The immediate Past Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Asante, has inducted the new presiding bishop of the church at an impressive ceremony at the Wesley Cathedral in Accra.
Most Rev. Titus K. Awotwi Pratt takes over from Most Rev. Prof. Asante, who served for six years as the presiding bishop of the church.
Ascending the highest office as the fourth presiding bishop, Most Rev. Pratt becomes the 11th to assume the leadership of the church in Ghana.
There was spontaneous applause when Most Rev. Prof. Asante pronounced, “Behold your Presiding Bishop.” Most Rev Pratt will serve as the presiding bishop for three years.
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Most Rev. Prof. Asante charged him to exhibit a high sense of disciple and maintain his ministerial integrity and purity so that he could speak the prophetic word of God.
“Today, you have joined the leadership of the church. Indeed, you have already played leadership roles, but from today, you are the chief servant of the church.” he told the new presiding bishop and charged him to be faithful to the word of God.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante said an ordained minister, who was not able to prove his or her spiritual calling, was a danger not only to his or her congregation, but to the nation as a whole.
He expressed concern about the situation where many people had become ministers of God, but could not prove their spiritual pedigree.
“They hardly know what it means to be saved,” he said, adding that the basis for an effective ministry was purity of heart.
Ministry not for personal gains
Most Rev. Prof. Asante admonished ministers of the Gospel not to take up such positions because of worldly considerations.
“The message is simple, you don’t respond to God’s call to serve his people because you want to earn a living,” he said.
He, therefore, charged Most Rev. Pratt to know that he had a charge to keep.
He charged the members of the church to support and pray for the new leader of the church to enable him to carry out his duties.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante advised them to respect diversity in unity and asked them to eschew divisive tendencies.
Most Rev. Pratt expressed gratitutde to God, earlier leaders of the church and particularly his wife, whom he described as his chaplain in the course of his duties as a minister of God.
Congratulations from government
The Vice President, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur congratulated the presiding bishop for asumming the highest office of the church.
“I am here representing the government and people of Ghana, the President of the Republic, who is out of town, and has asked me to represent him to congratulate the Most Rev. Titus Awortwi Pratt on assumption of duty,” he said.
Mr Amissah-Arthur urged the new presiding bishop to seek guidance and advice from the past leaders of the church so that his tenure would be successful.
He noted that Most Rev Pratt was taking office at arguably the most unprecedented period of church-state relations in the country.
“There has been very little tension, no problem between the state and the church, and we hope and pray that with you as the presiding bishop, this cooperation will contiunue and people of Ghana will benefit from the cooperation that exists between the church and the state,” he said.