The fiftieth anniversary of the first black conference in Africa
The Central Ghana Conference, the first black Seventh-day Adventist conference in Africa, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in February of this year, bringing together over 50,000 worshipers, lay leaders, ministers, and government and traditional rulers.
The event included a warm courtesy call by the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference president, Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson, on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana. The meeting of the two leaders, flanked by their respective associates, painted a beautiful picture of what the wholesome collaboration and cooperation of national and church leadership can produce for their mutual benefit and the well-being of their followers.
These leaders agreed on good governance, religious freedom, justice, and the rule of law. Pastor Wilson’s request to pray for the national president was warmly welcomed. Hon. Kennedy Agyepong, a parliament member, was honored during the celebration on the Sabbath day. For over a decade, he has opened the doors of his radio stations for the preaching of Adventist messages, which he described as unique and truly biblical. The support of the government for the General Conference president’s visit was admirable. God’s presence was felt throughout the program, and we are very thankful to Him. [West-Central Africa Division News, Irineo Koch / Kwame Boakye-Kwanin / Ocran Thomas]
Baptism in the backyard
Church worship was not possible, but Pastor Daniel Purda decided there must be a way. Marijan Plačković had begun studying God’s Word before the coronavirus crisis hit. Based on his new knowledge and experience with God, he decided to stand with Christ and publicly express it through baptism. He regularly attended the local church in Sunja and planned to be baptized there. However, the coronavirus pandemic erupted and disrupted those plans, with all churches facing temporary closure.
On Sabbath, while maintaining appropriate social distancing, they created an improvised pool using a large agricultural bin. The pastor then stood beside the bin and, following appropriate protective measures against infection, baptized the man in the backyard of his home.
Only four people were present, but the baptism brought joy to a much larger number who heard of this event and, as equally, to heaven. The pastor, respecting the pandemic prevention rules, will hold a ceremony of acceptance into the church membership at a later date when church gatherings are allowed to resume. However, he has already welcomed our new brother into the fellowship of God’s people.
[TED News Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor. Translation by Matija Kovačević].