THE BIBLE SOCIETY OF GHANA
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON THURSDAY, 4TH AUGUST, 2016
AT THE EVANGEL ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, ADABRAKA
OPENING & DEVOTION
The meeting started at 1:20 p.m and the General Secretary, Rev. Erasmus Odonkor, said the opening prayer. He invited the President of the Bible Society of Ghana, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Asante, to lead the devotion after Hymn 50 of the Asempa Hymnal was sung.
Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante led the devotion based on the Scripture passages in Matthew 22:15 – 22 and Romans 13:1 – 7. In the first passage, the Pharisees in their attempt to have Jesus politically implicated, entered into an alliance with the Herodians, a political party that supported Herod Antipas and policies instituted by Rome in order to trap Jesus. They asked Jesus about paying taxes to Rome. The question was designed to force Jesus to take sides on a politically controversial subject. If Jesus agreed that it was right to pay taxes to Caesar, the Pharisees would accuse him of identifying with Ceasar in opposition to God, the only King the Jews recognized. If Jesus said they should not pay taxes to Ceasar, the Herodians would hand Him over to Herod on the charge of sedition and rebellion. Jesus tactfully dealt with the issue without taking sides from His answer in Matthew 22:21: “Give unto Caesar what is ……..”
Most Rev. Prof Asante noted that Jesus pointed to our dual citizenship as Christians (1 Peter 2:17) and said our citizenship in the Kingdom of God placed on us certain civic responsibilities as follows:
That we contribute actively to the development of the nation.
That we pay taxes for the services/benefits we receive.
That we pledge to God our ultimate obedience and commitment.
He observed that the Church as a body could not remain aloof from political life; hide under the cloak of neutrality and shun delicate social and political issues. He quoted one of the greatest Christian thinkers, Vincent Taylor’s words: “The Church must be rooted in the Society in which it has grown up, its members are a part of that Society, sharing its traditional points of view influenced by its past history; and involved in its strength and weakness, its rise or fall. When a Church cuts itself off from the rest of Society and lives in isolation from Society, it becomes irrelevant, alienated and separated. Such a Church becomes paralyzed altogether”.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante referred to Romans 13:1–7 and noted that the following four points should be observed:
All authority comes from God (Romans 13:1).
All authentic governments are subordinate to God and His laws (Romans 13:4). Those who rule must beware of totalitarian government of the beast described in Revelation 13. The Church should hold traditional and civil governments’ attention to God because the State is God’s servant and politics is for the good of the people and to restrain evil from Society.
Authority is an avenue for service
Authority is the social channel for the realization of divine norms into actions. Our authorities must be prepared to serve rather than gain power for us to serve them.
The State exists to promote justice
Justice is a condition for the harmonious living among its people. Society is to be so ordered that justice will not be compromised.
In conclusion, Most Rev. Prof. Asante admonished Christians that we have a responsibility to keep an eye on the Society; and not to allow our ethnic and political affiliation to blind us to the political activities of our country. Our perspective is our commitment to the Word of God, what it says and how we can impact and develop the Society. He prayed to end the devotion.
1.2 Prayer of Intercession
Mrs Gloria Lamptey led the intercessionary prayers for:
Bible work in Ghana and the world as a whole
ATTENDANCE (Please see attendance list on page 5)
3.1 Introduction: Officers and Council Members
The following members of the BSG Council were introduced to the meeting:
Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante − President
Mrs. Efua Ghartey − Chairperson
Mr. J.N.B. Tetteh − Vice Chairperson
Dr. Adelaide Kastner − Member
Rev. Dr. B.Y. Quarshie − “
Mad. Gladys Odoi − “
Most Rev. Titus Awotwi Pratt − “
Ms Grace Abibata Mahama − Member
Mrs Gloria Lamptey − “
Pr. Dr. Chris Annan Nunoo − “
Rev. Charles B. Ahwireng − “
Mr. Sam Otu-Boateng − “
Dr. (Mrs) Yvonne Ollennu − “
Members of the seven Standing Committees of the Bible Society of Ghana who were present were also introduced.
