The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has praised the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) for its contributions to the country’s socio-economic development.
He recounted the significant contributions in the areas of education, healthcare delivery, agriculture and human resource development made by the church and said the nation owed the PCG a debt of gratitude.
The Vice-President made the commendation at a thanksgiving service to climax the centenary celebration of the Akuapem Presbytery of the PCG in Akropong Akuapem last Sunday.
The service was attended by a large number of senior clergymen of the PCG, such as the Clerk of the General Assembly, Rev. Dr Godwin Nii Noi Odonkor, and the Chairperson of the Akuapem Presbytery, Rev. Ishmael Dometey Asare, as well as representatives of sister churches, members of the PCG and some guests.
Accompanying the Vice-President were the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe; the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong; a Deputy Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Owusu Bonsu Amoah, and a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah Adjei.
Others were a former Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, and a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, both members of the PCG.
To mark the centenary, the Akuapem Presbytery initiated the construction of a junior high school for the Kwaboanta community in the Ayensuano District.
Dr Bawumia noted that but for the interventions of the PCG in the nation’s development, Ghana’s story would have been different.
He lauded the PCG for its holistic education built on values such as discipline, hard work and integrity, and said he had witnessed a lot of work done across the country by the church in the course of his duties as Vice-President.
He commended the Akuapem Presbytery for not relenting on its social activities, even in the present times when the central government was at the forefront of providing key social services.
Notwithstanding the government’s efforts, Dr Bawumia said, the PCG was still pursuing such interventions as an integral part of its vision and mission.
He explained that the church was providing facilities, such as staff accommodation in its educational institutions and support for its health institutions.
He thanked the church for the good initiative of providing education for deprived communities and offered to finance the school block the church had undertaken to construct.
He called on the PCG and other religious bodies to promote religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the citizenry.
The Vice-President appealed to religious bodies to help ensure cohesion and peace in Ghana, in the face of the increasing instability in the West African sub-region.
“As you are aware, the peace and stability in many nations around us are under attack from multiple sources, including religious extremism and intolerance. We must guard against that,” he said.
Preaching the sermon at the service, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCG, Rt Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, outlined ways in which the church had contributed to national development.
Those, he pointed out, included developing the orthography of the Twi and Ga languages and agricultural development, such as the development of the cocoa industry.
According to Rt Rev. Prof. Mante, even though the common story in Ghana was that Tetteh Quarshie had brought cocoa into the country, the truth was that “it is actually the Basel Missionaries, the founders of the Presbyterian Church, who first brought cocoa into the country”.
Illustrious sons & daughters
The Moderator also noted that the PCG had given to the nation many illustrious sons and daughters who had served the nation with distinction from the independence struggle up to the present time.
Rt Rev. Prof Mante pointed out that many people grew up in very decent environments, yet they engaged in very dangerous and heinous crimes, saying the environment alone was not the solution to the social problems facing the country but rather Jesus Christ.
He advised members of the presbytery who were the first to receive the good news from the Basel Missionaries and spread it to other parts of the country to continue to be worthy examples and light to all other parts of the country.
He congratulated the Akuapem Presbytery on the great strides it had made over the past 100 years and challenged the leadership and members to roll out a pragmatic and strategic plan that would set it on the path of development for the next century.
Some members who had contributed to the growth and development of the PCG in the presbytery were rewarded.