Yamoah, Albert Kwesi

Church of the Lord (Aladura)

Kwesi Yamoah, also known as Kwesi Mainu, or John Prane, was born in 1911, at Agona Abodom, in the Central Region of Ghana. His father was Nana George Kwaw Yamoah, an ex-chief of Agona Abodom, and his mother was Madam Kate Yamoah, popularly known as Madam Akosua Apoh.

He was the first-born of nine children. Yamoah took up a teaching appointment shortly after his elementary education. He was a musician and pioneered the formation of the famous Konkoma music groups of the Gold Coast era. He enlisted in the Royal West Frontier and served until the end of the Second World War. He later joined the Native Authority Police Force of the Gold Coast and after several transfers, was stationed at Agona Swedru. Judging from his diligence, he could have risen to the rank of a Police Inspector but was limited because of his excessive drinking.

In the period 1952-54, Suku Davies, who had by then, established the Church of the Lord (Aladura) at Swedru, miraculously brought Yamoah into his fold. To the amazement of his family and friends, Yamoah stopped drinking. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and started preaching, teaching the Word of God, casting out evil spirits, and healing people. He sometimes ministered in this way in his office at the police station in Swedru. As a result of these activities, the wife of the Deputy Commissioner of Police introduced Albert Kwesi Yamoah to Mr. Kojo Botsio and his wife, Ruth.

Mr. Botsio was an Oxford University graduate, who was then one of the leading Cabinet Ministers of the First Republic of Ghana under President Kwame Nkrumah. The Botsios were so affected by the religious activities of Bishop Yamoah that they soon found him indispensable in all their plans. On their advice, he resigned from the Native Authority Police Service to stay with them in their Accra residence at Kokomlemle, in 1956.

Mrs. Ruth Botsio became a warm adherent of the church after she was healed in 1959, and more particularly, a patroness of Bishop Yamoah, who effected the cure by his prayer, holy water, and fasting for her. Both Mr. Botsio and his wife had encouraged Yamoah to set up his own semi-independent church on similar lines in the Accra suburb of Osu, in 1957. To facilitate his pastoral duties, the Botsios provided him with a motor- bike, and later, a Peugeot car. Through them, Bishop Yamoah became acquainted with a good number of dignitaries, especially of the ruling party (CPP) members. Some of them contributed considerably toward advancing Yamoah’s pastoral ministry. Mr. and Mrs. Botsio gave their house, number 200 at Osu, to the church, and it was used as the headquarters of the Church of the Lord (Ghana) for many years. Albert Kwesi Yamoah held the view that ‘whatever is worth doing is worth doing well’ Consequently, although he could preach effectively, heal the sick and see visions, he felt he needed some institutional training. So he joined forces with the Aladura Organisation and was sent to their Pastors Training College at Freetown Sierra Leone, in November 1958. He received his training under the direct tutorship of Dr. E.O.A. Adejobi (Ph.D. Glasgow), later, Primate of Aladura International.

Originally, the training programme was spread over three years. Nonetheless, given his experience, ability, and intelligence, coupled with the fact that he was needed in Ghana, Yamoah was ordained as a substantive minister on 25 January 1959, after having gone through the course for barely three months.

Back in Ghana from his training, Yamoah continued with the propagation of the Word of God under the Aladura banner. Around this time, he met Georgina Iffy Mensah, a graduate of Wesley College Kumasi, who became his wife and partner. The wedding ceremony at Ogere, Nigeria, was officiated by J.O. Oshitelu, the founder and first Primate of Aladura International. The Spirit-filled Georgina accepted the challenge of the call of her husband and gave him moral and spiritual assistance. She later gave herself up for the ministry and rose through the ranks to the position of Senior Prophetess. She died in February 1985, after a short illness. Bishop and Senior Prophetess Yamoah leave behind six children.

The major concern of Albert Kwesi Yamoah was the personal relationship between people and God. For this reason, he did not interfere in the inter-church conflict and refrained from all political activities. He acknowledged, according to God’s commandments, opposing all forms of discrimination based on race or colour. In addition to the Ten Commandments, he demanded that all his ministers and congregations become obedient to the authority of the State and love one another. He forbade pork meat, snails, and crab, teaching his congregation to keep away from what was evil, and to love what was good, holding to justice, moral purity, keeping every religious practice, which would help to bring people and the nation together in harmony, and finally seeking to maintain discipline in the church.

As the first Patriarch, he trained many ministers, most of whom are now heading independent churches in Ghana and elsewhere. Most of the ministers, within the Church of the Lord (Ghana) itself, were trained and ordained by him. He also became the National Advisor to the Pentecostal Association of Ghana (PAG), an ecumenical body of African Independent Churches in Ghana. He took part in the training of ministers at the Good News Training Institute (GNTI), a theological institution for leaders and members of African Independent Churches (AICs). He tried to abolish the so-called ‘holy names’ (power words) in the church’s hymn book. He also laid the foundation of the church at Labone, which has now been named after him.

In 1970 and 1971, Bishop Yamoah preached that the nation should fast and pray to obtain ‘divine intervention’ in solving the country’s multi-million-cedi debts: “Although Ghana is deeply indebted, I can assure those who trust in God that if they fast, our debts shall be written off.” He pronounced a week-long fast for the entire nation so that the Lord would intervene in handling the international debts. He waited in vain for the government’s green light to go ahead.

In his speech at the 1971 Tabborra Festival, Bishop Yamoah, among other things, said:

“You are all aware that our motherland, Ghana, is in the throes of all economic convulsion. She needs all the help of her sons and daughters spiritually, morally, and materially. This can be achieved if Ghanaians, irrespective of their political affiliations, give of their best to support government efforts to resuscitate the economy of the country.” [1]

Bishop Yamoah made two trips overseas. In 1978, he visited the UK on a holiday but used the period to investigate the possibility of establishing a church in London for his supporters who lived there. In October 1980, he was the only Ghanaian Bishop among twenty other Africans who attended a two-day conference of the World Council of Churches in Edinburgh. He reexamined the possibilities of opening a church and inspected some premises for the purpose. The idea had not been abandoned when he died.

All these years, Bishop Yamoah was the pastor for the Osu branch. In 1980, on his return from the conference, he was appointed to a position of supervisory duties in the entire organization. The Osu branch was then taken over by his wife, Georgina, who had been promoted to the position of a Senior Prophetess. Bishop Yamoah then had enough time to work on his missionary vision. He toured the stations and preached the Word of God with authority at each station.

Albert Kwesi Yamoah died on Tuesday, April 30, 1985, exactly three months after his wife Rev. Mother Georgina Iffy Mensah, was laid to rest.

Joseph Eshun, Raymond Essanddoh and Mercy Y. Nsiah


  1. 1 G.E.K. Owusu, Article in Flamingo Magazine, London, 1990.

This biography is reprinted with permission from: Joseph Eshun, Raymond Essandoh and Mercy Y. Nsiah. “The Church of the Lord (Ghana)” in The History of African Independent Churches - Book One, eds., Mary Bjork, Lynn Hansen and Thomas A. Oduro, (Accra: Type Company Limited, 2022), 1-35. This biography has been edited for posting on the DACB website. All rights reserved.