VERY REV. ANTHONY A. BEEKO
FORMER MODERATOR, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF GHANA
deem it a great honour to be invited to write a message and
add to the pelting shower of congregations as the Church at
Akropong embarks on this celebration. We thank Almighty God
for sending faithful massagers to us. We are grateful to the
people who were “ not disobedient to the heavenly vision”.
its enviable history, Akropong can truly be described as a
“city set on a hill” which “cannot
be hidden”. Since 1835 when Nana Addo Dankwa I, the
Omanhene of Akuapem, received with open arms, Andreas Riis
and George Lutterodt, who were in search of a healthy location,
and a truly indigenous people among whom to live and work,
God has showered blessings on Akropong in many ways. This
includes being the venue of first establishments.
first school for the indigenous people of Ghana was established
in 1844 at Akropong. The first college in the country, the
Presbyterian Training College, was founded in 1848 at Akropong.
The first Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana was held
at Akropong on 18th August 1918. To add to the string of firsts,
Akropong has become the “seat of research for scholars
and the continuing education of pastors and other Church agents”
with the establishment of the Akrofi Christaller Memorial
Akropong became the cradle of “Presbyterian
Christianity” in Ghana. The first fellowship
of Christians to be nurtured into a congregation was formed
here. This gave rise to the seed of Church polity to germinate,
grow and flourish in Ghana. Consequent upon the activities
of the church at Akropong, streams of seasoned preachers and
teachers have flowed from here. Some of these people became,
not only heralds of truth and enlightenment, but also pace-
setters for entire country of Ghana and the rest of the world.
simply reminds us of Akropong Salem trained people, some of
whom became Heads of State, in the Republic of Ghana, professionals
of repute, and the first African to be the head of the highest
institution of learning in Ghana, and an academic of international
recognition. We can indeed assert without fear of contradiction
that the sons and daughters and Akuapem have contributed immensely
to the progress and uplift of values and standards held dear
in Ghana, simply because most of Akuapem teachers became models
of discipline lives where they served.
all, the Church at Akropong used to be the epitome of the
Church of Christ in Ghana, boasting not only of Christian
values and standards, but also of class singing groups.
are however tempted to slot in a question: if the pioneer
returned to this “city set on a hill”
to see how we have continued their mission, will they borrow
the words of William Wordsworth and say:
things which I have seen I now can see no more……………..
There hath passed away a glory from the earth”.
will they be happy ad exclaim contentment using the words
of Miranda in “the Tempest,” by Shakespeare,
How many goodly creatures are there here.
How beauteous mankind is. O brave new world
That has such people in it”.
message then is simple. We must not sleep on past records,
or recede into a complacent relaxation. If we don this, our
Church and its institutions will become, in the words of Plato,
“poor copies of the original". We must
spring into action and strain every nerve to maintain the
standards and values of the past so that we of this generation
can also “leave behind footprints on the sands of
writer of the letter to the Hebrews put it succinctly,
this great cloud of witnesses around us, therefore, we too
must throw off every encumbrance and the sin that all too
readily restricts us, and run with resolution he race which
lies ahead of us, Our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and
perfecter of faith. (REB)
the Lord richly bless you all
Very Rev. Anthony A. Beeko
New Achimota, Accra - Ghana