‘So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labour. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.’ 1 Cor. 3: 7-9.
The building of the Sakumono Estates as a response to the high demand for residential accommodation and its commissioning in June 1989 saw a number of people moving into the estates originally referred to as “Affordable Estates”. By late 1990, the population had increased considerably.
The growth in the population of the Estates gave rise to the need for the establishment of churches by the various Christian denominations to overcome the problem of traveling to Accra and Tema for the purpose of worship. The Presbyterians were not left out in this regard.
A group of Presbyterians totaling 25 got together at the Sakumono Estates Manager’s office in the Sakumono estates in the evening of December 29, 1990. At the meeting, there was a complete agreement among members on the need to form a local church. Mrs. Shormeh Gyamfi-Aidoo, Mr. Isaac Akesseh and Mr. Seth Terkper volunteered to constitute a planning committee to plan the establishment of the church.
FIRST FORENOON SERVICE
The first forenoon service was held in a classroom of the Day Nursery Complex (now Bethel Day Nursery) on Sunday February 17, 1991 with 64 worshipers including children. The church was inaugurated on its first anniversary with a colourful ceremony on February 18, 1992 by the then Ga Presbytery Chairman. The church has grown over the years and has a total membership of about 3000 today.
On Thursday March 28, 1991, members attending the Passion Week evening service found that the Church had been locked out of the Nursery premises and its benches thrown outside. A member of the IMC. Mr. W.I.K. Dorcoo, then offered his compound at House number C 13/A/C32 to be used as a place of worship that evening under a canopy he had erected for his own domestic use. Church activities continued at this compound for quite a long time. The church eventually acquired land in the Sakumono estates and commenced building a befitting temple to the glory of God.
In November 1993, Rev. Jonathan Ayitey Mensah, the then Presbytery Clerk and District Minister of Tema Community 2 District conducted the Sod Cutting ceremony for the commencement of the building, Rev. S.E. Ampiaw and Rev. Kennedy Annor, the then Minister in charge, assisted him.
The chapel site was adequately prepared and the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony was held on May 29, 1994. The ceremony was administered by the then Acting Moderator, Rev. I. A. Sowah, assisted by Rev. Dr. B. Y. Quarshie the then Ga Presbytery Chairman. Other Ministers who were at the ceremony were Reverends, J. Ayitey Mensah, Dr. David Kpobi and Kennedy Annor.
SELECTION OF A NAME
The members desired to give a name to the congregation before its inauguration. After much prayer, the congregation choose the name ‘PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HOPE’ from among a list of names suggested by the members themselves. This was done through secret ballot during the forenoon service on October 27, 1991. Prof D. Nortey, a lay preacher and friend of the young congregation, who preached the sermon on that day, supervised the selection.
The Basement of the church building was commissioned and dedicated for use on Sunday September 1, 1996 at a moving and colourful ceremony where the church finally performed the exodus from its temporary place of worship to the basement. Rev. Dr. B. Y. Quarshie performed the dedication. The church worked diligently to complete the building and is currently constructing a multi–purpose children’s complex.
The Church established evangelism work as one of its main tools for Church growth. The Bible study and prayer meeting that was began at the initial stages of the formation of the congregation was consolidated into a group spearheaded by Mrs. Vida Ofosuhene and Mrs. Monica Otoo and other members who later joined their ranks. The group engaged in door to door evangelism within the estates and later extended their exploits beyond the fringes of the estates. These efforts were largely successful and had the effect of publicising the existence of the congregation in the estates. This drew in quite a number of new members and Presbyterians who had moved into the estates.
In 1992 the Church opened a Children’s Service point at Lashibi for the children of the increasing number of worshipers from that area to forestall the problem of transporting these children, whose number had grown to about 25, to the estates for worship. It was the aim of the church to use the children’s service as a focal point for the establishment of a preaching point. Under the co-ordination of Mrs. Eugenia Bampo-Akuffo and Mrs. Vida Ofosuhene, Mad. Beatrice Amanartey was trained to handle these children with support from the other Children’s Service teachers. On account of proximity the Ashiaman Central Presbyterian Church negotiated for the release of the group to them in 1994.
The church continued its evangelistic work and with the support of the District opened a preaching point for worshipers who had settled at the newly completed Lashibi estates of communities 18, 19, and 20. Mrs. Monica Otoo who had just completed the final part of the Catechist’s course was given charge of this preaching point. The first service was held on the first Sunday in July 1999. This narration would not be complete without the mention of the efforts of the Pastors and Agents who have served at the station in being instrumental for this pace of growth.
