Nicholas Duncan-Williams is the Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of the charismatic Action Chapel International (ACI) ministry, headquartered in Accra, Ghana. He has authored various books on Christianity.
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams was born on 12 May 1957. He was the son of a politician-diplomat. His parents separated when he was a child, and he was raised by his mother, a nurse, in Wa and Bolgatanga. He was restless as a youth, and twice stowed away on ships to Europe. Duncan-Williams was converted in 1976 by the Acquah sisters at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. In 1977 he went to the Church of God International Bible School of Benson Idahosa in Benin City, Nigeria. In 1979 he returned to Ghana, where he founded Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM) and the Action Chapel International (ACI) church. The CAFM seems to have been the first Charismatic church in Ghana. It was followed by the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) in 1984. Duncan-Williams presents himself as a “child” of Benson Idahosa, and has been recognized as “father” of other charismatic leaders in Ghana. In the early 1990s Duncan Williams publicly support President Jerry Rawlings, saying that the comparative stability of Ghana was due to the invisible hand of God resting on its leaders.
Since 1992 the Action Chapel has met in the imposing “Prayer Cathedral” near Accra airport, although the building was not opened officially until 2002 and as of 2003 was still under construction. In 1995 there were about 8,000 members of the church. By 1998 Duncan-Williams was mainly resident in the US. Bishop James Saah and pastor Clive Mold were running the church in Ghana. About 3,000 people were attending the Sunday services in 2003, many of them middle-class professionals and business people. This was down from about 6,000 attendees five years earlier.
Duncan-Williams divorced his wife Francisca in March 2001, but later remarried her. These personal problems may have affected church attendance. In 2007 Duncan-Williams and his first wife “Mama” Francisca again divorced after twenty six years of marriage, due to “irreconcilable differences.” The divorce process attracted much media attention. The children of the marriage, now based in the US, sided with their father. In April 2008 Duncan-Williams married Rosa Whitaker, CEO of a US-based firm that provides consulting services on African trade and investment. Rosa Whitaker and Duncan Williams met in Ghana in 2003 soon after she had launched her consulting company, the Whitaker Group. As of 2013 the couple’s home was in Maryland, US.
Duncan Williams was Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of the Accra-based Action Chapel International Ministry (ACIM) as of 2015. He was also chairman of the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches (NACCC). The Christian Action Faith Ministries has more than 300 affiliated churches in North America, Europe and Africa. Duncan Williams helped found Dominion University College in Ghana, and in 2013 was Chancellor of the university. He is also Founder and President of US-based Prayer Summit International.