Mama Erica Afua Ahasu was born on October 17th, 1894 at Agate in the Volta Region of Ghana. Her father was Kodjo Ahasu from the Agokpe clan of Agate and her mother was Gbanafe Adegu. Her father was a cocoa and coffee farmer, while her mother was a pot designer and farmer.
At the age of 13, she entered into primary school but had to abandon school after primary three, as parents in those days saw no benefit in girl-child education. She was about 17 years when she was asked by the father to go into an apprenticeship to be trained as a seamstress and baker. She was taught how to sew and bake at Agate and Botoku. The reason for her being in both towns was that her madam had to move from Agate to Botoku in the North Danyi District to continue her work. Mama Erica was an apprentice for four years. While learning, she was also engaged in wax- prints trading.
Mama Erica’s greatest desire was to become a Christian, but her parents were against it. They worshiped a god called “Gadze”, the supreme god, in addition to the deities named Atigeli and Konde. The name of their shrine was “Gadze shrine.” Her God-father, Fridolin Doh, who was her mother’s senior brother, adopted her. After going through the baptismal lessons, she was baptised in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (E.P.C), Agate-Volta Region. Mr. Fridolin Doh was an E.P.C. member.
Her parents, at first, did not want to accept her stand, but they later allowed her to do what pleased her, since they were convinced that the gods did not have an interest in her. This is because, since she was born, she did not show interest in participating in the rituals, ceremonies, and festivals, which were done in honour of the gods and the ancestors. She had no interest in going to the shrine and never participated in their practices. The daughter said, “To our forefathers, anyone who must worship them must show interest when he or she is young since it is the gods and the spirits who call; without that no one can force anyone.”
Later, Mama Erica married Gotlieb Atubra from Have, in the Volta Region of Ghana, who was a cocoa farmer at Menusu Buem in the Jasikan District. As the result of his farming activities and their dream of becoming a resourceful couple in the future, both Mama Erica and her husband moved to Dzogbekofe, a village in Togo, where she helped her husband develop a big cocoa farm. There, she gave birth to 13 children with her husband.
Mama Erica Afua Ahasu was a tidy woman both in and outside of the house. She developed the habit of painting the sign of the cross on the floor after cleaning and polishing their room. The reason in those days was understood to only be her interest. But according to those who were interviewed for this paper, today “we see it as God’s way of calling her. God was preparing her to focus on His Son Jesus.”
One day Comfort Afi, the last born of Mama, was affected by convulsion “devidor,” which led her into unconsciousness. She was taken to traditional healers, but they could not heal her. Mama Erica later brought Comfort to Christian Assembly Church at Agate, but nothing was done. Finally, she sent Comfort to Prophet T. K. Bor, who was then leading the Tei-Krom Prayer Society at Tei-Krom, which is now Peaceful Healing Church.
Though the Prophet did what he could do by the direction of the Holy Spirit, the child died after three days, and so Mama brought Comfort’s body back to Agate. Armed with her faith, Mama Erica did not tell anyone about it, but locked herself and the dead child in a room for three days and prayed for the resurrection of the child. To her surprise, the body did not rot. Rather, after those three days of intensive prayers, the Lord answered her prayers and brought the dead child back to life. This was apparently a miracle of God in her life that no one could explain. As a result, she took the name Akofa, meaning that God had comforted her after all her years of toil and anxiety.
She later joined the Peaceful Healing Church in 1955 and was appointed an apostle. She joined the Church to thank God for what He had done for her and to continue what God was doing in her life. Also, Prophet Bor saw that she could be of good use in the ministry, so he told her to become the prophet and wanted to develop her for the Lord’s use. She first joined the Peaceful Healing Church at Tei-Krom and later moved to Agate with the founder.
In the church, the Lord used her in many ways. She was once led by the Holy Spirit with Alvin Ankutse, who was one of the twelve apostles in the Peaceful Healing Church, and Irene Abe, who was one of the female apostles in the church, to go on an evangelical tour in Nsawam and surrounding villages in the year 1967. There the Lord used her to perform another miracle by raising a nine year-old child back to life. That child had sufferend from apparently spiritual attacks, convulsions just like those that had killed Comfort.The child was the son of the then chief of Asedzua in the Eastern Region (the name of the son and the chief is not known). After raising the child, an unexpected eagle came to fight them. The eagle held unto the head of Mama Erica and nearly cost them their lives, but after praying, the eagle reportedly fell dead on the ground.
After they returned, Mama Erica went to Juapong in the Volta Region to pray for a sick man who was not able to walk. After praying for him, he was able to walk once again. When she came back, Prophet T. K. Bor, who was also called the High Priest, suspended her in the year 1968 for one year because she did not attain permission before going to Juapong. After the one year suspension, the prophet refused to call her back, so she started operating on her own as a healer in the year 1970.
She first settled at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region as the result of accommodation given to her by Mr. Grant, the seaman, after she healed his mad wife. Mr. Grant told her that if she moves to Ashaiman, she will be of help to others who were suffering like him in the city. After working briefly at Ashaiman, she moved to Kpando Fesi, Volta Region in the North Danyi District. There she established herself as the head of her spiritual healing society. When she decided to leave the Peaceful Healing Church, some people followed her. This included Alvin Ankutse, Janet Nkansah, Michael Azanda, and many others.
In 1975, she appointed Mr. Edwin Agbogah as the leader of her followers that were at Agate. She also appointed Vincent Komla Dah as the prophet of the group. She was acting as the founder and Agbogah as the leader of the group. In 1976 she returned to Agate, her hometown, but she did not settle there because she continued her missionary work.
Though she is doing all these works, she remained faithful and committed to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. However, all those who belonged to spiritual groups or societies were excommunicated from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The reason was that the church saw them as people who were using evil spirits and not working for the true God.
All those who belonged to the so-called “spiritual groups” were not allowed to attend church services. They were not allowed to take part in the sacraments and their names were taken from the membership book of the church. Mama was continually praying for the church no matter what the church was doing to her and the members. When those challenges were over, the E. P. Church called them to come back. The reason was that some of the catechists, and even some pastors on one occasion, visited her for spiritual fortification.
She did not turn her society into the church even though people encouraged her to do that. To her, she was not called to plant a church, rather set up a prayer centre where people will come from all over the world including Muslims, Buddhists, traditionalists, Christians, and so forth, so that their needs and difficulties should be met. Another challenge that she went through was when Prophet Komla Dah conspired with a handful of the apostles to stand against her instruction that apostles were not to live in ways that go against the ten commandments. She was calling for holiness from the apostles. There were, at the time, about 500 apostles.
This brought misunderstanding between her and some members of society. The chiefs in the area tried to settle the issue, but could not. The Christian council at Agate also stepped in but did not succeed. She was directed by the Lord to go to another town, so in 1980, she left Agate and the society and moved to Kpando Fesi in the North Danyi District.
Later, on Easter Sunday in the year 1982, she moved to Nyagbo in the Hohoe South District- Volta Region, Ghana. The reason for her leaving from Kpando to Logba was that she felt led by God to evangelise in that area to win souls. At Logba she spent fifteen solid years, and her stay was a blessing to the people in the Logba community because she became the solution to many of their problems.
During this period, the society grew in strength and 1981, branches were opened in Ikavi- Kope and Efekpa, all in Togo, by Apostle Andrews Andanadzi Koshitor, who was healed by Mama. After his healing, he decided to open a branch in Togo. He was able to register the two branches as churches in Togo under the leadership of the Mama. He placed Mama as the founder of the church in Togo.
In 1996 she came back fully to settle at her hometown Agate from her mission journeys. Prayer and fasting were the sources of her spiritual growth and ability, so she took them very seriously. At her death on 2nd February 2001, she could be proud of about 15 committed branches.
The contribution of Mama was something that we cannot do away with. Though she could not continue her education as she wished, God used her in many ways towards the Christian faith. In the first place, she was able to direct people’s attention toward the Savior. In her day- to-day affairs as a healer, she made the people know that Christ is the healer, and he is the one who can forgive their sins. She warned anyone who came to her not to go to idols or other gods for support, rather they must depend on the Lord. Throughout her lifetime she led over 3000 men and women to Christ. She interceded on behalf of the E.P church and even organised fundraising to support its chapel building at Agate. She was a mother to those who were in need. She took care of orphans, street children, and those who came to her for healing were more than her children. She died on 2nd February 2001 at the age of 107.
This biography is taken with permission from: Kofi Agbadi “Biography of Xornuvi Erica Akorfa Afua Ahasu” in The History of African Independent Churches - Book One, eds., Mary Bjork, Lynn Hansen and Thomas A. Oduro, (Accra: Type Company Limited, 2022), 168-175. This biography has been edited for posting on the DACB website. All rights reserved.