"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice" Philippians 4:4. Today we have every reason to sing, "To God be the glory Great Things He has done. ....Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord let the people rejoice, O comet to the Father through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory great theings He has done."
Great Grace ASsembly of God Church was planted in February 2001. God placed the burden of soul-winning on a few men of God who saw the need to plant an Assembly of God church because there were many Africans, living in the city without a shepherd. Led by Elder Kyei Forkuo, the group met together and prayed fervently. A few weeks later a worship service was started. The church was planted as a prayer/worship service in the residence of Mr. & Mrs. Felix Badu (a.k.a. Agya Badu) in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The nucleus membership consisted of Rev. Philip Asare, and Mr. and Mrs. Badu, Tony Agyei, Dr. Samuel Boadu, and Mrs. Vivian Boadu, Elder Joseph Kyei-Forkuo and Mrs. Veronica Kyei-Forkuo, and George Ofori. the word got out to many Ghanaian and African residents of Minneapolis, and within a few months later the home of Mr. Badu could not hold the steadily growing membership of the new plant. Pastor Opoku Kwarteng came along and through his leadership and with the administrative and spiritual support from the Minnesota District Office of A/G the home church moved to the premises of Park Assembly of God Church in St. Louis Park within the same year, 2001.
Other notable pioneeers who became part of the early plant were James Asare, Robert Owusu, Rev Noah Oti Vandyke, Pastor Ernest Yeboah, Pastor Kwame Hyeamang, Pastor Afriyie, and Rev. Dr. Rev. Samuel Obeng-Appau. The church lost Pastor Afritie to a fatal death and subsequently lost Rev. Vandyke, Pastor Hyeamang and Pastor Kwarteng to to other callings of the Lord. In 2002 Rev. Dr. Sam Obeng-Appau whose specialty in ministry was Church Renewal played a prominent role in the growth of the church. He reorganized the replanting of the church, started Leadership Training for all Ministry Leaders as well as prospective Leaders. He organized the Youth into a vibrant Ministry and encouraged the church to find a substantive Pastor.
The General Superintendent of Ghana Assembly of God Church, Rev. Dontoh, who visited the church in 2002, officially appointed Rev. Philip Asare as the church's prospective Pastor and encouraged Rev. Dr. Sam Obeng-Appau to mentor him and prepare him for ordination. Rev. Philip Asare's appointment was wholeheartedly endorsed by the young membership. It is encouraging to learn that Rev. Philip Asare, who rose from ordinary membership to the pastoral leadership of the church, was ordained in 2003 as the first Pastor of the church, with Rev. Dr. Obeng-Appau providing the necessary spiritual and leadership support for him and the leaders. Rev. Joseph Sackey, then the chairman of Ahanti Regional A/G Ghana, officiated the ordination. Rev. Philip Asare in his capacity as the pastoral leaderhsip diligently and efficiently served the church until February, 2011. It is worth noting that the entire membership faithfully worked very hard to support the church spiritually, financially, culturally, prayerfully, and in pracitcal love. A few years ago, Mrs. Elizabeth Owusu took over the leadership of the Youth Ministry and then Deacon Kwasi Twumasi took over and turned it around. Dr. Samuel Oduro also passionately led the Children's Ministry.
he church grew from a nucleus attendance of barely 30 in 2001 to 250 from 2007-2010. As the church became more established with God regularly added to the membership, the Board and Ministry Leaders began the search for a permanent place of worship. A Building Search Committee was set up to prayerfully make this dream a reality. After a thorough search, Great Grace Assembly of God's current location was purchased for $350,000. A loan of $315,000 was serviced from Minnesota District A/G Financial Board. $35,000 was provided from the church's coffers to make the purchasing possible. The Church finally moved into this building in April, 2010. Even though the expected transitional challenges developed some setbacks, the church is still standing stronger on its feet than ever before, because Jesus has promised, "I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."
When the incumbent Pastor, Rev. Philip Asare, decided to leave the services of the Pastoral Leadership in Febraury 2011, Rev. Dr. Kelly McRoberts, an ordained A/G Minister and a professor at North Central University, was seconded by Minnesota District Office of A/G in September, 2011 to serve as the interim Pastor while the Board diligently searches for a substantive Pastor for the church. Rev. Dr. McRoberts through his able advice has brought the church thus far. The church is very thankful to Rev. Dr. McRoberts, Rev Clarence St. John, and Rev. Greg Hinkle for the prominent roles they have played in helping the church to ward off the storm.
Great Grace Assembly of God Church has experienced steady growth and has also seen decline over the years. Hundreds of souls have been saved and many have been delivered from Satanic oppression, and we cannot therefore hold our peace but to sing, "To God be the glory, great things He has done." Nevertheless the most important questions we can ask ourselves today for twelve years of existence are:
Where is the original spirit of unity and love, the consistent prayerful spirit, and the evangelistic fervor that fired up the membership drive from the beginning? Where is the spiritual power which enabled us to move forward with hope and aspirations and willingness to please God by doing His will?" Where is it?
Why have we forgotten our roots: the roots from where we started the Great Grace Assembly of God Church?
We should remember we started the church on foundations of Jesus Christ's GREAT COMMISSION to bring hope to our generation, and on His GREAT COMMANDMENT which enjoins us to show His love in action to those we minister to. We should not also forget that the growth of Great Grace Assembly of God Church thrived on how we showed "Greater Grace" to one another (Acts 4:33)
For almost 12 years in existence, what can we say are our defined MISSION and VISION?
Where are we with regards to the MISSION and the VISION? Final question
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? And HOW DO WE GET THERE? Let us remember "There are many in this city who also belong to the household of God, and we should look for them." Thank you, and God Bless you.