HISTORY OF ST. ANNE’S ANGLICAN CHURCH ASHANTI NEW TOWN, KUMASI
On his return from exile from the Seychelles Islands in 1924, Nana Prempeh I who had been indoctrinated into the Christian Religion registered his Chiefs who came back in the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in Kumasi. However, he and hiss wives and children joined the St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church at Fante New Town, Kumasi.
When Nana Prempeh I died and Nana Agyeman Prempeh II was enthroned as Asantehene in 1931, they i.e., he and his wives ,children and grandchildren continued to worship at St. Cyprians Anglican Church at Fante New Town Kumasi until he observed that the distance from Ashanti New Town to Fante Town was too long because by the time they walked to the Church Service has been completed.
Nana Agyeman Prempeh II decided to move with his wives, children, grandchildren and nephews and nieces to establish a Church at Ashanti New Town. Those who came with him were the late Nana Abena Gyamfuah (late Justice Henry Prempeh Mother) and sisters, Nana Mansa, Nana Ode (mother of Maame Abrafi), one Abrafi from Nkoransa, Maame Saah (wife of Papa Ameka) mother of Grace Sefah and Sister Victoria. They established the St. Anne’s Guild because the members were very old. Therefore, they used the name St. Mary’s mother. The decision to establish St. Anne’s was at the instigation of Nana Konadu Yiadom (Ashantehemaa) and his brother Nana Kofi Agyeman.
They started the parish at a newly constructed house later used by Papa Soadwa as show room for coffins. They started a primary school in the same building. Teacher Aidoo was the Catechist who taught the members Catechism. The beginners were Maame Takyiaw, Akua Konadu, Araba, Maame Darkowaa from Kwahu, Maame Amaado, Akua Effah (Yaa Achiaa’s Mothr) and Mr. Acquah. Singing Band was established by teacher Amissah in Soadwa’s house with nana adjoa achiaa and nana akua Afriyie as foundation members. Rev. fr. Asare was the priest in charge who came to officiate from St. Cyprian’s Church. Teacher Amissah also established the Church choir. Later the Church moved to the house of Papa Kejetia Poku who volunteered to offer them accommodation for the church because of difficulty in payment of rent.
It was at the Papa Poku’s house that St. Anne’s guild was established with Maame Akosua Animera(late Opanin Mary Juantua’s mother), Nana Abena Gyamfua (late Justice Henry Prempeh’s mother), Nana Akude (Paa Paul’s mother), Maame Ama Shia (Ataa’s Grandmother), Maame Serwaa (Hiawu), Nana Akua Mansah (Otumfuo Opoku Ware II’s mother). The school children attending the brick school were directed to collect and bought at a site where present site of site St. Anne’s Anglican Church. Some of the school children were Nana Durowaa, Grace Amissah (midwife), Mary Akuamoah and Isaac Yeboah Juantuah.
Unfortunately the boys and girls collected the sand from the heap owned by Papa Kotei and the Church had to pay the cost of the sand. The instruction given to the headmaster was that if and school boy and girl collected the sand and he/she did not send the sand he / she would not get a mark. The heap of sand neglected, the building was not constructed and people residing in the area used the sand for cleaning brass bowls and others objects. St. Anne’s Girls Middle School was started and Rev. Fr. Kate was the Parish Priest who always came from St. Cyprians Church to join teacher Owusu Ansah and teacher Aidoo for Church Services.
When Rev. Fr. Husfield who was the Priest in charge of St. Cyprians Church left for Britain, another Priest came. The foundation stone laid by Nana Prempeh II could not be continued and Nana Prempeh II told Bishop Aglionby to let him open Churches in villages but Bishop Aglionby said the Church was for Kings and Queens and therefore they would not establish Churches in the villages. The St. Anne’s Girls Middle School was built and Church Services were held in the classroom. The headmistress of the school was Miss Salifu who later became Mrs. Moah after her marriage.
Nana Prempeh II asked the members of St. Anne’s Church to make contributions and the foundation stone for the Church was laid with Rev. Fr. Kate. Subsequently Rev. Fr. Brewa and Appiah was visiting priest. When are. Fr. Poku took over the Parish from Rev.Fr .Kate he decided to hold the harvest on the foundation with sticks and palm branches erected on it. One day while reading the bible, Rev. Fr. Poku observed the penetration of the palm branches. They congregation put an umbrella on him and he said they could not continue with the construction because of financial constraints and they returned to the classroom but occasionally held Church services on the foundation.
Rev. Fr. Akrofi took over from Rev. Fr. Poku., Ref. Fr. Akrofi father of the Most Rev. Dr. Justice Ofei Akrofi, Anglican Archbishop of the Church of the Province of the West Africa established the wooden classroom for the co-educational school. At that time Nana Prempeh II took Rev. Fr. Akrofi and the Assistant Bishop Martinson who had then came to Kumasi that he would construct the St. Anne’s Church building.
On 31st July 1996, foundation stone for extension of the Church was laid by Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II (K.B.E.), Asantehene and blessed by Rt. Rev. Roseveare, Bishop of Accra. May I mention that Otumfuo financed the construction of the tower. In 1991, April 7th , foundation stone of a complex building for offices and Conference Hall was laid by Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, Asantehene and blessed by Rt. Rev. Edmund Kodjoe Yeboah, then Bishop of Kumasi and Ven. Mojor Rtd) C.K. Affainie, Parish Priest and Rev. Fr. E. Y. Brobe Mensah (Curate). This complex building was supervised by the late David Darko Mensah and Madam Diana Addai both people’s and Priest Wardens.