Religion of Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Source: GNA

SDA is 125 years

Adventist (SDA) Church has said the ideals that make social relationships meaningful were being lost due to unrestrained passions and religious principles.

He said today, millions had abandoned Christian standards of conduct and were exchanging the sweet and sacred experiences of marriage and parenthood for the bitter, remorseful fruits of lust.

Pastor Larmie, who was speaking on Tuesday during a launch of the 125th Anniversary of the SDA Church in Ghana, said if that was left unchecked society would soon reap the bitter fruits of damaged familial structure, the break-down of family system, diseases and many other evils.

“It is in times like this that the Seventh-Day Adventists Church is calling on all Christians to proclaim and live the Christian life to the glory of our maker. This is the time for evaluation both at the individual and corporate levels; a time to re-dedicate our lives to the Gospel and seek to show in our lives the Good News of Salvation we have found.

“… for we live in dangerous times and as Christians we have the responsibility to reach out to many who have not found the truth and liberty in Christ. We must do so by being living testimonies of the Gospel,” he said.

He said December 7, 2013 would be the climax for the year long anniversary celebrations with activities beginning from February to November.

Recounting the beginnings of the church in Ghana, Pastor Larmie said the church began in Ghana exactly 25 years after the establishment of the SDA Church in America.

He said the SDA message reached the shores of Ghana in 1888 not through the work of a missionary but through an indigene by name Francis Dolphijn who picked up a Sabbath tract along the coast of Apam.

Pastor Larmie said in 1894, six years later, the first missionaries, Edward L. Sanford and Karl G. Rudolph , arrived at Apam but frequent malaria attacks forced Sanford to return to his home country while Rudolf remained and moved to Cape Coast.

“On October 3, 1895, Cape Coast became the official Headquarters of the Seventh - Day Adventist Church in West Africa. That same year, the church in America sent a group of missionaries led by Pastor Dudley U. Hale to Cape Coast,” he added.

Pastor Larmie said from that humble beginning, the SDA Church had grown into a big family with a total membership of over 700,000 including baptized and non baptized members.

The SDA Church, he said, had a total of 3,012 local churches throughout the country, operated over 600 basic schools, 14 Senior High Schools, three Nursing Schools, one College of Education and a University.

He said besides that, the church had 13 hospitals and 12 clinics in operation throughout the country and the humanitarian arm of the church, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) also demonstrated the love of God to people in need and in deprived communities.

He said since its inception in 1983, ADRA Ghana had worked in all 10 regions in areas including food security, primary healthcare, education, disaster relief and micro finance.

Activities marking the anniversary include National Clean-up campaign; National Blood Donation; National Health Walk; Revival and Spiritual camp Meetings; Evangelistic Campaigns, and the National climax on December 7, 2013.