The Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, has stressed the need to use the annual James McKeown Memorial Lectures (JMML) as a bridge to promote scientific and practical dialogue between academics and ecclesial practitioners of the Global Pentecostal/Charismatic movement.
In a keynote address read on his behalf by the General Secretary of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Samuel Gyau Obuobi, at the opening of the 2023 JMML organised by the Pentecost University at the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC), Gomoa Fetteh, on Friday, November 10, 2023, Apostle Nyamekye was hopeful that the lectures would promote God’s Kingdom agenda and foster collaboration between academia and practising ministers and grassroots leaders within the churches around the globe.
He firmly believed that the event would allow participants to critically examine and reflect on the praxis and theories of their faith, thereby contributing to advancements in global understanding and appreciation of the Pentecostal movement.
Touching on the theme for the lectures, “Maximising the Impact of Pentecostal-Charismatic Ecclesiology and Mission in The Nations,” Apostle Nyamekye, who is the Chancellor of the university, noted that the theme sought to stimulate research and conversation among scholars and practitioners on the need to maximise the church’s missional impact to positively transform the nations of the world through the values and principles of the kingdom of God.
According to him, although Pentecostals have generally felt this need, its articulation among key stakeholders of the movement has been slow.
“This conference attempts to engender such conversations in ways that can inform the future of the church’s visible missional impact in the nations, where all believers are released into their spheres of life as agents of transformation,” he said, adding, “For those in the academia, this call should be crucial to you as your primary duty is to transform all those who you train.”
Apostle Nyamekye indicated that per the church’s 5-year strategic vision, the church’s leadership pledged to support the Pentecost University to create an enabling learning and research environment as a training ground for pastors, lay leaders, and people studying in different fields.
“As part of this vision, the church committed to supporting Pentecost University to organise at least one international conference annually. The conference will bring together local and international scholars and practitioners to discuss various aspects of the themes outlined in Vision 2023,” he said.
He said the initiative is expected to encourage scholarly activities and publications at the university and that the James McKeown Memorial Lectures is an example of this effort.
The Chairman eulogised the Founder, Pastor James McKeown, describing him as a “highly respected figure in Ghana and Africa, known for his contributions as a pioneer of Ghanaian Pentecostalism and as superintendent and chairman of The Church of Pentecost in Ghana.”
“In honour of his legacy, these annual lectures are organised to promote scientific and practical dialogue between academics and ecclesial practitioners who work within the Global Pentecostal/Charismatic movement,” he added.
The Chairman of the University Council, Pastor Prof. William Otoo-Ellis, together with the Vice-Chancellor, Apostle Prof. Kwabena Agyapong-Kodua, launched the Pentecost Researchers’ Forum (PRF), which aims to seek ways by which academic research in The Church of Pentecost can be integrated into the practical ministry of grassroots Christianity by promoting the mutually compatible nature of academic research and spirituality.
Among the plenary speakers were Prof. Kirsteen Kim (Professor of Theology and World Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, USA), Rev. Prof. Asamoah-Gyadu (President, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon-Ghana), and Apostle Dr Emmanuel Anim (Ag. Pro Vice Chancellor & Director, PSTM – Pentecost University).