3.2 Other Introductions
The following persons were introduced:
Mr. Sam Okudzeto − Former President of the
Bible Society of Ghana
Pastor Emmanuel Tettey − Apostolic Church, Ghana
Very Rev. Ebenezer Adjei − Chairman, Tema Local Council of Churches (LCC)
Mr. Johnson Mallet − Adabraka LCC
Rev. Francis Odoom − Winneba LCC
Mr. Herbert Awuah − Teshie LCC
Evang. Joseph Bassaw − Tema LCC
Dec. Bro. Stephen Dickson − Ashaiman LCC
Ps. Charles Glover − Chair, Accra Zone 1 LCC
Ap. Emmanuel Anum Quaye − La LCC
Mr. Solomon Boafo − Ashongman Estates LCC
Madam Charlotte Kottey − Accra Zone 1
Rev. Isaac Ollennu − Teshie Nungua United Church
Mr. Alvin Attayi − O.A.K Chartered Accountants
After the introductions, the General Secretary welcomed and thanked all members and Church representatives present for their continued support, prayers and involvement in Bible work.
Rev. Dr. Steve Asante − 1st Vice President, BSG
Prof. (Mrs) Ibbok Oduro − 2nd Vice President, BSG
Prof. and Prof. (Mrs) David Ekem
Mr. David Hammond
Prof. Akosua Anyidoho
Rev. Dr. B.Y. Quarshie
Dr. Joyce R. Aryee
Mrs Felicia Gbesemete
Mr. Nabanyin Pratt
Mad. Mary Yirenkyi
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on Thursday, 6th August, 2015 were taken as read. The following corrections were made:
Page 1 – Item 3.2: Rev. Emmanuel Tumfour – Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana
Page 2 – Item 8, Third paragragh: The sentence “The decision was unanimously accepted by the meeting” was moved to the end of the paragraph as the last sentence.
In the absence of further corrections, the General Secretary moved for the acceptance of the minutes for discussion. The motion was seconded by Lay Pastor Emmanuel Quaye.
6.1 BSG Golden Jubilee Celebration
The General Secretary informed the meeting that details of the celebration had been covered in his annual report and gave the highlights as follows:
The Jubilee celebration was launched by H.E Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, on 8th February, 2015 at the Pentecost International Worship Centre, Kwabenya.
Jubilee Exhibition from 13th to 17th April 2015 at the Bible House.
Anniversary Celebrations in the Regions
Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, 27th September, 2015 at the Accra International Conference Centre.
The General Secretary commended the Anniversary Coordinator, Mrs Catherine Odjidja and the Planning Committee for the work they did and expressed gratitude to them and all who contributed to the success of the celebration.
He informed members that the new BSG cloth was available for sale.
6.2 The Bible Village Project, Kitase
The project was covered in the General Secretary’s report.
7.0 PRESENTATION OF 2015 ANNUAL REPORT
Before presenting his report, the General Secretary expressed gratitude to God, Council members, all Standing Committees and members of the Society for their donations and support. He also expressed gratitude and appreciation for the support from the Churches, donors and partners of the Society, He also acknowledged the hard work of members of staff.
He reported on the following thematic areas:
Management and Staff
Bible Engagement Programmes and Bible Advocacy
Promotions and Resource Mobilization
Youth and Bible Work
BSG Golden Jubilee Celebration
After the presentation of the 2015 annual report, Rev. Erasmus Odonkor moved for its adoption. The motion was seconded by Mr. Samuel Owusu Yeboah.
7.1 Comments/Concerns on 2015 Annual Report
A member suggested that the Representatives of Local Council of Churches should be allowed to register members of Churches for the Bible Society of Ghana. The General Secretary noted that the Local Council of Churches support Bible work by encouraging all the churches in their jurisdictions to promote Bible work; but that they also do many other activities and programmes in the church and therefore BSG could not burden or monopolize them. Another member suggested that details of the Society’s projects should be made available so that members can support them. The General Secretary indicated that the key project of the BSG was the Kitase Bible Village and appealed to members to bring ideas, suggestions and strategies as to how members could support to complete it. He added that there was the need to complete the project quickly so that the BSG could host the World Assembly of the United Bible Societies in the next few years, otherwise so much money would be spent on hotels and BSG would lose out on revenue.
A member talked about the absence of the Salvation Army’s representation on Council although the church participates in Bible Week and makes contributions. He expressed his willingness to undertake Bible distribution in Cape Coast. The General Secretary explained that appointment onto Council was by election and encouraged all Churches to register as BSG members so that they could vote during the elections. He added that BSG welcomed and worked with all Churches and all Christians. The General Secretary encouraged the member to visit the Distribution Department to discuss the distribution of Bibles.
The newly appointed member of Council suggested that people outside the membership of the BSG who had some extra money to spare and were willing to loan money without interest could be approached. He said it was possible to get people who would be prepared to support in this way because it had worked in certain cases. The General Secretary thanked him for the suggestion and noted it for further discussion.
On the question of how members could make donations without always having to go the BSG offices, the General Secretary referred the meeting to various options that were available on page 19 of AGM brochure.
A call to BSG offices to pick the donation (Telephone numbers on page 19)
Mobile money (details on page 53 of booklet)
Make cheques and postal orders by post
Bank deposits (BSG bank account numbers on page 19)
The General Secretary noted that it was important to write the full name of the donor in the depositor’s name space even if it was someone else making the deposit.
A member made reference to item 8a (Membership) of the 2015 Annual report on page 12 and requested to have an indication of what changes a member’s status from active to inactive. The General Secretary explained that if the computer did not capture a donor’s name for three consecutive years, the system automatically moved his/her name to inactive status. However, members were prompted annually and the office would call and follow up on them when necessary. He appealed to members to make a contribution to Bible work annually.
8.0 PRESENTATION OF 2015 AUDITED ACCOUNTS
Mr. Alvin K. Attayi, a representative of O.A.K. Chartered Accountants, Auditors of the Society, presented the Financial Statement for the year ended 31st December, 2015 on pages 23 to 26 of the AGM brochure.
Mr. Attayi expressed the opinion of the Auditors saying “the accompanying financial statements of the Bible Society of Ghana give a true and fair view of the state of the financial affairs of the Society as at 31 December, 2015 and of the results and cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards……, and comply with the Companies Act 1963 (Act 179)”.
After the presentation, Rev. Erasmus Odonkor moved for the acceptance of the 2015 Audited Accounts for discussion. The motion was seconded by Rev. Isaac Ollennu. In the absence of any questions on the audited accounts, the General Secretary moved for its adoption. The meeting unanimously adopted the Auditor’s report.
9.0 RE-APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS
The Chairman of the BSG Business Committee, Mr. Sam Otu-Boateng, moved for the re-appointment of O.A.K. Chartered Accountants as Auditors of the Society for the 2016 financial year. The motion was seconded by Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Afriyie.
THE BIBLE VILLAGE PROJECT
The General Secretary informed the meeting that as part of the BSG’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, the sod was cut on 27th April 2015 to commence the construction of a Bible Retreat Centre (The Bible Village) at Kitase, near Peduase in the Eastern Region. The land for the project was donated to BSG by Intercessors for Africa. The General Secretary expressed the Society’s sincerest gratitude to Madam Regina Addae and children, the original owners of the land, who donated it first to Intercessors for Africa; and also to Intercessors for Africa for their donation to BSG.
He reported that the first of the buildings to be constructed on the project site was almost completed. He informed the meeting of the proposal (for the Kitase Project to be completed on time) that within the next one year by July 2017, every member should make a special Kitase contribution of at least GH100.00 and that a special register would be opened for it.
The proposal was unanimously accepted by the meeting. The General Secretary thanked members and encouraged them to visit the project site to see what God was doing through their decision to support.
