The brilliant and soul inspiring rendition of Handel’s classic “Zadok the Priest” by the Wesley Methodist Cathedral Choir, Kumasi, appeared to crown the special Divine Service to induct into office the new Administrative Bishop of The Methodist Church Ghana but one can hardly say so definitely because the whole service from procession to recession was to sum up briefly glorious.
Having been duly elected by the General Purposes of the Church as Administrative Bishop, the third highest position thereof, Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo was confirmed as such by the 9th Biennial/47th Conference held at Tarkwa recently. His tenure of office of six years began on October 1st 2016. As per the Constitution and Standing Orders of the Church he was formally ushered into this high office with a Special Divine Service led by The Presiding Bishop, Most Rev. Titus Kofi Awotwe-Pratt who gave the new Administrative Bishop his charge and preached the Sermon.
Born in Asankragwa,in the Western Region, of Catholic parentage, Rt. Rev. Dr. Boafo began formal education at the Asankragwa Roman Catholic Primary School in 1963 but moved to live with his then Methodist Teacher-Catechist uncle late Rev. John Bernette Nsowah Quaisie, who was himself ordained in 1977. Thus he continued schooling at Wa, Kenyase No. 2, Sewfi Wiawso and Sewfi Bekwai Methodist Schools depending on the itinerant ministry of his uncle. He attended Wenchi Methodist Secondary School from 1972 to 1977 where he successfully took the G.C.E. Ordinary Level. Rt. Rev. Dr. Boafo worked as a Pupil Teacher at Saltpond in 1977 before proceeding to the Wesley College to train as a full-fledged Teacher from 1978 to 1981. There he was appointed Local Preacher of The Methodist Church Ghana. He was called into the Ministry in 1983 and pursued a Diploma in Theology at the then Trinity College, Legon, from 1983 to 1986. He was commissioned as a Minister of the Gospel on 8th June 1986 at the Wesley Cathedral,Accra and posted to Akyem Okyereso as the Society’s first Resident Minister.
The new Administrative Bishop was ordained as a Minister on 27th August 1989 at the Wesley Methodist Cathedral, Sunyani, after which he was posted to Osei Tutu Secondary School as School Chaplain. Soon thereafter he proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon from 1989 until 1992 when he obtained his First Degree in Religions and Philosophy. He studied for his Masters at the Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland, following a scholarship he obtained and later a PHD. in Wesleyan Studies in the same University when his course was upgraded by the said University due to excellent performance on his part. He successfully completed his PHD. in 1999 and on returning to Ghana served in various capacities for The Methodist Church Ghana and in the educational sphere with her kind permission.
He worked hard in several Societies and was founding Superintendent Minister of the New Achimota Circuit and later Superintendent Minister of the Accra North Circuit (2001 to 2005), from where he was nominated to serve as Protestant Chaplain of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. There he was also worked as Lecturer of the Department of Religious Studies with excellence for a decade. While at KNUST, Rt. Rev. Dr. Boafo served as Adjunct Minister of various Societies in the Kumasi Diocese and as Diocesan Chaplain of the Association of Methodist Men's Fellowships. He has been member of Conference of The Methodist Church Ghana, since 2000.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Boafo has attended and made presentations at several local and international Conferences. He has many Publications to his credit and has contributed Articles to The Christian Sentinel,the official Magazine of The Methodist Church Ghana. Indeed he served as Editor of the Church’s Newspaper, The Methodist Times and was Co-Editor of the Church’s Devotional, The Weekly Bible Lessons for years.
The new Administrative Bishop is a member of Wesleyan Theological and Wesleyan Philosophical Societies of the United States of America. Married for several years to Mrs Helena Ewurabena Boafo, they are blessed with three Adult daughters, Rosalind, Ivy and Juliette and have, at the moment, seven Grandchildren.
In the sermon on the theme “Participating in the work of God”, The Presiding Bishop among others asked the new Bishop,to bear in mind that he would work with various officials and members of the Church whose talents and capabilities he needs to appreciate and consider utilising. He asked him to be humble and do his best with the help of the Holy Spirit, and not think he is able to outdo his predecessors. Most Rev. Awotwe-Pratt told him frankly that his predecessors had left big shoes to fill,adding reassuringly “The shoe may be big but they will fit you God will give you the size of shoes to wear to get into your predecessors” and carry on the task.” He also announced that Rt. Rev. Dr Paul Boafo has been unanimously appointed Facilitator of the Methodist Studies for the Institute of African Methodist Churches and asked the Congregants to pray ceaselessly for him and his family to succeed in his new office.
The Induction Service which was very well attended saw the many in attendance truly jubilant lending to the fact that the new Administrative Bishop is much loved. This could be because perhaps many present not only sat at his feet at some time in his 30 year ministry but also because most could identify with him. Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Boafo came from a humble Catholic parentage, but his then Methodist Catechist Uncle took him in early and brought him up Methodist, ensuring he had good education and spiritual upbringing that planted in him a desire to be a servant of God. His journey from Pupil teacher to Minister of the Gospel has been long, tedious but worth it causing him to declare with famed Hymn writer Fanny Crosby, “To God be the Glory great things He has done”.[MHB 313]
When therefore the Most Rev. Awotwe-Pratt had prayed for him and having been appropriately robbed by his two immediate Predecessors and given insignia of his new office, presented him to teeming crowd of kith and kin as the new Administrative Bishop, it was all joy. He was introduced to the Congregants along to his wife, ‘his nurse, his barber, his Prayer partner, his amazing Roommate’, famed Muitlmedia Program Hostess, Mrs. Helena Boafo.
Among distinguished personalities who joined in this special Service was the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Amissah-Arthur, himself a practising Methodist and member of the Calvary Methodist Church, Adabraka,Accra,the last ministerial station of the new Bishop. He congratulated Rt. Rev. Boafo on his new position and indicated his government's desire to keep the relationship between Church and State healthy. Also present were chiefs from his native Wassa traditional area. Bishops and Spouses from all the Dioceses of the Church were present along with several Ministers from all over Ghana and Delegations from all Churches he had once upon a time pastored. His Trinity College year group led by Very Rev. Professor Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu of Trinity Theological Seminary gave the 3rd couple of The Methodist Church Ghana a citation and a gift, thanking him for his role in keeping them together and honouring them.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Boafo in expressing well deserved gratitude paid a glowing tribute to his late uncle and wife, Sofomaame Martha and thanked all on whose shoulders he had climbed to attain this height. He expressed gratitude to The Methodist Church,Ghana, his family, his in-laws and many he could not name for lack of time. He was effusive in his praise for his better-half and children for their support all through his ministry.
When the well represented Wesley Cathedral Choir, which included Kumawood Film Star,Naana Hayford-Dumfeh, herself a staunch Methodist, and the equally gifted Singing Band led the recession to draw the curtain on the Induction Service, it may have been a long day but one thing was certain, it was a resounding success. The Induction Service would be something to reflect on and talk about for years to come to the glory of God.
SOURCE: JOSEPH & KAREN ESSIFUL-ANSAH, Christ The King Ghana Methodist Church, Bethlehem GA, USA with files from Karen Adadzewah Essiful-Ansah, University of Ghana, Legon.
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