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Religion of Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Source: GNA

EP Church gets new Moderator

The Rt Rev Dr Seth Senyo Agidi has assumed leadership of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church for the next six years with a pledge “to build on the foundation and building that has been started” rather than “re-event the wheel.”

He takes over from Very Rev Francis Amenu.

Rev Agidi is the second Moderator since the adoption of the General Assembly concept by the Church six years ago in place of the Synod. He is also the 13th Moderator of the Church.

Until his election at the sixth General Assembly of the Church on 23 August 2014 and subsequent induction on January 11, Rt Rev Agidi was the Director of Programmes, Ecumenical and Social Relations of the Church.

He said his administration would revitalize a number of initiatives and embark on new ones to tackle nine “major issues of concern for the E.P. Church’s Mission and Ministry.”

“On the core mandate of the Church as an agent of Christ’s redemptive work, we will engage in vigorous and pragmatic evangelistic activities of propagating the gospel message across the country and beyond with particular focus on the Northern belt of the country,” he said.

In tandem with this, Right Reverend Agidi said the new administration will tackle the poor working conditions of the Church’s pastors, and catechists, “one of the lowest paid Church agents in Ghana including other staff.”

“The fact is that some of our Pastors are receiving as low as 200.00 Ghana cedis a month,” he said.

“At the moment we have about 60 percent of our agents working as part-time minister and 40 percent as full time.”

“The challenge we are confronted with at the moment is to improve upon salaries and allowances of church agents to attract and motivate them for committed service.

“Let us pay at least living wages and provide improved conditions of service for our agents in exchange for more work and accountability,”

Regarding a solid financial base to bolster the Church’s mission and ministry, the Moderator said utmost attention would be given to current proposals to create a Commercial Affairs Department and Fund Mobilization in congregations at least twice in a year for investment.

This will be in addition to expanding existing income generation activities in the hospitality industry, commercial agriculture, Pharmacy project, establishment of book and stationery and school uniform store, capital injection into the E.P. Publishing Company and expansion of self-help projects to expand economic activities for those in low income group in the Church.

Regarding education, the new administration proposes to engage the Ghana Education Service, government and other mission partners to rehabilitate some of its Basic and Senior High Schools which have seen no renovation for years and are eye sores.

“We will also continue to engage Heads of our institutions teachers and the GES for high moral training and Presbyterian discipline for our children.”

The Church will also continue to establish more schools especially on-going work to establish Colleges of Education and also seek funding avenues to build the infrastructure of the Evangelical Presbyterian University College.

The Church will encourage its congregations and presbyteries to partner other mission development partners to put up more health posts in communities that have no health facilities.

The administrative restructuring of the Church’s hospitals and clinics will continue and possibly upgrade some existing clinics such as the ones at Dambai and Wapuli to Polyclinics and Hospitals to expand and maximize their operation.

On discipline in the Church, Rt Rev Agidi called for a return to “the Presbyterian Discipline to all levels of church life.”

“We have to agree on zero tolerance for discipline among the clergy and the laity.”

Rev Dr David Greenhaw, President, Eden Theological Seminary Saint Louis Missouri, USA, appealed to the E.P. Church to support its new Moderator.

Preaching at the induction service, he advised Right. Rev Agidi to take it easy and not be too hard on himself in pursuit of his new assignment.