ELECTION TO NATIONAL COUNCIL AND RECONSTITUTION OF BSG COMMITTEES
The General Secretary informed the meeting that Council met and appointed new Officers to replace Most Rev. Prof Asante and Prof. Ibok Oduro (outgoing President and 2nd Vice President respectively) as follows:
Dr. Joyce R. Aryee – President, BSG Council
Apostle Peter Okoe Mankralo – 2nd Vice President
He added that the BSG Council had slightly been reconstituted based on the decision of the last year AGM to adopt the new Regulations for registration of the BSG as a Company Limited by Guarantee. The number of members on the reconstituted Council had reduced and the members were introduced to the meeting as follows:
Dr. Joyce R. Aryee − President
Rev. Dr. Steve Asante − 1st Vice President
Apostle Peter Okoe Mankralo − 2nd Vice President
Mrs Efua Ghartey − Chairman
Mr. J. N.B Tetteh − Vice Chairman
Mrs Gloria Lamptey − Member
Ps. Dr. Chris Annan-Nunoo “
Dr. Perez Sepenu “
Prof. (Mrs) Akosua Anyidoho “
Dr. (Mrs) Yvonne Ollennu “
Mrs Marilyn Owusu “
Rev. Isaac O. Boakye-Yiadom “
Most. Rev. Titus K. Awotwi Pratt “
Rev. Dr. B.Y. Quarshie “
Mr. Percy Ansah “(newly appointed)
The General Secretary informed the meeting that the seven standing Committees of the National Council had also been re-constituted. Prayers were said for members of the re-constituted Council and Committees.
12.1 Appreciation of Outgoing President,
2nd Vice President and Council Members
The General Secretary expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Most Rev. Prof Asante, Prof. (Mrs) Ibok Oduro and the following outgoing Council members:
Rev. Charles B. Ahwireng
Mad. Gladys Afarchoe Odoi
Mr. Sam Otu-Boateng
Ms. Grace Abibata Mahama
Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu
Mr. Justice Oman
Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Anim
Mr. Kojo Adjabeng
Mrs Felicia Gbesemete
Plaques were presented to the Officers and Council members who were present in the meeting as a token of love and appreciation for their hard work and commitment. The General Secretary mentioned the Kitase project and the African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) as some of the initiatives during the tenure of the President.
12.2 Appreciation to Intercessors for Africa
A symbolic plaque was presented to Intercessors for Africa in appreciation of the kind gesture of donating the Kitase land to BSG. The plaque was received on behalf of Intercessors for Africa by Messrs Sam Okudzeto and Sam Otu-Boateng.
13.0 MEMBERS CALLED TO HIGHER SERVICE
Members stood up to observe one minute silence in memory of the following members who had been called to higher service since the last AGM:
Justice Sam Glenn Baddoo
Mr. Bernard Apeleasi
Mrs Elizabeth Tetteh
Mr. James Sabah Thompson
Madam Love Gbedemah
Mrs Gladys Newman
14.0 OTHER MATTERS
14.1 Calendar and Theme for 2017 Bible Week
The General Secretary informed the meeting of the 2017 Bible Week calendar as follows:
Theme – Come, let us reason together: The Bible Way
Bible Week Launch – Saturday, 4th and Sunday, 5th February, 2017
Bible Sabbath – Saturday, 11th February, 2017
Bible Sunday – Sunday,12th February, 2017
He entreated all members to keep the dates and endeavor to participate in the programme.
The General Secretary encouraged members to purchase the BSG Cloth which was on sale at the same price as the previous year.
14.2 Date for 2017 AGM
The meeting noted that the date for the 2017 AGM was Thursday, 3rd August, 2017.
14.3 Other Announcements
Based on the decision of the BSG Council to increase membership and support for Bible work, the registration fee for membership of the Society is GH¢20.00 with effect from January, 2017.
Members who were ready to contribute the GH¢100.00 for the Kitase project were asked to do so at the registration desk.
Thanksgiving Service for the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Ga Bible on 7th August, 2016 at the Osu Eben-Ezer Presby Church hall. Members were asked to wear the BSG cloth.
An offering was taken in thanksgiving to God and towards Bible work.
Before the closing remarks, a member commended the Council and Management of the Bible Society of Ghana for the good work and industrial harmony between them and the staff. He said that he had been associated with the BSG since Mr. William Ofori-Atta’s presidency of the BSG and had not heard about any labour agitation among the staff despite any issues they may have.
16.0 CLOSING REMARKS
On his own behalf and on behalf of the members of Council whose term of office had ended, Most Rev. Prof. Asante expressed gratitude to colleague Council members. He said it had been so good working together in the Lord’s vineyard and promoting the work of God. He also thanked all members of the Bible Society of Ghana for their prayers and support and the cooperation they had exhibited in all the meetings. He congratulated the General Secretary for his hard work and humility and also congratulated him for earning a doctoral degree.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante said that members of the Bible Society should be proud that in Ghana we have the Bible Society to mediate the Word of God to them in their language and should support the BSG by making a financial commitment anytime they got up and read their Bible. He urged members to support the Kitase Bible Village Project which would not only bring income for Bible work but also produce a place that they could go and do reflection, meditation and think about the Word of God. He said members should not just think about giving GH¢100.00 but mobilize money to ensure that the project did not stall.
He expressed gratitude to Intercessors for Africa for the donation of the Kitase land to BSG, noting that it was a donation which could not be quantified because it cost a huge sum of money. In conclusion, Most Rev. Prof. Asante noted that they had ended their term of office but were not finished with BSG; and that they would continue to back the Society and ensure that it stood on its feet and continued the good work it was doing
17.0 VOTE OF THANKS
Miss Patience Anthony gave the vote of thanks.
Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante led the meeting to sing Asempa Hymn 248 after which he prayed. He gave the benediction to close the meeting at 4:37 pm.
MOST REV. PROF. EMMANUEL K. ASANTE REV. ERASMUS N. B. ODONKOR
PRESIDENT GENERAL SECRETARY
LIST OF 2016 AGM ATTENDEES
MR. PETER FRIMPONG
MR. ADU GODFRED
MR. EBENEZER DARKO
MR. SOLOMON BOAFO
DECON BRO. STEPHEN DICKSON
REV. FRANCIS ODOOM
MADAM MARIA ELIZA DODOO
MR. EMMANUEL NORBI
MADAM MARIAM SCHANDORF
MS. VIDA ANNAN
MRS. NAOMI MENSAH
MRS. DORIS SHIBURAH
MISS VIVIAN YEMOH
MS. AUGUSTINA DANSO
MADAM GLADYS BULLEY
MADAM AUGUSTA ACQUAYE
