The National Baptist Convention of America Inc. Intl. (NBCA) delegation, led by President Tolbert and Secretary Jones was warmly greeted by Host Pastor Asante and staff. There was a tremendous amount of activity on the Grace Baptist Church's campus, including hundreds of children receiving much needed educational services. Other services available included social service and a credit union services. Incidentally, the Church is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and the tremendous growth during this period of time is evident of God's power, provision and protection.
Dr. Earnest Adu Gyamfi, President of Ghana Baptist Convention, (GBC) had assembled an array of presenters along with over 100 pastors and leaders from GBC, that provided enlightening and inspiring information on what GBC is doing in the areas of: Education - Health Services- Church Planting.
Dr. Tolbert then provided a response, which included ways that NBCA could come along aside GBC to meet mutually agreed upon goals and objectives for advancing the Kingdom of God; in Ghana, USA and other parts of the world.
GBC's major educational thrust is being accomplished through the
Ghana Baptist University College, which was established in 2006 with 2 Schools locations operating in the Country. The University now has 4 Schools including: Business, Theology/Ministry, Arts/Social Sciences and Nursing.
GBC has a vision of being an Institution of excellence successfully transforming society and is well underway to making their vision a reality. Currently the University serves 1200 students in 8 degree programs and graduates 400 students per year. Some of the University's goals includes: building institutional capacity, increasing research output, collaboration with domestic/foreign institutions.
President Tolbert was excited to see how this divinely orchestrated partnership was evolving ever so quickly before our very eyes. The University's desire to collaborate with academic institutions in the USA could be realized through several academic institutions in the USA including: Simmons College of Kentucky, the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, Southern University System of Louisiana and Florida Memorial University. The Vice President of Ghana Baptist University began initial discussions with the President of Southern University (Dr. Ray Belton) while the summit was still in process. Faculty and student exchanges would be mutually beneficial.
GBC operates 13 health services facilities throughout Ghana successfully, with state of art facilities and equipment along with well qualified doctors and medical staff. Strong partnerships and community support make these nationally accredited health service facilities successful and sustainable.
GBC's President, Dr Earnest Adu Gyamfi will be added to the Board of Directors of Bryant's Mission Hospital, which is the current operator of NBCA's J C Sams Hospital/Rev. John C. Raphael Eye Clinic. This is a partnership venture with Evangel Temple Churches. This action will restore to NBCA a seat at the governance table.
Through our partnership with GBC, NBCA's Hospital / Eye Clinic will be able to find ways to collaborate staff training. Additionally there is the potential for Saturday Health Clinics at churches
Through NBCA's Partnership with Baylor University Hospital System,
Medical equipment and supplies are available to be shipped to Ghana once shipping challenges are overcome. Ghana's Commission on Health can potentially waive some of dockside fees, thus accelerating these and other medical supplies and equipment to Ghana for our mutual use.
The Dr. E Edward Jones School in Offinso consists of an approximately 60 acreage plot of land, along with a building that can be used for a hospital via our joint partnership.
Church Planting /Evangelism Strategy:
GBC has a very successful church planting strategy in operation.
After implementation of a clear vision/strategy, coupled with the right structure, right personnel and sufficient resources, GBC has successfully planted dozens of churches in the various sectors of Ghana. Obviously due to the size of infant congregations, local financial resources become an issue. This issue is partially resolved through sharing of financial resources by larger more established congregations and benevolent businesses.
President Tolbert honestly expressed the need for improvements by NBCA in the area of church planting. As a result of his doctoral thesis, a practical research project is underway in Lake Charles, LA regarding church planting. Principles learned from this project will be used as a teaching model to enhance NBCA's church planting capacity.
Additionally, the Offinso location can be used for joint church planting opportunities between NBCA & GBC. Investment of ideas and financial resources make for churches to be jointly planted, not only in Ghana and USA, but in other parts of the world as well.
This primary partnership with GBC as well as a potential continued partnership with our old partner, Evangel Temple Churches will prove to be very productive as we go forward.
God be praised for the partnership between NBCA and GBC and for the visionary leadership of President Tolbert and President Gyamfi
Rev. Dr. Bartholomew Banks
Pastor, St John Progressive
Missionary Baptist Church, Inc.
President, Progressive Missionary &
Educational Baptist State Convention
of Florida, Inc.
Vice President At-Large,
National Baptist Convention of American International, Inc.