Sigh! It seems Pastors of today are the real business men, how did it happen? Well before 31st December watch night was one simple night that we all go to leave ourselves to the lord in our various churches now it’s turned into something bigger and I repeat way bigger. Now watch nights are held in arena’s, stadiums and big places.
Anyway, I just read from News1Ghana that a barrage of negative criticisms continues to rock Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams after news broke that he had taken over the Independence Square when he was aware that Pastor Mensah Otabil of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) had booked the venue for his annual 31st December watch night service dubbed ‘Crossover.’
Several persons who commented on the report when it was put online, as well as persons who called NEWS-ONE offices to seek clarification on the story, expressed grave misgivings about the development and opined that Duncan-Williams, also known as the ‘Charismatic Papa’, should have known better, especially when he was aware that Pastor Otabil had already started advertising that ICGC would be using the place for the 31st watch night service.
NEWS-ONE on Wednesday carried a report that though Pastor Otabil had booked for the Independence Square and paid for the venue some five months ago, the government had taken over the venue and given it to Duncan-Williams, who is also happy about it and busily advertising to use the place for his church’s end-of-year watch night service.
Not only has Duncan-Williams taken over the venue Pastor Otabil had been using for close to a decade now, he has also named his 31st December service ‘Passover’, quite similar to Otabil’s annual ‘Crossover’ service.
Pastor Otabil, has for close to a decade, consistently used the Independence Square for his yearly watch night service. Due to the growing number of the congregation, ICGC decided to book both the Accra Sports Stadium and the Independence Square for the 2011 service just as it did last year and both venues got filled to capacity.
But after paying for the venues some five months ago, and running commercials advertising the service for both venues, Pastor Otabil announced to his congregation two weeks ago that National Security had informed him that the Government of Ghana would be using the Independence Square for a “national event” on December 31 and therefore the church would have to hold the service at the stadium.
ICGC has therefore been compelled to withdraw its commercials that were advertising both venues and replace them with new ones that the service would be only at the stadium.
The so-called “national event” has turned out to be the watch night service of Duncan-Williams as he has started advertising that this year, he would be having his end-of-year service at the Independence Square.
Interestingly, Papa Duncan-Williams seems the least worried about the development and after news broke of his apparent sabotage, he has rather increased his advertising of the Independence Square as venue for his church service.
The news comes as a surprise because Mensah Otabil’s annual 31st December Crossover Service has almost become an institutionalized event held at the Independence Square for the Christian community and a fellow pastor who wants to use the same venue is expected to have known better.
Another issue of concern is that the several tens of thousands that turn up for Otabil’s Crossover can simply not be contained at the Accra Sports Stadium, considering the fact that even when both venues were used for the 2010 service, they were filled to capacity.
It is unclear whether or not Duncan-Williams was aware that Pastor Mensah Otabil had always used the Independence Square and had actually started running adverts for this year’s event.
Duncan-Williams has over the years stirred a lot of controversy. News recently went round that he had employed Dr. Ekwow Spoi-Garbrah as Chief Executive of the Action Chapel International Church, perhaps one of the few churches with a Chief Executive.
There were also reports that Duncan-Williams had said he used a type of perfume that was not sold anywhere in Ghana.
Again, Duncan-Williams divorcing the mother of his children, Mama Francisca and new marriage to an American beauty by name Lady Rosa Whitaker, is still fresh in the memories of news followers.
SOURCE : NEWS1GHANA