Only a few in the history of The Church of Pentecost have had the rare opportunity to serve in all the ministerial offices of the Church: Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet, and Apostle. One such person is Apostle James Smith Gyimah (Rtd.), whose mortal remains was laid to rest today [May 20, 2023].
The revered minister served in the full-time ministry of The Church of Pentecost for 35 years, serving as Evangelism Ministry Director and an Executive Council Member of the Church. He is also credited as the brain behind the Lay Leadership School, which has contributed to the sharpening of the leadership prowess of lay leaders in the church.
Apostle Gyimah, 73, was called to glory at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) on Monday, April 4, 2023, following a short illness and is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Gyimah, and four children.
The man, popularly referred to as the “Professor of Eschatology” due to his in-depth knowledge of the study of the end times, had a befitting memorial service held in his honour at the Ansaful Central Assembly church auditorium.
The glorious event, which had in attendance the General Secretary of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, and the immediate-past Chairman of the Church, Apostle Prof. Opoku Onyinah, was graced by a massive gathering of dignitaries within and outside the church.
The mammoth crowd of mourners who had come to pay their final respects to the departed minister comprised active and retired ministers, ministers’ wives, officers, members, and other sympathisers.
Apostle J.S. Gyimah joined the full-time ministry of The Church of Pentecost in 1980 and served as a District Minister at Kasoa (1980-1981), Odorkor (1981-1985), Koforidua (1985-1990), and Taifa (1993-1994).
He was later appointed as Suhum Area Head (1994–1996), Witness Movement Director (1996–2000), and National Head for Nigeria (2000–2005).
He was recalled home in 2005 and posted to head the Agona Swedru Area (2005-2007), Takoradi Area (2007–2009), and finally, the Asokwa Area (2009–2015), where he retired from the active ministry.
Even in retirement, Apostle Gyimah was instrumental to the body of Christ, particularly with his teachings on eschatology celebrated in and out of Ghana.
A tribute read on behalf of the General Council by Apostle Kumi-Larbi at the event described him as a “man of many parts.” “He had an outstanding gift as an orator and teacher, with such profound insight into the word of God. He was “a walking Bible concordance”, a teacher, an expositor of the Bible, evangelist, prophet, and apostle to the core,” Apostle Kumi-Larbi said.
Exhorting the congregation on the topic “Departing from The Earth,” using John 13:36-38 as the main scripture reference, Apostle Prof. Opoku Onyinah emphasised that death brings fear and uncertainty to people’s hearts when confronted with it.
Referring to Jesus’ own despair before His crucifixion, the former Chairman reminded all gathered that no one knows when they will die and that death is inevitable for all. He, therefore, encouraged all and sundry to accept Jesus since He is the only way to heaven.
He further stressed the importance of diligently safeguarding the salvation offered by Christ, as it provides assurance of eternal life after departing from this earth.
“Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior, He prepares a place for you in heaven,” noted the former Chairman.
James Smith Gyimah was born on September 27, 1950, in Tarkwa, within the Western Region of Ghana, to Evangelist Theophilus Yaw Akonnor and Deaconess Janet Afua Sitimaa, both of blessed memory.
Apostle Gyimah’s zealous and endearing disposition in ministry earned him several names, such as “Man of slogans,” “Man of principle,” “Defender of the faith,” and “Crusader of the tenets and policies of the Church.”
He would also be fondly remembered as the minister who always wore the full-round clerical collar (cassock), etc.