Renewal and Revivalism in Ghanaian Methodism: The Catalytic Role of Prayer Fellowships

Samuel B. Adubofuor  ORCID iD &  Hosea Osei

Issue: Vol.6  No.8  November 2020 Issue  Article 4 pp. 374-385
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020114  |   Published online 16th November 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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Branded prayer programmes have taken centre stage in contemporary Ghanaian Christianity, and Methodism in Ghana has its fair share. The origins of these spiritual activities are nebulous. This study investigates the historical roots of the contemporary revival and renewal programmes in Methodist Church Ghana. Through historical and phenomenological research approach, the study highlights the catalytic role played by the twentieth-century prayer fellowships, which functioned as fringe groups in the Church. A re-visioning of John Wesley as a Pentecostal fore-bearer of the Christian faith constitutes an innovative attempt at situating the charismatic renewal movement in Ghana within historic Methodism. The study evinces the critical function of the laity as agents of revival and renewal of spirituality in the Church. Essentially, through the prayer fellowships, the ministry of the Methodist Church is democratised, and clericalism neutralised. The transformation of the prayer fellowship movement into the Methodist Prayer and Renewal Programme (M.P.R.P.) facilitated the formalisation, institutionalisation and regulation of the emergent charismatic movement into a “Connexional” (i.e. nationwide) Methodist activity. What makes the M.P.R.P. relevant is its dynamic response to the African worldview and existential realities of the participants.

Keywords: Prayer Fellowships, Methodist Church, Renewal, Programmes, Pentecostal

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Samuel B. Adubofour, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theology, Christian Service University College where he teaches Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth courses. He is also Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Christian Service University College, Kumasi, Ghana.

Hosea Osei, MA, is a Ministerial Candidate of Methodist Church Ghana.

Adubofour, S.B. & Osei, H.,  “Renewal and Revivalism in Ghanaian Methodism: The Catalytic Role of Prayer Fellowships” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 6 no.8 (2020): 374-385  https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020114

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).