Church Planting Continues to Multiply in West Africa 

Rich Kopp lives by these words, and the evidence is in the fruitful church planting plan he helped launch in West Africa.

Rich, an Open Bible minister, church planter, missionary-at-large, and co-founder of the Church Planting Academy, collaborates with other experienced church planters to train teams of new church planters in Ghana and Liberia. Beginning this fall, they will be expanding into Kenya.

A recent graduating class of the Church Planting Academy.

It all started in 2014 when Twum Bosiako, Open Bible’s director in Ghana, invited Rich to Ghana to hold evangelistic meetings. While Rich was there, Twum, who also happened to be Rich’s Bible college friend from the early 1970’s, lamented the declining numbers of churches in Ghana. As they conversed, the Holy Spirit reminded Rich of a church planting plan he helped write years earlier. While a good plan, it never got off the ground in the United States. What if it could work in Africa? After praying, teaming up with another friend, Nick Mahabir, and contextualizing the program for Africa, Rich and his team launched the first month-long Church Planting Academy in Ghana in 2016.

Kofi Gyansah and Dominic Darkwa were part of that first group of students. At the Academy, two prospective church planters are partnered together to sit, learn, take tests, and get evaluated as two-member teams. After a month of training, they’re sent out as a team to plant a new church. Many graduates plant churches in their own communities in unchurched areas, allowing them to continue to support their families. Others go to outlying communities where there is no Gospel witness or where there are believers who aren’t able to attend church regularly because of distance.

Graduates of the Church Planting Academy have begun no fewer than twenty churches in Ghana and Liberia in just under eight years.

Kofi and Dominic started their church plant in their nearby community in Kumasi, a city in the south. Today, Kofi’s and Dominic’s church is a thriving church plant full of young people. Their church is expecting to send out church planters soon to plant yet another church. Kofi was invited to become a member of the Academy’s teaching team with Rich and Nick and has since begun leading Open Bible’s church planting ventures and the Academy in Ghana.

The Church Planting Academy produced such good fruit in Ghana that Open Bible’s churches in Liberia wanted to use the training. Victor Dayougar went through the Academy in Liberia and co-planted a church. Rich and Nick invited Victor to teach the evangelism aspect of the Academy training because he was especially gifted in this area. More than just theoretical lessons, Victor’s coursework included hands-on evangelization in the surrounding villages. After taking the first course, teams of two went out and a few days later were able to baptize three of the new converts in the lagoon! What a fantastic way to top off their “homework” assignment!

One of the many church plants started by a Church Planting Academy graduate.

Graduates of the Church Planting Academy have begun no fewer than twenty churches in Ghana and Liberia in just under eight years. In 2024 the Academy will begin in Kenya. Only God knows where He will lead next. These African churches and communities are as diverse as the teams that plant them. But the seeds of the Gospel are sown and grown into the communities, bringing in a harvest. Rich and Twum could never have imagined that God would use their 50-year-old Bible college friendship and a forgotten church planting plan to rekindle the passion for church planting in West Africa.  

Want to invest in the West African church plants? Check out their MVP Giving pages HERE:

Rich & Patti Kopp (Ghana)

Ghana Church Planting Academy

Tammy Swailes

Tammy Swailes is passionate about cross-cultural Christian education, so working with INSTE Global Bible College to disciple and equip leaders throughout Europe and beyond is a great fit! Tammy has lived in Europe since 1999 – first in Hungary and now Ukraine. Before that, she was in Japan, as well as Spokane, Washington. She now serves as INSTE regional director in Europe, assisting INSTE programs in five languages. Tammy has her undergraduate degrees in both Missions and Christian Education, and a MA in Intercultural Studies. Photography, good coffee, multi-cultural experiences, and the family’s Yorkie are some of Tammy’s favorite things. 

Message of the Open Bible © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.