After several years of missionary endeavour and with indispensable African support, the church expanded into many towns and villages in Eweland of what are now the Volta Region of Ghana and the south of the Republic of Togo. Since Bremen later become the Head Office of the Mission in 1851, the name ‘Bremen Mission’ came to be associated with the Church.
Special linguists, such as Schlegel, were sent in 1854 and, with their help, the Ewe language was transcribed; so before the First World War we had our Ewe Hymn Book, Liturgy, Catechism, and Church Order. Most important of all, the whole Bible was translated into Ewe and published in 1913.
Before the onset of the First World War, about twenty young Ewe men were trained in Germany. The first African Pastor for the Church, Rudolf Mallet, was ordained in 1882 to be followed by Pastors Samuel Newell and Adolf Lawoe in 1901, Andreas Aku and David Bensah (1910), Robert Kwami and Theodore Sedode (1911) and Elias Awuma (1912).
During the First World War (1914- 1918) the Allies incarcerated and deported the German Missionaries from the colonial Trans Volta Togoland. But the providence of God, as indicated earlier on, we had some trained African leaders of the Church. This led to the emergency of an indigenous leadership for the Church. When a Synod was convened at Kpalime in Togo (from 19th to 22nd May 1922), Rev. Andreas Aku chaired the Synod without any European missionary presence.
The following year, during the Synod held at Ho (on 12th and 13th September 1923), the church was divided into two zones, with the Anglophone zone in Ghana and the Francophone zone in Togo. Rev. David Bensah and Rev. Andreas Aku and Rev. Robert Baeta were chosen as Moderator and Synod Clerk respectively for the Anglophone zone. These sets of leaders became the first Africans to have oversight of the spiritual and administrative life of the Church.
The war also witnessed the time when Scottish missionaries were invited by the British Colonial government to have oversight of the Church. The Scottish missionaries introduced the Presbyterian system of leadership and governance to the church.
At various periods of history, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church was forced by circumstances to change its names. The change of names was not willfully planned. They were accidents of history. The name “Ewe Hame” (Ewe Church) was given to the church at the first Synod in 1922. During the second joint Synod held at Ho in 1926, the name “Ewe Hame” was changed to “Ewe Presbyterian Church” to reflect the Presbyterian system of government earlier introduced by the Scottish missionaries. When the need came for the church to acknowledge its mission and membership beyond the Ewe ethnic group, it was renamed Evangelical Presbyterian Church (1952).
3.2 The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana
The affairs of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church ran smoothly through successive indigenous leaderships, until a conflict emerged during the tenure of the 9th Moderator, Rt. Rev. Prof. N.K. Dzobo (1981-1991). The complex issues involved the Moderator’s attempt to extend his tenure of office indefinitely, his personal aversion to the renewal movement in the Church known as the Bible Study and Prayer Fellowship, various administrative malpractices and lapses that violated the constitution of the Church, his attempt to introduce a theology (Meleagbe Theology) that had not been approved by the courts of the Church and the eventual intimidation and excommunication of members who were opposed to such irregularities.
When several attempts failed to settle issues amicably, six members of the Church, representing the concerned members of the Church, went to court to restrain and prevent the Moderator from going beyond the two terms of office as stipulated in the 1975/1979 Constitution of the Church. The six were Messrs. James Agbeblewu, Hope Yormekpe, Togbe Christopher Gebu-Mensah, Benjamin Komla Debrah, Woedem F.K. Adzraku and Frank Fugar. The case was heard at the Ho High Court. On 18th December 1989, the Ho High Court entered judgment in favour of the plaintiffs. According to the ruling, the nomination and election of Rev. Prof. N.K. Dzobo for a third term was a nullity and without effect.
Rev. Dzobo was not satisfied with the judgment and appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court ruled on 23rd May 1991 that due process had not been followed to promulgate the 1975 Constitution in 1979 as expected; hence the only valid constitution for the Church was that of 1931.
The judgment created more problems in the Church than anticipated. This is because the 1931 Constitution referred to was outmoded and not in use at the time. On 24th May 1991, a group of concerned churchmen and women including some of the leadership and clergy met at South La in Accra to discuss the implications of the ruling, After much deliberation they held a news conference addressed by Mr. Dan Amlalo. They declared that the judgment meant that the Church had no valid constitution and that all constitutional offices in the Church had ceased to exist because they did not have any constitutional basis. They further asked all congregations to remain autonomous and wait for further directives.
