“Praise the LORD! All you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. May the LORD, the maker of Heaven and Earth bless you from Zion.” (Ps. 134).
History of Nii Jorn Congregation
In the year 1991, these brethren started a bible study class in the house of Cat. Victor Tetteh to make them knowledgeable of the LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. Then, come 1993 they started moving from house to house preaching the Good News to all in fulfillment of the Great Commission – “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world” (Matt. 28:19-20). But like all preachers of the word of GOD, these people never had the task they undertook so easy. A lot of obstacles and impediment were placed in their way. They persisted though, and never looked back taking inspiration from the promises of the Good Book in Jeremiah 1:7. And with the burning zeal of evangslism the team went ahead through thick and thin, mockery and challenges.
In the year 1994, specifically on 25th December, after the house to house calls in areas around the western part of the estates, first junction, the north cluster of schools areas and beyond, the first service was held in one of the classrooms of Sam Preparatory School with the following persons in attendance; viz – Messrs David Anum, Frank Anang, Nii Abossey Nikoi, Eric Anum, Ben Adotei, Daivd Asante, S.P. K. Nikoi, Madame’s Dora Martey, Florence Oyika, Theodosia John-Teye, and Cat Victor Tetteh. The offertory realised at this first service was 4,200.00 old Cedis (now GHC 0.42p).
After a month of such activity, the District Session placed a ban on the group from holding any more of such services. Meanwhile it had become evident to evangelise to the people in these surrounding areas and bring the Church of Christ to their doorsteps through fellowship. So the group continued to hold meetings. Thereafter, Cat. Victor Tetteh the leader, was invited on two occasions to meet the Session at Aboma accompanied by Nii
Abossey Nikoi. For the records, it still remains a fact that he was subjected to insults and ridicule, and treated like just an ordinary member. We are told that at one of such meetings he was shouted at to stand up before making any submission forgetting that he was one time a Catechist in charge of the same Church and served as presiding chairperson of the Session.
Again he was invited to face the Teshie District Session Council and the treatment meted out was not different from the pervious. It was at this Session Council meeting that he was requested to handover any amount that had been collected as offertory to the District Treasurer and a receipt issued accordingly in the sum of 77,515.00 old cedis (now GHC 7.75). When Cat. Victor Tetteh at a point wanted to know what was to be done with the souls that have been won for Christ as a result of the evangelistic work at Nii Jorn surrounding areas, he was instructed to let them go their way. As a result we are told that one soul was lost. The leader was then given a strong warning not to hold any more church service activity. The matter then got to the Ga Presbytery Session.
At this point most of the parents who had their children attending Children’s Service withdrew their children for fear of being ex-communicated. In new of the reduced numerical strength of children, the Children Service was moved from Sam Preparatory School to the sitting room of Nii Abossey Nikoi with only six (6) children – five girls and a boy. These were Winifred Kwakye – Awuah, Priscilla Atswei Laryea, Sharon Ayorkor Laryea, Dorcas Naa Dei Nikoi, N’da Naa Kuokor Nikoi, and Joseph Ntim Gyakari. The teachers were Mr. Frank Anang and Mrs. Ernestina Adotei.
With the church services ended, the group members were subjected to all sorts of humiliation and disgrace of various dimensions with some of them having their responsibilities or duties taken from them. But they took solace and consolation in the hymn #298 – “Moo ko ni wa wo Nyonmo ni,” and continued with their bible studies and prayer meetings, as well as the house to house evangelism. But wait a minute, as the saying goes – “God’s time is the best.”
Soon God’s plan was to unfold, as Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey and Rev. Dr. Jonathan Ayitey Mensah were posted to Paolo Mohenu Memorial Congregation, Aboma, and Peniel Congregation Teshie, Salem respectively in the Teshie District. Perhaps the period between all these attempts was for the ordinary observer an era of fruitless endeavor, but from the perspective of God’s salvation history it was preparatory for the baptism of fire that was to come.
These two young ministers full of vision and aspiration for the growth of the Church of Christ wasted no time to set up a Committee on the church establishment at Nii Jorn. This was done to agree or disagree with the debate that a church established at Nii Jorn would reduce the numerical strength of Aboma and Tsuibleoo Congregations.
The Committee headed by the District Evangelism and Lay Training Committee (ELTC) at the time, came out finally to establish these facts that;
- A church was established at Aboma and that did not collapse the, Teshie Salem (Peniel) Congregation but it continued to grow from strength to strength.
- Another was established at Sutsuruno and it did not swallow up Aboma (Paolo Mohenu Memorial) Congregation.
Therefore in conclusion a church established at Nii Jorn would definitely have no effect (absolutely) on either Aboma or Tsuibleoo Congregations. Because the distance between Aboma and Nii Jorn was even farther than the distance between Aboma and Sutsuruno. This summed up the hullabaloo and there was eventual breakthrough.
With the matter and dust so settled, opening of the church at Nii Jorn was just a matter of time because the LORD had opened the way and no one, absolutely no one could close. Lo and behold, on the 27th October, 1996 at 14:00 HRS GMT representative from all the branches in the District assembled at Krobo” 1 & 2 Primary School for the church to be inaugurated and Cat. Victor Tetteh was put is charge of the congregation. “And God did what He said” Gen. 21:1.
GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
It was clear therefore that by 1996 the seed planted had become firmly grounded with a good number of members. Today, success stories could be told of the establishment of the church from a humble beginning with only thirty (30) members.
The church was then placed under the care of Aboma Congregational Session for two years. During this period Cat. Victor Tetteh, Mrs. Theodosia John-Teye and Nii Abossey Nikoi represented the congregation on the Aboma Congregational Session.
