President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lauded the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) Church, Ghana for its immense contribution towards national development.
He said the Church had moved beyond its missionary and educational affairs to undertaking various agricultural and health projects, which continued to support the entire citizenry.
President Akufo-Addo was addressing congregants of the Church at Peki Blengo in the Volta Region to climax its 175th Anniversary.
It was themed: “A Journey of 175 Years in Ministry – Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward.”
He said not many institutions had lived to the 175th year, hence the congregants must be proud of the Church’s blossom and survival.
“It is reassuring that the EP Church of today could still lay claim to the attributes that set it apart years ago,” he said, adding that Ghana expected much from it.
The EP Church, Ghana had produced notable and prominent citizens, whose legacies were all over the nation and beyond, including Dr Ephraim Amu.
Its contribution to education was unmatched, and still retained its reputation for music, hard work and discipline, a characteristic of Presbyterian schools, which the country needed, the President said.
“The schools that were Presbyterian used to be easily distinguished by the behaviour of their students and the orderly nature of their campuses. They stood out and we took pride in them.”
President Akufo-Addo, however, expressed regret over the indiscipline that had recently bedeviled the country, with most communities lacking the sense of communal responsibility, brotherliness, cleanliness and orderliness, which characterised the earlier Presbyterians.
He commended the Church’s collaboration with the Peace Council to find amicable resolution to conflicts in Alavanyo, Nkonya and Bimbila.
The President urged the Church to act according to its declarations and mission to bring about innovation, renewal of responsibility and transformation of society.
He promised to build an AstroTurf to commemorate the anniversary celebration and called on the Church to pray for him, the Government, and the nation.
The Right Reverend Dr Lt. Col. (Rtd) Bliss Divine Agbeko, Moderator of the General Assembly, EP Church, Ghana, said the 175 years of ministerial experiences in sending light to where there was darkness had been associated with mixed lessons.
These include achievements, challenges and the will to press on to greater heights and commitments to leave perpetual legacies for generations to come, all to the glory of God.
“We are grateful to God for the Bremen Missionaries and the Missionary Board, who first came to us with the Christian Gospel,” he said.
“They came along with formal education, orthodox health care, agriculture and helped to translate our languages into writing, and reading.”
The Moderator said the Church would continue to support governments in educating and healing the citizens through acceptable standards.
“We resolve to continue our advocacy role to speak for the voiceless, hopeless and the marginalised in society.”
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said the Government saw the EP Church as a partner in development and urged it to continue its many programmes and projects to enhance living standards.
Deiga Kwadzo Dei XII, Paramount Chief of Peki Traditional Area, said the people took great pride in having a hand in bringing God’s Salvation and civilization to themselves and to the entire Eweland.
“The seed Lorenz Wolf sowed has borne fruits and continued to multiply and spread well beyond the shores of Africa into the diaspora. The EP Church has the right to be proud of it.”
Deiga Dei said the Pekis cherished the education programmes of the missionaries, which produced teachers and catechists to build the human resource base.
“I know of no basic school in Peki which did not derive its origins from the education programmes started through Christianity….”