President of the Republic of Ghana, 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. The speech came after the state leader attended the 100 year celebration of the Ashtown Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The crowd of more than 5,000 gathered at the Wesley College of Education in Kumasi gave the Ghanaian Head of State several rounds of applause during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Ashanti New Town Church, or Ashtown. At the outset, Nana Akufo-Addo praised the contribution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for their contribution to the development of the nation.
“The Adventist people have impacted not only the local community but the whole nation. We can say with considerable pride that the Adventists have a great conceptive and crucial role in the development of Ghana.” Then he cited Colossians 3:23-24, “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 their mission.”
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 the Almighty God. And please, in doing so pray for me and 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 pioneers 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 Statesman 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 gave $6,000 and the President of the Republic gave $10,000.
The theme of the centenary was, “Uniting in the Spirit of Our Pioneers in Building the Church and Society”. The host, Desmond Osei-Tutu Acheampong, said, “the Ashanti New Town Church has helped establish many schools, health Centers, clinics and hospitals.”
One hundred years later, the impact of this Church in Ghana is powerful. Dozens of churches are still being planted in the metropolis, a dozen schools, and one hospital are the fruits of the Ashtown Church.
The Ashanti New Town Church is part of the Ashanti Central Ghana Conference in the recently voted Northern Ghana Union Conference. President of WAD Elie Weick-Dido made a public 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. The WAD President, in a powerful sermon, lifted high the name of the God who is graceful and merciful. As God’s people are involved in the Mission, the Lord will bless them and will heal their land.
The Ashanti New Town Church in Kumasi started this journey when 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 the Ashanti Region of Ghana”.
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!