The founder and leader of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Pastor Mensa Otabil, has disclosed he started his church from the classroom and the Central University College from a garage.
Dr Otabil disclosed this at a Business Roundtable organised by Yamson and Associates in Accra on Wednesday 31 May on the theme: “Making Ghana Entrepreneurial”.
Talking about his credentials in entrepreneurship, Dr Otabil told the gathering: “When it comes to entrepreneurship, although I’m a pastor, I started a church from a classroom and I started a university from a garage, so I think I have some record in that area.”
He noted that entrepreneurship comes naturally to Ghanaians but the challenge for most people is the ability to sustain their businesses.
“If you tell people from other Western societies to start a business, the whole concept of starting something on their own is quite a daunting one but for the Ghanaian, starting a business almost comes naturally. The challenge we have is not the ability to start, it is the ability to sustain and scale up,” he said.
ICGC was officially inaugurated as a church on the 26th of February, 1984 in Accra with an initial membership of just about 20 people.
From February 1984 to April 1986, the membership grew to about 180 adults in regular attendance. The early meetings of the church were held in several facilities which included classrooms, a private residence, a public hall, a science laboratory, a mechanical workshop, and a cinema theatre.
In May 1986, the church settled in a rented scout hall – the Baden Powell Memorial Hall – which became its home for a decade.
During this 10-year period, the membership rose to over 4,000. Today it has branches across the country and beyond the shores of Ghana.
In 1988, the ICGC established a ministerial institute to train a new generation of leaders to carry out its vision. From the initial six-month certificate course in ministry, the college has developed into the premier private-owned university in Ghana known as the Central University.
Today, Central University is a full-fledged university where students from 26 different countries come to seek knowledge.