Regions herald new year with church services

Christians in all the regions of the country welcomed the new year with watch night services. Joyous worshippers thronged churches, sang praises, danced and prayed to God for taking them through the just-ended year.

With prayers and shouts of joy they welcomed the new year just at the stroke of midnight, embracing one another and shaking hands to wish each other God’s blessings, protection and prosperity in the new year. At some of the churches, the church bells tolled at the stroke of midnight.

From Koforidua in the Eastern Region, A. Kofoya-Tetteh reports that at the Apostles’ Continuation Church International at Adweso, a Koforidua suburb, the senior clergyman in charge of the congregation, Rev Peter Asante, noted that so many things went wrong the previous year and that Ghanaians should examine their lifestyles  and change for the better this year.

The Eastern Regional Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, Rev Ofori Amankwa, who also led his congregation into the new year, entreated Ghanaians to examine what they did during the year, with the view of correcting the wrongs in the coming year.

Bad traits such as fraud (especially at workplaces), killings, armed robbery, undermining and drunkenness should be  things of the past, he said.

Rev Amankwa said it was the responsibility of everyone, including government officials, to put in their maximum and support the government to fulfil its ‘Better Ghana Agenda.’

“I, therefore, fully support the call by former President J. J. Rawlings for non-performing ministers of state to be replaced, otherwise the country will slacken in development and the people will continue to live in poverty,” Rev Ofori Amankwa intoned.

Cape Coast
Shirley Asiedu-Addo reports from Cape Coast that the Bishop of the Lighthouse Chapel International in charge of the Central Region, Bishop Jake Godwyll, advised Christians to stop paying prophets to pray for them.

He said it was time Christians learnt to pray for their needs,  adding that the life of a Christian who did not pray was left to chance.

He noted that prayer was an expression of one’s personal faith in God and an indication that one had a personal relationship with God, which is the basis of everyone’s Christian faith.

From Enyan Denkyira, Kweku Gyasi Essel reports that the pastor in charge of the Berean Assemblies of God Church, Reverend Tony Takyi Elegba, preached on the theme: “ What God Wants His People To Do.”

Basing his sermon on John 17:20-24, he said God always spoke to his people and that in spite of whatever God would say, He expected his people to do three important things.

He said God wanted His people to be one “because one connotes unity.” He also wants them to be perfect in unity and to draw closer to Him.”

Rev. Elegba explained that “it is when we draw closer to God that we hear from Him and apply His word to whatever we do, including our efforts at  improving ourselves and at developing our country.”

Christians in Kumasi welcomed the New Year with various activities, including crusades,  and  watch nights reports  Felix A. Baidoo from Kumasi.

Most of the messages centred on hope for a better nation in 2014, and Christians were urged to look up to God for solutions to the nation’s problems.

At the Kumasi Jubilee Park, the Head Pastor of the Family Chapel International Church, Rev. Dr Victor Osei, challenged the government to come clean on the various corruption cases in the country.

He explained that there was the need for people to be sanctioned or reprimanded for wrongdoings to serve as a deterrent to others.

Rev. Dr Osei urged Christians to involve themselves in politics to help bring some form of sanity and honesty into the country’s political circles.

The First Elder of the Amakom Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Seth Osei-Afriyie, attributed the economic challenges that confronted the nation to the global trend and said what the country needed was to put in place the right measures to mitigate the situation to save the nation from the economic doldrums.

“All should adopt the policy of ‘Ghana First’ in all endeavours, to put the love for the nation and its development on a very high pedestal.”

Joseph Kyei-Boateng also reports from Kumasi that ironically, the messages of hope and prayers of prosperity did not prevent some church members from becoming victims of  robbery attacks.

At Old Tafo, 26-year-old Felicity Annor had her two mobiles phones, her purse containing GH¢300.00 and identity cards snatched by robbers at knife-point while returning from church at dawn.

The three young men who attacked her also inflicted knife wounds on her wrist and shoulders,  which made her bleed profusely.

She was, however, treated and discharged at the Tafo Government Hospital.

Also at Moshie Zongo, Dichemso, Abrepo Junction, Krofuom, Sofoline and Anloga Junction, a number of church members who were returning from church at dawn were said to have been subjected to severe beatings and threatened on knife-point to surrender their personal belongings.

From Ho, Tim Dzamboe reports that churches visited were the Evangelical Presbyterian Church at Ho-Kpodzi and SSNIT Flats, Catholic Church at Ho-Bankoe, Victory Bible Church International at the Rural Training Centre (RTC) and the Winners Chapel.

The officiating ministers called for a renewal among all citizens in order to chart a new course for a prosperous life in the New Year.

In a message delivered at the E.P Church at Ho-Kpodzi, the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Francis Ganyaglo, called on Ghanaians to persevere in the face of adversity to enable them to  endure in the course of nation building.

Tamale in the Tamale Metropolis, the Kings Christian Ministry held an open-air watch night service at the Jubilee Park, where its General Overseer, Bishop Dr Albert Luguterah, entreated residents of the metropolis to use the occasion to thank God for both the successes and failures of the year 2013, Vincent Amenuveve reports.

“As children of God, you have to know that challenges are bound to occur and it behoves  you to pray unceasingly for God to speak to your life,”  Dr  Luguterah stressed.

The general overseer mentioned in particular the need for the youth to remember their God so that their future   would be bright.

Samuel Duodu reports from Sunyani on a sermon  at the ICGC Salem Temple,  where pastor Abinadab Effah-Asiedu, the head Pastor,  urged political, religious and all other leaders  in the country to put things in order to ensure the orderly development and prosperity of the nation in 2014.

He noted that “God is a God of orderliness” and, therefore, Ghanaians, and for that matter Christians, must eschew the haphazard way of doing things and apply the spirit of orderliness to all their endeavours.


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