The West African Milestone 

How Ghana Celebrated the 100th Stake

News Release

The Africa West Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reached an important milestone after the successful creation of its One Hundred Stake (Congregations of the Church are organized geographically, and members attend worship services near their home) in Lagos, Nigeria.

The creation of the Ojodu Nigeria Stake coincides with the 30th anniversary of the creation of the first stake in 1988 in Aba, Nigeria. The newly created stake, will be led by President Adekunle Adegbenro with Ajibola Ayodele and Kiki Samson as first and second counselors respectively.

  
                                                                                                                                

The Africa West Area Presidency, led by Elder Terence M. Vinson with Elder Marcus B. Nash and Elder Larry S. Kacher as first and second counselors respectively, informed all ecclesiastical leaders in the Area that a 100th Stake would be created on June 24, 2018.

In a letter to the leaders, the Area Presidency said, “We invite all Latter-day Saints to celebrate this miracle of growth, and to invite their friends and neighbors to join with us.”

In order to ensure uniformity, the Area Presidency proposed activities to commemorate the event, including the mounting of historical timeline banners, a pioneer recognition night, cultural display and broadcast of pioneer documentary.

Despite the setbacks and challenging times early members of the Church faced, their resilience, courage and faith has contributed to the fast growth of the Church in West Africa. Currently, the Church operates in 10 West African countries namely; Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinee, Senegal and Mali.

How the Stakes in Ghana Celebrated

Kumasi Ghana Stakes

                                                       

The three Stakes in Kumasi; Bantama, Dichemso and Asokwa jointly organized activities to honor pioneers of the Church.  The awardees were each presented with citations. Speaking at the event, Margaret Awuah, a Pioneer remarked that, “I had the privilege to always partake the sacrament in brother Sarpong’s house. This helped strengthen and sustain me during the freeze”.

Eliza Hooper Koufie, a member of Asokwa Stake said, “I felt so inspired, and I know that the Lord’s time is the best and He indeed prepares a way for his children. I can also be a pioneer in my family as I encourage and help less actives in my family and my ward”.  

In his advice to the Congregation, Harry Kyereh Sarpong, a Pioneer called on members to stay active in the Church and fully participate in all activities.

Tamale District

                                                     

The Tamale District in the Northern Region, one of the fastest growing districts in the Church, was not left out in the celebration. The youth and young single adults from Tamale and Bolgatanga performed cultural dances and role plays in commemoration of the historic event. The occasion was graced by Gushei naa,Dohayili naa and Nba Woluru from the Sagnarigu Chief Palace.

Tarkoradi and Mpintsin Stake

                                               

The leadership of the Tarkoradi and Mpintsin Stakes of the Church jointly held activities in commemoration of the historic celebration. The activities included the presentation of citations to the gallant pioneers and cultural performances by the youth.

Speaking to Mormon Newsroom Ghana, Honorable John Davies, Presiding Member of the Kwesimitsin District Assembly, expressed gratitude to the leadership for extending an invitation to witness this historic moment in the Church.

Also, in attendance was Nana Ejodzi Essoun (iii), Chief of Kwesimitsin, Nana Yadae Kojo (iv), Chief of Effia traditional area.

Kaneshie Stake

                                                         

Kaneshie stake (Congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are organized geographically, and members attend worship services near their home) which was created on October 25, 2005, also joined in to honor pioneers for their immense contribution towards the growth of the Church in the area.  Each pioneer was presented with a certificate. The youth who wore a broad smile and clad in their colorful African prints thrilled members and invited guests with cultural performances and poetry recital.

In his welcome address, President Flint Mensah, Stake President for Kaneshie Stake invited the audience to fully participate in the activities. He further expressed appreciation to the organizing committee for successfully organizing the program.

Christiansborg Stake

                                                   

The Christiansborg Stake also heed to the Area Presidency directives by organizing a three-day event. Day one feature the presentation of certificates to ten pioneers who were selected from wards within the stake.

