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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 April 2011

University of Pennsylvania
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In 1918, Faith Tabernacle Congregation was established in southern colonial Ghana. This Philadelphia-based church flourished in the context of colonialism, cocoa, and witchcraft, spreading rapidly after the 1918–19 influenza pandemic. In this context, several healing cults also proliferated, but Faith Tabernacle was particularly successful because the church offered its members spiritual, social, and legal advantages. The church's leadership was typically comprised of young Christian capitalist men, whose literacy and letter writing enabled the establishment of an American church without any missionaries present. By 1926, when Faith Tabernacle began its decline, at least 177 branches had formed in southern Ghana, extending into Togo and Côte d'Ivoire, with over 4,400 members.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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1 Cessou, J.-M., ‘Une religion nouvelle en Afrique Occidentale: le “Goro” ou “Kunde”’, Études Missionaires: Supplement a la Revue d'Histoire des Missions, 4 (April 1936), 139Google Scholar and 4 (November 1936), 230–43.

2 Cessou refers to both Kunde and Goro in his article. In Ewe-speaking regions such as Lome, Kunde was known as Goro, meaning ‘kola’ in Hausa. J. Allman and J. Parker, Tongnaab: The History of a West African God (Bloomington, 2005), 139. A consecrated kola nut was usually eaten by initiates to cement the relationship between deity and supplicant, hence the name Goro. M. J. Field, Search for Security: An Ethno-psychiatric Study of Rural Ghana (New York, 1960), 89.

3 Cessou, ‘Une religion nouvelle’, 5, 10, and 17. In fact, Christian Science was not established in Ghana until 1951. Nicole Lapenta (Christian Science archivist), personal communication, 5 Nov. 2009.

4 Cessou, ‘Une religion nouvelle’, 5 and 9–10.

5 Ibid. 6 and 9–10. English literacy was frequently a prerequisite for full membership into many Protestant Churches in Ghana (and West Africa generally) in the early twentieth century. S. Newell, Literary Culture in Colonial Ghana: ‘How to Play the Game of Life’ (Bloomington, 2002), 83–95.


6 As in southern Africa, the pandemic prompted the formation of anti-biomedical, healing-centered churches. T. Ranger, ‘The influenza pandemic in Southern Rhodesia: a crisis of comprehension’, in D. Arnold (ed.), Imperial Medicine and Indigenous Societies (Manchester, 1988), 172–88.

7 For Ghana, see Allman and Parker, Tongnaab. For Togo, see B. N. Lawrance, Locality, Mobility, and ‘Nation’: Periurban Colonialism in Togo's Eweland, 1900–1960 (Rochester, 2007), 95–102. Both Wyllie, R. W. (‘Pioneers of Ghanaian Pentecostalism: Peter Anim and James McKeown’, Journal of Religion in Africa, 6 (1974), 109–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar) and E. K. Larbi (Pentecostalism: the Eddies of Ghanaian Christianity (Accra, 2001)) have discussed Faith Tabernacle's success in Ghana.

8 The primary source materials utilized in this article from Faith Tabernacle's archive in Philadelphia are the letters exchanged between Faith Tabernacle correspondents in Ghana (as well as Côte D'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Togo) and Faith Tabernacle's presiding elder in Philadelphia. The letters in the archive are not, however, the originals, but are summaries that range in length from two sentences to multiple pages. Sometime in 1922, the presiding elder, Ambrose Clark, decided to organize the letters he was receiving into files, which were categorized by branch. These files included the name and address of each branch leader, as well as summaries of each letter received along with the date on which the letter was written. Responses to these letters were often included, following the summaries.

9 For healing cults, see Allman and Parker, Tongnaab; McCaskie, T. C., ‘Anti-witchcraft cults in Asante: an essay in the social history of an African people’, History in Africa, 8 (1981), 125–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Parker, J., ‘Witchcraft, anti-witchcraft and trans-regional ritual innovation in early colonial Ghana: Sakrabundi and Aberewa, 1889–1910’, Journal of African History, 45:3 (2004), 393420CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Gray, N., ‘Independent spirits: the politics of policing anti-witchcraft movements in colonial Ghana, 1908–1927’, Journal of Religion in Africa, 35:2 (2005), 139–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For Pentecostalism, see B. Meyer, Translating the Devil: Religion and Modernity among the Ewe in Ghana (Trenton, 1999); Larbi, Pentecostalism.

