Western North Ghana Conference is a church administrative unit of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Ghana. The conference operates under Southern Ghana Union Conference of the West-Central Africa Division. Western North Ghana Conference was formerly part of South-West Ghana Conference and was organized in 2017. It consists of the following territories: bounded on the northeast by Ashanti, on the east by Denkyira and Wassa-Amenfi, on the south by Aowin, and on the west by Cote d’Ivoire. It shares a common boundary with Brong Ahafo in the north. The conference’s headquarters is in Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana.1
As of June 30, 2018, Western North Ghana Conference had 115 churches, membership of 14,306, and total population of 800,096.2
History of Adventism in the Territory of the Conference
The Western North Ghana Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sefwi Wiawso, started in two towns: Proso Kofikrom and Wiawso Kofikrom. The movement at Proso Kofikrom started in the 1920s by settlers who were Sabbath-keeping northerners. They had migrated from their home town to make their livelihood in the land of Sefwi. In 1939 there was another group of Sabbath-keepers called the Essien brothers, who were ex-servicemen from Nzema who came to settle at Wiawso Kofikrom.
In the early 1950s the Gold Coast Mission, now the Central Ghana Conference, sent an evangelistic team of Europeans who conducted an evangelistic campaign at Sefwi Wiawso and 30 souls were baptized. As a result, a church was officially established at Sefwi Wiawso and Pastor Isaac Mensah, who resided at Wiawso, was requested by the Gold Coast Mission to take care of the Sefwi Wiawso church. During the campaign in the early 1950s at Sefwi Wiawso, three friends who attended the meetings accepted the Adventist teachings and became members of the church. They were Peter Kwame Tano, Thomas Afull, and Kwabena Fuachie.3
The church elected its first elder, Stephen Mahama, a native of Mali who was a cook for the colonial district commissioner. He led in the affairs of the Sefwi Wiawso church, with the following members: John Yadee (who brought to the church his six-year-old brother, Isaac Aidoo, one of the pillars the church today), Oheneba Nana Kwabena Sor, Kwabena Boadu, Prince Oheneba Nana Gyebua (who became a member of the national parliament), Oheneba Ama Djo, and Oheneba Ama Sali.4
In the late 1950s, the Sefwi Asawinso and Bibiani churches were established and were headed by Pastor Asante and Pastor Appau. Some teachers who were sent to Sefwi Wiawso had an Adventist background and contributed immensely through teaching and evangelism. Among them were, Isaac, a teacher from Gomoa Feteh; and Elder Samuel Bosomtwe, who studied under the leadership of Peter Kwame Tano.
Over the ensuing decades, the church expanded from its original base to a more structured organization, operating under one big district with the headquarters at Kumasi and headed by Pastor Appiah Dankwa. With the increasing growth of the churches in Sefwi, some of the church members were sent to the seminary to study leadership, administration, and evangelism at Asante Bekwai, under the auspices of the mission executive secretary, Pastor C. B. Mensah. The training took about 18 months and Peter Kwame Tano, who took part in this training, was sent to Agona Swedru instead of Sefwi Wiawso. Some other teachers like Isaac and Samuel Bosomtwe were also transferred from Sefwi Wiawso to different places. As a result, the churches in Sefwi and its environs declined in growth.5
In the early 1970s, Isaac Aidoo, Samuel Bosomtwe, Addae, and some others came back to revitalize the interest of the church members. In the late 1980s, Peter Kwame Tano and his wife returned from the Central region and joined forces together with the rest of the members who attended church in a classroom.
The church grew steadily through the years, and churches in Nkornya, Mile 5, Asafo, Sui, Nzawora, and Akontombra were established. Pastor S. K. Asamoah led in the Sefwi area in a district that later grew to 14 districts in the Central Ghana Conference.6
More Recent Developments
In 2013, conferences were carved according to regions; so, it became necessary for the Central Ghana Conference to carve out all the districts in the Sefwi area to join the Western region. In 2014 all the districts in the land of Sefwi officially joined the South West Ghana Conference.7
In December 2014 the Southern Ghana Union Executive Committee meeting established the Western North Administration Unit under the leadership of Pastor Stephen Atta Poku, director; Pastor F. T. Baidoo, secretary; and Elder Charles Amoah, treasurer.8 The unit finally became a conference by an action of the WAD yearend meeting in November 2016;9 and the Western North Ghana Conference formally became part of South-West Ghana Conference in 2017.
President: Francis Tenakwah Baidoo.
Secretary: Frank Osei-Tutu.
Treasurer: Charles Amoah.
Minutes of Central Ghana Conference Executive Committee 2013, Central Ghana Conference Executive archives, Kumasi, Ghana.
Minutes of South-West Ghana Conference Executive Committee 2014, South-West Ghana Conference archives, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.
Minutes of West-Central Africa Division Year-End Meetings 2016, West-Central Africa Division archives, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019.
“Western North Ghana Conferences,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019), 407.↩
Elder Peter Tano, interview by author, February 15, 2018.↩
John Aidoo, interview by author, February 15, 2018.↩
Pastor C. B. Mensah. interview by author, March 15, 2003.↩
Pastor Emmanuel Denteh, interview by author, March 10, 2010.↩
Minutes of Central Ghana Conference Executive Committee 2013, Central Ghana Conference Executive archives, Kumasi, Ghana.↩
Minutes of South-West Ghana Conference Executive Committee 2014, South-West Ghana Conference archives, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.↩
Minutes of West-Central Africa Division Year-End Meeting 2016, West-Central Africa Division archives, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.↩