Day two and three featured the display of cultural performances from the youth as well as talks and testimonies by pioneers.

Cape Coast Stake

                        

The Stake in this area marked the event by organizing series of events. Some pioneers including Robert Myres, Gibbons Kojo Aikins and Mary Amonoo, who were part of the first baptism in 1978 were offered the platform to share their testimonies with members. Subsequently, members took to the streets to exhibit their excitement. Amidst brass band music, William Gyedu Coleman, Stake President led members and their friends while they dance and march through the principal streets from Pedu Junction (AESL) to the Stake Center at Kakumdo.

In an interview with Mormon Newsroom Ghana, William Gyedu Coleman said “What this has brought to me is a sense of belonging, that no matter what happens the Church will grow. I feel so happy and peaceful within me...I have every confidence the Church will grow and grow and grow”.

Eva Ampah: “I’ve been very much inspired; it’s made me see the church is true. All our effort since the beginning hasn’t been in vain...”

Kasoa Stake

                   

In the case of Kasoa Stake, it was a night of inspiration and bliss as members and invited guests gathered to participate in the creation of the historic 100th Stake. Speakers at the event drum into members heads the need to embrace the new call by President Russell M. Nelson to minister.

In his testimony, Aloys Yamoah, a Pioneer explained that home and visiting teaching (It is a priesthood way of watching over the Saints and accomplishing the mission of the Church. Home teaching is not just an assignment. Visiting is a program where two women are assigned to visit an individual woman in their congregation) played a significant role in the growth of the Church in the early days.  

Mr. Evan Nai Opei, Secretary to the Ofankor Chief’s Palace, Asafoahene Nai Dodwobe, Nai Tsupi Kojo Klewiah, and Nai Kojo Larbie, Bemuhene of Ofankor graced the occasion. 

Tesano Stake

                                                           

In commemoration of the West African milestone, the leadership of Tesano Stake held a symposium to offer pioneers the platform to discuss the fundamental principles they clung to during the early days of the Church in Ghana. The pioneers expressed that their leap of faith was borne out of the standard of worship and benevolent nature of the Church.  When asked to share thoughts on current challenges being faced with, most members mentioned that overwhelming schedules and the influx of social media were gradually hindering their commitment towards the gospel.

However, Marc Badou Gohi, President of Tesano Stake said '' Technology should never be an excuse. The Church is not against technology. I can promise you that new gospel-oriented applications of are being developed and they will be on your phone. You only need to use your time wisely.''

On day two, members thronged the stake center to participate in the cultural activities. To intensify advocacy on attitudinal change towards drug abuse and chastity among youth in the country, the youth performed a role play to exhibit how Church youth can be worthy examples to their peers.

Nkawkaw District

Members and friends of the Church at Nkawkaw District in the Easter Region trudged to the district center despite the heavy downpour to participate in the 100th Stake activities. To them, the occasion was a manifestation of several prophecies about the growth of the Church.

Speaking at the event, Hon. Alex Somuah Obeng, Municipal Chief Executive for Kwahu West District, commended the Church for the discipline it instills in members and called on the leaders to support the district in the areas of education and health.

Laterbiokoshie Stake

                                                 

The pioneers of the stake Aggrey Barlow, Isaac Andoh-Kesson, Daniel Amposah Oware and Awo Otchere recounted their experiences as members of the Church. According to them, members have countless opportunities to aid their spiritual and physical growth. The stake choir in their angelic voices entertained the congregation with soothing songs.

Madina Stake

                 

Members clad in their “Be One” T-shirt, a shirt which symbolizes togetherness, in a joyous mood sang and marched through the principal streets of Madina.  Individuals above the ages of thirty years were each presented with a certificate.

Adenta Stake

In addition to the activities proposed by the Area Presidency, the leadership of the stake also capitalised on the event to organize sporting activities to bring members together. 

Other countries within the Africa West Area also commemorated the event in joy

 Togo

            

Nigeria
 
                          

               

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