Charismatisation of the Salvation Army, Ghana: Challenges and Way Forward




Salvation Army, Christianity, Charismatics, Pentecostals, Africa


Until recently, the Salvation Army of Ghana was widely considered the only historic mission Christian denomination that has managed to ward off the onslaught of the main features of the charismatic movement in Ghana. Through information derived from the historical and phenomenological methods, particularly interview schemes and observation, this paper discusses the main reasons for a gradual introduction into the mainstream of the Salvation Army Ghana’s unique prayer groups, which are bringing hitherto “restricted” spiritual gifts to the forefront. The paper further argues that despite the popularity of the prayer groups and their activities among the grassroots membership of the Salvation Army, the groups are facing internal and external challenges that could jeopardise their spiritual and material benefits. The paper attempts to examine some of the immediate measures that could be undertaken, not only to incorporate the prayer groups and retain their membership in the Salvation Army, but also to ensure the continuous survival of the Salvation Army in Ghana and the rest of Africa.


Metrics Loading ...


Aboagye Aryeh, Daniel Nii. 2015. “A Study of Prophetism in the Gospels and Gã South Municipal Area: A Way Forward for Prophetic Ministry in Ghana’s Christianity.” All Nations University Journal of Applied Thought 4 (1): 196–221.

Aboagye Aryeh, Daniel Nii. 2020. “Mission Financing: The Case of Contemporary Prophetic Ministry.” In Ghana in Pentecostalism, Charismaticism and Neo-Prophetic Movements Journal (PECANEP) 1 (4) (September): 67–78. DOI:

Adoboli, Francis. 2018. “Charismaticism in the Roman Catholic Church: A Study of the Charismatic Renewal Movement in The Archdiocese of Accra.” PhD thesis, University of Ghana.

Adubofour, Samuel B. 2020. “Renewal and Revivalism in Ghanaian Methodism: The Catalytic Role of Prayer Fellowships.” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies (ERATS) 6 (8): 374–376.;;

Adubofuor, Samuel B., and Hosea Osei. 2020. “Renewal and Revivalism in Ghanaian Methodism: The Catalytic Role of Prayer Fellowships.” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies (ERATS) 6 (8) (November): 374–385. DOI:

Agbeti, J. Kofi. 1986. West African Church History: Christian Missions and Church Foundations: 1482–1919. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Albrecht, Daniel E. 1999. Rites in the Spirit: A Ritual Approach to Pentecostal/Charismatic Spirituality. Santa Cruz, California: Sheffield Academic Press.

Ampong, E. A., and F. Benyah. 2017. “Imposition of Hands: A Theological Assessment of Contemporary Ghanaian Christian Exorcistic Practice.” Trinity Journal of Church and Theology 19 (1) (March): 84–108.

Anderson, Allan H. 2014. An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity, 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Anderson, George Jnr. 2019. “Ghana’s Neo-prophetic Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity: Future Prospects.” E-Journal of Theological and Religious Studies 1 (1) (February): 16–27.

Anto, Isaac. 2011. The Office of the Prophet. Accra: Nobles Multimedia.

Asamoah-Gyadu, J. Kwabena. 2004. “Mission to ‘Set the Captives Free’: Healing, Deliverance, and Generational Curses in Ghanaian Pentecostalism.” International Review of Mission 93 (370–371): 389–406. DOI:

Asamoah-Gyadu, J. Kwabena. 2005. African Charismatics: Current Development within Independent Indigenous Pentecostalism in Ghana. Leiden: Koninklijke, Brill NV. DOI:

Asamoah-Gyadu, J. Kwabena. 2010. Taking Territories and Raising Champions: Contemporary Pentecostalism and the Changing Face of Christianity in Africa 1980–2010. Accra: Trinity Theological Seminary.

Asamoah-Gyadu, J. Kwabena. 2013. Contemporary Pentecostal and Christianity Interpretations from an African Context. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers. DOI:

Asamoah-Gyadu, J. and Kwabena. 2018. “Charismatic Renewal in the Traditional Historic Mission Denominations.” In Christianity in Ghana, Volume I, A Postcolonial History, edited by J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 116–117.

Asamoah-Gyadu, J.and Kwabena. 2021. “In the Power of the Spirit: Towards a Pentecostal Theoretical Framework for Missiology in Africa.” In African Bears Witness: Mission Theology and Praxis in the 21st Century, edited by Harvey Kwiyani. Nairobi: African Theological Network Press.

Assimeng, Max. 1989. Religion and Social Change in West Africa. Accra: Ghana Universities Press.

Atiemo, Abamfo. 1993. The Rise of the Charismatic Movement in the Mainline Churches in Ghana. Accra: Asempa Publishers, 46–47.

Atiemo, Abamfo. 1995. “Deliverance in the Charismatic Churches in Ghana.” Trinity Journal of Church and Theology 4 (1994–1995): 39–49.

Ayegboyin, D., and Ademola Ishola. 1997. African Indigenous Churches: A Historical Perspective. Lagos: Greater Heights Publications.

Baëta, C. G. 1962. Prophetism in Ghana: A Study of Some “Spiritual” Churches. London: SCM Press.

Bediako, Kwame. 1995. Christianity in Africa: The Renewal of a Non-Western Religion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Benyah, Francis. 2018. “Commodification of the Gospel and the Socio-economics in Ghana.” Legon Journal of the Humanities 29 (2). DOI:

Booth, William. 2010. Purity of Heart. London: Salvation Army Books.

Burns, Allan. 2012. Founding Vision for a Future Army, Spiritual Renewal and Mission in The Salvation Army. London: Shield Book.

Coleman, Simon. 2000. The Globalisation of Charismatic Christianity: Spreading the Gospel of Prosperity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Coleman, Simon. 2006. “Studying ‘Global’ Pentecostalism Tensions, Representations and Opportunities.” Pentico Studies 5 (1): 1–17.

Dulin, John. 2021. “Charismatic Christianity’s Hard Cultural Forms and the Local Patterning of the Divine Voice in Ghana.” American Anthropologist 123 (1): 108–119. DOI:

Ghana Statistical Service Records. 2021. “Population and Housing Census.”

Gifford, Paul. 2004. Ghana’s New Christianity: Pentecostalism in a Globalizing African Economy. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Goodman, Felicitas D. 1995. “The Sacred Self: A Cultural Phenomenology of Charismatic Healing.” Anthropology of Consciousness 6 (2): 41–52. DOI:

Hamon, B. 1990. Prophets and the Prophetic Movement: God’s Prophetic Move Today. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image.

Haynes, Naomi.2017. Moving by the Spirit: Pentecostal Social Life on the Zambian Copperbelt. Berkeley: University of California Press. DOI:

Hillerbrand, Hans J. 2009. The Protestant Reformation. New York: Perennial. DOI:

Hocken, Peter. 2009. The Challenges of the Pentecostal, Charismatic and Messianic Jewish Movement: Tensions of the Spirit. Farnham, England: Ashgate.

Kaunda, Chammah J. 2021. “Neo-Prophetism and Re-branding of Missio Dei in African Christianity.” In Africa Bears Witness: Mission Theology and Praxis in the 21st Century, edited by Harvey Kwiyani. Nairobi: African Theological Network Press.

Kodua, Alfred. 2018. “Classical Pentecostalism in Ghana.” In Christianity in Ghana Volume I, A Postcolonial History, edited by J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 136–140.

Kwiyani Harvey C. 2020. Multicultural Kingdom: Ethnic Diversity, Mission and the Church. London: SCM Press.

Larbi, Kingsley E. 2001. Pentecostalism: The Eddies of Ghanaian Christianity. Accra: Centre for Charismatic and Pentecostal Studies.

Maribei, Peter, and Kyama Mugambi. 2021. “Contextualised Mission and Theological Education in the Global South: A Case Study from East Africa.” In Africa Bears Witness: Mission Theology and Praxis in the 21st Century, edited by Harvey Kwiyani. Nairobi: African Theological Network Press.

McDonnell, Kilian, and George T. Montague. 1994. Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries, second revised edition. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press.

Methodist Church Ghana. 2005. Resource Manual of Evangelism, Mission and Renewal Subdivision of the Methodist Church Ghana. Accra: Wesley Press.

Meyer, Birgit. 2015. Sensational Movies: Video, Vision, and Christianity in Ghana. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Mugambi Kyama M. 2020. A Spirit of Revitalization: Urban Pentecostalism in Kenya. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press.

Munn, Janet, and Stephen Courts. 2014. Army on its Knees, Dynamics of Great Commission Prayers. Croydon: CPI Group UK.

Oborji, Francis A. 2003. “Missiology in an African Context: Toward a New Language.” Missiology 31 (3) (July). DOI:

Ocheltree, Carolyn. 1990. “Wesleyan Methodist Perceptions of William Booth.” Methodist History 28 (4).

