Acceptance Speech by Elder Enoch Ofori Jnr.
First of all, I give thanks to our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ for this day. It is certainly by His will and decree that we mark this glorious event.
Similarly, I thank the Association Board, all Church elders and the entire membership of the Association of 7th Day Pentecostal Assemblies for the confidence reposed in me. Your offer of unyielding support and prayers is equally appreciated.
To our friends and well-wishers, I also say ‘thank you’. Your support and goodwill has come in diverse ways, and we acknowledge them all – the silent prayer you said for us, the words of encouragement and advice you threw in our direction and yes, for some of you, the very active support you gave us.
May the Almighty bless us all according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
And now I pause, I pause in honour and memory of my dear father Apostle Elder Enoch Ofori, whose great legacy we seek to preserve and build on today. To me and many others, his memory will remain indelible. God is the controller of everything, but my father is a big part of the reason why we are gathered here. I salute his achievements and take pride in the fact that he was a true man of God.
After exactly 40 years, the work of a great man of God has come to an end – the same milestone attained by Moses and King David. Now the responsibility falls to you and me to carry on with the work.
As we step into his shoes, we cannot help but be overawed by his sterling track record. Apostle Ofori’s ministry was not only distinguished by miracles of healing and deliverance; he was also a venerable preacher of the truth. Through his ministry, he touched lives far and near and brought the saving truth to many hungry souls.
Today, God, in the exercise of His sovereign will, has called him into glory. And God, as sovereign as always, intrudes unannounced as He seeks us out to fill the void. This is what I dread, but this is also where my joy lies – for He gives you the strength and the grace to accomplish the task assigned. I have been blessed with that divine enablement for which I thank the Lord.
From the very day God called His servant, we stated in our hearts and affirmed with our mouths that we would wholly follow his godly teachings, moving neither to the left nor to the right. That resolution I reaffirm today before God and before you. We will hold fast to that which we have proved to ourselves to be good.
Observers refer to my ‘new looks’ – particularly my sprouting beard – and say I now resemble my father more than ever before. But my resemblance goes far deeper than that.
I share his heart – what he was most passionate about: bringing the gospel to as many people as possible. He let me into his plans and vision for the Church; sometimes we drew them up together.
The transition will be smooth, and it will preserve the ethos and dynamism associated with our Church.
Since the departure of our dear apostle, the enemy has tried all means to destroy our church, scatter the flock and wreck our faith. But the arm of our God has been stronger, His power unfailing and His interventions swift.
God willing, our wonderful Association is going to have a second wind, and, with God ready to bless our renewed zeal, the glory of the latter house is going to be greater than that of the former (Haggai 2:9). This is because God is going to pour a double portion of His servant’s spirit on us. Halleluiah!
For the foreseeable future, my presidency will focus on five main goals. They are these:
The continued spiritual development of the Church through an intensive programme of fasting-prayer: As a spiritual organism, we cannot hope to stay spiritually alive and healthy without being sustained by a culture of fasting and prayer. This is how our Church began and the early Church too, and we will continue along that path.
Church growth driven by ministerial visits and renewed evangelization in locations of existing Assemblies: Stabilization, consolidation and further expansion are words of key importance here. In areas where our Assemblies are weak and in need of members, a vigorous evangelization drive will be embarked on, along with increased ministerial support from headquarters to resuscitate them.
The strengthening of Church structures in a broad-based administration in which the talents and gifts of all will be tapped for the common good: God willing, we intend to create a spirit-led open administration that will encourage the input and participation of as many as the Lord will empower to assist in the advancement and growth of His work. Special attention will be paid to building the capacity of ministers and elders to perform more and serve the flock of Christ better. In addition, special committees will be formed to see to the welfare of the Church Corporate and the generality of our members.
Improvement in Church infrastructure across the board: One of the key objectives of our new financial policy is just that – to make more financial resources available to local Assemblies so they can embark on new projects and improve their existing infrastructure. At the same time, we will work to ensure that enough resources are available for national projects, such as our new Camp Meeting Centre at Jachie.
The promotion of local and international evangelism: Evangelism is at the core of the Church’s reason for being. Our church has been a missionary Church from the beginning; the many Assemblies we have around the country are the evidence. Of late, we have ventured into international evangelism, and that is also yielding wonderful results. But evangelism in today’s world comes with challenges that can’t be adequately addressed unless we make use of the many advantages of new media such as the internet.
In all this, the importance of the Written Word cannot be downplayed. And so the printing and distribution of gospel literature should be revived and intensified. Thus, in the end, we will harness both the traditional and non-traditional resources God has given us to reach as many people as possible across cultures and nations. And we will not forgo the ultimate resource for successful evangelism – God’s power as a witness to the world! We will move in the power of the Holy Spirit to rescue the perishing and free the oppressed.
All these, of course, will take the commitment and prayers of all to bring to fruition.
I assume the leadership of the Church in full knowledge of the challenges that lie ahead of us. But with Christ, no challenge is insurmountable. Indeed, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phl 4:13).
I am here to serve not to lord it over God’s flock. As the Lord Jesus said in Matt 23:11, “he that is greatest among you shall be your servant”. I intend to follow the Lord’s example of ‘servant leadership’ which was my dad’s leadership style too.
But we will be firm in maintaining the standards and godly traditions we have been taught.
Before long, our God will do wonders. Let the hills and the mountains echo the news, and let the trees clap for joy. Our God has comforted us and brought us renewal. And it is marvelous in our eyes!
Making this glorious day possible shows His tremendous power already at work in our midst. It is certainly He who works in us “to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13)
From this day on,
‘May the LORD bless us and keep us;
‘May the LORD make His face shine upon us and be gracious unto us;
‘May the LORD lift up His countenance upon us and give us peace’ (Num. 6:24-26)
May the LORD Almighty bless us all in Jesus’ Name. Amen!