By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
Hundreds of guests gathered in gowns and tuxedos or traditional West African garb for the official, presidential launch to raise funds for the building of the National Cathedral of Ghana, a promise President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made to God and his country if elected.
“I made a pledge to almighty God, if He was gracious enough to grant my Party, victory in the 2016 election, after two unsuccessful attempts, I would help build a cathedral to His glory and honor. I’m determined to redeem this pledge,” the president of the Republic of Ghana told crowd at the Museum of the Bible in Southwest, D.C. on Feb. 8.
The president’s pledge to God was his third point in a list of three reasons as to why he felt constructing a cathedral of Ghana is important. Akufo- Addo told the audience full of Christian leaders, Ghanaian Americans and migrants and supporters, that building the cathedral is also in appreciation of Ghana’s blessings and in order to further unite the country.
“Since gaining our freedom and independence from the British colonial empower 62 years ago in 1957, Ghana has been spared of Civil War, famine and epidemics. We’re certainly no better than the other nations in our neighborhood when being confronted with these challenges, but I believe it is by the grace of God that we have been preserved and sustained,” Ghana’s president explained. “Construction of the Cathedral is in thanksgiving to the Almighty for His blessings, favor, grace and mercy on our nation.”
Additionally, Ghana’s population is majority Christian. “71 percent of the billion people adhere to the Christian religion,” President Akufo-Addo said. “An interdenominational Christian cathedral, will help unify the Christian community, and thereby promote national unity and social cohesion.”
While the construction of the cathedral is a major priority of the president, he cannot do it alone. The president enlisted powerful voices in Ghana’s global Christian community for help in meeting his goal of building the infrastructure, including a Board of Trustees, who he said has taken the mantle of responsibility “of shepherding the project into completion.”
One of the members of the Board of Trustees included Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams- whose followers from around the Mid-Atlantic region packed the Museum of the Bible Friday night.
Archbishop Williams said those at the event were called by God in to help in constructing the cathedral. Williams used Genesis 22 as the launching point of energizing the crowd to, “do something.” In Genesis 22, God stops Abraham from offering his only son as a sacrifice to Him and bestows blessings on him and his family for “doing something.” Williams read the end of Genesis 22 as an example of what “doing something” to the glory of God, can potentially do.
“By myself, have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and has not withheld thy son, thine only son, 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, an in multiplying I will multiply thy see as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Because thou hast obeyed my voice,” the American Standard Version (ASV) of Genesis 22: 16-18 reads.
President Akufo-Addo told the crowd he needed their help beyond attendance of the gala to show their support in building the National Cathedral of Ghana, which was designed by internationally renowned Ghanian-British architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, who was also the lead designer for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I need your help to do so. The cathedral will not just be another national monument adorning the skyline of Accra, it will be the rallying point for the Christian to community to come together to pray, worship and promote the national conversations on the role of faith in building Ghana. It will house a Bible museum… and it will be an iconic infrastructure for national, regional and international pilgrimage and tourism,” the president of the Republic of Ghana said.
“That is why we’re trying to mobilize the Christian community, home and abroad, to join us in partnership to raise the necessary resources to build a cathedral. Just as God prospered the prophet Nehemiah to build the walls of Jerusalem, I’m prayerful that he will prosper us in our endeavor.”