Oduro, James, and Samuel Baah. 2000. Riches for Christ, A History of the Salvation Army in Ghana, 1922–2000. Accra: Samaska Press.

Ofori-Atta, A, J. Attafuah, H. Jack, F. Baning, and R. Rosenheck. 2018. “Joining Psychiatric Care and Faith Healing in a Prayer Camp in Ghana: Randomised Trial.” The British Journal of Psychiatry 212: 34–41. DOI:

Ojo, Matthews. 2006. The End-time Army: Charismatic Movements in Modern Nigeria. Trenton, NJ: African World Press.

Ogbu, Kalu. 2008. African Pentecostalism: An Introduction. Oxford: University of Oxford Press. DOI:

Okyere, Philip Kwadwo. 2018. “Rethinking Prayer Mountains as Sacred Spaces in Contemporary Ghanaian Christianity.” PhD thesis, University of Ghana, 151, 220, 224.

Omenyo, Cephas N. 2005. “From the Fringes to the Centre: Pentecostalization of the Mainline Churches in Ghana.” Exchange 34 (1): 36–46. DOI:

Omenyo, Cephas N. 2006. Pentecost Outside Pentecostalism: A Study of Development of Charismatic Renewal in the Mainline Churches in Ghana. Utrecht: Boekencentrum Publishing House.

Omenyo, Cephas N., and W. A. Arthur. 2013. “The Bible Says! Neo-Prophetic Hermeneutics in Africa.” Studies in World Christianity 19 (1): 50–70. DOI:

Opare-Kwakye, Nana. 2018. “The Presbyterian Church of Ghana.” In Christianity in Ghana Volume I: A postcolonial History, edited by J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers.

Orogun, Daniel, and Jerry Pillay. 2021. “Between African and American Neo-Pentecostalism: An Examination of the Link, Influence, Merits and Demerits.” Studia Historiae Ecclesiaticae. DOI:

Osei, Hosea. 2016. “Spiritual Renewal Programmes in Ghanaian Christianity: The Approach of the Methodist Church Ghana, Kumasi Diocese.” MA dissertation, Christian Service University College.

Oyebowale Oyetade, Michael. 2020. “A Study of Speaking in Tongues in Acts and 1 Corinthians and its Use and Abuse in Some Selected Contemporary Churches in Nigeria.” Stellenbosch Theological Journal 6 (1). DOI:

Parrinder, Geoffrey E. 1963. The Church and Ghana Society. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

Pondani, Simbarashe. 2019. “Prophets of Doom: The Phenomenon of Healing and Power Dynamics in Neo-Pentecostal African Churches.” Master of Theology, Stellenbosch University.

Quayesi-Amakye, Joseph. 2011. "Prosperity and Prophecy in African Pentecostalism." Journal of Pentecostal Theology 20 (2): 291–305. DOI:

Robbins, Joel. 2004. “The Globalization of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity.” Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 117–43. DOI:

Sarbah, Cosmas Ebo. 2014. “The Planting of Christianity in Ghana.” In Trinity Journal of Church and Theology 18 (2): 7–26.

Taylor, M. Gwendoline. 1988. William Booth Prophet and General. London: The Campfield Press.

The General of the Salvation Army. 1974. Orders and Regulations for Officers, Volume One: Principles, and Volume Two: Procedures. London: The Campfield Press.

The General of the Salvation Army. 1997. Orders and Regulations for Officers. London: The Salvation Army Press.

The General of The Salvation Army. 2018. Ceremonies by Authority of the General. London: The Salvation Army Press.

Tsekpoe, Christian. 2019. “Contemporary Prophetic and Deliverance Ministry Challenges in Africa.” Transformation 36 (4): 280. DOI:

Wariboko, Nimi. 2014. Nigerian Pentecostalism. Rochester, New York; University of Rochester Press.

Warner, R. 1995. Prepare for Revival. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Yalley, Doris E. 2018. “Ghanaian Methodist Spirituality in Relation with Neo-Pentecostalism.” Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology 8 (1: 125–141.




How to Cite

Sarbah, Cosmas Ebo, and Isaac Boapeah. 2023. “Charismatisation of the Salvation Army, Ghana: Challenges and Way Forward”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 49 (3):10 pages.



Received 2023-03-27
Accepted 2023-08-28
Published 2023-09-27