Ashanti South Ghana Conference, Bekwai, Ashanti, Ghana.

Photo courtesy of Ashanti South Ghana Conference.

Ashanti South Ghana Conference

By Evans Amponsah-Gyan

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Evans Amponsah-Gyan, M.A.B.T.S. (Adventist University of Africa, Nairobi, Kenya) has worked as a district pastor in Fomena and the Dominase District and as a chaplain of Akomah Memorial Adventist Hospital. Currently, Amponsah-Gyan serves as executive secretary of Ashanti South Ghana Conference, Ashanti, Ghana (2015 to date). He contributed to the Historical Encyclopedia of West Central Africa Division (2018).

Ashanti South Ghana Conference is an administrative unit of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ghana and is part of Northern Ghana Union Mission, which in turn is part of West-Central Africa Division. Ashanti South Ghana Conference was formerly part of South Central Ghana Conference and was organized in 2015. It consists of the following territories: in the Ashanti Region, the districts of Adansi North, Adansi South, Amansie Central, Amansie West, Atwima Kwanwoma, Bekwai Municipal, Bosome Freho, Obuasi Municipal; and the Santasi suburb of Kumasi Metropolis district.1

Statistics as of June 30, 2018: churches 161, membership 27,853, population 1,655,101.2

Background

In 1888, Francis I. U. Dolphijn of Kekam, while walking on the coastal land of Ghana, came across a tract on Sabbath-keeping and became the first Seventh-day Adventist in Ghana.3 Through his efforts the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1894 commissioned the Gold Coast Mission to oversee Ghana and other parts of West Africa. In 1914, through the initiative of W. H. Lewis, the first president of Gold Coast Mission, chose Asante Agona as the mission headquarters. This effort brought the Seventh-day Adventist message closer to the people of Ashanti. In 1918 some local people brought the Adventist message to Asante Bekwai, but the presence of Adventism was very low until Pastor Jesse Clifford came to Ghana from the United States in the late 1920s. His coming cemented the growth of the Church in Bekwai and its environs, which saw leaders of the Church like Jan Paulsen, former president of the world Church, who even had his ordination in Bekwai; Matthew Ango Bediako, former Executive Secretary of the world Church; and Ted Wilson, the current president of the world Church; all of whom contributed to the growth of the Church in Bekwai. The first Ministerial Training and Teacher Training School was established in the 1930s to oversee the training of pastors for the ministry. In 1945 this school became a secondary school and it was the first to be established in Ghana. In that same year, Asante Bekwai hosted the West Africa Union Mission headquarters to serve the whole of West Africa.4

Reorganization of Ghana Fields

In 1977 Ghana Mission was reorganized to become Ghana Conference, which was later reorganized to be Central Ghana Conference and South Ghana Mission.5 The year 1996 saw the creation of South Central Ghana Administrative Unit from the Central Ghana Conference, and in 1999 it became South Central Ghana Conference led by pastor Israel Nana Tuffour as president; Pastor E. Y. Frimpong, the executive secretary; and Elder Oppong Mensah as the treasurer.6 Ashanti South Ghana Conference later emerged from South Central Ghana Conference, but it started as an administrative unit.

West-Central Africa Division Inspection Team

In the middle of August 2014, the WAD Inspection Team composed of Pastor Onaolapo Ajibade (WAD secretary), Elder Boadi Mensah (assistant treasurer), and Pastor Daniel Opoku Boateng (Ministerial secretary), visited and were satisfied with the performance of the administrative unit. On November 1, 2014, conference status was granted. This change of status was voted during the 2014 year-end meeting of the WAD Executive Committee at Abidjan, and the beginning date for conference status was January 2015.7

