Good News Bible Church in Ghana shares:
ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2022, WE LOST A DEAR FRIEND AND PASTOR AS HE ENTERED HIS HEAVENLY HOME
Reverend Stephen Aputara loved us each so well. His hugs for each of us have a permanent place in our memory. He and his wife, Mercy, welcomed everyone into their home and hearts, especially orphans, widows, recent converts, devoted pastors and visitors from the USA. He lived such an exemplary life that I am sure the angels in heaven are rejoicing at his arrival. Stephen and Mercy loved their Nankani people in Ghana by establishing numerous churches while also reaching around the world to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
So who was Stephen Aputara? Stephen and his faithful wife, Mercy, lived in the far northern part of Ghana near the border of Burkina Faso. He was born in a little town in the Brong and Ahafo Region of southern Ghana. He was the first born of his father, Aputara Amoah, who had 14 children. His mother, Abiseboaba Anyire took him back to northern Ghana to his Nankani tribe when he was 7 months old. As a baby, he had dysentery from drinking polluted water and became seriously ill, so she consulted a witch doctor for healing. But the witch doctor said to the grandfather that the baby had a non-human spirit and needed to be killed in the morning. The mother found out of this plot and fled in the night across a flooded river and then back to the south trusting that God had a plan for baby Stephen. God most certainly did have a plan as we found out!!!!
As a four year old, Stephen would listen outside the Pentecostal Church with interest, but his father forbid any of the children from coming to Christ. So, the father sent Stephen to live with his grandparents in the north to keep him from converting to Christ. He went to school during the dry season and took care of animals and farmed in the wet season. He did so until high school when he could attend school full time. After high school, he received training in the telecommunications business where he worked for 5 years in another part of Ghana. With this skill, he could have become a rich businessman, but Christ had other plans. In 1982, Stephen gave his life to Jesus, met Mercy and married Mercy that same year.
Even though they were settled in marriage with nice incomes, Stephen and Mercy were obedient to the call of the Lord. They both quit their jobs and went back to northern Ghana in order to share the Gospel throughout the towns and villages in that region since most of their people had never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Stephen recalled, “God gave me a passion for winning souls and the desire to expand His Kingdom, so I enrolled in Maranatha Bible College from 1990 to 1992 to become equipped for effective ministry. After graduation in theological studies, I retuned to northern Ghana to serve the Lord by planting and nurturing churches in many different towns and villages.”
Stephen worked tirelessly preaching the Gospel to his people who practiced ancestral worship. He said, “the news of God’s miraculous accomplishments and the manifestation of many other divine events in the churches rapidly spread among towns and villages. Now I have trained many evangelists and pastors who assist in expanding the Kingdom of the Lord.”
In 2005, Stephen was elected the President of the Good News Bible Church (formerly the Bible Church of Africa), an indigenous denomination founded in Ghana now consisting of approximately 160 churches and 30 preaching points. He served in this position until December 2013. After service as President, he became General Secretary of the SIM (Serving in Mission) affiliated churches worldwide. For three years, he served as counselor with the Widows and Orphans Movement in Ghana and then was elected Chairman of the Board for that ministry for 8 years. He was also elected Chairman of the Parent Teacher Association at the local senior high school with an enrollment of 1,227 students.
Perhaps his most cherished accomplishment beyond his love for Mercy and his children was his pastorship at All Souls Bible Church in Navrongo, Ghana. All Souls Bible Church grew significantly under his leadership and launched a children’s school as well. Stephen also established a church and school in his tribal village of Mirigu. Stephen and Mercy took many orphans into their home to parent them. In 2010, he said that they had 13 orphan children and they needed to build more rooms on their house to take in more children.
Stephen is survived by his wife, Mercy; his children: Kenneth, Japheth, Phoebe, Abigail and Ruby; his extended family; his orphan children; his spiritual children; and all of us who have been deeply touched by his life.
His family is making arrangements for the funeral. Since Stephen loved so many, so well, they are expecting a lot of people to come visit the funeral. So the family is making preparations for the week-long funeral event at Stephen and Mercy’s partially-finished new home. His son, Kenneth Aputara, provided the following insight on Tuesday, February 15th, “We truly never expected this to happen to us so we are unprepared for his burial. We want to give him a very befitting burial. We want to complete the works he was doing with the house so we can have enough space to receive visitors that will be coming. Our father indeed touched and transformed many lives and we’re expecting thousands of people at his funeral. He was a friend to everyone. There will be a lot of cost for hiring canopies, chairs, food, water, publicity, fuel and transportation among others things. We will take care of his coffin and grave side and other cost. We have already cleared his hospital bills.”
May our Lord Jesus Christ be your comfort as we mourn together the loss of this dear friend.
BRBC’s World Missions committee will be dedicating funds from their “Special Projects” line item from our budget in support in the family. If you would like to consider financially supporting the Aputara family with a one-time donation as well, please click below to donate toward this. (If donating via check, please designate “SCM-Aputara” on the memo line.)