A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AND THE FOUNDER
APOSTLES REVELATION SOCIETY (A. R. S.)
The Society did not originate from any foreign country but here in Ghana, West Africa in a village called Tadzewu near Akatsi, Abor and Dzodze in Ketu North District of the Volta Region. The APOSTLES REVELATION SOCIETY is a Christian institution established by Almighty Jehovah through His own elect, Mawu Fe Ame (Man of God) Charles Korbla Nutornutsi Wovenu as a fulfillment of prophesies. The Church believes in and is guided by the totality of the Holy Word as contained in the Bible – both old and new testaments. It was started on 2nd November, 1939.
PURPOSE OF INCEPTION
The Society has been established to proclaim the gospel of Christ and the judgment as Christ himself announced when sending his disciples in Matt. 28:19-20. It is to prepare the souls of people through holy anointment for eternal life in Christ Jesus.
The ARS was registered as a church on 6th June, 1967 by the Prophet Wovenu the founder and then spiritual Head and the first trustee. Other trustees were:
1. H.D. Klutsi (chief clerk)
2. Matthew Akunor (accountant)
3. Nana Kwami Gyebi Ababio (Managing Director)
4. Harry Grunitzky (Chief Accountant)
5. A.C. Renner (Bank Manager)
6. NLY Aggor (Company Manager)
7. Yao Boahene (General Manager)
8. D. Y. Osei (Lawyer)
In exception of Matthew Akunor also an Apostle of the church, all the others were called back home.
MEMBERSHIP AND ADMISSION
The Society is open to anyone who has belief in the Christian faith and who is prepared to abide by the Rules and the Regulations of the society and whose name is inscribed in the membership roll book. The admission to membership is free.
THE MANAGEMENT OF THE SOCIETY
The Society shall be under the direction and management of the following constitute bodies:-
(a) The General Conference
(b) The Executive Committee of the General Conference
(c) District Councils
(d) Local Committee
ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY
The Society may acquire freehold and leasehold right of property either for religious worship, school meeting hall or any other lawful purpose. In such cases, the title shall be vested in the Society and the Title Deed shall be deposited with the Founder. Such property shall not be mortgaged, sold or disposed off on any account, unless with the consent of the spiritual Head in consultation with the Executive Committee.
The Society discourages all court actions against one another and recommends amicable settlement of all differences by the Committee to be set up the Spiritual Head.
In 1958, Marriage Course was established to cater for the study of marriage life because the enemy had seized homes to himself thus God asked Wovenu to teach or write about marriage life in the society, and reform matrimonial life. In 1962, he executed this order and wrote many pamphlets on the subject; and, according to God’s own instruction to him, he made all who have not married before God to do so. Thus it has become an establishment in the Society now that everyone should marry in the presence of God.
The church through Wovenu established this Institution at New Tadzewu and it is there that juvenile delinquents were trained.
When Wovenu realised that clerical business alone would not benefit so much, he established trade school where various arts are learnt such as Blacksmithy, Carpentry, Masonry, Driving, Sewing, Fitting, etc.
On the 11th of June, 1949, this School was established in New Tadzewu and it is in this school that all ministers in the Society do receive their training for the service.
Formation of Guards:
Wherever we assembled for our anniversary celebration, rogues and ruffians used to come from various places to rob the people of their belongings and thereby caused great unrest. Therefore in order to provide peace of mind for the people during our assemblies, a group of guards were organised to guard the people besides the government police force who often come to protect members during these missionary festivals.
From the inception of the Society up to date, the following are the sacraments performed: Baptism, Confirmation, Anointment, Administration of the Healing Oil, Vowing to God, Protection of Conceptions, Out-dooring of Children, Protection of Babies, Casting out of evil spirits, Mourning ceremony to widows and widowers, Ceremony of Sanctifying buildings, Ceremony of acquiring the spirit of one’s profession, spiritual Insurance of Property and Lives, Marriage, Burial, the Lord’s Supper, Installation of rulers (Kings or Chiefs), Ceremony of the protective Ear-ring, Ordination of Church Officers – Pastors, Judges, Presbyters and Presbytresses, Workers, etc.
FORMS OF GREETINGS IN THE SOCIETY
As our Lord Jesus will greet, “Peace be unto you.” Luke 24, 36, the church members greet each other this way:
The greeter: Peace be unto you.
