Ansah, Paul Kwame Owusu (1878–1979)

By Kojo Polley-Kwofie

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Kojo Polley-Kwofie, M.B.A. (Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Ghana, Africa), is an author, associate treasurer of South-West Ghana Conference, and member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana. He worked at the Ghana Education Service for 12 years before joining pastoral ministry. He has worked as a district pastor in South Ghana Conference and Mid-South Ghana Conference and as treasurer of Pioneer Ghana Conference. He is married and has five children.

Paul Kwame Owusu Ansah was an Adventist evangelist from Ghana.

Early Life, Education, and Marriage

Paul Kwame Owusu Ansah was born in Agona in the Ashanti region of Ghana in 1878. His traditional or local name was Kwame Owusu. His father’s name was Kwaku Nti Ansah. His mother’s name was Obapanin Frempomaa. He did not receive formal education. However, he received informal or traditional education that included learning the family’s trade, religion, and ways of life. He was a farmer by profession and also served as the chief linguist to the chief of Agona, from the time of Nana Kwame Boakye to Nana Kwasi Acheampon. He married Mame Afia of Agona. He loved children and believed that children are gifts from God and so, in all, he had 20 children.1

Conversion and Mission Work

He was an African traditionalist before his conversion to Adventism.2 He was converted to Adventism in October 1914 at the age of 36. He was one of the first ten people who formed the SDA church in Agona and the entire Ashanti region. It is believed that he and others were baptized in the latter part of 1914, the first ever baptism in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

The Seventh-day Adventist message was officially received in the Ashanti region at Agona in October 1914. Pastor William H. Lewis and his team of men from Kikam, including S. B. Essien and Kofi Christian, first landed at the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, on October 21, 1914, and went to Agona on October 23, 1914, when Pastor William H. Lewis and his team landed at Agona. Kwame Owusu, who later became known as Paul Kwame Owusu Ansah, was about 36 years old and was among the elders of Nana Kwame Boakye, the paramount chief of Agona. Paul K. O. Ansah was also the treasurer of the paramount chief. In view of this, Nana Kwame Boakye invited Paul Ansah to help in the negotiation process relating to the lease of the land at Agona to the SDA mission in December 1914. This land documentation was finally signed by Nana Kwasi Acheampon, who succeeded Nana Kwame Boakye who died on April 10, 1915, when they were still processing the lease. Soon after the documentation in 1915, Paul Ansah added evangelism as his second work. Paul K. O. Ansah worked as an evangelist in the Ghanaian SDA church in three different regions, namely Ashanti, Eastern, and Brong Ahafo regions.3

It is on record that Paul Ansah of Agona, Kwesi Nyamaa Akuooko of Ntonso and Offinso, Kwaku Mensa of Ntonso, and others were a few of the outstanding laymen whose contributions to the growth of Adventism in Ghana spanned over 50 years from the early days of Pastor William H. Lewis in the Ashanti region of Ghana.4 It is also on record that “some of the pioneer workers who labored with Pastor Frank L. Stokes in Koforidua in the Eastern region in Ghana were J. Ashun, J. B. Takyi, and Paul Ansah of Agona, a layman, whose expertise on Ghanaian traditions, custom, diplomacy, and protocol, was of immense help to pastor S. F. L. Stokes, and other SDA missionaries in their dealing with chiefs and their people.5

In the Brong Ahafo region, Paul Ansah worked at Kwame Danso, Akyemerade, Atebubu, and other towns. Kwame Danso SDA church was originally founded by Egye Sobo of Kikam, a Nzema trader who dealt in jewelry and kente cloth. J. K. K. Garbrah later conducted a three-week evangelistic campaign and baptized 22 people who were added to the existing members. It was at this point that Paul Ansah took over and nurtured the Kwame Danso church for some time and also conducted another mega evangelistic campaign. As the years went by, Pastor T. H. Fielding and his wife, who was a professional nurse, evangelist Paul Ansah, and J. K. K. Garbrah all promoted the SDA medical work in Kwame Danso, Atabubu, and nearby towns. Paul Ansah was very instrumental among the team that founded the Atebubu SDA Church in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. He died in 1979 at the age of 101.6

Legacy

Paul Ansah was instrumental in acquiring the land with all proper documentation for the SDA mission house and school, the first-ever in the Ashanti region of Ghana. He evangelized in three major regions in Ghana, namely Ashanti, Eastern, and Brong Ahafo. Ansah was among the very few evangelists in Ghana who set a record of evangelizing for more than 50 years before their retirement.

Source

Mensa, Kofi Owusu. Ghana Seventh-day Adventism. Accra: The Advent Press, 2005.

Notes

  1. Joseph Peprah, interview by author, Agona, November 20, 2019.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Kofi Owusu Mensa, Ghana Seventh-day Adventism (Accra: The Advent Press, 2005), 195.

  5. Ibid., 210.

  6. Joseph Peprah, interview by author, Agona, November 20, 2019.

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Polley-Kwofie, Kojo. "Ansah, Paul Kwame Owusu (1878–1979)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BC1C.

Polley-Kwofie, Kojo. "Ansah, Paul Kwame Owusu (1878–1979)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Date of access January 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BC1C.

Polley-Kwofie, Kojo (2021, January 09). Ansah, Paul Kwame Owusu (1878–1979). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BC1C.