Ho, Nov. 17, GNA - The South Ghana Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church, on Saturday marked the 125th anniversary of its founding in Ghana, with a pledge to continue to reflect Christian spirituality through service to mankind.
It is the last of zonal celebrations, ahead of the national event on December 7, this year, at the Accra Sports Stadium.
President John Dramani Mahama, as part of his working visit to the Volta Region, after visiting the Regional House of Chiefs, briefly passed by the venue of the SDA event in Ho and commended the church for its developmental stance in the areas of education, health, water and sanitation among others.
Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Volta Regional Minister, who was part of the President's entourage including Mr Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament, announced that Government was supporting the South Ghana Conference of the Church with 5,000 Ghana cedis.
Pastor Dr Chris Annan-Nunoo, South Ghana President, said along with the church's planned thrust into the Volta Region in the coming years would be lots of social interventions.
He said as part of the anniversary, 'we are joining hands with Maranatha International in erecting 11 church buildings in the Volta Region to the glory of God.'
The South Ghana Conference is made up of the Volta and the Greater-Accra regions.
Pastor Dr Annan-Nunoo said the SDA message would be taken to schools and hospitals in the rural areas.
He said an extended campus of the Valley View University, an Adventist Tertiary Institution, would be opened in the Volta Region soon.
While the church is 125 in Ghana, it is 70 years in the Volta Region, introduced first in Bodada in the Jasikan District by one Thomas Adjei, son of a Buem slave maid, captured and sent to the Ashanti Region.
Dr Annan-Nunoo said Mr Adjei travelled by bicycle from Mprim, Ashanti Region, to Bodada and his first convert was Nana Ati, a linguist.
Dr Annan-Nunoo said Linguist Ati abandoned his position, got baptized as Peter Kofi Akpandja, to begin the Adventist evangelization in the region.
Pastor Dr Samuel Adama Larmie, President of the Ghana Union Conference of the Church, said the celebration of the day in Ho was an indication of the church's preparedness to begin evangelistic work in the rest of the 10 districts of the region.
Currently the SDA is present in 15 of the 25 districts in the region, where it is most visible through schools.
Dr Larmie said the calamities happening in the world, such as typhoons and tsunamis and discordant character traits of humans, should nudge people to ask themselves if they were getting closer to God or further away from Him, as the end times approached.
He said, however, that the end would come only according to the dictates of God adding that it was important Christians proclaimed the gospel and lived the gospel.
Dr William Brown, Country Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Pastor Kingsley Osei, General Manager of the Advent Press, pledged to work hard to achieve the dream of the Adventist Church in Ghana.
ADRA in Ghana is synonymous to rural development, with several social intervention projects in the areas of water and sanitation, education and agriculture.
Monsignor Anthony Kornu, Vicar General of the Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church, who represented Right Rev Francis Lodonu, Bishop, lauded the SDA Church for its vibrancy, urging churches to stress on what united them and not their differences.
The SDA Church, with 700,000 members currently, has 600 basic schools, 14 senior high schools, three tertiary institutions, one school of pharmacy and two health assistant training schools.