The Central Regional Minister Mr Samuel Sarpong, has admonished churches and Christians to desist from the practice of advertising their head pastors and wives as the central pillars of their worship of Jesus Christ.
He said this kind of practice amounted to personality cult worship, which does not augur well for Christianity and entreated all to advertise Jesus Christ rather than personalities.
Mr Sarpong said this in a speech read for him by Ms Priscilla Arhin, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive, at the Seventh-Day Adventist- Ghana 125th Anniversary Sabbath service in Cape Coast on Saturday.
The anniversary celebrated under the theme: “125 years of Transforming lives”, was attended by members of the church drawn from the Cape Coast East and West, Elmina and Mankessim districts.
The Regional Minister said the theme for the anniversary was appropriate and that it challenged the followers of Christ to eschew all forms of social vices such as bribery and corruption, alcoholism, drug trafficking, sexual immorality, stealing of public funds and verbal abuse.
He regretted that it was common for some Christians to engage in corrupt practices without recourse to the teachings of Christ thus bringing the name of the Church into disrepute.
Mr Sarpong commended the SDA Church, which started in Cape Coast in 1888, for its immense contributions towards the educational sector at the basic, secondary and tertiary level.
The Regional Minister appealed to the Church to continue partnering government to provide quality education at all levels in order to provide the requisite human resource. He added that a nation might be endowed with natural resources but it needed human resource to transform the natural resources into proper use to benefit the nation.
Mr Sarpong appealed to church leaders to help solve the unemployment problem among the youth by taking advantage of the Youth and Agriculture Policy and liaising with the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Authority to provide the youth with employable skills.
He also urged them to use the pulpit to sensitize motorists about the need to be extra cautious on the roads in order to prevent unnecessary killings of Ghanaians through road accidents.
Pastor Samuel Larmie, National President of SDA Church-Ghana, expressed appreciation to God for sustaining the church for the past 125 years and said the SDA church now had a population of about a million nationwide.
He said the Church was still committed to providing quality education and health care for the society, adding that it has 22 health facilities across the nation including three nursing training colleges, and a pharmacy.
Pastor Larmie said the Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) was still providing relief services for the poor and vulnerable, noting that a church that does not care for the needs of the poor was not a good one.
Touching on education, the National President said a wing of the SAD known as Maranatha International based in the USA, was assisting the church in Ghana to build 200 schools nationwide.
He said the church was also building 52 educational structures, which include crèche, primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions at the Valley View area near Dodowa in Accra and that 12 of such facilities would be built in Tamale in the Northern Region.
He said just as the church was growing, social problems were also increasing and that it was therefore important to train people in the fear of God, adding that “educating people without the fear God is not useful”.
Pastor Larmie, in a sermon, asked members of the church to use the anniversary to come closer to their maker (God) by finding time to study the word, pray and fast.
He also asked them to let the Christ-like life in them glow and reflect in whatever they did.
Pastor Larmie said Christ expected Christians to be his ambassadors and that they should let love, care and unity reflect in wherever they found themselves.
The National President said the lord had given Christians the light of truth and that they should not hide this light but rather make it shine by leading good life.
Pastor Solomon Asante, President of SDA-Central Region, said after 125 years of the existence, the Church would not relent on its efforts of providing social needs such as schools and health facilities, adding that they would also embark on an intensive evangelism.