ASHANTI NEW TOWN CENTENARY – KUMASI, GHANA
ASHANTI NEW TOWN CENTENARY – KUMASI, GHANA
The President of the Republic of Ghana Almost Preached at the Celebration
Kumasi, GHANA/ October 17, 2021 / Abraham BAKARI
[Photo: Centenary President of Ghana giving his speech]
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo used Holy Scripture and a quote from Ellen White during his speech on Saturday, October 16, 2021 in Kumasi, Ghana. It was on the occasion of the celebration of the centenary of the Ashtown Seventh-day Adventist Church. The statesman answered to the invitation of the Church.
The crowd of over 5,000 gathered at the Wesley College of Education in Kumasi gave the Ghanaian Head of State several rounds of applause. As the Ashanti New Town Church or Ashtown was celebrating the 100th anniversary. At the outset, Nana Akufo-Addo praised the contribution of the Adventist Church to the development of the nation.
[Photo: Centenary General view]
“The Adventist people have impacted not only the local community but the whole Nation. We can say with considerable pride that the Adventist have great conceptive and crucial role in the development of Ghana.” Then he cited Colossians 3:23-24 from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, “whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of the inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.”
The President continued amid cheers and ovation, “For me that is the essence of Christianity: service to God and service to mankind. The growth of the church should be measured not only in the number of its followers but also in the quality of its members who are dedicated to uphold the spiritual virtues of Jesus Christ, and who want to help build a prosperous and progressive Ghana.”
[Photo: His excellency receiving the Bible]
« You have been a good example of what it means to love one another and give cheerfully to those in need, and I have no doubt that this legacy of ministry and compassion will long grace this Church,” he added.
A Call to Pray for Ghana
At the conclusion of his speech, the 12th President of Ghana expressed a well noted wish. “My prayer is that this church would continue for the next 100 years to spread the Gospel of Jesus-Christ, win souls and serve the people of Ghana and Almighty God. And please in doing so pray for me, for the Government, that we exercise our responsibility with humanity and integrity and pray for Ghana.”
He also quoted an excerpt from Testimony to the Church at Battle Creek in page 49: “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of this Church, he said, I conclude my speech with a thought of one of the Adventist pioneer Ellen White. The life of Christ is the life of humble simplicity, yet how infinitely exalted was His mission. Christ is our example in all things.” The heart-searching message from the State man moved the assembly. From time to time, the assembly would respond with head nods, applause and smiles.
Fundraising for the building of modern School
The Ashanti New Town Church seized the opportunity to raise funds for the building of a modern school in Kumasi. The Asante kingdom Monarch pledged a contribution of 1,000$ to the project; the West-Central Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventists gave 6,000 $ and the President of the Republic gave 10,000$.
[Photo: Contribution for the NAtional Cathedral]
The theme of the centenary was “Uniting in the Spirit of Our Pioneers in Building the Church and Society”. The host Pastor Desmond Osei-Tutu Acheampong said, “the Ashanti New Town Church has helped establish many schools, health Centers, Clinic, Hospitals.”
One hundred years later, the impact of this Church is powerful. Dozens of churches are still being planted in the metropolis, a dozen of schools and one hospital are the fruits of the Ashtown Church. The experience of former GC Secretary Matthew Ango Bediako and his wife Elisabeth Bediako is traced back to the 100 years old Church.
Contribution for a National Cathedral
The WAD President Pastor Elie Weick-Dido and Treasurer Pastor Emmanuel Manu joined the people of God to conclude the celebration activities that started in February 2021. The two Unions of Ghana leadership were also present and presented to the Head of State the cheque of 40,000$ contribution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ghana to the building of a national cathedral in Accra.
[Photo: Le président de la DAO, Pasteur Elie Weick-Dido, et le Trésorier, Pasteur Emmanuel Manu]
As the bearer of the vision, the President of Ghana explains the raison d’être of the project. “The National Cathedral gives practical expression to this vision of a society mediated by the Almighty, and represents a sacred space for the nation. The Cathedral, thus, addresses a missing link in our national architecture, i.e. church for national purposes. It will be an interdenominational house of worship and prayer, and will serve as the venue for formal state occasions of a religious nature, such as the inauguration of Presidents, state funerals, national thanksgiving services, amongst others.”
The Ashanti New Town Church is part of the Ashanti Central Ghana Conference in the recently voted Northern Ghana Union Conference. Pastor Elie Weick-Dido made a public and solemn announcement of the action taken on October 10, 2021 during the Annual Council 2021 business meetings of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee that ended on October 13, 2021. As Pastor Elie Weick would say, “It has been a long journey but we want to thank the Lord for leading and guiding us all through.”
[Photo: Ashtown Church Building]
The WAD President, in a powerful sermon, lifted high the name of the God who is the Graceful and Merciful. As God’s people are involved in Mission, the Lord will bless them and will heal their land.
[Photo: Centenary Pr Elie Weick preaching]
The Ashanti New Town Church in Kumasi started this journey when Pastor John Kwabena Kaipro Garbrah (1882-1962) touched down in Kumase on Wednesday October 12, 1921. “He was the very first Ghanaian Seventh-day Adventist pastor to be ordained into the Church’s Gospel ministry”, as Professor Kofi Owusu said in his article “History of Seventh-day Adventism in Ashanti Region of Ghana”.
[Photo: Centenary Family picture]
Pastor Kwanin Boakye, President of the Southern Ghana Union Conference, encourages “Ashtown members to renew their commitment to God as they celebrate this historic occasion.” So far, the 1,568 baptized members and 560 children are happy to serve the Lord. To God be the Glory!