The COP in Togo started after an evangelistic rally organized by the Gold Coast Apostolic Church in Keta from May 22-28, 1949. A Togolese woman by the name of Alice Quist, who was present at the meeting and was touched by the miracles and the powerful word,requested prayers for her brother, Anthony Japhet.
He was a clerk at U.A.C., a business venture situated at Lomé. However, he had been dismissed for drunkenness which was apparently incurable. In response to Alice’s request, Pastor A. S. Mallet and Brother V. Y. Gogo went to Lomé on May 29, 1949 to pray for him. Mr. Japhet was miraculously healed and gave his life to Christ.
Following this miracle, a local assembly was opened in the house of Paulina Kpodo at Koketime, a suburb of Lomé. The first meeting of The COP took place there in 1950. In 1951, Fred Komla Darkooh was called into ministry as the first pastor of the church in Togo, but he resigned not long afterwards. Churches were planted in the Volta and Kpalimé areas of Togo after a series of evangelistic activities.
On December 7, 1954, Pastor V. Y. Gogo was chosen as the area head for the Kpalimé region. In 1959, Evangelist T. L. Osborn of Oklahoma (U.S.A.) organised a crusade at Ahanoukope, Lomé. Many of the converts won were given to The COP. This boosted the church considerably during its
After Apostle Darkooh’s departure, Pastor Gogo acted as interim National Head until March 22, 1960, when Pastor A. S. Mallet was transferred from Koforidua (Ghana) to Togo as the missionary in
charge of Togo and Benin. He led The COP until he was called back to Ghana in 1963. Pastor Gogo then resumed duties at the helm of the nation, assisted by American missionary Stephen Westfall. To restore
The COP from the negative effects brought about by the split, Apostle F.S. Safo was sent to Lomé in 1965 to take responsibility over Togo and Benin. During his tenure, The COP enjoyed a period of peace and progress. It was during this period that the first Togolese nationals were ordained as pastors on December 25, 1967.5 They were B. Y. Apedo, K. K. Mensah, M. A. Almeida, P. W. Woglo, and C. Montcho.
In 1976, Apostle Safo was recalled to Ghana and he was replaced by Apostle C. C. A. Hushie who led The COP from 1976-78. In 1978, Pastor B. Y. Apédo was ordained in Ghana as the first Apostle of the
church in Togo.
In 1978, twenty-eight denominations including The COP were banned from operating in the country. The members were forced to worship secretly from house to house and often in the bush. Those who were close to the Ghanaian border had to cross to Aflao, where they bought a piece of land and built tents for their Sunday services.
Occasionally, they were arrested and prosecuted. After six years, the ban was lifted following long negotiations between the national Leaders and the head of state. The churches were asked to operate
under an umbrella organization known as the Evangelical Church of Togo.
In 1986, Apostle Apédo was assigned to lead The COP in Côte d’lvoire which was going through a difficult period. He was succeeded by Apostle Kwami Kokoe Mensah. In 1991, a wind of democracy swept across the nation and as churches began to reclaim their independence and break away from their mother churches, new ones began to emerge.
Unfortunately for The COP, Pastor A. M.Almeida and a member, Abosse Sotome, left the church that year causing serious insurrections and chaos. Armed thugs were sent to the National Head’s residence, Apostle Kokoé Kwami Mensah. By the grace of God, the thugs were arrested and the Apostle and his family escaped unharmed. Shortly after this incident, the Mensah family was chased out of the house empty-handed and all their belongings confiscated. To remedy the situation, Apostle Apédo
was sent back to Togo in September, 1991
The split had serious consequences on the church. Out of the 15,000 COP members, only 300 remained with the church. All the efforts made by the International Executive Council and President General Gnassingbe Eyadema to reconcile those who had left The COP were unsuccessful. Not only did they leave the church, but they also confiscated personal property and real estate as well as The COP official documents (signets). As a result of this split, Apostle Apedo virtually had to start a new church with Apostle K. K. Mensah and Pastor L. Y. Agogue, the two remaining pastors who refused to break away.
In 1992 Apostle Apedo Yao Boenou’s house was completely blown up while he was organizing a meeting with three Apostles and the two general Deacons. Apostle Agogue Yao Lolonyo was intercepted on his way while returning from a tour. His Vespa motorbike was seized and his family was chased out of the mission house in Sokodé. Even though these three Apostles faced many difficulties and were imprisoned on several occasions, they never drew back.
On the contrary, they stood firm and thanks to their determination, and The COP in Togo was established. The COP went through serious financial problems at that time. Two Elders, Togbetse David and Dagadou Emile who successively served as general Deacons at that time gave up their properties to support the church through the difficult times. The interNational Head Office also provided immense moral and financial support. COP members continued to worship from house to house and often under trees. They were expelled from time to time from their rented places of worship but they persevered. In the course of time some new officers were added to their numbers.
During the year 2000, Apostle Apédo retired from active service and was replaced by Apostle Lolonyo Yaovi Agogue. Under his leadership, The COP accepted an offer from the then International Missions Director, Apostle Dr. S.K. Baidoo, to try and re-register the church under a different name. The COP was newly registered on April 16, 2003 under the name “Eglise de Pentecote Internationale du
Togo.” This enabled The COP to function without obstacles. Apostle Agogue also retired on October 5, 2003 and was replaced by Pastor Komi Edina Agbavitoh. To help advance the work, The COP International Head Office sent two pastors in 1999 and 2000 to serve as area heads. They were K.K.C. Gadzekpo and J.K. Ocloo. Reverend Gadzekpo was called back to Ghana in 2004.
Also in 2011, Apostle K. E. Agbavitoh was transferred to Gabon and Apostle Ousmane P. Zabre took over as National Head.