On 8th June 1991, another meeting was held at Nungua in Accra. That meeting re-adopted the 1975/79 Constitution to guide the affairs of the Church and set up an interim administration under the name Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Rt. Rev. E.K. Amenyedu, the longest serving Presbyterian Chairman in the previous administration was appointed the Acting Moderator, Rev. V.E. Otitiaku was Synod Clerk and Rev. Comdr. P.F. Quaye was the Programmes and Inter-Church Relations Secretary (PICRS). Other Synod Committee Executive appointments made were Rev. Mrs. F.A.M. Dade (Women’s Work), Mrs. Comfort Gane (Female Presbyter) and Mr. N.K. Obiri (Male Presbyter). At the end of the meeting another news conference was held to announce the new developments. Dr. Moses Adibo addressed this news conference. The 50th Synod meeting from 14th to 18th August 1991, held at the University of Ghana, Legon, ratified the re-adoption of the 1975/79 Constitution and appointments. That Synod also chose the first Treasurer of the church in the person of Mr. Francis Akoto. From then onwards, the interim administration became a permanent one having a 4-year term. In 1995 a new Constitution was promulgated to regulate the affairs of the Church.
Rev. Prof. Dzobo continued to hold himself as Moderator and the faction that supported him used the name Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. Various attempt to reconcile the two factions failed. Members and congregations of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana faced immense persecution from the Dzobo administration, which also initiated and pursued several court cases against the E.P. Church of Ghana. Ruling in the key case demanded that the E.P. Church of Ghana should change her name.
3.3 Global Evangelical Church
In 2003, the High Court sitting in Accra, presided over by Justice Dixon Kwame Afreh, ruled that the E.P. Church of Ghana should change her name. The Church, under the incumbent Moderator, Rt. Rev. Cdr. F.H. Gbewornyo, through her constitutionalprocess, adopted and affirmed the new name GLOBAL EVANGELICAL CHURCH. The name was adopted at the Extra-Ordinary Synod held at Adonai Chapel, Madina, Accra on 3rd May 2003. This was after Presbyteries and other organs of the Church had submitted their proposals for consideration. This change of name also coincided with change of leadership: Rt. Rev. Dr. E.K. Gbordzoe became the Moderator, Rev. S.K. Ofori started his second term was Synod Clerk and Rev. S.D.K. Dumevi became Programmes and Inter-Church Relations Secretary (PICRS). The lay executives were Mr. S.E.S. Kuleke (Treasurer), Mrs. Enyonam Keteku(Female Presbyter) and Mr. E. K. Agozie (Male Presbyter).
To recap, the Church first adopted the 1975/79 Constitution of the E.P. Church in 1991. In 1995, the Church promulgated a new Constitution known as the 1995 Constitution. The 1995 Constitution has subsequently been reviewed and revised as the 2007 Constitution, in the light of the various experiences of the Church since 1991. The experiences, including the change of the name from Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana to Global Evangelical Church, have give the Church a new vision, purpose and mission to serve the LORD.
4.0 The term Evangelical is derived from the Greek word ‘euangelion’ (meaning, gospel or good news). The term came into use during the Reformation to identify Protestants, especially as they held to the belief in justification by grace through faith and supreme authority of scripture, as a departure from the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelicalism is often considered the material and formal principle of Reformation teaching.
Personal conversion and a vigorous moral life are emphasized. In Evangelicalism, the Bible is our guide to conviction and code of behaviour. Evangelicalism is the recovery of the spiritual vigour of the Reformation. ‘Evangelical’ means GOOD NEWS. Our expression of faith as a church is Evangelical. This means that we affirm all the central beliefs of the statement of faith in our constitution.
The Global Evangelical Church holds to key doctrines of the evangelical faith including the Apostles’ Creed as an authoritative statement of the main articles of the Christian faith that believers assent to. The key doctrines are as follows:
We believe in the Scriptures as having divine authority. We believe that the Bible is inspired Word of God and the infallible rule for faith and practice. We are deeply committed to the centrality of the Bible, the transforming power of the Word, as having the final authority in all matters of doctrine and life. We emphasize that the Scriptures must be meditated upon, prayed over as well as studied in order to know God, His and how to live to glorify His name. The Scriptures are the premises for a godly moral life style. The bible is the basis for all the other doctrines