The Fourth Estate Apologizes over the United Denominations Group of Churches case (formerly known as Lighthouse Chapel International)
Bishop Dag Heward-Mills has dedicated his life to the service of God, and in the 34 years since he left medical school to pursue ministry full-time, he has grown an incredible worldwide congregation. His United Denominations Originating from the Lighthouse Group of Churches (UD-OLGC, formerly Lighthouse Chapel International) includes 6,070 churches in 94 countries around the world.
Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, UD-OLGC is a Pentecostal Christian Denomination that prioritizes planting churches, and actually building church buildings. UD-OLGC has hundreds of church buildings and cathedrals on all habitable continents and has sent 485 missionaries to plant churches in some of the most remote areas of the world.
Who is Bishop Dag Heward-Mills?
In addition to founding UD-OLGC, Heward-Mills is an apostle, prophet, healing evangelist, pastor, teacher, author, husband, father, and grandfather. His work has impacted millions of lives and continues to do so. He is best known for thinking big, building churches, training pastors, helping the needy and invalid, writing, producing music, speaking at conferences, pastoring young people, and holding massive evangelistic campaigns in many countries.
Approachable and passionate, Dag Heward-Mills has built one of the largest evangelical churches in the world. He is also the founder of the United Organization of FirstLove Churches in 190 nations (UO-FLC 190) and the Anagkazo Bible and Ministry Training Center (ABMTC). ABMTC is one of the largest Bible schools in Africa. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Church Growth International and the Executive Committee of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.
Born in 1963 in London, Dag Heward-Mills’ mother was Swiss, and his father was Ghanaian. The family later relocated to Ghana. Heward-Mills grew his faith throughout high school and college and became a pastor at the age of 25. He was formally ordained by Pastor Michael Bassett of the Victory Church in London in 1990 and consecrated as a Bishop by the International Ministerial Council of Great Britain in 1996.
It was while Heward-Mills was attending the University of Ghana Medical School that he heard a voice during one of his prayers: “From today, you can teach.” It was that same year, 1988, that he started the Lighthouse Chapel International. He graduated from medical school in 1989 but focused on growing his fellowship.
Heward-Mills is also proud of his written works and his humanitarian efforts. He has authored the books:
- The Loyalty and Disloyalty series of ten titles
- The Mega Church
- The Art of Leadership
- The Art of Hearing
- The Model Marriage
- Forgiveness Made Easy
- Know your Invisible Enemies and Defeat them
Humanitarian work by Heward-Mills includes building a school for the blind, a hospital, and an orphanage. He visits prisons in many countries, sharing the message of God’s love, acceptance, and hope. He has also renovated prisons and sent a monthly donation of food to the prison inmates in Accra, Ghana.
The ongoing work of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills has been deeply meaningful and influential to the millions of people whose lives he has been able to touch.
What is The Fourth Estate and why did they Apologize to Lighthouse Chapel International?
The Fourth Estate is a non-profit investigative journalism project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). In an area that is especially unsupportive of media freedom, The Fourth Estate “promotes independent and critical research-based journalism that holds those in power answerable to the people they govern.”
However, in the spring of 2021, The Fourth Estate published a series of articles that delved deeply into active litigation involving Lighthouse Chapel International. The church did not sit idly by while they were defamed by the media outlet and potentially have the public opinion of the church negatively influenced. Instead, they took The Fourth Estate to court for conspiring to start a media war and undermine the court system.
In October of 2022, The Fourth Estate issued their formal apology to The Honourable Court pursuant to their order, as they were found to be in contempt of the court:
“The Fourth Estate, pursuant to the order of the Court, apologizes to the Honourable Court for its publications found to be in contempt of court.
The High Court Commercial Division 7, presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Jane Harriet Akweley Quaye, this morning upheld an application by the Lighthouse Chapel International for contempt of court against the Media Foundation for West Africa and three of its officers, two of whom were responsible for authoring the “Darkness in a Lighthouse” series in 2021 while suits by six of its former pastors were pending in the court.
Editor-in-Chief, The Fourth Estate”
While this formal, public apology was more symbolic than consequential, it marked an important victory for UD-OLGC, whose reputation after 30+ years of service to its congregation is deserving of more just and equitable treatment.
Heward-Mills and UD-OLGC continue their good work, including current active projects of building a hope center for those who require prosthetic limbs, feeding prisoners, feeding the hungry, and building churches across the world.