Pastor Rick Donkor is the Lead Pastor of International Central Gospel Church, a multi-cultural and ethnic "rainbow" church, located in Palmdale, California. He is also the founder and president of Cutting-Edge Ministries International, a church renewal and equipping ministry, committed to standing with pastors of local churches and leaders of ministry organizations for the training and equipping of their staff, workers and leaders for enhanced missional and ministry effectiveness.
Call and Ministry:
Pastor Ricky, affectionately so called by many, received the call to preach the gospel at a Camp Meeting in 1983. He gave up his dreams of becoming a Chartered Accountant,(CPA) and the studies leading to it at the Institute of Professional Studies in Ghana, and began doing the work of an evangelist. In this capacity, he spearheaded crusades and revival meetings in high schools, colleges and university campuses, churches and various work places.
Through his evangelistic passion and initiatives, many Christian workers’ and students’ fellowships were established and strengthened in many parts of the city of Accra, Ghana. Employees in various companies and corporations across the city would meet regularly at the cafeteria, canteen or lounge during their lunch hour for prayer and bible study. Many were touched, saved, healed and baptized in the Holy Spirit through these workers’ fellowships. Pastor Rick was later appointed Youth Pastor of ICGC, with over 500 youth under his tutelage.
In September of 1987, Pastor Ricky was commissioned by his pastor and General Overseer of ICGC, Dr. Mensa Otabil, to pioneer the first missionary outpost (or branch) of ICGC in Cape Coast, a city which spawned a high casualty rate among ministers of the gospel, and venerated its 77 gods - with ethnic and cultural pride. The 'Hand of God' was without a doubt upon him; beginning with a handful of people, he raised a church of over four hundred in a 2 ½ year period, despite the intense spiritual opposition and attacks. He pastored this church until migrating to the United States in 1990.
Ministry in USA:
In the United States, Pastor Rick has served in various ministries, prominent among them being Victory Outreach Ministries International, a missionary church of global reach, committed to reaching the down and out; the rejects of society. He served as Director of one of their Drug & Alcohol Re-Entry facilities/homes, living with his wife among those they ministered to and discipled: ex-convicts, drug addicts, gang members and plain street folk. He also taught extensively at "VOSOM" (Victory Outreach School of Ministry), at the organization’s national headquarters in La Puente, California.
Birth of ICGC in the US:
In 1995, Pastor Rick again pioneered the first international branch of ICGC in Eagle Rock, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. Sensing a call to cross-cultural missions, he championed the planting of a multi-racial, cultural and ethnic church, in response to the escalating racial polarization and tensions in the US in general, and California (Los Angeles) in particular. The racial tensions and mayhem that characterized the Los Angeles riots, was in large measure, fueled by the nationally-televised beating of Rodney King, (a ‘black’ motorist, by a group of ‘white’ police officers), and the O.J Simpson murder trial and verdict. At its inaugural ceremony, ICGC touted worshipers from over 17 nationalities, essentially from “every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation” (Rev 5:9), undoubtedly a beautiful mosaic and reflection of racial and ethnic unity and harmony.
In 2002, Pastor Rick founded Cutting-Edge Ministries, a para-church training and equipping ministry, committed to providing support to fellow pastors in the renewing, training and equipping of their staff, workers and leaders for church growth and enhanced missional effectiveness. Oftentimes, training seminars designed to last only a couple of weeks, would last several months. At the height of some of these Schools of Ministry, the Spirit of God would usher the local church into revival, leading to church attendance doubling.
Passion and Burden:
Emerging out of post-colonial Ghana, a country still dealing with the vestiges of British colonial rule, over twenty years ago, and thrust into the often hostile Los Angeles race culture, Pastor Rick Donkor believes that racial healing and reconciliation is still possible in America, if the Church will step up to the plate and quit sweeping the issue under the rug. The statement below, encapsulates the essence of his burden and passion:
"Our society” he says, is increasingly becoming pluralistic; it is vital therefore that the church stay sensitive to the racial and cultural dynamics reshaping our society and cities today, if it is to maintain its relevance and sustain its impact. “Furthermore,” Rick asserts, “the Church needs to undergo a paradigm shift: from its comfortable image as the Body of Christ to a more proactive and engaging role as the Army of God. It is with this mentality, that we can march forward triumphantly and repossess territories in our society currently occupied by Satan."
Rick’s philosophy of “Turning Offenders into World Contenders” – through Christ, stems from his own personal story, one of being the pure product of the mercy and unmerited favor of Almighty God.
Education and Gifting:
Rick Donkor holds a Master's Degree in Inter-Cultural Studies from the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, California. He is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree in Public Health at California State University, Northridge, California, concurrently with a Doctor of Ministry degree at his alma mater, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He combines a strong teaching gift with an evangelistic fervor. His pastoral heart and sensitivity keep him in touch with his audiences.
Ricky is married to his lovely wife, Felicia, and they have been blessed with three wonderful kids: Sharon, Jude and Chantel. His ministry will undoubtedly impact your life, church and ministry.
P.S. Be on the look-out for his soon-to be-released book
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