Doomsday prophets and what 3 top Ghanaian pastors said about 2021
As the world closes the chapter on 2020 to embrace 2021, many pastors have given a glimpse of what to expect in the new year after a turbulent 2020 in which COVID-19 turned the world on its head.
It is a time when churches are filled, and many leaders make prophetic declarations during New Year’s eve messages to their congregations.
This year was no exception even with warnings that COVID-19 was still lurking around.
The COVID-19 had brought untoward hardship, and many were looking on to hope for 2021 amidst world reports of second waves and spread of mutant strains of the pathogen.
In times past, doomsday prophesies were widespread but this year saw a limit to such pronouncements, perhaps due to public backlash and the predictions’ failure to manifest.
However, a few stuck to their trade with wild declarations.
Compared to other years, the 31st Watch Night Service or ‘Crossover’, first coined by Pastor Mensa Otabil but now used by many other denominations, did not record overwhelming numbers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time in many years, Pastor Otabil’s International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) did not hold the service at the Independence Square.
General Overseer of the Action Chapel International, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, also departed from the Accra Sports Sports Stadium to the church’s home grounds at Spintex.
So what did the leaders say and what did they guide their flock to pray about?
Pastor Mensa Otabil
The teacher entreated Christians to pursue fruitfulness in 2021 faithfully.
“We don’t know what 2021 will unload on the earth, but as for us, we will be fruitful. COVID may still be around, and it may still be wreaking some havoc, but as for us, we will be fruitful,” he stressed.
He continued: “Some businesses may fold up, and we may hear some news in the business world that will chill our hearts, but as for us we will be fruitful.”
Pastor Otabil explained that to be fruitful, one had to take certain steps and likened it to a man who planted a vineyard to reap from the end product.
To this end, he challenged his flock to draw closer to God and also pursue economic activities diligently.
“It is time to resume your schedule; it is time to resume going back to church in person. I say it is time to resume going back to church in person.
“Begin again; you were knocked down but get up and begin again. Your business collapsed, get up and begin again. You lost your investment, get up and begin. Something didn’t work, get up and begin. Don’t just complain and complain and blame COVID-19,” he said.
Bishop Charles Agyinasare
General Overseer of the Perez Chapel International believes 2021 would be a year of restoration after the damage caused by the pandemic the previous year.
“By our faith, the year 2021 will be a year of comfort. People lost businesses, loved ones, and so much more. But in 2021, God will restore us. We will be comforted,” he told congregants.
Bishop Charles Agyinasare further entreated congregants to be faithful in tithing to unlock financial blessings.
“In 2021, be faithful towards kingdom financing. Don’t miss your tithe. Be faithful to God. Bless your pastor, give towards church projects and give to the poor and you will reap the benefits. Wondering why your finances are not encouraging? Try tithing,” he advised.
But the issue about tithing has created a huge controversy in Christendom and people who are not Christians.
While some believe it is a means of extorting money from congregants, others believe it should be followed judiciously.
Some pastors’ lavish lifestyle while church members suffer in poverty has called into question the payment of contributions to churches and donations to pastors.
However, some churches use their funds to cater for the poor, needy and widowed, and such support was extended in the thick of the pandemic where lockdowns and severe restrictions were enforced.
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, for example, holds the views that tithe should not be obligatory in times of COVID-19.
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams
One of the people credited for the charismatic movement in Ghana, the Christian leader, charged his flock to face 2021 without fear.
He urged the public to trust in God, the creator of the universe, whose power is beyond any impossibility.
“I want to encourage you to confront your fears to face 2021 without fear for God has not given us a spirit of fear, and he has not planned any evil for us,” he pointed out. “God is bigger than any pandemic, bigger than any plague or storm”.
He stressed the need for each individual to develop a closer relationship with God by dedicating time to study the bible.
Additionally, he declared 2021 a year to reverse curses.
As he led his congregants in prayers, he prayed for protection, God’s guidance and progression in the New Year.
Founder of the Fountain Gate Chapel, Eastwood Anaba; Apostle General of the Royalhouse Chapel International, Reverend Sam Korankye Ankrah and leaders of orthodox churches held services encouraging their flock to rise above the pandemic in the new year.
The contradictory prophets
Elsewhere, the founder and leader of the Glorious Word Power Ministry International, Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah and the Prophetic Hill Chapel founder and Nigel Gaisie; had opposing prophecies.
On the back of the 2020 elections, flagbearer of the opposition NDC, former President John Mahama is challenging the Electoral Commission (EC) results in favour of the NPP’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The NDC has filed a petition at the Supreme Court, and the highest court of the land is expected to deliver its verdict within 42 days.
In the New Year’s Eve messages, Reverend Bempah believed that the NDC would lose the petition, but Nigel Gaisie said the opposition party would be victorious.
The two had made similar prophetic declarations ahead of the 2020 polls.
Bempah rooted for the NPP and Gaisie was for the NDC, but the outcome was an NPP victory.
The two, however, agreed on a thing–deaths. They hinted on deaths of prominent individuals and imminent disasters in 2021, as they have always done in the previous years.
Additionally, Nigel Gaisie indicated that Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would become the President of Africa’s most populous country.