Response: May the Lord bestow it; May God bless you
The greeter: May it be ratified or Amen
The greeter: A good change to you
Response: May the Lord’s be mine; May the Creator send you yours
The greeter: May it be ratified or Amen.
SOME NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CHURCH
Out of the religious realm, the Church of the Apostles Revelation Society, through its eminent founder and spiritual leader, has achieved so much for the society and mankind. The church focused its initial attention on establishing educational institutions throughout Ghana. In all, the Church can boast of establishing about 60 educational institutions in various disciplines in the nation. The church also founded six townships namely, Zion Awudome, Dededo, Kwamikrom Canaan, Otwetiri, Agou Agbetikor and Sanyi Fiave and provided them with all the essentials amenities needed for a good and comfortable social life.
The Church believes in the holiness of the Sabbath that must be used solely for the worship of the Lord and as a day of rest. As a result, the Church is the only one in Ghana whose members, their maids, servants, households, and assets are enjoined not to engage in any activities of profit or commercial nature on the Sabbath.
From its inception, the Church introduced traditional drumming, drums, and musical instruments into its formal worship. This was followed by torrents of criticism and ridicule from many orthodox churches and people in Ghana at the time. However, this practice has now become the norm and universal in all churches in Ghana and beyond today.
On 21st January 1950, the Gold Coast government court sentenced Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to 15 years imprisonment. On 8th September the same year, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah made a request for Mawu fe Ame Wovenu to be allowed to come and pray for him. Mr. W.J.W Burton the prison superintendent granted the request and called Wovenu. Mawu fe Ame arrived at the Ussher Fort Prison on 22nd November 1950. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was escorted to the superintendent’s office at 12:00 noon by three prison officers. Mawu fe Ame made supplication to God on behalf of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and performed a special ritual for him. In addition Dr. Nkrumah was instructed on what to do himself, so that the Lord will have mercy on him for his early release from prison. In the presence of the prison officers as witnesses including Warder Freeman Tsoblewu, Mawu fe Ame told Dr. Kwame Nkrumah that he would not serve the 15 years sentence; he would be there only for three months and would be released and be made to rule Ghana. This indeed came to pass and he was released on 12th February, 1951 at 7.30 am.
Before the commencement of the 6 day Arab-Israeli war in 1967, the Israeli government sent a special delegation, headed by Mr. Cohen, to seek the Founder’s intervention with God on behalf of the Israelis. This visit was engineered by some Israeli agricultural workers in the agricultural station close to Tadzewu, who are very much aware of the powers of the Church. The message sent to the Israeli government was that the war would be won by them during 6 days of fighting. The Founder promised to present himself before God on their behalf during the duration of the war. This indeed came to pass and Mr. Cohen came back to Ghana in May 1967 to thank the Founder of the Church for his intervention on behalf of the Israelis. The subsequent state visit of the Founder to Israel still remains the best reception and recognition given by the government and people of Israel to a foreign dignitary.
The Osu Castle, which was the seat of government of Ghana needed spiritual cleansing in 1966. The Founder was invited by the then National Liberation Council (NLC) government for a week-long special spiritual exorcising and cleansing exercises. This was concluded with a special Thanks-Giving Service on 2nd May 1966.
The Church has been to the innermost rooms and shrines of idol worshippers to destroy their idols and the superstitions surrounding them. The advent of the ARS has brought a great relief and opportunity for conversion to Christianity to many areas of Ghana and Africa. It has removed the yoke under satanic covenants that people’s forebears entered into with the devil. This enabled many people and their descendants to later become Christians and members of the Church. These experiences emboldened many members who went on evangelism for redeeming lost souls for Christ.
The achievements of the Church are not restricted to only the spiritual realm but also to the physical, economic, and social fields. As mentioned earlier, the Church established over 60 schools which were subsequently taken over by the government. Currently, the church has a Nursery, a Primary/Junior High School, and a Senior High Secondary and Technical School and a Seminary for the training of its Clergy. From the very beginning, the Church established a divine school for Moral and Vocational Training for the members and their children.
Tadzewu, a remote pagan village in t he 1930’s has now become a modern Christian township. It was then linked by the Church with roads through Akatsi, Devego, Dzodze, Xevi and Abor. The Tadzewu Township is now provided with a Post Office, a Police Station, Portable Drinking Water, Electricity, Good Roads and others.
The Founder believed strongly in fully communicating with the members and in promoting the use of local languages. In this regard, in 1949, he instituted a newspaper called “MELE AGOO DOM”, meaning, “I AM CALLING FOR ATTENTION”. This paper is being regularly published in English and Ewe. It facilitates dissemination of relevant and important issues relating to the Church. At most functions of the Church, especially the annual Convention at the end of each year, all proceedings are translated into English, Ewe, Damgbe, Akan and French.
To promote peace and unity in the nation and to advance traditional leadership, the Church has established the Council of ARS Chiefs and the United Towns in Ghana whose members comprise only the Traditional Leaders of Ghana.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF MAWU ƒE AME WOVENU
Mawu ƒe Ame, Charles Korbla Nutornutsi Wovenu the founder of the ARS Church was born in 1918 at Anyako in the Keta District of the Volta Region and was named Korbla Nutornutsi. His father was Emmanuel Kofi Adra Nutornutsi Kluvia alias Torbokor (in pagan circles) of the “Dzevie” clan of Anlo, at Anyako. His mother was Mikayanawo Sewornu Dzakpata alias Dasi also of Anyako.
Mikayanawo’s father was not in agreement with her daughter marrying Kofi Nutornutsi and planned to kill the child at birth. The mother therefore ran away into the bush when she felt the initial signs of labour and thus the prophet was born in the bush. Mikayanawo was later given away in marriage to Cephas Gordor who naturally adopted the child Korbla. Mikayanawo was a member of the cult of Yewe at Anyako.
Charles was so much eager to be baptized in the Christian faith. After some failed attempts, he was finally baptized on the 26th day of December, 1926 (at age 8) at Assahum in Togo. The man who officiated was Rev. Robert Baeta of Blessed memory.
As time went on, his mother was attending church at the instance of her husband and the son (Korbla). She was invited to the shrine by the cult Heads to answer for why she was attending Church Services. A week after returning from the shrine she died mysteriously on 16th January, 1932. His father however was baptized by Wovenu himself on 30th January, 1949
When Korbla Nutornusti went to school for the first time, his teachers observed that he could already read and write an extraordinary feat that surprised everybody. He started school at Anyako. He attended school at Adzanu, Anyako, Kibi and Accra.
He was employed as a Prison Warder at the Akuse Prison. He later on took up a job at the Diamond mines at Akwatia. It was from Akwatia that he returned to Anyako, then to Tadzewu where his father was resident.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ARS CHURCH (1939)
The prophet suffered a lot at the early stages of the church at Tadzewu. He gathered some children who some were orphans. They stayed with him and they fed together. He taught them at school and they went to gather firewood for sale on market days for purchasing their food and other necessaries.
The E.P. Church appreciated his efforts and offered to join him work together in the school and the church.
This co-operation could not last long because the Church Leadership often rejected his suggestions on issues, only to judge him later to be correct. They branded him as a magician and broke up the co-operation.
The Prophet travelled widely with others, spreading the Gospel mainly by foot until he was given a horse by one Mr. Addae of Anum. He performed wonders and prophesied everywhere he went; he healed the sick and prayed for many who were in diverse afflictions.
SOME TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF WOVENU
Invariably, a prophet cannot go without opposition or persecution. Just as the Jews did to Jesus, similarly, the Anlos did to Wovenu, while the Ancient Serpent, Satan also contested with him on several occasions in spiritual warfare, the most notable ones occurred at Tadzewu, Accra and the USA. The USA warfare is celebrated as Victory Day every year by the ARS Church on 11th September.
PLAN TO DISGRACE WOVENU
On the day Mawu fe Ame was to introduce the small congregation of the ARS at Anyako, his hometown. Some prominent persons in the town, deem it a unique opportunity to publicly disgrace him hence conferred secretly with some learned citizens and one of the supposedly well – informed persons was appointed to contest with Mawu fe Ame in the scriptures when he arrived for the occasion. That academic prodigy who accepted to challenge him was a man who later became one of his devout ministers – Rev. W.E. NUTSUAKOR. He prepared 10 questions in readiness for the challenge.
Wonderfully, enough, before Mawu fe Ame ended his sermon on that fateful day, he put his prophetic capabilities on display by saying: “There may be some among the crowd who may like to know about so, so and so, or to ask such and such a question”. Mawu fe Ame then pose the questions one after the other and gave the answers until all the ten (10) questions prepared by the late Rev. W.E. Nutsuakor were answered without he asking.
It was at this juncture that Rev. Nutsuakor made that memorable statement.
“Today, I echoed Gamaliel that, “if this plan or work is of men it will come to nothing, but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it”.
ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS ON WOVENU
On 8th of August 1980 Mawu fe Ame was shot by a man at Kumasi but
God saved him from the bullets.
In 1943 a would-be assassin was dispossessed of a knife by an angel of God when he was about to stab Wovenu.
On 13th October 1953, late at night when everyone was asleep, the walls of Mawu fe Ame’s house suddenly collapsed on the inmates burying all their beddings. But wonderfully enough, the inmates, including babies were trans-located outside the rooms by Angels of God and no one was hurt; only their beddings lay buried beneath the rubbles of the walls. What a miracle?
In 1945, Mawu fe Ame was carrying two guns that went off simultaneously with the bullets missing his head narrowly. God saved him from death. Who triggered the guns?
SOME NOTABLE MIRACLES AND EVENTS
THE EVIL SNAKES OF BATTOR
In some years past, a very poisonous snake besieged Battor. The poison of the snakes was so deadly that whosoever was bitten died instantly. The alarming situation made the chiefs and elders of the town took counsel together and knocked on the doors of Mawu fe Ame Wovenu to intercede on their behalf, for God to have mercy on them. Mawu fe Ame went and performed a special spiritual ritual in the town. The snakes disappeared, and the people were liberated from the menace. This took place on 28th August 1968.
THE FALL OF A CHIEF
It happened in 1986 that a severe drought hit Weta and its surrounding areas.the chief of Wheta, Togbi Gagblozu Alormatu Ashiakpor requested all persons in his dominion to pay a certain levy to enable the elders to visit a fetish for rain. However, members of the A.R.S. at Adrume refused to comply. So the chief subjected them to great physical torture; and the matter was reported to the prophet. Mawu fe Ame, in a letter told the chief that rain belonged to God Jehovah, and to ask for it from any other source was an abomination in His sight. Mawu fe Ame, in the letter, explained how, as a chief, he should seek rain from God. Finally, Mawu fe Ame informed the chief that all lands belonged to God and so he should take note that soon the land of Weta would be pulled from under his feet, he would then acknowledge the fact that the land of Weta belonged to none but to God, Jehovah.
Exactly a year thereafter, Torgbui Gaglozou Alormatu Ashiakpor was destooled and the very news paper, (the Daily Graphic) in which he wrote against the ARS published his great fall. Thus the Weta land was pulled from under his feet, in fulfillment of the prophecy.
In 1950, the government of Gold Coast, now Ghana, decided to build another harbour in addition to that of Takoradi. The question of where to site the new harbour became the bone of contention between Ada Foah and Old Tema. A delegation of the chief and elders of Old Tema came to Mawu fe Ame Wovenu at Tadzewu and earnestly appealed to him to pray to God that the harbour be located at Tema for development. The delegation included Nii Adjatey Ayeesah II of Old Tema, Messers G.N. Alema, Obetsebi Lamptey and Ako Adjei, all of blessed memory. Mawu fe Ame put the matter before God and sent Messers Stephen Kpodo Fiamafa, Nelson Attipoe, Jacob Awunu Magava, Rev. E.W. Mansu and others all of blessed memory to go to the house of Nii Adjetey Aryeesah II to make supplication to God for seven (7) days. This the delegation did; and later Mawu fe Ame himself followed. When Mawu fe Ame reached the beach he walked into the sea where once stood a few rocks covered with moss. There he made supplications to God saying: “O God Jehovah, I pray thee that for the sake of all the members of the church that come from Tema and the chief of Tema who is yet to be converted, let them see your goodness in this matter because the chief very much wished that Tema turns into a beautiful township if the harbour is built there.”
Wovenu prayed, “O Lord, should you do so to them the Chief promised to be your forever.” The chief then vowed to God. Soon after this ceremony the Government had a change of mind and the harbour was built at the very spot where Mawu fe Ame stood and implored Jehovah to grant them their request.
Azumah Nelson is a renowned Ghanaian boxer. He held the World Super Feather-weight title for ten years. Unfortunately, he lost to James Leijah. When he heard of Mawu fe Ame Wovenu, he came to consult him and pleaded with him to pray for him to regain the title. Mawu fe Ame obliged. Azumah was later paired with Ruelas, who had taken the title from Leijah, and Azumah defeated the champion in round five of the 12 round battles. A plan was hatched and he was later paired with James Leijah on the presumption that he was the only one with the potential to dethrone Azumah. Since no king is saved by the size of his army, nor is the warrior’s escape by his strength, Nelson Azumah defeated his opponent in the 6th round to silence his detractors. It was on this occasion that the warrior lifted high the flag of ARS, before making the statement that he derived his powers from God through the Prophet Wovenu
WATER FOR THE PEOPLE
As has been the practice among rural folks everywhere to ask governments through officials to provide them with essential social amenities, it happened in 1958 that when a District Commissioner visited Tadzewu Mawu fe Ame, in a welcome address read on his behalf requested for good drinking water for Tadzewu and villages in its neighbourhood. In reply, the commissioner mocked at Mawu fe Ame, saying, if indeed he were the prophet he claimed to be, why should he not pray for water from heaven? When his words reached Mawu fe Ame who was then praying on the field, he prophesied that if indeed he was a Man of God, the very spot he had knelt to pray when the matter was reported to him would become a spot for water. And truly, water is being drawn at that spot till today. This is the Agorkor dam, which never dries and it is this same place where Mawu fe Ame Wovenu made a bore-hole to supply pipe-borne water to Tadzewu.
Prophet Wovenu cast demons out in some schools like Keta Business College – 1975, Dzodze-Penyi Secondary School 17th-18th June 1989 and Osu Castle the seat of Government – 22nd May, 1966 among others.
THE TSITO-PEKI WAR
When Mawu fe Ame was informed of war breaking out between the two sister clans, he, knowing well how destructive such a war could be if it escalated, organized intensive prayers for its eradication. As a follow up, he, with the permission of the then Regional Commissioner, Hon. I. Fiagbe, visited Tsito and in that order, pleaded with the people to stop the war and make peace. Mawu fe Ame visited the war victims at Peki Hospital and sent them food and other gifts.
A month later, Mawu fe Ame invited the chiefs and elders of both clans to Tadzewu and appealed to them to do everything possible to end the war. Subsequently, Mawu fe Ame occasionally, sent envoys to the chiefs and elders of the two clans and urged them to help bring peace to the area.
Fortunately, the elders of the two clans chose Tadzewu as the venue for holding their peace talks. The talks yielded positive results, and peace, once again, returned to the area.
AKATSI’S FACE LIFT
In the year 1956, Mawu fe Ame was travelling from Tadzewu to Accra and became stranded at Akatsi. He stayed there for quite a long time and became hungry. He took a narrow path and came to the house of Torgbui Aho II. He asked for food to buy but since there was no food readily available, the Torgbui asked the wife to roast maize and groundnuts (Azikpeli) for him. After eating, he attempted paying them for it but they did not take the money from him rather added more azikpeli even for his journey ahead.
Mawu fe Ame was impressed about their kindness. After thanking them he asked the man to go and pray with him under a baobab tree near the road. There, the two knelt down and, Mawu fe Ame prayed that God should turn the place into a big market where sellers may noisily advertise their wares.
Upon his return from the journey, Mawu fe Ame visited the Aho family and requested a parcel of land from Torgbui Aho II for church and school since the place may soon become a big place. Torgbui Aho II agreed and gave him the land.
Surprisingly, not too long after that prayer, all these came true, as anybody can testify today about Akatsi and the Market.
The big market of Akatsi began under the baobab tree. Trading never cease (every day market) at the exact place they stood for the prayer.
WOVENU, your memories will continue to linger in our hearts and minds. We pray God help us to get united soon and the team for the celebration is “MARCHING AND BUILDING ON THE LEGACY WITH FAITH AND REVERENCE”
LONG LIVE ARS