Ashanti South Ghana Conference Maiden Session

The Ashanti South Ghana Conference was born on January 7, 2015, during a joint session with Ashanti Central Ghana Conference held at Bekwai Seventh-day Adventist Senior High School from January 7 to 10, 2015. The officers elected were: Pastor Stephen Kofi Anokye, president; Pastor Evans Amponsah-Gyan, executive secretary; and Elder Ata Kwarteng Amaniampong, Jr., treasurer. The departmental directors were: Pastor Clifford Asomaning Marfo, Ministerial secretary, Pastor Isaac Adjei Mensah, Stewardship and Trust Services; Pastor Augustine Adu-Gyamfi, Personal Ministries, Sabbath School, and AMM; Pastor Newman Osafro Adu-Amankwah, Publishing, Global Mission, and Adventist-Muslim Relations; Pastor John Owusu Mensah, Youth, Music, Health, and Chaplaincy; Pastor Stephen Oppong Addo, Projects and Estates; Ms. Esther Osei, Children’s and Women’s Ministries; and Elder Collins Asare, auditor.8

In compliance with church policy, the executive committee was constituted as follows: Stephen Kofi Anokye (chair), Evans Amponsah-Gyan (secretary), Ata Kwarteng Amaniampong Jr., Clifford Asomaning Marfo, Augustine Adu-Gyamfi, Newman Osafro Adu-Amankwah, Isaac Adjei Mensah, John Owusu Mensah, Esther Osei, Collins Asare, Stephen Oppong Add, Osei Amo Mensah, Bismark Osei Tutu, Thomas Owoahene Acheampong, Esther Osei Konadu, Ebenezer Mensah, Owusu Louis, George Adu, Charles Osei, Paul Asiamah, Peprah Mensah Bonsu, and George Oduro.9

Special Occasion

On December 13, 2015, under the auspices of the president of Northern Ghana Union Mission, Dr. Kwame Boakye Kwanin, Dr. Kwame Annor Boahen (executive secretary), Pastor Dickson Sarfo Marfo (treasurer), and Dr. Matthew A. Bediako (former G.C. executive secretary), this conference was inaugurated.10

Institutions

Ashanti South Ghana Conference has four institutions, namely: Akomaa Memorial Adventist Hospital, Kortwia; Dominase SDA Essumejaman Hospital, Dominase; SDA Hospital Obuasi; and Seventh-day Adventist Senior High School, Bekwai-Ashanti. The conference is currently operating another CHPS compound clinic at Asaago and building another hospital at Ampabame. Two plots of land have been purchased for a permanent off-complex building which is currently under construction.11

Sources

Owusu-Mensa, Kofi. “Dolphijn, Francis.” Dictionary of African Christian Biography. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://dacb.org/stories/ghana/dolphijn-francis/.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Years 1978, 2000, 2016. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

Notes

  1. “Ashanti South Ghana Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019), 398.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Kofi Owusu-Mensa, “Dolphijn, Francis,” Dictionary of African Christian Biography, accessed July 16, 2018, https://dacb.org/stories/ghana/dolphijn-francis/; for more information see, for example, Kofi Owusu-Mensah, Ghana Seventh-day Adventism: A History,” Valley View University Monograph Series, vol. 1, Advent Press, 2005.

  4. Pastor Kwame Boakye-Kwanin, president of Northern Ghana Union Mission, interview by author, May 14, 2018, Kumasi, Ghana.

  5. Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, “Central Ghana Conference and South Ghana Mission,” accessed October 27, 2019, https://www.adventistyearbook.org/ 1978.pdf.

  6. Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, “South-Central Ghana Conference,” accessed October 27, 2019, https://www.adventistyearbook.org/2000.pdf.

  7. Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, “Ashanti South Ghana Conference,” accessed October 27, 2019, https://www.adventistyearbook.org/2016.pdf.

  8. Ibid.

  9. Ibid.

  10. Personal knowledge of the author as the current executive secretary of the conference (2015 to present).

  11. Ibid.

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Amponsah-Gyan, Evans. "Ashanti South Ghana Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 21, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AG80.

Amponsah-Gyan, Evans. "Ashanti South Ghana Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AG80.

Amponsah-Gyan, Evans (2021, April 28). Ashanti South Ghana Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AG80.