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Centre for the study of UPGs opens in Ghana

By Rev. James Amoah-Mensah

Lausanne Movement reports that between 1910 and 2010, the number of missionaries rose from 62,000 to 400,000. Despite the increase in the number of missionaries, churches, and mission agencies, many unreached people groups remain in the world and in Ghana. Currently, 7,391 unreached people groups exist, representing 42 per cent of the world’s population (3.40 billion), according to the Joshua Project website.

In light of these facts, the Church of Pentecost in 2019, under the leadership of its chairman, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, established a new ministry called Home and Urban Missions (HUM). Its mandate was to reach out to groups that have not heard and responded to the Gospel. These include expatriates, migrants, Unreached People Groups (UPGs), and poor and marginalized people in urban areas such as persons with substance use disorders, commercial sex workers, street peddlers, head porters, refugees, etc.

Among these, UPGs were identified to have received little Christian engagement over decades, even from theological institutions in Ghana. Although some mission agencies and churches have made gains in reaching them, many have still not received much attention and a considerable number are yet to respond to the Gospel. Therefore, the leadership of HUM, under Apostle Emmanuel Agyei Kwafo, collaborated with the Pentecost University to introduce a centre that will pay attention to UPGs and bridge the gap between academia and field work in this area.

With commitment from the two parties and the supervision of Apostle Dr. Christian Tsekpoe, the Pentecost Centre for the Study of Unreached People Groups, Africa (PCUPG’S AFRICA) was established at the Pentecost University. It is a research centre dedicated to developing and disseminating knowledge and raising pastors, missionaries, lay officers, researchers, volunteers, and other Christian workers for UPGs in Africa. The centre is located at the Pentecost School of Theology and Mission (PSTM), on the Gomoa Fetteh campus of Pentecost University, and was officially launched on Wednesday, April 12 2023, at the Pentecost Convention Centre. Rev. James Amoah-Mensah was appointed the centre’s first coordinator.

 Functions of PCUPG’S AFRICA

The Centre’s tasks are categorized under Research, Teaching, and Mission Support.

It focuses research on the state of UPGs, mission strategies and models that can effectively evangelize them, and pastoral/discipleship models to establish UPG converts as fruitful Gospel ambassadors.

The centre will publish its research findings and engage field missionaries and practitioners to share ideas, strategies, and best practices. Additionally, it will run symposia, seminars, and consultations on issues relating to UPGs in Africa.

Furthermore, PCUPG’S AFRICA is an equipping center for Christian workers, pastors, and missionaries to effectively be witnesses to the unreached. Currently, the Centre runs a certificate programme and short courses on how to reach and disciple specific UPGs, such as the Fulani, Kotokoli, Gonja, Challa, Kantosi, Chakali, and others. Diploma, degree, and executive certificate programmes and courses in UPG studies will also be taught at the centre.

PCUPG’S AFRICA serves as a missions resource hub for individuals, missionaries, agencies, and churches that hope to reach any UPGs in Ghana and beyond. The centre provides information on specific UPGs, evangelistic materials (print, audio, and video), and practical field support with the help of indigenous Christians from most of the UPGs in Ghana and some West African countries.

PCUPG’S AFRICA has a strong conviction that when Bible colleges, theological institutions, mission agencies, and churches focus on UPGs with much prayer, evangelism, and mobilization, the rhetoric of UPGs will change and the Lord’s word in Revelation 7:9 will be fulfilled .

Rev. James Amoah-Mensah

HUM Pastor, Church of Pentecost, Accra

Coordinator, PCUPG’S AFRICA

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