The International Director of Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches for Africa(FGFMCI), Bishop Jerry Augustus Sowah has waded into the controversy surrounding the proposed national cathedral, declaring his full support and urging government to proceed with urgency, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The highly revered man of God sharing his views on the contentious matter in an interview said: “We have a national mosque for Moslems and the government uses taxpayer’s money to sponsor hajj trips now, what is wrong with the President saying that this cathedral is not going to serve only Christian but a monument to serve other purposes? he quizzed, adding, I see nothing wrong about that, as a matter of fact it is not the taxpayer’s money that is going to be used to build it”.
He furthered: “The government is only part of this by providing the land. It’s the church that is going to facilitate the building process that’s it, so I see nothing wrong with that and I’ll support it 200%”.
The interview was conducted on the sideline of the opening of 2018 Convention of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International (FGFCMI) in Accra on the eve of Tuesday, September 18.
The 2018 convention of the ‘fellowship’, a 3-day power packed event which spanned from September 18-20, 2018 came on the theme: “Lift up a standard (Isaiah 62:10). It is expected to share insight on the word, equip and empower all and sundry with the right knowledge to do the bidding of God almighty on earth in order to win more souls for his kingdom.
The proposed national religious edifice by government has become a controversial issue with some experts and critics questioning the need for it as well as the cost implication involved which the taxpayer would suffer due to its construction.
President Akufo-Addo announced his decision to build it earlier this year and subsequently cut the sod for its construction on March 6, 2017 as part of events that marked the Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebration.
The decision has been applauded by some Ghanaians while others criticized it, questioning its relevance to the state since Ghana is a secular state as well as the cost implication on the state and taxpayers. Gov’t was also criticized for what appears as interfering in religious affairs with the project.
Although government spokespersons have said on a number of occasions that private institutions will fund the 5,000 capacity seater project therefore the cost of the building would not be at the cost of the state but critics and some experts are yet to be convinced.
The plan to relocate judges from their Ridge Roundabout residence in Accra to make way for the construction also brought the project back in focus, following a hit in the face with lawsuit.
Reports indicated that some of the judges have complained about the manner in which they were told to vacate their homes. The issue of relocating judges caught the attention of some critics who also condemned it instantly.
But commenting on the issue, Bishop Jerry Augustus Sowah said: “People will always complain, but you see, if you’re about a positive change which will affect a whole nation, you don’t worry about complain”.
“Whenever there’s going to be a change, some people in one way or the other had to suffer a little hardship but that is not to say we cannot build. Even where the Akosombo Dam was built was people’s home but it was demolished. somebody will say, well this is a national something, so it has to go to make a way for the construction”.
Bishop Sowah also revealed some of the buildings which have been earmarked for demolishing to pave way for the cathedral are just sitting right in the middle of a huge property occupying space or land for nothing therefore he sees nothing wrong about resettlement process which would affect some of the judges too.
For his part, A US based Executive Board Member of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International (FGFCMI), Mark Peters said government decision to construct a national is a good idea which every Ghanaian must embrace but not criticized provided it would not get involved in telling people how to worship.
“I believe It’s a good idea if only the government doesn’t get involved in telling people how to worship. You know there is a freedom of worship and he may want to maintain that only if there won’t be no strings attached. The Lord can use anybody and Christians should be in government but the government shouldn’t control Christians” he stressed.
As part of the 2018 convention of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International (FGFCMI), Rev. Mark Peters and Rev.Terry Goodwin, also an Executive Board Member of the 'Fellowship' based in Oregon, US (headquarters) are in the country to Minister the gospel of Christ to all Ghanaians and empower them to take up the responsibility to do the bidding of the Lord and win souls for his Kingdom.
The FGFMCI is a fellowship of like-minded Charismatic Churches and Ministers that brings all denominations together in one place to foster unity and to work for the Kingdom of God.