Diasporian News of Monday, 14 November 2005
New York, Nov 6, 2005 -
Abundant Life Baptist Church, Bronx, New York, USA celebrated its 10th anniversary and thanksgiving of its existence today. The church which was established from the living room of Rev. and Mrs. Kwaku Adu-Wusuh in 1995 with only seven members has now grown up to a membership of over two hundred.
The week long celebration which started from Sunday, October 30, 2005 with symposia on each day was climaxed on Sunday, November 6, 2005. The special guest of honor was Rev. Dr. Kojo Osei-Wusu, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Kumasi, Ghana who is also the President of the Ghana Baptist Convention. Among the activities for the day was a praise dance which was performed by some selected young members of the church led by Sister Ruth Aboagye, a display that received standing ovation and admiration from all invited guests. A brief history of the establishment of the church was read by Deacon Thomas Gyamfi-Mensah, Chairman of the Board of Deacons of Abundant Life Baptist church.
In a sermon, the special guest, Rev. Dr. Kojo Osei-Wusu first gave thanks to God that the 10th anniversary celebration was a year of celebration for him because he had just finished celebrating his 60th birthday and also being, by God's Grace, through him the establishment of the church became a reality. He said it was also a fulfillment of pioneering desires which he had in mind at the time the church was established. According to him, it was the desire of the Ghana Baptist convention to build true Baptist churches all over the world and North America was not an exception instead of building one man churches. He was particularly thrilled about the presence of representatives from Ghanaian Baptists throughout North America which he said serves as a significant and symbolic of unity in building God's kingdom. He therefore called for refocusing in our goals as well as be convention churches and pay contributions and not to be sectional in our focus. He mentioned that the churches should not see themselves as either from Grace Baptist, Calvary Baptist, Asokwa Baptist etc. According to him, if these are avoided and cooperate with each other today would have been seen as the beginning of a new spirit of building that would lead us to no other place but to a higher ground. He mentioned that whether we liked it or not New York City will and continues to remain the capital of the world and where the headquarters of the Baptist convention would be based. On the anniversary, he mentioned that the celebration should not be seen as for Abundant Life Baptist Church alone but for all the churches that had recently started and who have come to celebrate and contribute together towards the building of our corporate future. He specifically appreciated the fact that he was told a member of the church brought his personal car to be sold and the proceeds donated towards the thanksgiving offering as well as a lady member of the church who signed a personal check for $1,000.00 also towards the thanksgiving. He therefore called on those present to follow their faithful examples and prove God's promise of blessings upon his people if we give.
In an appeal for funds, Rev. Samuel Nana Opoku, the host senior pastor mentioned the purpose of the celebration and the thanksgiving which was geared towards the purchase of a new sanctuary for the church. He therefore challenged church members to donate cheerfully as the Lord loves a cheerful giver. The challenge yielded a substantial amount of money towards the purchase of the sanctuary.
Representatives from Baptist churches in America including, Columbus, Ohio; Worcester, Massachusetts, Virginia, Denver, Colorado graced the occasion. Certificates of appreciation were presented to members both old and present for their contributions towards the establishment and the progress of the church.
Among the personalities present were, Rev. Kofi Owusu-Ansah Sasraku, of Ghana Baptist Theological Seminary, Abuakwah, Ghana and who is also the Senior Pastor of Ashanti New Town Baptist, Church; Rev. J.W. Boakye-Donkor, Pastor of Obuasi 1st Baptist Church, Ghana, Rev. Atta Fynn of Pennsylvania, Rev. Oppong Fosu of Denver Baptist church and Rev. George Jaha Abosi, Associate pastor of Abundant Life Baptist church. Also present were all the ordained Deacons of the church made up of Deacons Thomas Gyamfi-Mensah, Chairman of the Board of Deacons, Joseph Atta Fosu, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, Robby Appiah-Kubi, Kwabena Opoku-Asante and Deaconess Georgette Saade.