The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, Most Reverend Titus K. Awotwi Pratt, has urged members of the church to draw lessons from the exemplary lives of the early missionaries and indigenous pioneers, who toiled to establish the religious organisation in the country.
He praised the missionaries and pioneers for their contributions to the growth and development of the church.
Most Rev Awotwi Pratt was delivering the first in the series of the “Dunwell, Freeman, De-graft Memorial Lectures,” instituted by the Cape Coast Diocese of the Church, to celebrate the church’s early missionaries and indigenous pioneers.
The lecture organised on the theme: “Indigenous contribution to the beginnings of Methodism in Ghana,” was held at the Wesley Cathedral in Cape Coast, as part of this year’s Autonomy and Missions celebration of the church.
The Autonomy and Missions celebration is marked yearly in memory of the founding of the church in Ghana, following the arrival of Rev Joseph Rhodes Dunwell in the country on January 1, 1835 and the attainment of autonomy from the British Methodist Conference, on July 28, 1961.
Most Rev Awotwi Pratt said the founder of Methodism, the late Rev John Wesley, his brother, Charles Wesley, who composed many of the Methodist hymns and other members of the fellowship, did not relent in their efforts to propagate the gospel because they were focused.
When Methodism reached the shores of Ghana, Most Rev Awotwi Pratt said several indigenous people including Rev Thomas Birch Freeman, Madam Elizabeth Williams, fondly remembered as Maame Akroma, and Rev. Gaddiel Robert Acquaah played their roles at various stages to spread the faith.
Most Rev Awotwi Pratt stated that these missionaries and indigenous pioneers had set the pace for current generation to continue, saying “We won’t have missionaries from abroad to come and continue, the mantle is in our hands”.
Most Rev. Pratt said many other churches were adopting the standards and traditions of the Methodist Church, including the Bible class system.
Nana Amba Eyiaba I, Queen mother of Efutu, the Krontihemaa of Oguaa Traditional Area, praised the pioneers of the church for standing firm despite tribulations, and urged members not to relent in their efforts to seek the growth of the church.
From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast