A Brief Biography of Apostle William Martey Tetteh (1935-2011), the Founder:
Apostle William Martey Tetteh was a devoted Christian. He is the founder and leader of the Saint Paul Mission church located at South La Estate. Born in La on the 21st of October, 1935 into a Christian family by Mr. and Mrs. Tetteh from Doryumu, the traditional headquarters of Hiowe division of the Shai State in the Shai-Osudoku District in Greater Accra Region. Once he grew up, William Tetteh married Mrs. Elizabeth Tetteh from Osu in the Greater Accra Region. They were blessed with five children; a son and four daughters.
Apostle William Tetteh was a devoted and responsible father to his children. He believed education is the foundation of life and as part of the training and education he gave his kids at home, he sent them to school to be formally educated. He had his formal education form four in Doryumu and advanced to the Technical level still in Doryumu to study typewriting for two years. After completion, he was employed by a private company as a secretary and a typist. Apostle William Martey Tetteh was good at writing minutes during meetings in shorthand for the company, before typing with his typewriter. He was incredibly talented and exceptional, capable of typing sixty (60) to eighty (80) words per minute making him one of the best typists in the country. He worked with the private company for two years before he had his calling from God into service.
Call into Ministry:
Growing up as a young Christian, Apostle William Martey Tetteh never joked with the church. He was baptised and confirmed into the church of Methodist in Doryumu. One bright Sunday morning during church service, he had an encounter with the Holy Spirit which caused a huge transformation in his life. His life was never the same since that day, he, therefore, decided to leave Doryumu for Accra to start his ministry. He started prophesying to people around him and those he encountered along the line. As a result, he was faced with criticism, ridicule, and insults, to the extent that people started calling him a wizard which disturbed him terribly for a while, but he overcame that experience through motivation and assurance from his relatives that his abilities are not a result of witchcraft, but a call from God.
Since then, he isolated himself from society went to a forest at “Israel Tabora” at Abeka Lapaz in Ghana to fast and pray for forty (40) days without food or water. He became more powerful as he availed himself to God and was used extensively by God for His work in the prophetic office. Apostle William Martey Tetteh became so powerful that he would prophesy into the lives of people he just met and two or three days later it is fulfilled.
One Sunday, he was invited to the Church of the Lord, Aladura in Nima, Ghana by a friend. He was drawn to their way of worship and decided to stay to fellowship with them. He played some major roles in the church, like preaching and leading prayer sections for two years before he was sent to the Church of the Lord, Aladura in Nigeria for training. “Aladura” is a Yoruba word meaning “praying people.” The church was started in Nigeria by Dr. Joseph Olunowo Oshitelu in July 1930. William Tetteh was trained in Nigeria for three years, after which he returned to Ghana and was ordained as a Bishop and commissioned to work in the Church of the Lord, Aladura in James Town, Accra for five years.
The church under his leadership at James Town saw an increase in membership because of his hospitality. He started open-air preaching (evangelism) and teaching the word of God with authority. His teachings were mainly centred on salvation. He also trained many ministers, most of whom are now heading other branches of the Church in Ghana today. He continued the open-air preaching and teaching the word of God with authority when posted back to the Nima branch as an Apostle for ten years.
At the Nima branch, William Martey Tetteh was aging and his time was due for retirement. The church, therefore, decided to send him to other branches outside the Greater Accra Region for retirement but he preferred to stay in Accra. He left the Church of the Lord, Aladura to set up a prayer group in the year 1980 which he assigned Apostle Patrick V.C. Tetteh as a head pastor of the prayer group.
Apostle William Tetteh fell critically ill one morning and was quickly rushed to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) hospital in Osu, Accra for treatment. Unfortunately, he lost his life and according to the doctor’s report, “he died of hunger or no food in the stomach” on the 12th of December 2011 at the age of 85. According to Apostle Patrick V.C. Tetteh, “the Late Apostle William was a true man of God who loved to fast and pray without food or water to enhance his spirituality”. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Ahmed Ablorh Annang
- The names of his children are Nartey Tetteh, Lydia Tetteh Naki, Somey Tetteh Naki, Ernestina Tetteh Naki, and Judith Tetteh Naki.
This story was written by Ahmed Ablorh Annang “History of St. Paul Mission Church” in The History of African Independent Churches - Book One, eds., Mary Bjork, Lynn Hansen and Thomas A. Oduro, (Accra: Type Company Limited, 2022), 317-357. All rights reserved.