The History of the Ghana United Methodist Church, Bronx
The history of the Ghana United Methodist Church is a story of people who had to migrate from their various traditional homes in Ghana to the USA in the 1970’s and 1980’s to the present time.
In 1985, Rev. Jacob O. Sarfo gathered some few Ghanaians and tried to form Ghana Methodist Church to enable them to worship in their own unique way, as it is practiced in Ghana.
Rev. Sarfo started by visiting Ghanaian based Associations at their meetings to inform them of his intentions of starting a Ghana Methodist Church.
There were a few meetings with some interested Ghanaians on January 4th and 11th 1986. Through Rev. Sarfo’s initiative and the support of the late Rev. Dr. Samuel Akesson, and advice of Rev. Dr. J. A. Stephens (who was then Ghana Methodist Church Conference), the founding members responded to the call to form the Church.
On January 11th 1986, the first Church Service was officiated jointly by Rev. Jacob O. Sarfo and the late Rev. Dr. Samuel Akesson. The service was held at Salem United Methodist Church in Herlem. The late Rev Dr. Akesson preached at the first Church Service and Mrs. Elizabeth Sarfo conducted the Order of Service. There were 13 members present. Now our highest weekly Church attendance is 306 and lowest is about 200. Our membership to date is 551, and we keep adding to our number.
The founding members who were present at the first Leaders meeting on April 17th 1986 were:
The late Rev. Dr. Samuel Akesson
Rev. Jacob Owusu Sarfo, Founder
The late Mr. Bonsu Anane
Mrs. Grace Oteng Sarkodie, Vice President
Mr. James Kusi, Secretary
Madam Charity Dede Campbell, Member
The late Abeeku DeGraft Johnson, Member
Mrs. Elizabeth Sarfo, Member
Places of Worship
In January 1986 the Rev. Dr. Thomas P. Grissom, who was then the Pastor of the Salem United Methodist Church offered Rev. Sarfo, and the founding members a place to worship.
In 1989, we moved to Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary and started worshiping at the St. James Chapel.
Due to high rent at the Seminary, we move again to Broadway Temple United Methodist Church in Washington Heights at 174th Street, Manhattan in 1991.
In April 1995 we finally moved to Tremont United Methodist Church on 1957 Washington Avenue, Bronx where we still worship.
Registration of the Church
The Church was originally registered in October 1986, but due to some few changed in the registration package, it was re-registered in Albany in 1987 by our lawyer, Dr. Victor Essien.
Inauguration of the Church
Our Church was inaugurated on April 17th 1988 by the late Rev. Dr. Bassaw, who deputized the late Rev. Dr. J. S. A. Stephens, the then President of the Ghana Methodist Church Conference. During the same year, our Brothers and Sisters from Brooklyn broke off from us to form a new Church in Brooklyn due to problems with proximity.
Ghana United Methodist Church Choir
The Choir was initially started by Rev. J. O. Sarfo, the late Charles Kumah, Sister Becky Kumah, Madam Charity Dede Campbell and others. Dr. Stephen Agbenyagah was the Choir Music Director/Organist. Choir rehearsals were held at the residence of Madam Charity Dede Campbell until 1998 when it was moved to the present Church premise.
Membership to New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (NYAC of the UMC)
In 1993 we were accepted into the NYAC of the UMC. Rev. Dr. George T. Johnson was the District Superintendent of the Metropolitan North District at that time.
The following Pastors Served the Church Time:
Rev. Jacob Owusu Sarfo, Founder 1986 to Oct 1998
Rev. Isaac K. Boamah Dec1998 to 2000
Rev. Dr. Samuel Q. E. Ghartey Jan 2001 to April 2002
The Following Pastors Assisted Rev. J. O. Sarfo:
Rev. Dr. Samuel Acquaah-Arhin
Rev. John Ansah Arkorful
Rev. Helina Opoku-Sarkordie
The Following are the District Superintendents who have worked with our Church:
Rev. Dr. George T. Johnson
Rev. Carol Matteson Cox
Rev. Noel Chin
Past and Present Lay Leaders:
Mr. Kwame Sekyiamah 1986 to 1993
Dr. Frank Essien 1993 to 1996
Mr. Albert Osei-Owusu 1997 to 2003
Mr. Samuel Baah Addo 2004 to Present
Past and Present Church Council Chairpersons:
Dr. Frank Essien
Dr. Samuel K. Amoako
Mr. James Kusi
Mr. Andrews Ofei Amankwah
The Church acquired a new Church Building last year and is preparing to embark a major renovation soon. We hope to worship in this new building located on 65 Reiss Place in the Bronx by the middle of 2006.
Below are the Current Members of the Church Council:
Rev. Ebenezer K. Dadson Resident Pastor
Andrews Ofei Amankwah Chairperson, Church Council
John Akpalu, Esq. General Counselor
Samuel Baah Addo Lay Leader
Benjamin Agyepong Assistant Lay Leader
Alex Boakye-Ansah Secretary, Church Council
Samuel Afful Associate Secretary, Church Council
Kofi Ewusie Appram Chairperson, Finance Committee
Charity Dede Campbell Vice Chairperson, Church Council/C’ttee on Christian Ed.
David Dadson Vice Chairperson, Finance Committee
Albert Kusi Chairperson, Men’s Fellowship/PPR
Rebecca Acquaye Treasurer, Finance Committee
Alberta Donkor Chairperson, Young Women’s Fellowship
Fred Ansah Chairperson, Young Men’s Fellowship
Nana Yaw Oppong President, Church Choir
Edward Kwesi Bedford President, Singing Band
Albert Osei-Owusu Chairperson, Committee on History and Archives
James Kusi Chairperson, Worship Committee/Rep to NYAC
Ohene Ofori Financial Secretary
Christina Blay Chairperson, Membership Committee/Church Secretary
George Boateng Chairperson, Family Council/Usher Board
Victoria Kittoe Chairperson, Evangelism & Mission Committee
Rebecca Adjei Ofori Chairperson, Women’s Fellowship
Victoria Kusi Chairperson, Harvest Committee
Samuel Baah Youth Coordinator
Evelyn Grace Parker Chairperson, Stewardship Committee
Kwabena Konadu Chairperson, Board of Trustees
Esther Konadu Marquaye Superintendent, Sunday School
Patience Kate Dadson Member
Isaac Donkor Chairperson, Building Committee