Religion of 2013-12-07

SDA holds 125th anniversary thanksgiving service

The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church on Saturday successfully held its 125th anniversary thanksgiving service in Accra.

Speaking on the theme “Proclaiming and Living the Christian Life,” Pastor Delbert Baker said it was evident for worshipers to be in deep gratitude to the Lord for the victory God had given them and the Church.

Pastor Baker said God multiplied little beginnings, and that Christians should not lose hope but rather continue to have faith in God no matter the situation because if; “God has done it for the church in these past 125 years, then nothing is too hard for Him concerning your lives,” he added.

He tasked Christians to serve God just as Joseph did, and God would do something in their lives as He did in Joseph’s.

Pastor Dr Samuel Adama Larmie, President of the Ghana Union Conference of the SDA said, for the past 125 years, the good Lord had sown, watered and spread His truth for the Church, using human talented instruments.

“From a single pamphlet and a single soul, Francis Dolphijin, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ghana now has over 700,000 worshippers,” he said.

He said throughout the years, God had raised for Himself faithful men and women, boys and girls who are fired by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the everlasting gospel within and without the borders of the nation.

“From very humble beginnings, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church has grown through the years to become a strong army for the proclamation of the saving truths of the Living God contained in the Holy scripture,” he said.

Dr Larmie noted that apart from the direct preaching of the gospel, the Church had been heavily involved in education, health delivery and social intervention activities over the years.

“On education, the Church now runs 675 basic schools, 14 senior high schools, one college of education, three levels of nursing training education and one university with two major campuses,” he said.

He said the health delivery system of the Church included 25 hospitals and clinics while over the past 30 years through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) the Church had been involved in several social interventions across the country.

“ADRA has provided school buildings, health education, and have been present at places where natural disasters struck to provide relief for the affected people,” he added.

He called on members of the Church to fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life and profess good profession before many witnesses.

Mr Julius Debrah, Greater Accra Regional Minister, commended the SDA Church for its immense contributions in the establishment of health facilities, educational institutions and human rights advocacy that sought to help put the country on a high pedestal.

He cited ADRA Ghana as a benchmark of the Church which continues to play major roles and empower people with relief needs of the country.

“ADRA is touching people where it hurts and bringing hope to communities,” he said.

Pastor Peter Osei, who recounted the history of the church, said in 1863, a new Christian community of believers was born in the United States of America, the SDA Church.

He said 25 years later, Mr Francis Dolphijin of Apam in the Central Region was converted after reading an Adventist tract, and 1950 saw the new beginning of regular worship by Adventists in Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo area.

Pastor Osei noted that by January 2000, the rest of the West African Union Mission territory, which included Liberia Mission, Sierra Leone Mission and the Gambia Mission State, was re-organized and remained as West African Union Mission with the Headquarters being moved to Monrovia, Liberia, with Carlyle M. Bayne being the Acting President.

“Currently, on April 14, 2013, the General Conference Annual Council voted approval for the creation of a second Union in Ghana, 125 years later after Adventism in Ghana, two unions namely Southern Ghana Union Conference and Northern Ghana Union Missions will operate from January 2014,” he said.

He said the Southern Union would comprise the five political regions, thus: Greater Accra, Central, Western, Eastern and Volta regions while the Northern would consist of Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions respectively.

Special songs of praise were also offered to God by the Church’s mass choir, as well as solidarity messages from other religious organizations.