The Akyem Abuakwa Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), has honoured seven distinguished members of the Church who contributed immensely to the establishment and growth of the Church at a colourful Church Service at Kyebi Presbyterian Church.
As part of the honours a plaque was unveiled in their honour in the Church as well as their tombs at the Basel Mission cemetery at Kyebi rededicated to God by the Moderator of the PCG, Right Reverend Professor J. O. Y. Mante.
The church service was attended by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Nana Dokua, Okyenhemaa, ministers of state and families of the honorees both home abroad.
The dead who were honour are Evangelist Emmanuel Yaw Boakye Dankwah,
Odehyee Susana Akosua Buor Gyankromaa, Very Reverend G.K Sintim Misa,
Reverend Rose Akua Ampofo, Opanyin Thomas Yaw Kani, Dr J.B Danquah and Mr William Eugene Amoako Atta Ofori –Atta (Paa Willie), both of the big six of Ghana’s political history.
According to history read in their tributes, Evangelist Emmanuel Yaw Boakye Dankwa, born in 1834 was a state drummer of the then Okyenhene King Amoako-Atta I and was married to Odehyee Susana Akosua Buor Gyankroma, a cousin to the Okyenehene then and they were the parents of Sir Ofori-Atta 1, of the Akyem Abuakwa state.
The couple was baptized into the Presbyterian faith as well as many others from the Ofori-Panin Royal Family and became evangelists, this was seen as a threat to the traditional solidarity of the Royal Family and as a result suffered great deal of persecution and were declared persona non grata at Kyebi.
Very Reverend Sintim Misa, served as the Moderator of the Synod of the PCG, Rev. Rose Akua Ampofo, was instrumental in establishing the famous Presbyterian Women’s’ centre at Abokobi and became its first Director for 10 years.
In 2002, the Basel Mission in Switzerland appointed her as Head of Women and Gender Desk and her duties covered churches in South America, Africa and Asia, unfortunately in 2003 she died in a fatal accident at Peru, while on duty tour.
Dr J. B. Danquah and Paa Willie, of the Big six, contributed significantly to the academic discourse between Christianity and African heritage and to the building of Ghana.
Dr J. B. Danquah was said to be a staunch Presbyterian that even on campaign platforms, he sang the famous Presbyterian hymns, whiles Opanyin Thomas Kani made important contributions to the recording of the Presbyterian Church history and teaching of its music.
President Akufo-Addo in his speech described the day as a source of joy for the Ebenezer congregation of which he was a member and added that “am blessed to say that five out of the seven honorees today are my direct ancestors, who contributed strongly to deepening the Presbyterian faith in Kyebi and Ghana”.
He applauded the PCG for the decision to honour them in such manner and urged members of the Presbyterian faith to follow the examples of the heroes by loving one another and giving cheerfully to enhance the kingdom of Christ.
The Moderator, in a sermon said the role of the late Sir Ofori-Atta’s descendants in the establishment of the PCG was unparalleled and their success in life was evident of the fact that when people served God with diligence and dedication, their generations unborn were blessed.
He recalled that history had it that one of the painful persecution Evangelist Yaw Boakye and his wife Odehyee Susana Gyankromaa suffered was that whiles they were running from their persecutors at Asuom, their four-month old baby fell from her back and died.
The Moderator said it was not surprising that God had blessed the Ofori-Atta descendants so much that, “today we have a sitting president from that family and a host of Ministers of state from time immemorial.”
He therefore reminded the congregation that there was blessing in the service of God and that what mattered in life was being committed and diligent to the things of God and goodness and mercies shall follow.
Rev. Dr. Seth Kissi, Chairperson of the Akyem Abuakwa Presbytery, said the day was set aside to celebrate their courage, foresight, leadership and boldness in their struggles as pacesetters and pathfinders in many aspects of the ministry of the PCG, and the building of the nation.
He noted that as part of the celebration, the Presbytery had decided to build a museum to be named after Y. B. Dankwah which will be a one-stop center for information on all personalities and places of historical, missionary and ecclesiastical significance where visitors will learn the history of these great men and women.
President Akufo-Addo later, pledged GH¢50,000.00 as his personal contribution to the construction of the Yaw Boakye Dankwa Museum. His action was followed by many others from the Ofori-Atta descent including the Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta and Minister for Works and Housing Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea.