Billy Graham Center

Interview with Alex Atempo Sackey-Ansah - Collection 553

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan.]

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Table of Contents

Title Page and Restrictions

Brief Description of This Collection


An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Collection 553 [November 21, 2005]
Sackey-Ansah, Alex Atempa; 1968-
Interviews; 1998
4 Audio Tape Reels (.08 cubic feet)

Brief description: Oral history interviews with Sackey-Ansah in which he describes his family, conversion and spiritual development, education, joining Pioneers­Africa, distinctives and programs of the mission, his responsibilities, Pioneers­Africa director Solomon Aryeetey, Church of Pentecost, the church in Ghana, missions in Africa, African missionaries, church planting philosophy and process, conflict resolution in Africa, American perceptions of Africa and the African church, establishing a church in a Muslim area, observations about American churches, and other mission-related topics. The events described cover the time period 1968-1998.

Restrictions: None

Full name Alex Atempa Sackey-Ansah
Birth June 3, 1968, in Cape Coast, Ghana
Parents Father: Nana Ayirebo Acquah IV (stool name as a chief; given name is John Kudolf Ansah, deceased) was chief of the southern section of Ghana for the Efutu people, an ethnic group of the Akan tribe. Mother: Madam Janet Thompson-Quartey of the Fantis group
Siblings One older brother, one sister; five sisters
Marital Status Single
Conversion 1982 as a result of attending Scripture Union meetings during a fast
1984 University Practice Secondary School, Cape Coast, Ghana (Science)
1986 Adisadel College, Cape Coast, Ghana (Science)
1990 University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana (BS, Biological Sciences)
1995 University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana (Mphil, Plant Genetics)
1997-1999 Wheaton College Graduate School (Missions/Intercultural and Evangelism)
1994- Pastor of Abundant Power Chapel, Ghana
1996- Mission administrator for Pioneers­Africa with responsibilities and oversight of missionary work at remote satellite stations in Benin, Ghana, Mali and Togo
Other significant information
Held numerous positions of responsibility and leadership while a student and in his church: prayer secretary and president of Scripture Union high school group; president of Scripture Union college group; ordained a ministering deacon in his church and later supporting pastor; while at university was prayer secretary of the Commonwealth Hall Christian Fellowship and vice president and president of Legon Pentecostals Union.

Scope and Content

Alex Atempa Sackey-Ansah was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on May 12, May 26, and June 24, 1998. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1968-1998.

T1 (72 minutes). Family ethnic composition and history, father's appointment as a chief and implications for practicing Christians; family religious environment, mother's spiritual influence and example, parents' roles, his conversion and baptism in the Holy Spirit, parents' reaction; interest in biology and science; transition to ministry, meeting Solomon Aryeetey, parents' reaction; participation in the Church of Pentecost and his relationship with God, Ghanaian leadership in the church; Pioneers­Africa: responsibility to oversee mission stations, joining the mission, based in Accra but overseeing Africa south of the Sahara, lessons learned in administration, fiscal responsibilities, theological basics and diversity of the mission, growing responsibilities, affiliation of planted churches with existing denominations, Evangelicals and Pentecostals in Ghana, education at Wheaton, non-African colleagues, Aryeetey's and Alex's duties, mission centralization in Ghana, advantages of sending nationals as missionaries, distinctives of African leadership development, need for mentoring relationships in African church, relationships with other Christian groups and churches, merging a planted church into an existing Evangelical body; church planting: determining a new site, surveying an area, initial evangelism, assigning a missionary

T2 (21 minutes). Church planting in areas dominated by traditional religions or Islam, Muslim leader's response, establishing a church, ongoing contact and assistance; struggles missionaries face: people identifying themselves as Christians, levels of education, community sanitation and water quality, counseling Christians who are trying to leave their old life and family behind, attempts to work around confrontational issues, adjusting to rural people; missionary team, Africa's collectivist society minimizes loneliness for a missionary

T3 (55 minutes). Transition from university to working environment; learning to supervise and correct older workers, resolving conflict in African culture; character, personality and experience of Pioneers­Africa director Solomon Aryeetey; Pioneers' strengths (emphasis on church planting at new sites, flexible administration) and weaknesses (lack of indigenous financial backing, undetermined affiliation of planted churches); strengths of churches in Ghana, issues which divide the church (baptism and gifts of the Spirit); examples of spiritual gift of knowledge as a demonstration of God's power, inadequate use of the gift; cross-cultural interaction between Africans of different countries; conflict resolution (between church groups and Christians, silent conflict in Ghana, competition between churches); Pioneers­Africa's funding base in the US; conflict resolution by Western missionaries and as perceived by Africans; Americans' small view of Africa and the African church; church attendance while a student at Wheaton; observations about worship in American churches as being calm and short; commitment required to establish a mission station in a Muslim community; Muslim enthusiasm in defending Islam compared with Christian enthusiasm in worship and service

T4 (70 minutes). Pentecostals in the US and Ghana, Africa's greater emphasis on baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, demons and spirit world, increasing size and influence of Pentecostals and charismatics, growth of the charismatic movement, attraction to youth, excesses among charismatics, attitudes of Methodists toward Pentecostals and charismatics, young and older church members and leaders, changing roles of women in church, other denominations in Ghana, place of Western missionaries in churches in Ghana, American culture's influence on charismatic movement in Ghana, Pentecostals use of local dialects compared with charismatics' use of English, westernization trend in Ghana, ministry and spiritual warfare in voodoo-dominated areas of Benin, impact of miracles on unbelievers, model for ministry in Benin, experience of possible demonic attack, cults, absence of syncretism, complete break for new converts from former life through renunciation, baptism among churches, recent revivals, reconciliation over excesses, issues addressed during visits to mission sites and evaluating progress, no need for contextualization, breaking through obstacles of Islam in northern areas, influence of Muslims, future plans, comparing methodologies of Pioneers and Pentecostals


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Alex Sackey-Ansah in 1998.

Accession: 98-26, 98-30, 98-43
November 21, 2005
Paul A. Ericksen

Accession: 98-26, 98-30, 98-43
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file.
# R/C speed length Sides Contents Dates
T1 R 3-3/4 ips 72 min. 1 Oral history interview of Alex Sackey-Ansah by Paul A. Ericksen May 12, 1998
T2 R 3-3/4 ips 21 min. 1 Continuation of interview on T1 May 12, 1998
T3 R 3-3/4 ips 55 min. 1 Oral history interview of Alex Sackey-Ansah by Paul A. Ericksen May 26, 1998
T4 R 3-3/4 ips 70 min. 1 Oral history interview of Alex Sackey-Ansah by Paul A. Ericksen June 24, 1998

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