Reverend Dr Simon Bamalong Asore, the second African General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Ghana, and one-time member of the Council of State has passed on.
A family spokesman told newsmen at the weekend that he died at the age of 76 after a protracted illness.
Rev. Asore is best remembered for his statesmanship and unyielding pursuit of peace.
In his unique position as member of the Council of State and President of the Ghana Pentecostal Council, he is on record as being the voice that calmed religious tensions, particularly between Christians and African traditional religion adherents over the issue of the ban on noise making during festivals.
By this role, he contributed to inter-faith co-existence in the country,
In an upcoming book on the history of the Assemblies of God, Rev. Asore is cited for bringing about major constitutional changes in the church.
It was during his tenure as General Superintendent that the church’s constitution was amended to, among others, give full status to local assemblies of the church, thereby ending the era of affiliate and associate churches.
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He is also credited with the major re-organisation of the church’s administrative structures, including the abolition of the election of pastors, a move that brought order and discipline to the church leadership.
Spiritually, Rev. Asore’s tenure as General Superintendent is remembered for the ‘Decade of Harvest’, during which period remarkable increases were recorded in church membership.
Born on July 28, 1943 at Pusiga Mandag in the Upper East Region, Rev. Asore was called to full-time ministry in 1969. After many years pastoring a number of assemblies and rising within the ranks, he was elected General Superintendent in 1986.
Under the presidency of Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings in the Fourth Republic, he was made a member of the Council of State from 1996 through 2000. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
He served on many boards and councils, including the Bible Society of Ghana, World Vision International, the Ghana Institute of Literacy and Bible Translation and the Central University College.
Concerned about irresponsible conduct in the pulpit, he set up the Asore Centre for Pastoral Excellence which, through seminars and workshops, sought to promote continuing pastoral education, with a view to instilling maturity among pastors, prophets and evangelists.
Commenting on news of the death, the current General Superintendent of the church, the Most Reverend Professor Paul Frimpong Manso, said: “Rev. Asore’s passing on to glory was not expected, even though he had some health challenges. He was the only surviving past General Superintendent and was a great inspiration to me and the national leadership team.”
On behalf of the Reinhard Bonnke Ministry, Reverend John Kwasi Darku, the Executive Director for Africa, said: “Bonnke and the worldwide Christ for All Nations (CFAN) family are deeply saddened by the passing of “one of the great men of God in Africa”
He is survived by a wife, Mrs Esther Windyam Bamogo Asore, and 12 children.
The family spokesperson said funeral announcements would be announced in due course.
A book of condolence has been opened at both his residence and the headquarters of the Assemblies of God.