Known as African Christian Fellowship, USA, ACF is a national organization of African christians in the United States of America with regional administrative bodies and local fellowship units called ‘chapters’.
According to the organization’s website, the group “seeks to provide unity amongst African Christians of all denominations to sound the voice of the oppressed and persecuted in Africa, bring physical and spiritual relief and build healing bridges for Africans and other peoples around world”, a commendably noble and altruistic philosophy.
For an African religious organization of its size, ACF USA currently brags of “over forty (40) chapters” since its 1977 founding. At inception the organization directs its missions to African Students, who, were schooling in the United States. It is naturally understandable that two years shy of its fortieth (40th) anniversary,–“many waters having gone under the bridge, as Africans would put it–shift in purpose, and preoccupation with new socio-cultural and political spiritual play-outs would define the bodies which, in the words of Vincent Wimbush, “signify with scriptures”.
ACF USA aims to unite its christian membership which originate from different countries in Africa, with its complex size, languages, ethnic group configurations, and religious and cultural trans-, cross-, and inter- and intra-denominationalism. Today’s ACF is even richer and more complex than its formative years when membership was constituted by a scanty number from a few African nations. Currently, with increase in new immigrants, and the forming of a fresh generation of immigrant children, ACF USA is the largest African immigrant organization in the United States.
Additionally, opening up its membership doors to accommodate “All African Christians” and others who have “been called to minister to Africa and Africans.” Well, that opens up a really big picture. The question to ask, which is more than rhetorical is: who has been/not been called to Africa?
But the conundrum is half-resolved in the group’s continuous engagement in self-definitions. Accordingly, one of the purposes of ACF USA is geared towards “building partnerships across denominations, nations, cultures and ministries” for creating awareness about spiritual advancements in “God’s purpose for the world and nations of Africa”.
In the spirit of the Sankofa—the Ghana Twi designation for ‘go back and get it’ in the delineation and performance of memory–ACF USA appraises its own existential status in the several demons raging the continent of Africa. Raising focus beyond minimum standards of development for Africa occupies the heart of certain critical strata for the group. As Ruth Marshall reminds us (2009. Political spiritualities the Pentecostal revolution in Nigeria. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.) claims and counter-claims via socio-cultural economy of hegemony towards power resources, through appropriations of rhetorical and ideological legitimacy are central in, and occupy, the rise of battles with community players among children born of flesh and blood.
Learn more about African Christian Fellowship, USA, or, simply ACF, here.
- AFC USA website, acfusa.org
- Marshall, Ruth. 2009. Political spiritualities the Pentecostal revolution in Nigeria. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
- Interviews and conversations with members of the ACF