DEVELOPMENT OF CONGREGATIONAL GROUPS
Congregational Groups developed almost immediately after the formation of the Church. Children who had worshiped together with the adults at the first church service on February 17, 1991 were separated at the second forenoon service on February 24, 1991. The Children’s Service was thereby born under Mrs. Eugenia Bampoe-Akuffo and Mrs. Sylvia Tetteh who volunteered to be teachers. They were later to be joined by other volunteer teachers.
The Women and Men’s Fellowships were the next groups to be formed after women and men in the small congregation came together to organise these fellowships. The Women’s Fellowship was formed on February 24, 1991 and continued from then on to grow to become one of the most dynamic in the congregation. The Men’s Fellowship followed in May 1991. The group had initial organisational problems but managed to survive with the help of the Prince of Peace Men’s Fellowship. The Bible Study and prayer Group developed out of the weekly Bible study and prayer meetings which had been instituted following the formation of the church. The Group was formalized in May 1991. The singing groups were to be formed later in 1991. While the youth in the congregation were encouraged to constitute the nucleus of the church choir. The Singing Band was instituted in December 1991. The Church choir was later expanded by the inclusion of some adults. The Choir later became the first group to be inaugurated on September 16, 1992 during which choir robes were dedicated.
The youth in the congregation were also formalized as a group in 1992 when Mr Kwabena Otu-Danquah was appointed as Organizer for the Youth. The Junior Y developed in due course out of this youth group under the supervision of Mrs. Monica Otoo and Mr. Seth Terkper. The Young Adults Fellowship has also been inaugurated and added to the groupings within the church
MINISTERS AND AGENTS
The church was right from inception placed under the Tema Community Two District. This stirred some controversy with the Nungua District protesting to the church hierarchy that it should have been placed under Nungua since the church is located on Nungua land. The congregation left this issue in the hands of the Presbyterian Church hierarchy. In the end the congregation was left under Tema Community 2 District. Initial spiritual leadership was provided by Catechist Otu-Masi with the then Tema Community 2 District Minister Rev. Ayitey Mensah providing pastoral oversight.
Since the birth of the church, several ministers have had Pastoral charge of the congregation. The first full-time agent was Cat. Otu-Masi who took office on May 7, 1991. Rev. Kennedy Obiri Annor (November 1992 – August 1994); and Rev. Erasmus N. B. Odonkor, (September, 1994 – September, 2006) and Rev. (Mrs.) Esther Agbodeka, 2nd Minister (September 2008 – September 2010).
Others are Rev. Gideon Buenor Puplampu, (October 2006 – October 2011) and Rev. (Mrs.) Vera Gyan-Amponsah, 2nd Minister (September, 2010 – September, 2011) and Rev. Dr. Solomon Sumani Sule Saa, Attached Minister (January, 2011 – 2013), Rev. William Korley Quaye (November, 2011), Rev. Kennedy Kofi Asante Sarpong, 2nd Minister (September, 2012), Rev. Sylvia Awuraa Akua Ofori Amoako, Attached Minister (2013 to 2018), and Rev Stephen Lanquaye Lawson and Rev. Andrew Shardow, (2nd Minister). The present ministers include Rev. Emmanuel Obeng Ntow, Rev. Frederick Kotey Ashaley, and Rev Sylvia Akuffo Anning Bonsu.
Hope Congregation was elevated into a District and have had the following serving as District Mininsters, Rev. Gideon Buenor Puplampu, Rev. William Quaye, Rev Stephen Lanquaye Lawson, and currently Rev. Emmanuel Obeng Ntow.
Other Ministerial Team members that have served the congregation include Cat. Cynthia Lomotey (September, 2008 – date); Cat. Elvis Aboagye (September, 2008 – to date); Cat. (Mrs.) Salome Matey-Johnson (March 2010 – to date) and Cat. Mrs. Akua Appiah Ansah (now a Reverend Minister), Mrs. Monica Aba Otu, Cat. Major (Rtd) Ntow.
During the period the church has had visits by a number of guest preachers both Ministers and lay preachers from within the Presbyterian Church and the larger Christian community to share the Word of God and aid the spiritual growth of the congregation.
The first Session was inducted on Inauguration Day on February 18, 1992. The second Session was elected and inducted into office in March 1996. The sixteen members were Messrs W.I.K. Dorcoo (Senior Presbyter), Isaac Akessea (Session Secretary), G.L.S Klufio, E.N.L. Abbew, R.L. Opintan, Ernest Armah, Mr. Ben Botwe, Eric Appiah Ansah, and S. A .K.Kwakye. The female members were Mrs. Monica Otoo, Mrs. Shormeh Gyamfi-Aidoo, Mrs. Vida Ofosuhene, Mrs. Elizabeth Amoyaw-Osei, Ms. Juliana Osei, Mrs. Vida Adu Gyamfi, and Mrs. Akosua Essiah.
The second Session was elected and inducted into office in March 1996. The sixteen members were Messrs W.I.K. Dorcoo (Senior Presbyter), Isaac Akesse (Session Secretary), G.L.S Klufio, E.N.L. Abbew, R.L. Opintan, Ernest Armah, Ben Botwe, Eric Appiah Ansah, and S. A. K. Kwakye. The female members were Mrs. Monica Otoo, Mrs. Shormeh Gyamfi-Aidoo, Mrs. Vida Ofosuhene, Mrs. Elizabeth Amoyaw-Osei, Ms. Juliana Osei, Mrs. Vida Adu Gyamfi, and Mrs. Akosua Essiah. The term of office of the second Session ended after four years.
The third Session was duly elected and inaugurated in March 2000. To cope with the increasing number of worshippers, Session was enlarged to eighteen members. They are: Messrs Ben Botwe (Senior Presbyter), Isaac Akesseh (Session Secretary), Ernest Armah, Eric Appiah-Ansah, Clement Tetteh, Frank Boateng, Sampson Asare Fianko, Alfred Kwasi Opoku and Philip Doku. The female members are Mrs. Vida Ofosuhene, Mrs. Akosua Essiah, Mrs. Vida Adu Gyamfi, Mrs. Elizabeth Amoyaw Osei, Mrs. Abigail Ahulu, Mrs. Flora Dorcoo, Mrs. Kezia Koomson, Mad. Beatrice Narteh and Ms. Suzzie Attafuah.
The fourth session served during the period of 2004-2008. Members included Philip Doku, Sampson Asare Fianko, Stanley Doku, Kojo Anyane-Yeboah, Yaw Amoyaw-Osei, Alex Ayeh-Amanor, Enoch Aryee-Attah, Richard Osei-Amponsah, Frank Amoako Boateng, David Mireku, Comfort Yemo, Patience Arthur-Badoo, Esther Quayson, Agnes Bossman-Armah, Abigail Ahulu, Eva Nancy Addo, Kezia Koomson, Comfort Ansah, Flora Dorcoo, and Bernice Natue/Agnes Atiapa-Ayettey.
The fifth session included Alfred Kwasi Opoku, Kojo Anyane-Yeboah, Richard Osei-Amponsah, David Mireku, Ronald Oppong Adom, Daniel H. Yeboah, Percy Asare Ansah, Dominic Ansa-Asare, Clement Tetteh, Eugene Koranteng Asante, Vida Ofosuhene, Akua Appiagyei, Comfort Ansah, Agnes Atiapa-Ayettey/Lydia Twumwaa, Agnes Bossman-Armah, Patience Arthur-Badoo, Agatha-Otu-Danquah, Eva Nancy Addo, Vivian Danso-Dodoo and Margaret Doku. They served between 2008-2012.
The next session that was elected had the following as its members Mr. Alfred Kwasi-Opoku (Senior Presbyter), Vivian Danso-Dodoo (Director of Finance), Mr. Kingsley Ansah (Clerk of Session), Mrs. Margret Doku (Assistant Clerk of Session), Mrs. Agatha Otu-Danquah, Mrs. Vida Ofosuhene, Mrs. Elizabeth Amoyaw-Osei, Mr. Dominic Ansah, Mr. Eugene Koranteng Asante, Mr. David Ofori-Atta, Mr. Ronald Oppong Adom, Mr. D. H. Yeboah, Mr. Clement Tetteh, Mrs. Akua Appiagyei, Mrs. Flora Dorcoo, Mr. Percy Ansah, Dr. K. O. Antwi-Agyei, Mrs, Vida Adu Gyamfi and Mrs. Lydia Twumwaa.
The current session members in place have the following as members Mrs Patience Arthur-Biadoo (Senior Presbyter), Mr. Eric Twum Ansah, Mr. Nana Opare Addo, Mrs. Elizabeth Amoyaw Osei, Madam Christiana Akrofi, Mr. Asare Fianko, Ms. Bernice Natue, Mr Edward Laryea Odai,. The rest are Mrs Grace Sackey, Mrs. Kezia Koomson, Mr. Kingsley Ansah, Mrs. Lydia Asare Ansah, Mr Prince Offei Larbi, Mrs Sophia Fialor, Mr Stephen Kofi Kwakye, Mrs. Sylvia Tetteh, Mrs. Vida Adu Gyamfi, Dr. Antwi-Agyei, Mr. Adu Oppong, and Dr Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Amoah.
The congregation also opened a church office manned by an Administrative Secretary in March 22, 1999 to assist with the increasing administrative work.
We say Ebenezer for thus far the Lord has brought us and we are immensely grateful to the Lord Almighty. Our prayer is that the Lord will grow his church from glory to glory.
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