Nana Kyere Donkor
Goodnews Assemblies of God has been around for over 10 years, what most people may not know is that before we got our building, we started the church at home.
It started with just the 7 of us. My parents, Siblings and my cousin we called him Uncle ‘Yaw Stone’ Yaw Antwi Donkor. I was less than 10 at the time; before we even had the name Goodnews AoG we were just a family, trying to serve God in our own small way.
I remember late one Saturday afternoon (or early evening) my mother decided that we need a name. “What shall we call our church?” Everyone had a different idea about what we should be called. I remember I wanted something cool like Church of Prayer & Warfare or something.
At first when she said Goodnews everybody was confused, “why GoodNews?” “It’s a boring name”
I remember specifically that I asked what’s the point in being called GoodNews when to me it seemed obvious that we are coming to bring goodnews to people. But the name stuck and Goodnews AoG was born.
Starting anything new is never easy, but the hardest part is starting. We faced many problems and awkward situations while we were on the come up.
We first started holding service at our house, which meant every Sunday waking up early and tidying to get ready for church. I was always confused as to why I had to get dressed even though we were having service at home. “Because one day there will be people here and we need to set a good impression” was always my father’s response. He was always talking about “one day people will join us” but that day didn’t come for almost a whole year and a half.
In that time, we were blessed to have help from Uncle Sam, the person who taught me how to play the piano, I’ll never forget the first 3 chords that I learned to play (C major, F major and G major). He tried teaching all 5 of us but eventually it was me and Maame Konama who showed much interest. She was even better than me at the start,
I remember at Hazel Bottom road she would play for praises and I would play for worship, and whenever I played for praises my dad and uncle would laugh and say I keep playing discord “wo bo discord saaa” was what they used to say.
Not only did we start with having service at home but also rehearsals and singing practise. I remember always competing with my sister to have the lead part in songs (back before my voice broke and my singing was beautiful).
One of the first people to join us was Auntie Nelly’s family (Auntie Nelly, Belgris and Ritchnel). At first Belgris and Ritchnel were both shy but my parents believed that everyone should be given the opportunity to try something new.
They were right. Soon Belgris would lead praises and song ministration (such as Kirk Franklins song “Why we sing”); I remember there were even times when he would copy the way I move on the stage and even the way I held the microphone. I’ve come to realise that the church is my family and my family is the church. This is something that I have had to learn from the beginning. And that family has been on a journey – to put it mildly.
I remember when we started, we were told by numerous different people that the first 5 years are the hardest, but it seems like those five years still haven’t ended yet.
I personally learnt a lot of lessons along the way. People are like clouds, they come and go; but I thank God that He has never left us. Even though the journey has been a very long, hard and frustrating one (much like the children of Israel’s journey of 40 years through the desert). But there’s a reason for everything and I thank God that I have been on this journey. It’s been fun. It’s been wavy, and it’s been lit. It’s shaped my family and given me a family.
Even though we are celebrating 10 years from when we had a building, this is a celebration of much longer than 10 years.
This is the celebration of the lifetime of my family.