In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.
“The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple….
“The word of the LORD came to Solomon: ‘As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfil through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel” – 1 Kings 6 vs 1-11 (New International Version).
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The above Biblical reference is a snapshot of what is arguably the most wonderful piece of architectural edifice ever produced by any man on earth – King Solomon’s Temple.
Indeed, in the subsequent verses, the Bible gives a vivid description of King Solomon’s temple, highlighting the awesome internal and external decoration, that only leaves one’s imagination running wild.
That temple was built somewhere in the Middle East, far away from Ghana, and thousands of years ago, which makes it a lost piece of historical reality in the minds of many Ghanaians.
But just in the heart of Ghana’s capital, at Dzorwulu, stands a magnificent building that can best fit the description of Ghana’s version of King Solomon’s Temple.
The Perez Dome
The Perez Dome, the main auditorium of the Perez Chapel International, does not come anywhere near King Solomon’s Temple, but it is, no doubt, a wonderful piece of architecture to behold.
It is magnificent in structure, mind-blowing in architectural design and resplendent in décor.
The design of the Perez Dome is so unique that no company could be found in Ghana and even Nigeria to roof it. The church had to bring in experts from the US to fix the 60-metre span of roof.
On a visit to the church recently, President John Mahama was said to have remarked that if there was anything like Seven Wonders of Ghana, the Perez Dome would certainly be one of them.
Indeed, many people have also described it as one of the wonders of architecture in Ghana, and that explains the frequent visit people from all walks of life pay to the church’s premises to savour the beauty of the building.
Inspiration behind Perez Dome
With a seating capacity of 14,000, the Perez Dome may be the largest auditorium in the country. If that measurement is difficult for anyone to appreciate, a much easier way to bring it home, perhaps, is that, it is about 10 times the capacity of the main auditoria of the Accra International Conference Centre and the National Theatre.
“We don’t know of any auditorium, be it church facility or public building, with a bigger capacity than Perez Dome,” the media representative of the church, Rev Raymond Acquah, submits.
He says the building of the Perez Dome is also for the sake of posterity, adding, “As the ministry grows, it became necessary that something of this magnitude is built.”
Rev Acquah says the inspiration is also to build a facility that reflects the goodness of God, and a centre where saints will gather to undertake missionary work.
Venue for religious events
There cannot be a better place to worship God than the Perez Dome because given its ambience and serene environment, praises, worship and supplications of the congregation will surely ascend into heaven.
The fascination about the Perez Dome lies in its sheer size and architectural beauty.
No wonder it has become a preferred venue for the organisation of many religious activities, both local and international.
Already, it has hosted many renowned international preachers and music celebrities, including Morris Cellulo, Don Moen and quite recently, Kirk Franklin.
The Kirk Franklin show attracted one of the biggest patronage of a musical programme in Accra, as the crowd overflowed the 14,000-capacity dome.
The inability of thousands of people to enter the auditorium drew critical comments against the organisers, Multimedia Group, some of which criticisms rubbed off the church.
But Rev Acquah says the church had no hand in the organisation of the programme.
According to him, the church had hosted big events in the past, including watch night services, during which the Perez Dome got full, but the events had always passed smoothly due to good management.
“Even in the case of Don Moen, it was free of charge, but we held our own,” he remarks.
Meaning of Perez
Perez biblically means “breakthrough” as recorded in Genesis 38 vs 29.
Long before the Word Miracle Church International was renamed the Perez Chapel International, the Perez Dome existed, and so it is possible the name of the dome must have influenced the re-christening and rebranding of the church.
As the largest auditorium in the country, the Perez Dome is looking forward to hosting many high-profile religious programmes in the future.
But for the avoidance of doubt, Rev Acquah is quick to signal that the doors to the dome are firmly closed to secular events.
“This is God’s temple, so we want it to be used for purposes to glorify God,” Rev Acquah remarks.
By Kofi Yeboah / Daily Graphic / Ghana