Membership began to grow and the Christian work continued to expand. The generational groups rapidly to begin to be formed one after the other. The Children’s Service was already in motion. Chronologically, the Women Fellowship saw the light of day on 10th November 1996. With love and joy there came the Young Peoples’ Guild with their first meeting on 10th January, 1997. Then followed the Men’s Fellowship (Jatai ni dzs blema) with their first meeting on 16th March, 1997 but was inaugurated on 28th February, 1999.
All these happenings had been achieved without the firm administrative structure on the ground that, by the close of the year 1997 some form of organization was needed to hold things together in place. So until October, 1997 nominations for Presbyters took place followed with vetting. Prayerfully and thankfully the then Presbytery Chairperson, Rev. Peter Maugbi Kodjo of blessed memory, inaugurated the church with pomp and pageantry on 30th August, 1998.
Consequently, Presbyters were elected in September, 1998 and inducted into office on 31st January, 1999 by Rev. E.K. A. Decker, the then Minister in-charge of Paolo Mohenu Mem. Congregation, Aboma and Acting District Minister.
The members of the first Congregational Session with Cat. Victor Tetteh presiding were;
- Mrs. Theodosia John – Teye, Senior Presbyter
- Mad Emelia Atswei Ablorh
- Mr. Emmanuel Adjei Adjetey
- Mr. Daniel Klu Sowah
- Mr. Emmanuel Gbli Ablampah
- Mr. Reginald Adjetey Charway, Clerk of Session
The church so established kick-started with two main goals and aspirations:
- To uplift the spiritual needs of the members by assisting all to be communicants.
- To have a permanent place of worship and move from the classroom.
On The Move
The challenge for a land acquisition for the new church came to bear. Gracefully, within one year the church was able to purchase a parcel of land at the cost of twenty million old cedis (now GHC 2,000.00) for the construction of the Chapel. For the construction work to begin Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey and Rev. Dr. Jonathan Ayitey Mensah collectively did the sodcutting, assisted by Cat Victor Tetteh in December, 2001.
Traditionally this is a time to recount the best parts of this journey of two decades, and to pat our heroes on the back for the good work that has brought us this far. Everyone who is familiar with our history will attest to the fact that we are a church that experienced what it means to live with frustrations, but also a church that knows how to use frustrations as a springboard to success Heroic stories of determination and sacrifices abound in our history. We have crossed all kinds of barriers. Nii Jorn is a church that has always believed that the battle is the LORD’S and has always relied on the words of Hymn #276 – “Wosane ji wo Nuntso no”. The induction of the first Congregational Session signaled the beginning of progress. The task of building a sustainable foundation for this church fell squarely on the shoulders of Cat. Victor Tetteh and the Session and they performed that duty with distinction. The toddling years of the decade were crucial during which their endurance and commitment were tested to the full.
Within the period spanning a decade, the church reached and made in-roads into the residential areas on the 7th Avenue of Adzorman GREDA Estates and its environs to establish a preaching post which was referred to as Adzorman Presbyterian Micro-church, now christened Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, to evangelise and bring the church of Christ to their doorsteps.
The church had its first Minister in the person of Rev. Emmanuel Anyetei Sowah who was later transferred and replaced with Rev. Joseph Anang Obodai. As a result of a wind of change, Rev. J. A. Obodai and Cat. Victor Tetteh were both later transferred too. These changes created a vacuum with its consequent challenges. In the circumstances, Rev. Victor Okoe Abbey, the District Minister took charge to hold the fort temporarily when Cat. Grace Anyeemobi Laryea and Rev. Kinsley Asare Addo were posted to replace them.
Suffice to note that the relationship and co-operation between the Agent in-charge on the one hand and the Elders (Presbyters) on the other had been rather cordial more than could be described and had ensured that the church continued to flourish and face the future with confidence.
The story would have certainly been different if the local group leaders as well as the entire congregation had not been developed right from the beginning, and so they also deserve mention at this time.
As we celebrate our faith on this propitious occasion, let us remind ourselves that the head of the church is Jesus Christ. Besides, the core business of the church is Evangelism, and therefore every Presbyterian Congregation ought to be Christ-centred, evangelistic and a growing church, being able to sustain itself. This is our vision. The task is not yet accomplished for as long as there are still people lerking around the periphery of the church and elsewhere who do not belong to Christ.
The church however can look back proudly on the many achievements it had made being in the forefront of innovative evangelism. Mention should also be made of the infrastructural development taking place in and around.
As we look into the future may we all affirm with the hymnist Edward Haye Plumptre saying: –
God’s mercy will not fail us; God’s mission shall be done, With his right hand to help us, The victory shall be won And then by men (women) and angels, His name shall be adored And in this will be our anthem One church, one faith, one LORD We are indeed very grateful to the Almighty God for His steadfast love for us. Ebenezer – this how far the LORD has brought us. May God’s name be praised! May the pioneers be blessed!! Happy Anniversary to the living and Congratulations!!! Let the people say Hellehuyah. Amen. To God be the glory, great things He has done. So we loved the world that He gave us His Son. Who yielded His life and atonement for sin? And opened the life gate that all may go in!!!
The year 2014 marks the twentieth milestone of the life and mission of the Teshie – Nii Jorn Presbyterian Church. It was a journey started to have a church planted nearer to people living around the vicinity of the Krobo “1 & 2” Primary School who travelled the long distance to the nearest Presbyterian Church.
The idea was conceived by a group of believers, eleven “evangelic” men and women who took upon themselves to study the bible carefully and implement what it teaches. These faithful brethren prayerfully decided to evangelise themselves, their household, then their church and of course, the whole township. It was therefore not surprising at all when they were nicknamed “Jehovah’s Witnesses of Aboma” because the leader then worshiped with Paolo Mohenu Memorial Presbyterian Church, Aboma.