10 McCaskie, ‘Anti-witchcraft’, 137.

11 J. D. Y. Peel, Aladura: A Religious Movement among the Yoruba (London, 1968), 97.

12 R. Marshall, Pentecostal Spiritualities: The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria (Chicago, 2009), 26.

13 C. G. Baeta, Prophetism in Ghana: A Study of Some ‘Spiritual’ Churches (London, 1962), 131–41.

14 Ibid. 129.


15 Newell, Literary Culture, 27–52.

16 For a complete account of Faith Tabernacle's early domestic history, see Mohr, A., ‘Out of Zion into Philadelphia and West Africa: Faith Tabernacle Congregation, 1897–1925’, Pneuma, 32:1 (2010), 5679CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

17 ‘Obeying God in baptism’, Leaves of Healing, 5:19 (4 March 1899), 364Google Scholar.

18 F. Zehring, ‘Our church history (Faith Tabernacle Congregation)’, unpublished paper (Faith Tabernacle Congregation Secondary School, Harrisburg, PA, 1974).

19 Philadelphia City Archives, Department of Records, Office of Land Transfer and Deeds, 2738–2740 N. Second Street. The first known periodical issue listing Faith Tabernacle as the name of the church is Sword of the Spirit, 4:12–5:1 (April–May 1904).

20 Ankins, J. W., ‘A history of the Lord's work in Kensington, Phila’, Sword of the Spirit, 1:3 (July 1901), 6Google Scholar.

21 ‘Become a home missionary’, Sword of the Spirit, 3:8–9 (Dec. 1903–Jan. 1904), 3Google Scholar.

22 ‘Missionary department’, Sword of the Spirit, 8:7–8 (Nov.–Dec. 1908), 2Google Scholar.

23 ‘Missionary department’, Sword of the Spirit, 9:5 (Sept. 1909), 7. Faith Tabernacle Congregation Archive (FTC), Correspondence Notebooks (CN), Philadelphia, J. M. Ammah to Ambrose Clark, 27 July 1925; Isaiah Lartey Bennett to Ambrose Clark, 21 Nov. 1924; J. Cudjoe Dadzie to Ambrose Clark, 26 Sept. 1923.

24 ‘For the glory of God’, Sword of the Spirit, 21:3 (n.d.), 2; ‘African and son healed of smallpox’, Leaves of Healing, 9:25 (12 Oct. 1901), 809Google Scholar. Mohr, A., ‘Missionary medicine and Akan therapeutics: illness, health and healing in southern Ghana's Basel Mission, 1828–1918’, Journal of Religion in Africa, 39:4 (2009), 435–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Newell, Literary Culture, 11.

25 ‘Publishing house notes’, Sword of the Spirit, 6:6 (Oct. 1906), 4Google Scholar. Typically, in later testimonies, West African writers were referred to as ‘natives’.

26 Newell, Literary Culture, 87.

27 ‘For the glory of God’, 3.

28 P. Hill, The Migrant Cocoa-farmers of Southern Ghana: A Study in Rural Capitalism (Cambridge, 1963), 15.

29 Ibid. 168.


30 P. Hill, The Gold Coast Cocoa Farmer: A Preliminary Survey (London, 1956), 106; R. J. Southall, ‘Cadbury on the Gold Coast, 1907–1938: the dilemma of the “model firm” in a colonial economy’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Birmingham, 1975), 19–20; G. Austin, ‘“Mode of production or mode of cultivation”: explaining the failure of European cocoa planters in competition with African farmers in colonial Ghana’, in W. G. Clarence-Smith (ed.), Cocoa Pioneer Fronts Since 1800: The Role of Smallholders, Planters and Merchants (London, 1996), 164.

31 G. B. Kay, The Political Economy of Colonialism in Ghana (Cambridge, 1972), 15.

32 J. Allman and V. Tashjian, ‘I Will Not Eat Stone’: A Women's History of Colonial Asante (Portsmouth, NH, 2000), 223.

33 Hill, P., ‘The migrant cocoa farmers of southern Ghana’, Africa, 31:3 (1961), 216CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

34 Allman and Tashjian, ‘I Will Not Eat Stone’, 123; G. Mikell, Cocoa and Chaos in Ghana (Washington, DC, 1992), 112.

35 Field, M. J., ‘Some new shrines of the Gold Coast and their significance’, Africa, 13:2 (1940), 138–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

36 P. Geschiere, The Modernity of Witchcraft: Politics and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa (Charlottesville, 1997).

37 H. Debrunner, Witchcraft in Ghana: A Study on the Belief in Destructive Witches and its Effect on the Akan Tribes (Accra, 1961), 42–4.

38 Allman and Parker, Tongnaab, 134.

39 Ibid. 106–42.


40 S. Okai, General History of Faith Tabernacle Congregation Ghana (Accra, 2002), 1.

41 FTC, CN, Joel Sackey Sam to Ambrose Clark, 1 Aug. 1924.

42 Okai, General History, 1. R. Wyllie (The Spirit Seekers: New Religious Movements in Southern Ghana (Missoula, 1980), 23) claimed that the initial congregation comprised 17 members.

43 J. M. Barry, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (New York, 2004), 197–9; Barry, J. M., ‘Spit causes death’, Philadelphia Magazine (Oct. 1998), 81199Google Scholar.

44 ‘Healed of Spanish influenza and pleuro-pneumonia’, Sword of the Spirit, 17:8 (Oct. 1918), 12Google Scholar; Testimony of Margaret Henry’, Sword of the Spirit, 18:8 (n.d.), 23Google Scholar; ‘Testimony of Mrs. Sarah B. Duffy’, Sword of the Spirit, 18:10 (n.d.), 2; ‘Testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Proudfoot’, Sword of the Spirit, 22:10 (n.d.), 3; ‘Testimony of Miss Natalie D. Wurts’, Sword of the Spirit, 24:3 (n.d.), 2.

45 Patterson, K. D., ‘The influenza epidemic of 1918–19 in the Gold Coast’, Journal of African History, 24:4 (1983), 502CrossRefGoogle Scholar.


47 Ibid. 492; N. Smith, The Presbyterian Church of Ghana: 1835–1960 (Accra, 1966), 159.


48 The original ‘Faith Home’ was established in October 1907 in Philadelphia, located in a building adjacent to the Faith Tabernacle sanctuary. ‘Faith Tabernacle Home’, Sword of the Spirit, 7:6 (Oct. 1907), 4Google Scholar. Other divine healing homes were established in Dunkwa by Joseph Addo and in Kwadwowusu by E B. Apemah. FTC, CN, Joseph Addo to Ambrose Clark, 15 July 1924; E. B. Apemah to Ambrose Clark, 25 Jan. 1925.

49 Interview with Kenneth Gyasi Sam (eldest son of Josephus Kobina Sam), Winneba, 16 February 2007.

50 Ibid.


51 FTC, CN, I. G. Hayford to Ambrose Clark, 15 Oct. 1924; S. A. Mensah to Ambrose Clark, 9 Sept. 1924 and 22 Dec. 1924; Dan K. Turkson to Ambrose Clark, 3 Dec. 1924.

52 Faith Tabernacle records in Philadelphia refer to Kwadjo Nti as Timothy Anti. Okai, General History, 2–5. At this time, in 1918, southern Togo was under British authority, which could have facilitated the circulation of Christian literature and evangelists such as Nti into Togo.

53 P. Anim, The History of How the Full Gospel was Founded in Ghana (Accra, n.d.), 3; interview with Pastor Kenneth Gyesi Sam, Winneba, 16 Feb. 2007. FTC, CN, Isaac Ampomal to Ambrose Clark, 3 Jan. 1925; A. M. Boateng to Ambrose Clark, 6 June 1925; J. E. D. Wallace to Ambrose Clark, 3 Mar. 1925.

54 FTC, CN, D. A. Thompson to Ambrose Clark, 5 Dec. 1924.

55 Anim, History. Anim frequently helped to resolve conflicts in the Faith Tabernacle community with Joel Sackey Sam, particularly in the Nsawam branch. FTC, CN, J. M. Ammah to Ambrose Clark, 6 Dec. 1924; Peter Anim to Ambrose Clark, 10 Feb. 1925.

56 Anim, History, 1; Larbi, Pentecostalism, 99.

57 H. W. Debrunner, A History of Christianity in Ghana (Accra, 1967), 254; Hill, Migrant cocoa-farmers, 250.

58 Smith, Presbyterian Church, 256; Basel Mission, Synod Committee Meeting, Minutes no. 48 (July 1923) in Larbi, Pentecostalism, 153.

59 Anim, History, 3.

60 FTC, CN, Peter Anim to Ambrose Clark, 19 July 1924. Baptism did not automatically confirm membership.

61 FTC, CN, Andrew K. Agbewornoo to Ambrose Clark, 18 Oct. 1924; E. A. Kway-Awir to Ambrose Clark, 17 Aug. 1925; Stephen K. Blekpe to Ambrose Clark, 28 Nov. 1924; J. E. A. Arthur to Ambrose Clark, 1 Feb. 1925; J. E. A. Arthur to Ambrose Clark, 8 May 1925.

62 Sam established branches in Bangokre, Juase, Kumasi, Secondi, and Tinkong in this way (FTC, CN, Joel Sackey Sam to Ambrose Clark, 1 July 1924), while Anim founded branches in Amanese, Anum, Apeso-Kubi, Asuboi, Boso, Finte, Kpesse, Kwadwowusu, and Pese (FTC, CN, Peter Anim to Ambrose Clark, 10 Feb. 1925).

63 Branches such as Abonku-Mankessim, Adeiso, Agona-Kwamang, Cape Coast, Dormang, Koforidua, Mamfe, Mangoase, Obodang, Saltpond, and Tinkong fell under Sam's influence this way. FTC, CN, Joel Sackey Sam to Ambrose Clark, 24 Feb. 1925, 21 Apr. 1925, and 27 Apr. 1925.

64 FTC, CN, Stephen K. Blekpe to Ambrose Clark, 23 May 1925.

65 FTC, CN, Benaiah A. Ocansey Nagbagbatey to Ambrose Clark, 7 Feb. 1925. A letter from another branch indicates that, after all its expenses were paid, including the salaries of full-time Christian workers, excess tithes were sent to Philadelphia. FTC, CN, A. M. Boateng to Ambrose Clark, 1 Mar. 1924.

66 FTC, CN, D. A. Thompson to Ambrose Clark, 8 Nov. 1924.

67 Pastor Blekpe of Keta baptized Nkansah on 10 October 1925 and appointed him pastor at Anyinam. FTC, CN, J. A. Nkansah to Ambrose Clark, 16 Nov. 1924 and 2 Dec. 1925.

68 FTC, CN, response to D. A. Thompson to Ambrose Clark, 20 Aug. 1925.

69 There were 177 branches in greater Ghana, compared to only 46 Nigerian branches. Moreover, many of the northern Nigeria branches – such as Jos, Kaduna, and Minna – were established by Ghanaian migrants from Winneba. Ghana's estimated membership was 4,425 compared to approximately 920 in Nigeria by 1926.

70 ‘God's blessings continued’, Sword of the Spirit, 19:2 (n.d.), 4 and 7.

71 ‘For the glory of God’, 2–3.

72 In the letters mailed to Ambrose Clark, Ghanaian leaders frequently gave statistics with regard to the number of membership forms completed, the membership number of a particular branch, or the attendance in a particular congregation on a particular day. Some of the larger numbers include: over 600 members at Half Assini (FTC, CN, Joel Sackey Sam to Ambrose Clark, 28 Sept. 1925) and 369 members at Mangoase (FTC, CN, Joel Sackey Sam to Ambrose Clark, 24 Feb. 1925). Faith Tabernacle membership was not always as exclusive as Ambrose Clark wished, as many members did not fully separate from their prior churches. In 1924, for instance, A. E. Fiagbedzi was leading a Faith Tabernacle congregation in Keta, while still working as a teacher and temporary pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Mission School (FTC, CN, A. E. Fiagbedzi to Ambrose Clark, 8 Oct. 1924).

73 FTC, CN, Hansen N. G. Kwamie to Ambrose Clark, 29 Sept. 1924; Sam E. Andoh to Ambrose Clark, 20 Aug. 1924; Philip K. Gbordjo to Ambrose Clark, 24 September 1924; Michael A. A. Johnson to Ambrose Clark, n.d; Wyllie, Spirit Seekers, 23.

74 FTC, CN, J. C. Amankwa to Ambrose Clark, 9 Apr. 1925; Charles W. Amos to Ambrose Clark, 14 Apr. 1925; George C. Dzeketey to Ambrose Clark, 21 Aug. 1925; E. G. L. McCauley to Ambrose Clark, 4 May 1925; John Kwesi Dadzie to Ambrose Clark, 12 Nov. 1924.

75 FTC, CN, John Jayne to Ambrose Clark, 25 Apr. 1925.

76 For a detailed description of krakye during this time period, see S. F. Miescher, Making Men in Ghana (Bloomington, 2005), 84–114. The one notable exception to this depiction (in Nigeria) was Isaac B. Akinyele, the Faith Tabernacle leader in Ibadan by 1924, who was elected Olubadan of Ibadan in 1955 (Peel, Aladura, 68).

77 The presence of Faith Tabernacle branches in the gold mining towns of Tarkwa, Prestea, and Bibiani suggests how the church appealed to other Christian capitalists.

78 Larbi, Pentecostalism, 99; Hill, Migrant cocoa-farmers, 41.

79 FTC, CN, James K. Nkansah to George W. Foster, 25 Sept. 1935; W. A. Johnson to Ambrose Clark, 29 Jan. 1925.

80 FTC, CN, J. C. Isaiah to Ambrose Clark, 4 Apr. 1925.


82 FTC, CN, Jacob R. Mensah to Ambrose Clark, 29 June 1925.

83 FTC, CN, Peter Anim to Ambrose Clark, 29 July 1924; Samuel Benoato to Ambrose Clark, 22 Oct. 1924.

84 FTC, CN, J. E. D. Wallace to Ambrose Clark, 18 June 1925.

85 FTC, CN, Stephen K. Blekpe to Ambrose Clark, 14 Mar. 1925.

86 FTC, CN, Isaac Ampomal to Ambrose Clark, 12 Oct. 1924; A. M. Boateng to Ambrose Clark, 12 Sept. 1925; Samuel Benoa to Ambrose Clark, 26 Jan. 1925; Joseph Addo to Ambrose Clark, 22 Aug. 1925.

87 FTC, CN, A. E. Fiagbedzi to Ambrose Clark, 8 Oct. 1924; John Jayne to Ambrose Clark, 1 Dec. 1924.

88 FTC, CN, S. A. Mensah to Ambrose Clark, 22 Dec. 1924. Anim, Full Gospel, 3.

89 Smith, Presbyterian Church, 292.

90 ‘From our correspondence’, Sword of the Spirit, 24:2 (n.d.), 7. These testimonies were published listing only individuals' initials and not their full names. Moreover, only the place of origin of the testimony was listed. Because many Ghanaians worked in Nigeria, I include testimonies that were written from both Ghana and Nigeria.

91 ‘From our correspondence’, Sword of the Spirit, 24:3 (n.d.), 8.

92 ‘From our correspondence’, Sword of the Spirit, 21:9 (n.d.), 6.

93 ‘From our correspondence’, Sword of the Spirit, 25:33 (n.d.), 8.

94 Ibid.


95 ‘From our correspondence’, Sword of the Spirit, 21:3 (n.d.), 7.

96 B. Meyer, ‘“If you are a devil, you are a witch and, if you are a witch than you are a devil”: the integration of ‘pagan’ ideas into the conceptual universe of Ewe Christians in southeastern Ghana', Journal of Religion in Africa, 22 (1992), 98–132; Allman and Parker, Tongnaab, 135.

97 Within the Nigerian Faith Tabernacle community, the 1930 revival led by Joseph Babalola was understood as a battle against the Devil that included witchcraft (Peel, Aladura, 96).

98 J. G. Christaller, Dictionary of the Asante and Fante Language Called Tshi (Twi) (Basel, 1933), 11.

99 In the minutes book (1936–43), two healing testimonies were given from witchcraft attacks in the early 1940s (Faith Tabernacle Congregation Ghana, Minutes Book, 190, 213). Most testimonies, however, referred to Satanic attacks (Minutes Book, 166, 167, 172, 179), including Satan operating at night (Minutes Book, 192) and Satan attacking children (Minutes Book, 174, 203–4, 219, 235, 245, 272).

100 FTC, CN, Joseph Addo to Ambrose Clark, 1 Sept. 1925. Faith Tabernacle prohibited alcohol consumption, which could have added to the conflict.

101 See Allman and Parker (Tongnaab, 178–9) for the process by which Kunde became outlawed in southern colonial Ghana in 1939.

102 Gray, ‘Independent spirits’, 139–40.

103 Eventually, mainline churches tried to halt the exodus of their members to Faith Tabernacle. For instance, the Basel Mission in Nyakrom forbade the distribution of Faith Tabernacle literature (FTC, CN, Samuel Benoa to Ambrose Clark, 18 May 1925). Similarly, the pastor of the Bremen Mission at Amedzofe lodged a complaint with the general post master in Accra because Faith Tabernacle was ‘promiscuously’ mailing literature to their students (FTC, CN, David I. Quartey to Ambrose Clark, 14 Feb. 1925). In still another instance, mainline missionaries, presumably Basel or Wesleyan, tried to petition colonial authorities to prevent Faith Tabernacle's Koforidua branch from holding meetings (FTC, CN, James Kingston Tsagli to Ambrose Clark, 20 Sept. 1924).

104 Some local people also made charges against Faith Tabernacle followers that seemed to be similar to those laid against the healing cults. For instance, a member of Faith Tabernacle's Wassa Simpah branch was accused in the chief's local court for having magic medicine in his possession with which he could perform special cures and even raise people from the dead. FTC, CN, E. C. Baiden to Ambrose Clark, 12 Sept. 1925.

105 In order to receive a pastoral certificate, candidates had to complete correctly a questionnaire consisting of seven questions, and mail it back to Philadelphia. FTC, CN, James K. Nkansah to George W. Foster, 5 Apr. 1927; J. A. Iyiedo to Ambrose Clark, 27 Aug. 1925.

106 FTC, CN, A. E. Fiagbedzi to Ambrose Clark, 6 Aug. 1924.

107 FTC, CN, J. E. D. Wallace to Ambrose Clark, 19 Mar. 1925 and 29 Aug. 1925.

108 FTC, CN, Joseph Addo to Ambrose Clark, 10 Mar. 1925.

109 Legitimizing healing through the use of formal certification became popular among other types of healer after 1930. A. Osseo-Asare, ‘Bitter roots: African science and the search for healing plants in Ghana, 1885–2005’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Harvard University, 2005), 113 and 123–4; Allman and Parker, Tongnaab, 178 and 225.

110 Faith Tabernacle Congregation, Board of Elders Minutes (Oct. 1925). A notice in Sword of the Spirit (Announcement’, Sword of the Spirit, 23:4 (Oct. 1925), 4Google Scholar) stated that since 22 October all letters sent to Ambrose Clark had been forwarded to his home because he was no longer pastor of Faith Tabernacle.

111 FTC, Presiding Elder George W. Foster to pastors of the Faith Tabernacle, 29 Oct. 1925.

112 FTC, Pastor A. Clark to Foreign Correspondence, n.d. Also interview with Pastor James Clark, New Jersey, 4 March 2007.

113 FTC, Pastor A. Clark to Foreign Correspondence, n.d.

114 FTC, Faith Tabernacle Congregation to pastors of Faith Tabernacle, 29 Oct. 1925; Presiding Elder George W. Foster to correspondence of Faith Tabernacle, 4 Dec. 1925.

