lecturer, Institute of African Studies, the University of Ghana, Legon and the Rev. Dr. Kwaku Lartey, all of blessed memory. The first service on August 8th was held at the Rockefeller Chapel, was attended by 30 Ghanaians mostly from the Fante Mboakuw. In 1991, the church moved from the Rockefeller chapel to 5500 South Woodlawn Av where they have been worshiping since.
The following were given awards for their dedication and service to the church or to the Ghanaian community in Chicago.They are :
Mr. Clement Timpo.
Mr and Mrs. Berko Akoto
Rev. Kwasi Yeboah
Nana Addai Baffour
Theresa Sam. and
Rev. Dr. Kofi Nonoo.
The chairman of the celebrations was Honorable Loyd L. Hyde, Consul General of Jamaica in Chicago and Paa Kwasi Sam, President Ghana National Council of Metropolitan Chicago. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were,Steve Dei, President, Ewe Association, Nana Addae Baffour , Ashantefuohene of Chicago and Mama Awushie Adjaho, the new Mama of the Ewe Association of Metropolitan Chicago.