Founder of the Action Chapel International Archbishop Duncan-Williams has kicked against an advocacy for laws to regulate churches.

“You cannot regulate faith” he told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Friday.

It was MP for Mfantseman, Ekow Hayford who triggered a debate on the floor of Parliament in May after he made a statement calling for new legal approaches to curb increasing exploitation especially in ‘one-man churches.’

Ablekuma Central Member of Parliament, Ebenezer Nii Narh Nartey backing the call said, “Mr. Speaker, it is time this House takes a decision to see how best to clamp down on these churches.” 

Those who call for new regulations argue it will curb increasing human rights abuses, exploitation, fraud and deception in churches and “unacceptable practices” by some self-professed pastors.

The Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye tasked three committees of parliament to examine the possibility of enacting regulations.

Joining several dissenting voices in the clergy, Nicholas Duncan-Williams said “the church is a spiritual movement” which operates on the basis of faith.

He said rather than passing laws to regulate churches, the state should be more interested in enforcing existing criminal laws on abuse and exploitation. “There are enough laws already made that should be enforced,” he said.

Nicholas Duncan-Williams
Photo: Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Daniel Dadzie interviewing Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams.

Archbishop Duncan-Williams said he prefers self-regulation of churches by bodies such as the Christian Council, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC).

But ultimately, the cure for abuses and exploitation of the flock of God is increased teaching of sound Biblical doctrine, he said.

“We should increase the level of light and knowledge and understanding because the more light people have and they can see, you can’t fool them, you can’t manipulate them.”

“I think we have a lot of work to do,” the 62-year old leader said and called on Bible-believing churches to “turn on the light.”

After receiving his Holy Ghost baptism in the Church of Pentecost, Duncan-Williams attended Bishop Idahosa’s Church of God Mission International Bible College in Nigeria to be trained as a pastor.

You can't regulate faith ”“ Duncan-Williams kicks against new laws for churches

Soon after returning he founded the Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM) and the Action Chapel International (ACI). The CAFM was the first Charismatic church in Ghana.

The Christian Action Faith Ministries has its headquarters at Action Chapel International, which is one of Accra’s largest mega-churches.

Having started as a prayer meeting at his father’s house, CAFM moved to several locations (Fadama, Tradefair, International Students’ Hall, Diplomatic Shop) as it grew till it eventually came to find its headquarter at Spintex Road, where the Prayer Cathedral is located since 1992.

Since then CAFM grew across Ghana, Africa and the world with branches across Europe and North America.