A colourful retirement service was held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for the Western Canada Area Head of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Dr. James McKeown, and his wife, Emily, who have brought their 23-year ministerial service to a glorious end.
The event was officiated by the General Secretary of the Church, Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, with support from Apostle Emmanuel Agyemang-Bekoe (International Missions Director), Apostle Michael Agyemang-Amoako (RCC Coordinator, Americas) and Apostle Ransford Obeng-Gyamfi (National Head, COP-Canada).
Also present were Apostle Daniel Engmann (North York Area Head), Apostle Dr. Alex Agyei-Gyamera (Scarborough Area Head), Apostle Joseph Fynn-Sackey (Alberta Area Head), Pastor George Amon (British Columbia Area Head), the pastorate and their wives in Canada and other officers of the church.
Over 600 participants attended the ceremony, including Apostle A. K. Miah (Rtd.), a former National Head of Canada, Pastor David Dompreh (Rtd.), Pastor Nicholas Ameyaw (Rtd.), Hon. Kelly McCauley (MP Edmonton West), Hon. Jon Havelock (former Alberta Justice Minister), Major Felix Tachie (Senior Clinical Chaplain, Canadian Armed Forces Health Services Centre), and Nana John Ankamah (Chief of Drobo Area, Ghana).
Many ministers from sister churches in the community and community leaders also graced the service.
The General Secretary, Apostle Kumi-Larbi, preached on the topic “See that You Fulfill the Ministry that You Have Received” (Colossians 4:7).
In his sermon, Apostle Kumi-Larbi stressed that each Christian has received a gifting, talent, or grace from the Lord (1 Corinthians 12:4-7; Ephesians 4:7; Romans 12).
These giftings or graces, he further noted, comes from Christ and should be manifested towards the common good of the church and mankind, not their own benefit.
“If a person does not focus on what God has given them, they look at the peripherals – titles, fame, money, power, authority, thereby missing the mark,” he said.
According to the General Secretary, like Demas, some people are not able to finish their ministry well due to a lack of concentration on the work God has assigned to them, conflict with others, fighting leaders of the church, immorality, financial issues, bitterness, complacency, and burnouts resulting from discouragement (2 Timothy 4).
Apostle Kumi-Larbi, therefore, urged believers to concentrate on the call of God with unconditional obedience, and diligence, and wholeheartedly serve the Master (John 2:5).
“Do not get distracted like Demas, but be like Paul, Timothy, Titus, Archippus, and others who completed their ministries,” he said while referring to John 2:5 and 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi, however, noted that not all who start the race finish.
To finish one’s ministry well, the General Secretary advised believers to concentrate on the grace or gift they have received from God, remain connected to the God who called them, not confer with flesh and blood (Galatians 1:15-18) and fight the good fight by putting on the full armour of God despite dangers (2 Corinthians 4:8-10; 2 Corinthians 9).
He also advised them to get rid of any excess luggage (sin, worldliness, etc. Hebrews 12:1-3); and guard or hold on to the unadulterated faith until the Master says ‘well done”.
The IMD presented a Certificate of Service plaque to the retiring minister on behalf of the General Council.
In a testimony read on its behalf at the event, the General Council eulogised Apostle Dr. Quainoo “for raising leaders has been a key aspect of his ministry. One of his key preoccupations in each station where he has served has been to ensure that both presbyters and members are well equipped to take up leadership roles. His contribution toward strengthening the acumen of the leadership of the church is very noteworthy.”
The retiring couple was also presented citations by the Western Canada Area Presbytery, Women’s Ministry, and Ghanaian-Canadian Ministers Fellowship of Toronto.
Apostle Dr. James McKeown Quainoo was called into full-time ministry in 1999 after serving as Field Assistant in Vancouver. He has since devoted himself to the service of God and The Church of Pentecost in Canada for the past 23 years.
He pioneered the planting of the church in Vancouver and performed scouting duties for the churches in Calgary and Edmonton. These churches have now been well-established and grown to become integral districts for British Columbia and Alberta areas, respectively.
His ministry work took him and his family to districts in Hamilton, PIWC North York, Montreal, McKeown (North York), and currently Western Canada, where he served as a Probationary Overseer, District Pastor, Area Head and an Apostle.
He also served on many boards and committees in the Church in Canada, including as National Executive Council Member (1997-2022), National Secretary (2001-2006), and National Trustees Board Member (2001- 2022).
Other appointments he received in the course of the ministry are National Youth & Children’s Ministry Pastor (2002- 2004), National Youth Leader (2004-2006), National Youth Ministry Patron (2006- 2022), PIWC restructuring Committee Chairman (2013-2014), Constitution Review Committee Chairman (2015-2022), among several others.
Together with his wife, Mrs. Emily Quainoo, they established the first young ladies’ wing in Canada called the “Radiant Ladies” (now Virtuous Ladies).
Mrs. Emily Quainoo also served on the National Children’s Ministry Executive Committee from 2005 to 2015 as the Deputy National Leader. She helped to compile a Sunday School Teachers training manual as well as a manual for teaching children with Special Needs.
Under her leadership, the Canadian version of the Women’s Ministry’s syllabus was written and published. She also organised numerous ladies’ prayer conferences in every district and Area she served.
She is also described as very hospitable, prayerful, a worshipper, a singer, a gifted song writer and a published author.
As part of the service, Apostle Joseph Fynn Sackey and Pastor George Amon were inducted into office as Area Heads for Alberta Area and British Columbia Area, respectively.
Report by Richard Kofi Adjei (Pentmedia Canada)