Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, October 23, 2015
The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) appears to be at crossroads over the purported resignation of the former Moderator of the General Assembly of the church, Most Rev Dr Yaw Frimpong Manso.
It follows a decision by the General Assembly, the highest decision-making body of the church, to cut ties with the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America.
The universal church is cutting ties with the Presbyterian Church, USA because it says it (PC-USA) is allowing gays and lesbians to hold influential positions and also to the extent that some homosexuals could be ordained or have been ordained as ministers of the gospel.
As a result, Most Rev Dr Frimpong Manso, who had been on secondment to the Presbyterian Church, USA was asked by the church to return home by the end of the year as part of the measures taken to sever the ties with the US church.
DAILY GUIDE sources say the General Assembly took the decision to recall Most Rev Dr Frimpong Manso as far back as April and he had duly been notified that he could stay till December, 2015.
However, Most Rev Dr Frimpong Manso has pulled a surprise on the church in Ghana saying he has resigned with immediate effect.
His reason was that the church in Ghana allegedly showed ‘gross disrespect’ to his person and ministry, arguing that he was not granted ‘audience’ before the decision to recall him was taken.
“In view of the current misunderstanding of the PCG concerning the extension of my call to the service of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church through the Presbytery of New York City and the clear understanding of the PNYC of the PC(USA) polity regarding transfer of my membership to the Presbytery and for that matter under their jurisdiction in their letter of September 24, 2015 to you, I have decided with the support of my family to resign from the Ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana with effect from October 31, 2015. I wish you all the best in the LORD,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
He followed it up with an interview on a local radio station - Adom FM – saying, “I was not given a hearing before they took the decision to recall me. I think it is disrespectful to my person and ministry."
The former Moderator later said that in order not to be a torn in the flesh of the church, he had chosen to stay with the Presby Church in the USA, stressing, “I cannot serve two masters so I will stay here, do the work of God and win more souls for Christ.”
There are reports that the underlying issue that has brought the misunderstanding might be beyond the homosexual stuff.
A DAILY GUIDE source said yesterday that the former Moderator told PCG that PC(USA) had extended his four-year stay to six years without the approval of the General Assembly in Ghana.
The source said the church could not approve of the six-year extension because it always recalled its missionaries when their time elapsed and sent new ones to the US.
Still A Member
A lawyer for the PCG, Rev George Obeng Adjei, told Adom FM , “As we speak now, Rev Frimpong Manso is still a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.”
He explained that prior to the General Assembly meeting, where the decision to call Rev Frimpong Manso back home was taken, the Clerk of the General Assembly wrote to him to come, adding, “That was when Rev Frimpong Manso replied our letter and said the Presby Church in USA wanted to extend his stay.”
A news release issued in Accra yesterday by the Public Relations Directorate of the church said that they still held Most Rev Dr Frimpong Manso “in high esteem” as a former Moderator.
Rt Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, the current Moderator, is reported to be in the US on a duty tour and could not immediately be reached.