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General News Thu, 30 Jun 2005

Archbishop's divorce rocks Action Chapel

For the second time in a troubled marriage, Nicholas Duncan- Williams, Ghana?s foremost Charismatic Archbishop, and his wife, Francisca, have broken one of the most sacred vows of Christianity.

Their marriage of 26 years has been torn asunder.

The Founder of the Christian Action Faith Ministry (CAFM) International broke the news to the congregation of the church last Sunday.

?Dear church, family and friends, after deep and prayerful consideration, I am sorry to announce that it has become expedient to go our separate ways and to remain as brother and sister in Christ,? he told a large congregation in a statement read on his behalf by his deputy, Bishop James Saah, at the church?s? headquarters on the Spintex Road in Accra.

Four years ago, the couple separated for reasons which still remain a mystery to many, but with the intervention of various church leaders, including those from the orthodox churches, they managed to reconcile.

Archbishop Duncan- Williams described the decision as a painful one to make at this time.

He, however, did not assign any reasons for the separation, saying that ?the challenges in my marriage are personal and shall remain private for the sake of our children and loved ones?.

The two have been blessed with four children.

Archbishop Duncan-Williams, said, ?The decision on my part was not taken in a haste without years of prayer, best efforts and Christian counselling.?

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In reference to his earlier separation from Francisca, also a Reverend Minister, the Archbishop said, ?As many of you know, my wife and I parted in 2001. After much prayer and counselling, I accepted her back with the understanding that we would give ourselves an additional two years to make the marriage work?.

He explained that ?instead of two years, we have remained together for four years. Unfortunately, the broken bone is not healing and the pain is increasing?.

Archbishop Duncan-Williams affirmed his strong belief in marriage and advised that ?I believe that couples should subject their marriages to prayers and Christian counselling, and exhaust all available means of reconciliation. This is what I have counselled other couples in the church to do when experiencing difficulties and I am satisfied that the principles of this conviction have also guided me.?

He warned, ?I admonish that no couple should use my situation as an excuse not to fight for their marriage,? adding that ?at the end of the day, each of us must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that we will all answer to God for our own decisions?.

Archbishop Duncan-Williams gave the assurance that his tireless commitment to the ministry and God?s call on his life was unwavering and said during the transition, he had submitted himself and his children to private counselling from strong men and women in the ministry for whom he had great respect.

?I have decided not to focus on the circumstances of our parting but to keep my eyes firmly planted on God, my children and my calling. I thank you in advance for respecting and honouring our privacy,? he told the congregation which was listening with rapt attention.

Archbishop Duncan-Williams said, ?I am confident that He who has begun a good work in us will be faithful to finish what He had begun in us until the day of His glorious appearance?.

In his first sermon after they patched up after the first separation, the Archbishop told the congregation, ?Whatever you fight for must be of some value and importance, Amen. I am very excited today, full of joy but very sober. Amen?.

?On behalf of myself, on behalf of the pastors, their families and all of you who stood in the gap and prayed, fasted and did not give up on your sister, on your mother, on my wife and the children, I thank you all for your support,? he said.

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In an interview in Accra on the issue yesterday, Bishop Saah said, ?We tried our best initially to intervene but we had to leave it because we wanted them to deal with their own private matter.?

He said the issue had been raging for some time and was, therefore, not much of a surprise to him ? and, I believe, the church as a whole?.

Asked whether the issue was likely to affect the following of the church, he replied in the negative, saying that ?in the first one, nothing happened and I doubt if anything will happen now because we continue to serve the Lord?.

In separate interviews with some members of the church, they expressed regret at the incident but pledged to continue praying for the former couple.

One person, who only gave her name as Cynthia, said it was good the separation came because the two had never been themselves since they first went their separate ways about four years ago.

She said the church would continue to pray for the former couple.

Another person who did not want to be named said although the Holy Bible said that no man should put asunder what the Lord had put together, the issue between the Archbishop and his former wife had assumed a serious dimension and, therefore, the separation was necessary because ?that is what the Lord has destined?.

Attempts to reach the Archbishop for his comments proved futile as he was said to be in serious meditation in preparation for today?s church programme christened ?Jericho Hour?.

The Letter to the Flock

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Dear Church, Family and Friends,

I have very crucial information to give you this morning about a major decision I have taken. This decision, on my part, is not one that was taken in haste without years of prayer, best efforts and Christian counselling.

As many of you know, my wife and I parted in 2001.

After much prayer and counselling, I accepted her back with the understanding that we would give ourselves an additional two years to make the marriage work.

Instead of two years, we have remained together for four years.

Unfortunately, the broken bone is not healing and the pain is increasing. After deep and prayerful consideration, I am sorry to announce that it has become expedient to go our separate ways and to remain as brother and sister in Christ. This has been a painful decision for me to make at this time.

I strongly believe in marriage and hold firm to my belief that couples should subject their marriages to prayer and Christian counselling and exhaust all available means of reconciliation. This is what I have counselled other couples in the church to do when experiencing difficulties and I am satisfied that the principles of this conviction have also guided me.

I admonish that no couple should use my situation as an excuse not to fight for their marriage. At the end of the day, each of us must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that we will all answer to God for our own decisions.

The challenges in our marriage are personal and shall remain private for the sake of our children and loved ones. Over the years, we have been blessed with four God-fearing children and a wonderful ministry that will continue to advance God?s Kingdom. I have and will continue to support my wife and I am not parting with hostility or regret.

My tireless commitment to the ministry and God?s call on my life is unwavering. During this transition, I have submitted myself and my children to private counselling from strong men and women in the ministry for whom I have great respect.

I have decided not to focus on the circumstances of our parting but to keep my eyes firmly planted on God, my children and my calling. I thank you in advance for respecting and honouring our privacy.

I am confident that He who has begun good work in us will be faithful to finish what He has begun in us until the day of His glorious appearance.

Faithfully,

Nicholas Duncan-Williams

Source: Daily Graphic

Source: GhanaWeb Correspondent