Founder’s Day: The Story of Perez Chapel International
There has never failed any one of His good promises.
Today, I will deliver a testimonial instead of a sermon. Perez Chapel International is 29 years old, with branches in almost 20 countries. I was saved at the age of 18 and two weeks after that, sensed the call to preach.
Before the beginning
In 1983 at the age of 21, I quit my job to obey the call of God. In the same year I had an encounter with God, which altered for good my ministry when I heard God say to me, “My boy Charles, I send you out as I send Moses. Go; I and I will put my word in your lips and reach the world for me. I give unto you power over demons and principalities; heal the sick; raise the dead; preach the kingdom.” Since then I have preached this Gospel of the kingdom in 85 nations of the world.
After my commission with the healing ministry, as the crowds began to grow in my meetings, I saw Archbishop Benson Idahosa’s magazine with crowds behind it. I therefore went to His Bible institute to study crusade planning. Whilst there, God told me to go to Tamale, start a church in Tamale and start other branches.
Let’s go to the beginning
I returned to Ghana in December 1986, poised to go to Tamale. I preached in ICGC, Victory Bible Church, Living Springs International Church Takoradi and an offering was taken for me to help the returnees start life. In March 1987, on my 25th birthday, I started a miracle-healing crusade at the Tamale police park to start a church. In that crusade, it is recorded that 18 cripples walked, 21 blind people were healed 23 deaf and dumb mutes were healed, and many other sicknesses and diseases.
On March 29, I started then Word Miracle Assembly, also known as Word Miracle Bible Church, which came to be known as Word Miracle Church International, and now, Perez Chapel International. The church started with 67 people and grew very quickly. We lived in a house without electricity or pipe borne water for two years, drank from the dam the cows drank from.
In that year, my wife delivered our first born, now Pastor Dr. Selaise. We baptized many in that place in a gutter under the bridge because the people refused for us to baptize in the dam water, and I want to know how many were part of that baptism in church today? Well, the church grew till we having two services in the catering rest house. In 1992, we exchanged a land and started building our first structure, a nice wooden structure .
We started Miracle Ministerial College to train pastors also, and our first major pastors graduated from that institution, including Mama Vivian. By 1989, we started other churches – Pong Tamale, Yapei, Nyankpala, Mile Nine, Techiman, Sunyani, Kumasi, Obuasi, Takoradi, Koforidua, Ho etc amongst many others.
Our move to Accra
In 1992 whilst preaching in New York for then Rev Dominic Allotey, now Bishop Allotey, God ministered to me to move to Accra, which finally happened in 1994. We started by having Sunday afternoon services in March 1994 at the Kanda cluster of schools. Later on, we found a place at Circle, opposite the Neoplan station at the CFC premises. We needed money to renovate an old warehouse and use in the place. The renovation then was to cost $10,000 and here we had just come from Tamale without any money. So, I traveled to London, USA, Germany. I had written my book ‘Rooted & Build Up In Him’ and as I preached and sold it, I added my honorarium and sent it down for the renovation works. I was on the journey with my wife Vivian and my daughter Charlene. I remember at one point when we got to Miami, Mama Vivian had to teach in a crèche and Charlene had to attend that crèche while I preached that round, going round many towns and cities, so that I could raise the monies to send for the renovation.
I remember at the end of our 3 month period when we were returning, Vivian asked me for some money for a necklace, and I told her we needed money for the renovation so she should wait. Years later, well, I’ve made it good and any necklace she wants I can afford to buy it.
So we started Sunday morning service in October 1994 with 70 adults. By the end of 1 year, we had grown to 3000 people and we were running 4 services in the auditorium at Circle. People sat outside when we were having services. In fact, when it was raining, they even sat in the rain. People called what was happening at our Circle place, the Azusa Street of Ghana. As I saw the people sit in the rain, my heart was broken and I began to pray from our second year that God will give us a place that we will call our own.
Anytime I prayed, I saw us worshipping on a park. The more I prayed, whether in the daytime or at night, the more I saw us worshipping on a park. Not too long after that, we saw an advert in the newspaper advertising the former marketing board premises all being sold. We put in a bid and by the grace of God and the help of Rev Julius Ankomah, then Rev Willie Ansah and co., we were able to secure the place. We paid within one year to move from Circle to the Meat Marketing Board Head Office. We organized what we call ‘The Great Move.’ In attendance was the then Vice President of Ghana, Professor John Evans Atta Mills and his wife.
We started worshipping in our own warehouse or old auditorium. In 2002, we invited Creflo Dollar and broke ground to start the building of a Miracle Cathedral.We finally were allowed to start building in 2006, having been saving towards it. So in 2 years, we had raised the block work and hosted Dr. Morris Cerrullo.
By 2008, we had completed the block work and gotten to the roofing stage but because the diameter of the building was so broad, 60 meters without a pillar, no company in Ghana and West Africa and South Africa could roof it then. We had to wait till 2010 when we found an American company that constructed the roofing for us, a geometric dome, and shipped it in six 40-foot containers. In about 8-10 weeks, we had finished the roofing when it came. In August 2010, we moved into the Perez Dome, having changed the name from Miracle Cathedral to Perez Dome.
Today, we have 3 other Bishops, almost 300 branches, 70% of our churches own their own buildings. We are proud owners of the Pan African Christian University College at Pomadze, Winneba. The church is marching on, and we getting ready, preparing, putting together a new 5-year strategic plan for the church as we celebrate our 30th anniversary next year.
Happy anniversary !
To my wife Vivian who has good by me and believed before everyone else did , Hey, honey, Happy Anniversary.
Happy Founder’s Day.
God richly bless you.