Welcome to the Republic of Ghana. On March 6, 1957, Ghana became the first black African nation to gain independence from British colonial rule. At the same time, the name of the country, a land rich in history and natural resources, was changed. The European name "Gold Coast" recalled a painful history, a time of trade in gold with the Portuguese in the fifteenth century, followed in the seventeenth century by slave trade involving the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Danish, French, and Spanish. The new name, Ghana, was borrowed from the great African empire which once flourished in Mali and Senegal.
Mission StatementA community of missionaries desiring to bring glory to God by planting and nurturing churches in consultation and partnership with Ghanaian believers in the Bible Church of Africa (BCA) and other local ministries with an emphasis on discipleship, leadership training, meeting human needs, and encouraging churches to cross-cultural ministries.
Team's VisionBy faith, we see SIM planting and nurturing churches in consultation and partnership with Ghanaian believers in the BCA and other local ministries so that:
Country & Ministry ProfileGhana lies just north of the equator bordered by Burkina Faso, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire. It is rich in gold which attracted much exploitation by European traders, followed by the even more devastating exploitation of slave trading in the 17th -19th century. Southern Ghana is predominantly "Christian," though largely nominal. Outside Accra and a few other major cities, the majority of people live in small villages, where African traditional religions dominate and Islam is increasing.
SIM first entered Ghana in 1952. Early efforts resulted in Maranatha Bible College and Challenge Enterprises of Ghana (CEG), now fully autonomous. CEG fosters media for evangelism and church development. Challenge Cinema Today shows Christian films throughout Ghana via touring vans. The Challenge Enquiry Center in Accra provides outreach and follow-up ministries. The Bible Church of Africa mainly grew out of SIM's work among unreached tribes in northern Ghana. BCA now has more than 10,000 believers in southern, central, and northern Ghana. Ghanaians are receptive to the Gospel, especially the youth.
SIM missionaries are involved in theological education, marriage and family ministries, women's and youth ministry, church planting, capacity building, and ministries to human need. To encourage discipleship, they are working on curriculum development for vernacular Bible schools and publishing materials in the languages of the people.
SIM's Partner ChurchThe Bible Church of Africa (BCA) grew out of SIM's work among unreached people groups in northern Ghana beginning in 1978. BCA now has more than 5,000 believers in southern, central, and northern Ghana. The mission arm of BCA, the Evangelical Missionary Alliance (EMA), plans to enter seven unreached groups in Ghana. SIM partners with excellent Ghanian organizations like the Radach Center.
History of ChristianityThe Basel Missionary Society began work in Ghana in 1828. Led by pioneers such as Thomas Birch Freeman, whose father was African, they developed a strong work among the coastal Fanti people and began outreach also among the Ashanti, with a strong emphasis on education and training national leadership. The Methodist Church emerged from this work and now has over 1,000 affiliated schools.
In 1880, the Roman Catholic Church began major missionary activity with the arrival of missionaries from Lyons, France. In 1970, Roman Catholics made up 15.8% of the population.
The Anglican Church has been active since the turn of the century through the auspices of the Church Missionary Society and the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In East Africa and Nigeria, the "low church" is predominant, but in Ghana, the "high church" has greater influence.
The Salvation Army entered in 1922, Assemblies of God in 1931, World-Wide Evangelization Crusade in 1940, Baptist Mid-Missions in 1946, and Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1962.
In 1952 SIM began its ministry in Ghana with the distribution of its popular publication, African Challenge, in schools. African Challenge had a far-reaching effect upon that generation of students. In 1956 SIM established a literature center in Accra, followed by a second literature center in Kumasi and later a third at Cape Coast. This ministry developed into a Bible correspondence school and eventually into a large inquiry center, including a prison ministry, youth work, and counseling.
In 1972 SIM was instrumental in starting Maranatha Bible College (MBC) in Accra. Co-sponsored by Ghanaian businessmen, MBC began as an evening program but has since expanded to offer a full-time, 3-year, post-secondary course. In addition, a new secondary school level program awards a two-year diploma in Pastoral Ministries. Graduates are presently serving the church in rural evangelism and church planting, in urban pastorates, and with various Christian organizations.
Through its many programs, MBC serves a co-educational student body of about 250. In September 1987, MBC moved to a 20-acre site eight miles from central Accra. It continues to offer post-secondary diploma courses in both Christian Education and Theological Studies in downtown Accra, through evening classes held in an Anglican school facility. MBC is now an independent organization under its own national board of directors.
Challenge Enterprises of Ghana (CEG)—an indigenous Christian organization begun and now backed by SIM—promotes the sale of Christian literature and handles a media follow-up ministry for Ghana. It has two major thrusts: evangelism, and church development. In 1979 CEG launched Challenge Cinema Today, a mobile film ministry now with five vans touring the countryside. Many thousands have watched the gospel presentation and purchased Christian literature and Bibles.
The Challenge Enquiry Center in Accra is in touch with over 44,000 Ghanaians through many programs including Challenge Cinema follow-up. They also handle Emmaus Bible Correspondence courses, Mail Box Club courses, Challenge Bible Institute (prison ministry with chaplain) counseling, and the Young Searchers League. The Young Searchers League ministers primarily to students in urban areas where the literacy rate is high, and young people are eager to study the Bible. SIM has seconded missionaries to Challenge Enterprises to provide marriage and family counseling ministries.
Ghanaians are receptive to the gospel. Current economic difficulties, combined with unemployment and poverty, have placed great stress on the country, and people are in need. The youth are especially open and there is much potential for youth work in the cities.
Unreached PeopleThere are 28 people groups in which less than 20% of the population has any affiliation with a Christian church.
If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in Ghana, please contact your nearest SIM office.
Please Pray for: