African Christianity

  1. This is an early roughcut of the deliverance ministry in the fastest growing Presbyterian church in the provincial capitol of Akropong, where that historic denomination first began in the mid-19th century. It was growing by leaps and bounds largely through its deliverance ministry, which it was then pioneering ini the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. It's story is woven into our film, "African Christianity Rising: Stories from Ghana," one of a two-part series shot in Ghana and Zimbabwe on Christianity's explosive growth in Africa. After shooting this original footage in 1998, we followed Grace's deliverance team on what has become their annual mission trip to North America, filming their work in one of New York City's oldest churches in 2004. In 2006 we returned to Ghana to follow up Grace's story, along with other church communities we portray.

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  2. Learning that an important character in our documentary series "African Christianity Rising," was now leading his Presbyterian church's "Deliverance Team" on annual mission trips to North America, we did follow-up filming with him during their stay in New York City. When I first met him, Abboa-Offei was an agricultural science teacher, with a big heart for youth, in the local secondary school in Akropong, a provincial capitol two-hours drive into the hills of Akuapem from Ghana's coastal capitol of Accra. He and other teachers were the group of lay leaders who started Grace Presbyterian Church. Here, eight years later, he had left teaching and was a full-time prophet, or evangelist, living in a brand new, almost palatial house in Akropong and escorted in a chauffeur driven car. Grace Presbyterian had just finished the first floor of its new 10,000 seat "cathedral." All a fitting parable of Christian growth today in sub-Saharan Africa. Here in Brooklyn, NY, we see him leading worship and doing personal counseling among a Ghanaian congregation meeting now in Flatbush Dutch Reform Church, one of New York City's two oldest churches, the church of the Vanderbilt family in the late 19th century. (The passage includes a glimpse of the new building underway in Grace Presbyterian, his church back home in Ghana). Some of this footage appears in our final film, but not the traditional "outdooring" ceremony Abboa-Offei was asked to help officiate for a physician's family in the Bronx, NY, or the pilgrimage visit to him of a young prophet from New Jersey seeking succor and advice.

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African Christianity

james ault Plus

Pieces from a documentary film project on African Christianity produced and directed by James Ault, edited by Kate Purdie (and Jean Boucicaut), and shot in Ghana with Tom Hurwitz (DP) and in Ghana with David Lyman (DP). With major funding from the Pew


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Pieces from a documentary film project on African Christianity produced and directed by James Ault, edited by Kate Purdie (and Jean Boucicaut), and shot in Ghana with Tom Hurwitz (DP) and in Ghana with David Lyman (DP). With major funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation. Sponsored by Hartford Seminary. © 2009 James Ault Productions

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  • Gregg Okesson

    Wonderful work; this collection can be really helpful for those of us who teach on African Christianity!

    by Gregg Okesson

  • Kim Cast

    I love the Stories from Ghana opening. Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to see the entire film!

    by Kim Cast

  • Rebecca Cole-Turner

    Jim,

    Just viewed these and found them to be fascinating and insightful. Will send them on to friends who ministered in Cote D'Ivoire for many years for their review and comments.
    +Rebecca Cole-Turner

    by Rebecca Cole-Turner

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