History of COP Finland
The Church of Pentecost, Finland started in September 2000 as a prayer group following the visit of Elder George Arthur, the then leader of The Church of Pentecost Norway, to Brother Henry Sintim. During his visit, Elder Arthur met with a few brethren and shared his vision, which was the establishment of the Church of Pentecost in Finland.
The first prayer meeting was held in the residence of Brother Henry Sintim and his wife Emilia. Brethren who were present at the meeting were as follows: Elder George Arthur, Brother Henry Sintim and his wife Emelia, Elder Alex Asiedu and his wife Anne, Bro Samuel Dadzie, Kwadwo Owusu, Owusu Ansah, Nana Osei-Bonsu, and Kwaku Ackaah Boafo and Sister Mina Pentila. Subsequent meetings were held at the same place.
With time, there was the need to secure a place of meeting in the Helsinki area, in view of the growth of the assembly. Eventually, in the year 2003, the faithful Lord provided a hall in the basement of the Lukas Church, the Swedish branch of the Lutheran church in Helsinki, through the effort of one Pastor Stig – Ul of Feinstrum (a former missionary to the West African State of Senegal) and a very lovely servant of the Lord. He had been engaged in various missionary activities in Africa and the world at large. Until this time, the group was meeting under the name “PENTECOST
In May 2003 the ”Church of Pentecost Intercessory Fellowship” was formally inaugurated by Pastor Thomas Osei during his first visit to Finland raising it to the Status of a Church. In June 2003, the Church had the privilege to move into a more spacious auditorium in the same premises and the meeting days of the church changed from Saturdays to Sundays.
The Church in Finland established contact with Ghana through the Church in Norway, as they were instrumental in the formation of the church in Finland. Within the short period of existence, the Church had grown in numerical strength from 10 to an average adult attendance of 42 and 17 children, which by Finland standard, is good progress. The growth of the church has been through prayers, the word of God, invitation, as well as visitation. Tracts with church venue address and telephone number were designed and given out to people. Elder George Arthur paid regular visits to Finland and encouraged the brethren to persevere in prayers.
The first apostle who visited the church was Apostle Baidoo then IMD. But pastor Thomas from Norway also paid regular visit to the church in Finland. Other Apostles who visited the church in Finland from Ghana are: Apostle Baidoo on two occasions. Apostle Kodua and Apostle Gyima. The Church was again blessed with visitation from the following missionaries from europe; Apostle Asabil(Norway) and Wiafe(Italy), Apostle Gyesi Addo IMD, Apostle Newton(UK), Apostle Andy( Norway). The church also received a good number of pastors from the Church of Pentecost. All these contributed immensely to the growth of the church.
In the early part of 2004, the church experienced a dramatic decrease in its membership as a result of an immigration policy embarked upon by the Finnish government, which compelled some of the members to leave the country.
The Church started to grow again in early 2005 and since then it has grown both in numbers and in spirit.
In February 2001, Apostle S. K. Baidoo, the then National Head of COP, Italy, and coordinator of the churches in Europe invited Elder Alex Asiedu to Norway for a one week Leadership seminar. Following the growth of the Church and increase in Leadership responsibility, in August 2005 two Elders (Samuel Anini and Dr. Mark Appiah), one Deacon (Kwadjo Owusu) and three Deaconesses (Monica Anini, Anne Asiedu and Georgina Otiwa) were ordained by the IMD, Apostle SK Baidoo during his visit to the church in Finland.
Elder Alex Asiedu was the first presiding elder of the Church (2005-2008). With his leadership and vision, the church became a vibrant home for people of every race and cultural background. Its aim has been “Knowing Christ and making Him Known” to others particularly within Helsinki and across the entire nation, Finland. Elder Mark Appiah was the next presiding elder (2009-2010). His term as a presiding elder saw growth and because he was not here often, he asked Elder Samuel Yaw Anini to take major role since Elder Samuel was then the Church national secretary. Elder Samuel Yaw Anini was the last presiding elder before the arrival of Pastor Edmund Appiah. There was growth during his term and the church started Vaasa branch which had its challenges until Pastor Edmund Appiah came and started it all over again. The Akan and English assembly started during His term and started once a month half night prayer service. During his term, we also bought mission house, and requested for resident Pastor. Eventually, Pastor Edmund Appiah was posted to Finland in 2013 and he is now Finland National Head Pastor.
The Current Leaders of the Church in Finland are: Pastor Edmund Yeboah Appiah(Finland National Head), Elder Samuel Yaw Anini(Presiding Elder-Akan Assembly), Elder Ebenezer Amoaning Cofie, Elder Charles Sarfo, Elder David Edwin Asante (Presiding Elder-PIWC), Elder Alex Okyere Asiedu and Elder Ernest Kena- Amoah
There were few misunderstandings but the Church was able to move beyond that by the grace of God.
The Church of Pentecost, Finland has a multi-cultural membership, comprising not only Ghanaians, but also brethren from other nations such as Finland, Poland, and Nigeria, as well as regular visitors from Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and others.
In 2013, the church split into two assemblies with the vision to see growth and gifting to be used by God and again for PIWC to be purely English service for the indigenous and other nationals to be part and feel at home.
As of December 2014, the Church of Pentecost Finland has two main branches; The Akan Assembly with a total members of 71 (Adult and children) and The Pentecost International Worship Center (PIWC) with a total members of (Details to be added soon)
Under the leadership of Pastor Edmund Appiah, plans are underway to establish an NGO to enable the church serve the nation Finland or rest of the world by contributing to education and health.
PROJECTION INTO THE FUTURE:
It is the vision of the Church leaders to see the member’s spiritual growth and prepare them for heaven. In addition, to see many assemblies established across Finland.
The leadership of the Church of Pentecost – Finland is committed, diligent working people who support the ministry through volunteer service. Whatever the task, small or great, they labour together to create a total worship experience that is unique, inspiring and life changing.