Rumpus Hits E.P Church....Members want Pastor removed (Front Page)

A disturbance, similar to what led to the desecration of the Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church at Mamprobi, has hit the Mamprobi branch of the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) Church with which the Martyrs of Uganda Church shares a wall.
A call for accountability in the management of the church’s funds and the reaction to it by the Parish Pastor, Rev Dickson Tetteh, has resulted in a call for the removal of the pastor.
Members of the church have accused Rev Tetteh of invoking a curse on them after a communion service on Sunday, May 9, 2010 and are, therefore, demanding his immediate removal by the church hierarchy.
Rev Tetteh was alleged to have described those members of the church who were demanding accountability as "agents of doom" for spreading false rumours about the church administration and the management of church funds.
Even though church service took place on Sunday, May 16, 2010 without any incident, some agitated youth outside the church auditorium told the Daily Graphic that until the pastor apologised and removed the curse, they would not allow him to preach at the pulpit.
Ironically, only a wall separates the church from the Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church whose premises was, some few weeks ago, desecrated by unknown faces with human excreta and offensive posters in protest against some policies and demands of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, the Most Reverend Charles Palmer-Buckle.
Although Rev Tetteh occupied his seat during last Sunday’s service, a guest preacher, Rev Pat Ofori from the Suhum branch of the EP Church, whose name was on the church's quarterly programme, was on hand to preach the sermon.
Sources at the church said the root cause of the present crisis was the demand for accountability and transparency in the management of church funds.
They alleged that although the church had several problems, including having to spend more than GH¢1,000 to transport church members to funerals, Rev Tetteh was demanding a $35,000 Toyota Fortuna vehicle, for which the church's three-storey school building should be used as collateral.
The sources alleged that the leadership of the church, without the knowledge of members of the congregation, had contracted a GH¢50,000 loan.
They said there were conflicting statements concerning the source of the loan, adding that the most worrying aspect of the transaction was that members were going to bear responsibility for the repayment of the interest of about 32 per cent on the loan.
“The church members contribute more than GH¢10,000 monthly and so there is no sense in borrowing from anywhere, especially when the process is not transparent,” one of the sources noted.
They accused the church leadership of engaging plain-clothes police officers to intimidate members because they expected the members to react to the pastor’s behaviour the previous week.
A source at the Mamprobi Police Station, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity, confirmed that some leaders of the church sought police assistance because of rumours that some members of the church were threatening to disrupt the church service last Sunday.
A letter from a group calling itself Concerned Members of the Church, dated May 13, 2010 and copied to the Moderator of the church, the Rt Rev Dr Francis Amenu, and the Presbytery Chairperson of the West Volta Presbytery, Rev Joyce K. Kodade, which was sighted by the Daily Graphic stated, “The Executive Council, over the years, has not been transparent and accountable to the congregation. For that matter, we humbly request you to appoint an interim management committee to oversee the affairs of the church until such time that new office holders are put in place.”
“We cannot see how the pastor, having cursed the church, can be allowed to be preaching to the very people that he has cursed. We, therefore, plead with you to find us an interim pastor until such time that a substantive pastor is posted to us,” it went on, adding, "The pastor and the executive council are damaging the internal credibility and cohesion of the church by not being transparent and accountable to the congregation."
When contacted on the issue, Rev Tetteh denied ever cursing the congregation but stated that “a lot of things going wrong in the church are not the ways of God and so, based on that, I used the Scriptures in Ezekiel 33:7-9 to admonish the congregation that if they do not repent, the wrath of God will descend on them".
“Some people have made up their mind already to have me removed from the church and so they decided to misquote whatever I said to mean that I cursed the congregation,” he added.


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