International Central Gospel Church was originally founded in Ghana, West Africa, with about twenty committed members, mostly high school students. The group, under the leadership of Dr. Mensa Otabil, believed they had received a mandate from God to establish a model indigenous church which would most authentically reveal God’s pattern, plan and purpose for His Church (the Body of Christ). The church was officially inaugurated on February 26, 1984.
Despised by many, especially from the established mainline churches, but armed with a sense of mission, destiny, conviction, and above all, a raw passion for the Lord, the young church began growing steadily. The first three years were very tumultuous, as the fledgling church was tossed about from one meeting place to another. These early meetings places included classrooms, a private residence, a science lab, a machinery shop and a cinema theatre. From its official inauguration in February, 1984 to April 1986, the church experienced modest growth; membership grew to 180 adults in regular attendance. In May 1986, the church settled in a rental Boys’ Scout Facility, the Baden-Powell Memorial Hall. This became its home for the next ten (10) years, during which time it grew to over 4000 in regular weekly attendance.
Currently, the membership of the mother church, designated as ‘Christ Temple’, stands in the tens of thousands. From these very humble beginnings, over 450 vibrant daughter-churches and congregations have been established in Africa, Europe, the United States and Canada.
Pastor Rick Donkor was a member of I.C.G.C from its very inception. Ironically, he was called into the ministry the same year, and at the same Camp Meeting that ICGC was born. He served as a member of the Missions and Outreach team. In this capacity, he spearheaded evangelistic crusades and revival meetings in high schools, colleges, universities, churches and Christian fellowships. He was later appointed by his pastor and served as ICGC’s first Youth Pastor, with over five hundred youth under his tutelage and pastoral oversight.
In September 1987, Pastor Rick was again commissioned by his pastor, Dr. Otabil, to pioneer ICGC’s first missionary outpost or branch. In this city (Cape Coast), and together with a handful of people, God raised a dynamic church of over four hundred members, within a two and a half-year period. Some of the fruit of this missionary enterprise are today pastors of some of the branch churches of ICGC.
Today, the membership of ICGC includes many from all levels of the political, social and economic spectrum. Initially designated an ‘inferior’ status by some from the upper echelons of society, ICGC has today evolved into a respectable and veritable power-house, touting a first–class private, tertiary university, scholarship schemes for many aspiring towards higher education, not to mention the many community and social developmental programs and accomplishments also to its credit.
This, undoubtedly, is a testament to the grace of God and the leadership of His servant, Dr. Mensa Otabil, and the hundreds of faithful pastors, ministers and associates that God brought, and continues to raise, to serve with him in the ministry.