President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he is determined to see to the completion of the National Cathedral Project despite the insuperable financial challenges that confront the construction of the Project,
With a cash donation of GHc100,000, President Akufo-Addo said just as God prospered Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he is prayerful that GOD will also “prosper us and make us succeed in our endeavour.”
He said the Cathedral when completed, would be a rallying point for the entire Christian community to come together and worship, pray and promote the deep conversation of the role of faith in building modern Ghana.
Speaking at the climax of the Bible Reading Marathon and the Celebration of the foundation for the National Cathedral in Accra on Monday, President Akufo-Addo said the reasons for mobilising support for the construction of the National Cathedral remained unchanged.
He argued that since the country’s independence, Ghana has so far been spared civil war, famine and epidemics, adding: “we are not better than the other nations in our neighbourhood who have been confronted with these challenges.”
It has been by the grace of God that the country has been preserved and sustained, he stated and added that the construction of the National Cathedral “is an act of thanksgiving to the Almighty for his blessings, favour, grace and mercy on our nation.”
As an iconic infrastructure, the National Cathedral, according to the President would be a place for a national conversation and international pilgrimage and tourism.
President Akufo-Addo said the Cathedral would be a monument of religious liberty and one of the iconic structures on the African continent whose construction deserves the full support of Ghanaians.
As an interdenominational Cathedral, the President said the iconic national project would help unify the Christian community which is over 70 per cent of the country’s population, and thereby, help promote national unity and social cohesion
He thanked Apostle Opoku Onyinah, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the designer of the project, the globally acclaimed Architect David Adeye and the Executive Director of the Project, Dr Paul Opoku Mensah for their tireless work and selfless dedication to the National Cathedral project.
Apostle Opoku Onyinah, on his part, said the programme focused on the essence and significance of the National Cathedral project, the Bible Museum and the promotion of Christian unity among the various inter-denominations in the country.
Apostle Onyinah cited Ezra 3 verses 10 and 11 as the bases for the celebrations which read “And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”
Dr Opoku Mensah said since the President’s first announcement on March 6, 2007, that kick started the project, significant and sufficient progress had been made — “foundational work is now complete.”
He said the National Cathedral should be seen by Ghanaians as a framework to transform Ghana into a major hub in support of the country’s long-term transformation as a country. “That is using the National Cathedral to develop Ghana into a major international pilgrimage and tourist site.
The National Cathedral, being the largest Bible museum in the world, amongst others, is expected to tell the story of the Church in Africa and the African diaspora and provide a convenient platform for discussions on the road of faith in Africa’s transformation.
Among other streams of income incorporated within the framework of the National Cathedral as a sustainable model for managing the national monument, is the expectation of making a profit of 95 million Dollars in the first five years.
According to Dr Opoku Mensah, all the economic impact analyses which had been submitted to the country’s Parliament and the Finance Ministry would enable the progressive programming that would attract global and African visitors.
The vision of the National Cathedral, thus, according to him, is located in the quest to structurally transform Ghana by using the National Cathedral to develop Ghana into a religious hub, and an African Christian metropolis where for the first time in history, there are more Christians in Africa — 650 million plus — than any other continent.”
He commended the Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare whose office coordinates the implementation of the project, and Ms Joyce Aryee, the only woman Trustee member who spearheaded the three-day Bible Reading Marathon dubbed “Come let us worship with à thanksgiving and worship service.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD