HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF GHANA, ASCENSION CONGREGATION, ORANGE
“The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts” Haggai 2:9.
Just like the mustard seed which grows into one of the biggest trees with many branches, the idea of establishing a Presbyterian church of Ghana orange, was conceived by Mr. Alfred Opoku. He disclosed the intention to his wife, Mrs. Janet Opoku and the late Mr. Benjamin Okyere who was his coworker at that time. Several discussions went on between Mr. Alfred Opoku and Mr. Benjamin Okyere (deceased) as to when this conceived idea would become a reality.
On the 6th July 2003 at Mr. & Mrs. Opoku’s apartment, 85 Manor drive apt 12F Ivy-Hill Newark New Jersey 07106, the church sprouted. Present at that fateful day were Mr. Alfred Opoku, Mrs. Janet Opoku, and Mr. Kwame Owusu and Mrs. Agnes Williams with their 3 month old twins. The number kept on increasing week by week.
Members who were present during the first 3 months of the foundation include Alfred Opoku, Benjamin Okyere (deceased), Kwame Owusu, Samuel Ampofo (deceased), Opoku Krapah, Badu Boateng, Emmanuel Opoku, Janet Domfe Opoku, Matilda Acquah, Lovia Opoku Krapah, Grace Akyena Boampong, Agartha Ocancey, Rose Kumi, Joyce Kumi, Agnes William, Akosua Pokua, Dina Twum ( Aunte Akosua), Unity Bekoe, Naana and two children: Lovia Opoku Krapah (jnr) and Ama Adomah Hagan.
On hearing the good work the LORD was doing, Rev. Yaw Asiedu of P.C.G Manhattan invited the leadership of the new Preaching Post to a meeting at P.C.G. Manhattan on August 15, 2003. Mr. Alfred Opoku, Mr. Benjamin Okyere and Mrs Janet Opoku represented the church at that meeting. During the meeting Rev. Yaw Asiedu presented a Presbyterian Twi Hymn Book to the new Preaching Post.
On August 31, 2003. Mr. Ansong, the OMF clerk at that time, and Mr. Kwabena Gyasi from P.C.G Manhattan, visited the new preaching post. During the church service, the two led the congregation to appoint 7 as an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the preaching point. The members were made up of Alfred Opoku (caretaker), the late Samuel Ampofo (clerk), Kwame Owusu (financial secretary), Matilda Acquah (treasurer), the late Benjamin Okyere (member) and Grace Boampong (women’s representative).
On 28th September 2003, Rev. Ernest Mante of Worcester, (Deceased) administered the first Holy Communion to 17 communicants. He presented a Liturgy Book to the Preaching Point.
On April 8, 2004, Rev. Atta Edu-Bekoe and Rev. Samuel Nana Agyeman, baptized Fred Kwakye Asamoah and Edward Yaw Bonsu Jnr. During that period the Lord blessed us with the services of Revds Nana Agyemang, Atta Edu-Bekoe, Anokye Nkansah, William Ofosu Addo, Osei Bediako Akoto and Kwapong.
On June 24, 2007, Rev. Dr. Charles Gyan-Duah assisted by Rev. Atta Edu-Bekoe, Rev. William Ofosu Addo, Rev. Samuel Nana Agyemang and Mr. Dwomo Sarpong Inaugurated the Preaching Point to the status of a congregation. On that same day the newly elected presbyters were commissioned. They were: Alfred Opoku, Daniel Asante, Kofi Badu Boateng, Emmanuel Kwame Gyan, Eric Abrokwa, Esther Brobbey, Matilda ‘Acquah, Ophelia Nyaku.
On July 31, 2011, the first confirmation was held and it was officiated by Rt. Rev. Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Martey, Moderator of the General Assembly, assisted by Rev. Charles Gyan-Duah, the then District Minster of the Oversees Mission Field (OMF), Rev. Yaw Asiedu, Minster P.C.G. Manhattan, and Mr. Dwomo Sarpong, Caretaker PCG Newark. The confirmers were sixteen (16) in number.
In 2011 the congregation recognized the need for a full time resident Minister. A request was sent to the Head Office in Ghana through the Oversees Mission Field District. In Feb 2012, General Assembly sent Rev. Peter Kofi Nyarkoh to visit and assess the congregation’s strength, ability and the need for a resident Minister. He spent 14 weeks with the congregation. The congregation kept on growing both spiritual and in numbers.
From the beginning of the congregation, so many people have contributed in diverse ways to ensure the progress of the congregation. A list of people who contributed significantly with their money, time and other resources will fill this brochure. We say God bless all of them.
In November 2011, Catechist Mina Sakyi was appointed as the Catechist of the congregation.
OUR JOURNEY TO 510 LINDEN PLACE:
Our journey to God’s ordained destination began on July 6, 2003 at Ivy-Hill apartment, Newark New Jersey where we stayed for 15 months. We then moved to Lyons Avenue, Newark, NJ, until November 2004 and then to 1068 Clinton avenue, Irvington New Jersey on July 2005. We stayed in Irvington until April 21, 2013
By the Grace of God, the Alpha and Omega, on April 21, 2013, under the Leadership of Rev. Kofi Nyarkoh and the dynamic session at that time, we moved to our current edifice church complex at 510 Linden Place, Orange New Jersey 07050.
MINISTERS POSTED TO THIS CONGREGATION
In May 2012, the Oversees Mission Field (OMF) District under the leadership of Rev. Barima Appiah-Danquah, the General Assembly Council posted Rev. Peter Kofi Nyarkoh as the first Resident Minister to P.C.G., Newark. On November 7, 2012, Papa Nyarkoh arrived and he was joined by his wife Mrs. Grace Nyarkoh on February 6, 2013.
The General Assembly created two Oversees Presbytery one in the North America/Australia and the Europe Presbyteries in 2014. Rev. Kofi Nyarkoh was elected as the Chairperson for the Europe Presbytery and because of that he was transferred to the UK in August 2014.
Rev. Herbert Anim Opong who was also elected as the Presbytery Chairperson for the North America/Australia Presbytery arrived as the Presbytery Chairperson, but was attached to the New Jersey District as District Minister and Minister-in-charge of the Orange congregation in October 20, 2014. Rev. Herbert Anim Opong was detached as Presbytery Chairperson from the New Jersey District and the Orange congregation and relocated to New York in November 2016.
Rev. Mrs. Ernestina Joyce Gakpo was posted as the District Minister of New Jersey and Minister-in-charge of the Orange congregation. She arrived on November 12, 2016.
GROUPS IN THE CONGREGATION:
So far all the Generational and Intergenerational groups are in place and are working well in the congregation.
Orange congregation over the years has been the pivot for all the other congregations within the New Jersey District. It has played a major role in their establishment. And is still playing a leading role to help inaugurate all the Preaching Points.
EBENEZER THUS FAR THE LORD HAS BROUGHT US. TO HIM BE THE GLORY.