St. Francis, Ohwimasi

THE HISTORY OF ST. FRANCIS ANGLICAN CHURCH, OHWIMASE


St. Francis Anglican Church Ohwimase is the brain child of the late Opanin Kojo Asante of Ohwimase who later become the Atwimahene under the stool name of Nana Kojo Agyeibi II. He was highly respected and in the latter part of 1944 his people supported him to establish a school in the name of English church mission (E. C. M) now Anglican. The establishment of this school brought an end to the Roman Catholic school, which Opanin Kwabena Buabasa had spearheaded. When Opanin Kojo Asante informed his mother church, St. Cyprian’s Rev. Fr. Baidoo with the assistance of Catechist C. E. Aidoo and Guild of the Good Shepherd led by Mrs. Papafio gave Opanin Kojo Asante the necessary push and support. To ensure the success of the school Opanin Kojo Asante saw to it that most of the teachers sent or posted to the then new school were members of the English Church Mission (E.C.M.) who could teach the church’s Catechism and lead worship Mr. Mensah was the first of such teachers and was very effective in evangelism.

He was transferred at the end of 1946, Mr. W. A. Sackey, who later become manager of Anglican Schools, Ashanti, was posted to Ohwimase. He continued with the good work done by his predecessor. Through his devotion and dedication he was able to prepare over 40 school children and adult for Baptism on 29th March 1947 by Rev. Fr. Baidoo. Fifteen members had their confirmation in November in the same year by Rt. Rev. Anglioby, Bishop of Accra. Mr. Hagan was the last of the teacher/lay reader series when he was transferred in 1952.

The subsequent teachers were either Anglican but not staying in Ohwimase or of the other denominations. But as Jesus rightly replied the Pharisees, i tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting (Luke 19:40). Two illiterate Elders Robert Mosi and Peter Afrane successfully led the Church but died shortly.

Greater things were yet to happen when Messrs Paul Adu Kofi and S. K. Tawiah another illiterate, with the assistance of late Augustine Kessie as their lay reader put back life into the Church. It was at this period that the Church began to grow. The Church became an Outstation of St. Anne’s Parish in 1960. With the help of late Nana Kofi Agyeman and Mary Serwaa No. 1(Nana Dwumoh) a branch of the Guild of Good Shepherd was formed in 1964. Mention must be made of late Rev. Akrofi Adomako Kumi, Nana Kofi Nsenkyire and Nana Addo Kufour for their great contributions to the Church’s growth.

The Church’s set back was heavily felt when Rev. Fr. Baidoo took over St. Anne’s Parish. He totally neglected the outstation. He stopped paying visits to Ohwimase. It was the Guild of Good Shepherd members who paid occasional visit to the Church. A report was made to Rt. Rev. J. B. Arthur who took himself to be in charge of the Church’s affairs for sometime.

It was during this time that Rev. Canon E. T. Mends, Provost A. K. Mensah, Rev. Fr. Robert Osei, late Rev. Fr. Addai-Boateng, Rev. Fr. Agyrey used to visit the Church periodically. The following lay reads have done quite a good work.

Messrs. J. L. Manu, S. O. Bonus, J. Osei Kwabena, Isaac Mensah, Catechist A. Adu Gamfi, Boakye-Ansah and Anthony Darkoh. They deserve recommendations.

The Church finally became the outstation of St. Paul’s Parish, Suntreso, in 1982. It was under St. Paul’s well guided administration that the Church has now achieved his greatness which we are all witnessing today. Mention must be made of the Anglican Young People’s Association (AYPA). For under the able leadership of Bro. Kwaku Amoateng, this association organised several Revivals for the Church in 1984. These Revivals transformed the Church. Great mention should also be made of Ven. Dawson-Ahmoah, Archdeacon of Kumasi who had the Church at heart. Mention should also be made of Very Rev. (Maj. Rtd.) Charles K. Affainie who has all the time been encouraging us to build a good relationship with the Archdeaconry Board, despite our financial constraints.

We are also very grateful to Rt. Rev. Edmund Kodjoe Yeboah and his wife Mariam who helped the Church in many diverse ways, in cash, materials, advice and spiritual backing. Under the administration of Bishop Yeboah the church can now boast of her first resident Priest in the name of Rev. Canon Francis Dwira, the Diocesan Treasurer, and above all the Bishop elevating St. Francis Anglican Church, Ohwimase to a Parish Status.

NUMERICAL STRENGTH AS AT YEAR 2000

Male                            140

Female                         225

Sunday school             120

Total membership        485

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