The once peaceful church in the country, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church, is now embroiled in confusion and rancour, following the closure of 12 branches of the church in the Brong Ahafo Region.
When the executives of the Mid-West Ghana Conference (MWGC) announced the dismissal of the 12 churches, the expellants also vowed not to go anywhere, saying “only court can stop us from being the members of the SDA.”
Speaking to The Chronicle at Berekum, Mr. Paul Osei Agyemang said, after the announcement of the closure of the churches, they still carried on with their activities as Adventists on the premises of these churches, using the doctrines of SDA as their guide.
The only thing, according to him, that they could not do was the participation of organizational activities of the church.
Citing reasons why the executives wanted them out of the church, they claimed the leadership of the 12 expelled churches had stood against immoral activities, stealing and introduction of oracle consultations by the leadership of the church in the Brong Ahafo.
Mr. Agyemang disclosed that the executives of the church had deviated from the teachings of the church, and rather engaged themselves in prostitution, sending one another to juju men and stealing of church properties.
On the 18th of last month, the leadership of the church in the region announced the closure and dismissal of members of 12 churches in the Brong Ahafo.
Out of these 12, 10 were in the Berekum district and one each in the Techiman and Dormaa districts.
Reasons cited for expelling the churches included; the refusal to attend camp meetings, refusal to remit tithes and offerings to the conference, refusal to accept church officials and ministers sent by the mid-west Ghana Conference, the Ghana Union Conference and the West Central Africa Division.
But in a conference organized by the 12 churches at Berekum, they refuted the allegations, adding that, the main reasons for expelling them were there.
Mr Agyemang, who was the spokesman for the group argued that, since 2000, the Mid-West Ghana Conference had never organized any camp meting in the Berekum district.
He however said that, the last one which was organized in the district was in 2003 at Gonasua, but the members of the 12 churches were not invited.
He revealed that these churches had met and organized their own revival programme from 30th of December to January 4, this year.
On refusal of remittance of tithes and offerings, the church elder denied the allegation. He said the affected churches had paid their tithes to the church treasurer accredited to them by MWGC.
According to him, it was the duty of the treasurer to remit the money to the conference in Sunyani, adding if he (treasurer) failed to do so, the ordinary church member should not suffer for it.
Mr. Agyemang added that the MWGC, for sometime had refused to take tithes and offerings from the 12 expelled churches.
The churches also refuted the allegations that they were not accepting officials and ministers from the leadership of the church and the claimed refusal of the Techiman Zongo SDA to remove the name of Elder D.A. Munifie from church membership for litigating against the SDA church.
The expellants argued that the basis on which they were expelled from the church was unconstitutional and against the teachings of the SDA church.
According to the spokesman, the church had a constitution and a manual that spelt out procedures of expelling a member or closing down a church and these needed to be applied.He therefore emphasized that they would contest the case to the last drop of their blood to ensure that the truth prevailed.
He added that they would not sit down unconcerned and watch the church engulfed in corruption and prostitution.