Like many Ghanaians before him, Andrew Anane-Asane came to the United States to further his education. He already had obtained a diploma in biblical studies from Southern Ghana Bible College (where he later taught for 13 years) and a bachelor of theology from West Africa Advanced School of Theology, Assemblies of God institutions on his native continent. He also had earned a master of divinity from Theological Center of Asia (now TDA College) in Singapore and a master’s in missiology from Assemblies of God Graduate School of Theology in Togo.
In 2006, Anane-Asane moved to the Chicago area to attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
By the time he finished his doctorate in intercultural studies, Anane-Asane’s wife, Evelyn, and their three children also had immigrated to the U.S. He became an adjunct professor of SUM Bible College & Seminary in 2011.
Two years later, Anane-Asane became president of the recently formed Ghanaian AG Fellowship USA, one of the AG’s two dozen official ethnic or language minority groups. The Ghanaian Fellowship has grown to 45 congregations that are geographically and numerically diverse, although most are located in large urban areas.
The Fellowship includes Miracle Temple Assembly of God in Silver Spring, Maryland, pastored by George Baaye-Gyasi; Divine Favor Assembly of God in Bronx, New York, pastored by Samuel K. Asiedu; Jesus Power Assembly in Columbus, Ohio, pastored by Bismark Osei Akomeah; and Upper Room Assembly of God in the Bronx, pastored by Mark A. Manu.
In 2011, Anane-Asane planted Living Springs Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Soon afterward, he became a full-time missiologist professor at SUM, which is based in El Dorado Hills, California, east of Sacramento. He teaches leadership, missions, and Bible courses at the school, both in the classroom and online.
Anane-Asane, 61, isn’t resting on his academic laurels. He is studying for a second Ph.D., from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
Before immigrating, Anane-Asane planted a pair of AG churches in Ghana, an economically stable, peaceful, and growing democratic nation of 31 million along Africa’s mid-Atlantic coast. Around three-fourths of the population claim to be Christian, with one-third of inhabitants identifying as Pentecostal or charismatic. There are more than 1.2 million AG adherents in Ghana.
Still, many see America as the land of more opportunity.
“Some come to the U.S. for education, others to find meaningful employment,” Anane-Asane says. Goals for the Ghanaian AG Fellowship in the U.S. include church planting, mutual pastoral encouragement, and an emphasis on missions, whether in church leadership or laity, he says.
“God planted me in this country as a missionary — among my own people,” Anane-Asane says. “At one time, missionaries were sent to Africa, but now is the time to send back. America is ripe for missions.”
Abraham Owusu Asare, vice president of the Ghanaian Fellowship, spent most of his adult life as an Assemblies of God pastor in Ghana.
Before he immigrated, Asare made annual trips to Oklahoma over two decades, providing free textbooks for cash-strapped public schools. The distribution provided an opportunity for Asare to evangelize students.
At the age of 62, Asare immigrated with his wife, Ernestina, to the U.S. in 2012 when she won a slot through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. He immediately launched Abundant Gracelife Assembly of God in Oklahoma City. Since the Asares immigrated, four of the couple’s seven children have followed suit.
Asare reiterates the goals of the Ghanaian AG Fellowship.
“We intend to plant churches wherever there are Ghanaians,” Asare says. “We want every church to plant at least one other church, and to raise up pastors from within those churches who avail themselves of Bible school training in order to be well-prepared ministers.” Asare also says the ethnic minority group is designed to encourage pastors.
He encourages Ghanaians to quickly pursue the path to U.S. citizenship so they won’t be distracted from ministry matters.
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