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Hundred Years of Promoting “African Christianity”, the ARS Story

Mankind’s quest to recognise his relationship with God has led him to different ways or mediums of linking to the Supernatural.

Today, the world can boast of enormous religious diversities of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, African Traditional Religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism among others. All these religions are unique to a specific society and geographical location. 

In deed it is said that a person’s religion or faith is determined by his environment or geographical location.

For instance, while a child’s adherence to Islamic religion would be high in Northern Ghana; same couldn’t be applied to a child born in southern part; since the south unlike the north is dominated by Christians.

Nonetheless, Africans for the matter Ghanaians before the arrival of the Europeans and Arabs have practised their own religion. Christianity, Islam and others were alien to the African.

Africans are so religious that religion has dominated their thinking to such an extent that it has shaped their cultures, their social life, their political organizations and economic activities.

While extremists stiffly reject the foreign religions, others ease up to say, things could only get better through self-identity and integration.

One of such persons is the founder of the Apostles Revelation Society, Prophet Charles Kwabla Nutornti.

 His church which started as a prayer group in 1939 has grown into a big society with its unique practises.

The ARS Church is one of the biggest churches to have emerged from the Volta Region with its headquarters in Tadzewu; a once pagan community in the Ketu North District. The Church has branches across Africa and the world with tens of thousand followers.

The Prophet in subtle attempts to indoctrinate the Christian faith among followers of his Fetish father, made Christianity to suit an African Context by allowing members to worship the supreme God using the African culture.

Knowing that key elements of the Ewe culture is singing and drumming, he encouraged theophoric renditions of the local Agbadza, Zigi, Adevu, Borborbor and choral songs in order to resonate with the people.

 In addition to the normal Christian sacraments, the church adopted typical Ewe practices including outdooring of twins, widowhood rites, installation of Chiefs, and protection of Pregnancy and acquiring of spirit of one’s profession.

The Prophet through his miracle and healing powers carried a lot of clout, drawing people from all walks of life to his homeland, Tadzewu. The Church established religious communities across the country whose members are charged to live righteous lives to set as examples to nonbelievers. One of such communities Dededo in the Ho West District of the Volta who at a point was adjudged a community with the one of the most disciplined members. Indeed, the Prophet also established basic and higher educational institutions that trains the youth to take leadership roles in future.

Prophet Wovenu has also believed that, every society must worship the Supreme Being through their culture and must not be compelled to adopt doctrines alien to them. Although the church has suffered some schism after the demise of the founder, its doctrines and beliefs are still being preserved.

Wovenu was Born in 1918 and died in 1999. This year the church would be celebrating hundred years of his life and death. They are therefore inviting the general Public to join them in December for the celebrations.

By: King Nobert Akpablie

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