115 ‘Testimony of Pastor A. Clark and family’, First Century Gospel, 1:9 (Oct. 1926), 6Google Scholar.

116 By 2005, Faith Tabernacle claimed only 314 members in Ghana. J. I. Okoro, Report on the International Presiding Elder of Faith Tabernacle Congregation: Pastor Kenneth W. Yeager's Third Visit to Africa (Nigeria and Ghana) (Aba, 2005), 29–30.

117 In early 1952, one year before parting company with Faith Tabernacle, Nkansah claimed to have 2,000 people attending his services in Anyinam. FTC, CN, James K. Nkansah to Walter Troutman, 16 Jan. 1952.

118 Cessou, ‘Une religion nouvelle’, 6.

119 Without any missionaries present, Ghanaian pastors and branch leaders managed the church locally, although norms of behavior were maintained through mutual watching, with the wrongdoings of leaders or members reported to Philadelphia. For a detailed discussion of mutual watching among the Basel missionaries in Ghana, see J. Miller, Missionary Zeal and Institutional Control: Organizational Contradictions in the Basel Mission on the Gold Coast, 1828–1917 (Grand Rapids, 2003), 110–15.

120 K. Barber, ‘Introduction: hidden innovators in Africa’, in K. Barber (ed.), Africa's Hidden Histories: Everyday Literacy and Making the Self (Bloomington 2006), 5 and 13–18.

121 Ibid. 12; Newell, Literary Culture, 27–52.


122 Anim, History, 3–4. There is some evidence that Pentecostal influences existed in Ghana before the 1920s and outside of Faith Tabernacle circles. For instance, in 1910 the British Pentecostal periodical Confidence was distributed in Ghana (Confidence, 3:12 (Dec. 1910), 284). Also, a Liberian Pentecostal from Cape Palmas named Jasper K. Toe reported evangelizing in Ghana during 1918 in the midst of the influenza pandemic. ‘How missions pay’, The Latter Rain Evangel, 11:7 (Apr. 1919), 13Google Scholar.

123 FTC, CN, Albert V. C. Nanevie to Ambrose Clark, 17 Nov. 1924. Literature condemning Pentecostalism or the ‘tongues movement’ had been circulating within Faith Tabernacle circles in Ghana since at least the mid-1920s. FTC, CN, A. M. Boateng to Ambrose Clark, 7 Feb. 1925.

124 FTC, CN, Jacob R. Mensah to Ambrose Clark, 8 May 1925.

125 Anim, History, 3. This was probably the Apostolic Faith Mission from Portland, Oregon, founded by Florence Louise Crawford in 1908.

126 FTC, CN, E. Edward Brown to Edwin Winterborne, 26 Jan. 1931. On 4 Aug. 1930, Pastor Brown from Accra revoked Peter Anim's Faith Tabernacle credentials and mailed them back to Philadelphia.

127 Anim, History, 4 and 6–7.

128 Bredwa-Mensah, Y., ‘The church of Pentecost in retrospect: 1937–1960’, in James McKeown Memorial Lectures (Accra, 2004), 11Google Scholar.

129 This supports Maxwell's argument that the key to Pentecostalism's rapid global advance was the evangelical networks previously established. D. Maxwell, African Gifts of the Spirit: Pentecostalism and the Rise of a Zimbabwean Transnational Religious Movement (Oxford, 2006), 35.

130 Parker, ‘Witchcraft’, 393–4. While healing-centered Christianity is much more dominant today in Ghana, healing cults have not disappeared. For a thorough account of an active healing shrine in Asante, see McCaskie, T. C., Akwantemfi – “in mid-journey”: an Asante shrine today and its clients’, Journal of Religion in Africa, 38 (2008), 5780CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

131 C. Omenyo, Pentecost Outside Pentecostalism: A Study of the Development of the Charismatic Renewal in the Mainline Churches in Ghana (Zoetermeer, 2002).

132 H. Cox, Fire From Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, 1995), 254–5.

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