Joseph Egyir-Paintsil, a native of Abura Dunkwa in the Central Region of Ghana, was born on 28th May 1928 at Mbrom in Ashanti-New Town, Kumasi. He was the eighth of ten children born to Mr. Kojo Paintsil (Carpentry foreman of the Methodist Church) and Madam Adwoa Kwansima of Abura Dunkwa. It is on record that his father was the carpentry foreman who supervised the roofing of the Adum Methodist Church and Wesley College buildings in Kumasi.
He started his primary education at the Salvation Army School, Kumasi in 1934 and later completed his elementary education at Dunkwa Methodist School in 1944. He passed with distinction. Rev. Egyir-Paintsil won a full scholarship to the Achimota Secondary School, but his parents were not able to support him financially to continue his education. However, by dint of hard work, he studied privately to gain admission into the university, but he preferred to be in the Lord’s service instead. Whilst in the ministry, he pursued short courses in theology, missions and ministry in the UK. He also attended the Advanced Leadership seminar at the Haggai Institute in Singapore.
Yaw Brainoo, as he was known in family circles, moved to live with his sister Afua Ayew in Accra. He was employed at the U. A. C. (Ghana) Ltd., in 1945 as a comptometer operator until 1949 when he resigned to become a full-time minister of the Apostolic Church of Gold Coast.
In February 1954, Joseph Egyir-Paintsil wedded Miss Vivian Amma Baawa Arkosah in Kumasi. Their marriage was blessed with four children: Joseph Kwamena Paintsil, Elizabeth Jemima Lamont Nana-Aba Paintsil, Sophia McKeown Araba Kokoa Paintsil and Victoria Patience Adjoa Paintsil.
Conversion and Call into the Full-Time Ministry
In 1947, Egyir-Paintsil accepted the Lord as his personal savior at a rally where he heard the message: “Adam, where are you?” From then, he literally became ‘married’ to the Church. He became a staunch member of the Young People’s Movement and later became a member of the Bombers Group, an evangelistic group within the Church in Accra.
God had a purpose for his life and called him into the full time ministry of the Church as an Overseer on December 27, 1949. On April 13, 1952 he was called into the pastorate and was appointed to the post of General Secretary of the Church. Finally, he was called and ordained an Apostle on January 29th, 1953. He rose through the ranks in succession.
Akim Oda – 1950 Saltpond – 1950-1951 Achiasi – 1951-1952 Accra – 1952-1953 Koforidua – 1953 Takoradi – 1953-1958 Kumasi – 1958-1965 Accra – 1965-1981
Other Appointments Held
Apart from his Church appointments as an Apostle, General Secretary, Trustee and Ex- Officio Member of all Boards and Committees of the Church, he held the high offices of National Chairman, Bible Society of Ghana and President of the Ghana Pentecostal Council (1979-1981).
Rev. Egyir-Paintsil represented the Church at several conferences overseas. He toured the Cameroun, Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), and Liberia in the interest of the Church. He had intimate acquaintances with spiritual giants such as Dr. Thomas Wyatt, T. L. Osborn, Billy Graham and Morris Cerullo.
Literary Works and Giftings
Rev. Egyir-Paintsil presented a number of papers and addresses on various topics to congregations, students and fellowships. His last public address was that delivered at the Independence Square on Sunday, February 22nd, 1981 during the 12th anniversary of the Ghana Pentecostal Council He was a speaker on the Pentecost Hour religious programme and co-editor of the Pentecost Fire. He endeared himself to both the young and the old as an intelligent, widely read, broadminded and scholarly public speaker. He knew his Bible and preached with fervency and authority. He was a multi-gifted minister who exercised the gifts of prophecy, teaching, administration and healing.
He was a great prayer warrior who never permitted anything to break his communion with God – a habit which sustained him in his numerous and onerous tasks.
As General Secretary, he was never found wanting. He could sit out throughout the nights preparing his minutes for distribution soon after Executive meetings or General Ministers’ Council meetings.
He worked harmoniously with his district pastors and presbyteries. He never left things undone. As if he knew he would soon die, he prepared his regional report for the 19th Session of Church Council, two weeks before he took ill and gave copies to his senior Pastors. This was something he had never done before.
By his life of faithfulness, sense of responsibility and boldness in the defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, he has left a shining example on the sands of time for the youth of today to emulate.
A tribute on behalf of Rev. James McKeown and the Executive Council of the
Church of Pentecost, partly read as follows:
“A great son of the church has fallen;
A gallant fighter has finished his course;
A brilliant scholar has breathed his last;
Joseph Egyir-Paintsil has breathed his last.”
Another tribute on behalf of the General Council stated:”A minister of the prophetic order, he was humble, obedient and full of wisdom. Though he frowned on sin and any form of disobedience, he had great compassion for the lost and did all he could to win them into the Lord’s fold. Through his prophetic ministry many ministers were called to serve in the offices of apostle, prophet and evangelist.”
Significant Contributions of Apostle Joseph Egyir-Paintsil to The Church of Pentecost
- As the first and longest-serving General Secretary of the Church, he laid a solid administrative foundation for the Church.
- His fortitude, commitment and faithfulness to the Church, especially during the crisis of 1953-1962 is just admirable and worthy of emulation. He stood resolutely behind Pastor McKeown when the government wanted to deport Pastor McKeown in July 1962. He was with Pastor McKeown at the Flag Staff House (the seat of the Government of Ghana) during the epic July 12, 1962 judgment on the Ghana Apostolic Church and the Apostolic Church of Ghana. That meeting was presided over by the first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
- He is generally considered as someone who was literally ‘married’ to the Church.
- He served as the chairman of the Ghana Evangelical Fellowship (GEF), which was later changed to the Ghana Pentecostal Council (GPC). From 1979 to 1980, he served as President of the Ghana Pentecostal Council (now Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council).
After serving as a full-time minister for thirty-two (32) years, Apostle Egyir-Paintsil was called to glory at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on March 22, 1981 at the age of 53.