MRS. COMFORT A. KUMA
MR. CHARLES GLOVER
MR. JACOB A. LOMO-TETTEY
MR. SAM OKUDZETO
MADAM PEACE TENGE
MR. EBENEZER O. COMMODORE
MADAM MARY ABBEY
DR. PAULINA KITCHER
MR. JEFF ADZA KITCHER
MADAM VICTORIA ADDO
MRS. JESSAMINE KUGBLENU
MR. DANIEL ADJETEY SOWAH
MR. WILLIAM O. KWAFO
MOST REV. PROF. E. ASANTE
MRS. GLORIA L. A. LAMPTEY
THE MOST REV. T. AWOTWI PRATT
MR. SAM K. OTU-BOATENG
MR. YAW BARIMA OPPONG
MADAM HANNAH LOVELL-ANTIAYE
MR. MICHAEL K. FARCHIE
MADM ERNESTINA A. DOVLO
MADAM MARY FLORENCE ESSIEN
REV. EMMANUEL LAMPTEY
MADAM ABIBATA MAHAMA
DR. CHRIS ANNAN-NUNOO
MR. J.N.B. TETTEH
MRS. EFUA GHARTEY
MR. JOSIAH KINGFUL
MR. FELIX SAFORO
REV. DANIEL D. NUNOO
MR. HERBERT AWUAH
MRS. EMMA AWOONOR-WILLIAMS
PS. REGINALD M. BARNOR
MR. NAT NUNOO
MR. EUGENE TAYLOR SAMPSON
MADAM JOANA OCANSEY
REV. C.B. AHWIRENG
MADAM JANE ADOMAKO-MENSAH
MR. S.A. AHULU
MADAM COMFORT MENSAH
MRS. ADELAIDE A. MENSAH
MR. COBBLAH JAMES OKO
MADAM REGINA ARKU
MR. FRANK AYISI
MADAM ABIGAIL NEWMAN
MADAM ABIGAIL NEWMAN
MR. CHARLES PAPPOE
MADAM VICTORIA OKORNOE
MADAM SUSAN KITSON-MILLS
MADAM JANE OPAREBEA ADDO
THE VERY REV’D MRS. FLORENCE LARYEA
MR. SAM MENSAH
MR. ROBERT MILLS-QUARTEY
REGINA NELLY ATAAYA
PASTOR KING SOLOMON KUDZO
EVANG. NANA AMA DUA
MICHAEL ANYETEIFIO RUDOLPH
PHILOMENA BRANDFORD MENSAH
MARGARET LAURA DARKO
DR. ADELAIDE KASTNER
RT. REV. EMMANUEL MACLORD AFRIYIE
MISS JOANA K. AYERSON
REV. KENNEDY KOFI ASANTE SARPONG
MRS. ABIGAIL ASANTE SARPONG
MRS. CAROLINE O. HAYFORD
VICTORIA SERWAH FORSON
PASTOR EMMANUEL TETTEY
MR. MICHAEL K. TETTEH
MRS. REBECCA O. ODONKOR
ARABA ATA SAM
EMMANUEL BOYE ARMAH
THERESA K. DSANE
MRS. COMFORT YEMO
DANIEL K. ANOBIL
REV. ISAAC W.A. OLLENNU
EVANGELIST JOSEPH K. BASSAW
AGATHA OKUAH KWAKYE
REV. GEORGE S. MALLET
JAMES MIREKU ADJEI
ADELAIDE B. KORAM
GYENNY – MENSAH E.
PERCY ASARE ANSAH
REV. L.L.N.K. CRABBE
ANTOINETTE PAT ZOTTOR
JOSEPH K. YEBOAH
LAY PASTOR EMMANUEL A. QUAYE
VERY REV. EBENEZER POPESON ADJEI
DAVID H. ACHIM
APOSTLE EMMANUEL ANUM QUAYE
PROF. TIM ACQUAH HAYFORD
LYDIA MAKU ADONU
PATIENCE EFUA DICKSON
MARGARET T.A. AYISI
MR. GEORGE ATTUAH YEBOAH
ERNEST E.A. NOYE
MS. GLADYS AFARCHOE ODI
REV. JUDITH HAPPY LETSU
DAVID ANNANG BOTCHWAY
REV. EDMOND ASAMOAH-YEBOAH
REV. LYDIA OSEKRE-ODOI
MRS. ELIZABETH BULLEY
CLARA S. NINGSON
MRS. ADELAIDE OPARE DENTU
MRS ESTHER AMA
MRS. DORA OWUSU
MRS. BEATRICE ODONKOR
NAA AKLER ODONKOR
ERASMUS SAM T. LANGMER
EVANGELIST EZEKIEL A. QUAYE
ANTHONY EBOW SPIO
PROF. ABA BENTILANDAM
MRS. ANNA PERPETUAL KUBIN-ANDZIE
MARY JO GAHRTEY
MRS. ALBERTA APPIETU-ANKRAH
MRS CHRISTIANA OKAITSO MILLS
MRS MONICA ADDO-DARKO
MS. STELLA V. TYSON
CHAD ADOTEI GANNYI-AKUE
REV’D FR. ROBERT NYANN
EVELYN W. OFEI
PHILIP ALEXANDER AMOAKO
KWAKU A. TWUM-BAAH
ALBERTA OPOKU MENSAH
JOHN AFOZA BAFFOR
REV. FRED LOGAH