ASSOCIATION OF METHODIST MEN’S FELLOWSHIPS
THE EARLY DAYS
The history of the Methodist Men’s Fellowship begins with the history of the Calvary Methodist Men’s Fellowship affectionately called “The Men At Calvary”. These men humbly concede that the idea of such a grouping is not entirely new as ‘ it has its roots in the history of the parent Methodist Church in England and of the Church in Ghana.’
A short stay in England by the Very Rev. T.W. Koomson, Past President of the Methodist Conference for training enlightened him on the need for such a Fellowship. He was there at the same time with Rev. J. K. Clegg who was there also training for Youth work in Ghana. He later became responsible for the activities of the Youth Fellowship and became acquainted with Brother H. Reynolds and H.S. Wilson both members of the Calvary Society Adabraka. Having outgrown the youth age the two commented to Rev Clegg about their dilemma and he suggested that a Fellowship for men their age could be started. These notwithstanding action came when the late Brother Albert Enchia then a Class Leader of the Calvary Society unhappy about the non-existence of an all male Organization in the Church decided to act. As the Lord would have it at the North Accra Circuit Quarterly Meeting of September 1975 the idea came up and a Committee of three namely Brothers A.E. Enchia, D.T Ackah and Hary Reynolds was ‘entrusted with the task of examomng it further and providing a memorandum emboding a draft Constitution for the new Organization.’
These three took this up seriously and before long their assignment was completed and presented to the Calvary Leaders’ Meeting for consideration. The Draft Constitution of the Men’s Association (as it then was called) was given to a three member Committee to study and report to the said Meeting on 20th January 1976. This Committee recommended a change in the proposed name from ‘Association’ to ‘Fellowship’ and also recommended that an Interim Committee be constituted to man the new Organization. The Meeting accepting these recommendations charged Brothers Albert Enchia, H.S. Wilson and W.P. Orleans-Brown with getting it started.
The first ever Ghana Methodist Men’s Fellowship meeting was held on January 16th 1976 at the Calvary Methodist Church, Adabraka, Accra. At this meeting, a Committee was formed with the responsibility of planning the formal inauguration of the Organization of the new Fellowship. The Committee successfully and expeditiously worked in ‘ the motto, the badge, uniform, days and frequency of meetings and programmes and activities’ of the Fellowship.
Having critically examined various proposals, the Committee decided n the motto: ‘ Service to God and man’. To reflect the inspiration and challenge of the motto, the Committeee selected the image of a man on horseback with a drawn sword representing determination and purposeful action. To further reflect this notion the Committee fittingly chose Stand up Stand up for Jesus [MHB 821] as the Anthem of the Fellowship.
On the uniform too, much thought was put but finally the decision was to adopt the’ blue black lounge suit with the understanding that the use of cloth as an alternative uniform would be given consideration when the need arose.’ After a great deal of work by the Committee and the entire membership the Calvary Methodist Men’s Fellowship was inaugurated by the Very Rev. T.W. Koomson on Sunday 1st April 1976. Membership stood at 53 and the Officers included Chairman, Brother Albert Enchia, Secretary Brother H.S. Wilson and Brothers Harry Reynolds and D. T. Ackah were Assistant Secretary and Executive Member respectively.
Four years later the work of the Fellowship caught the eye of other men in the Connexion. Enquiries started pouring in for copies of the Fellowship’s Constitution and requests came for interviews with the founding/Executive members. Some of these enquiries came from other denominations. Before long Methodist and other denominational Men’s Fellowships were established. Some of these were Mamprobi later Gethsemane Methodist Men’s Fellowship, Ebenezer Methodist Men’s Fellowship, Bantama, Wesley Methodist Men’s Fellowships of Cape Coast, Accra and Kumasi, Accra New Town Methodist Men’s Fellowship and Ebenezer Methodist Men’s Fellowship, Winneba among others. The beginnings of the Presbyterian Men’s Fellowship can be traced to the Calvary Methodist Men’s Fellowship.
By 1981 it was clear that there was the need for a National body to be formed for the Fellowship. A Conference of Men’s Fellowships was thus held in November 1981 at Calvary Methodist Church with Observers from several other Societies yet to establish branches present.
Among major decisions taken at the said Conference were firstly to adopt a common Constitution. Again at that Conference, the motto of the Wesley Methodist Men’s Fellowship Accra, FOR CHRIST WE LIVE coined by Brother M. A. T. Quarcoo was adopted. As uniform members adopted the uniform of the Men at Calvary and accepted “political suit” in the same material as an alternative uniform. Further, the drawn sword on the Badge was replaced with a Bible.
Also a Committee was formed headed by Bro. Albert Enchia charged ‘ to take all necessary steps leading to full recognition of the Methodist Men’s Fellowship by the Ghana Methodist Church’. In recognition of the leading and pioneering role of the Calvary Men’s Fellowship, the Calvary Society’s Leaders’ Meeting was given the singular Honour of sponsoring the memorial which was to go through the then Accra District Synod to the Conference Office. To the glory of God and the credit of the Enchia Committee this was done six months thereafter and endorsed by the Accra District Synod for final submission to Conference. A few hitches prevented this but at the 22nd Annual Conference of The Methodist Church Ghana held at Sunyani in September 1983, The Methodist Church Ghana “ gave its stamp of approval to the Fellowship; a memorial and Constitution” becoming on that day the ‘youngest of the recognized Organizations within the Church.’
On Saturday 31st March 1984 at the Calvary Methodist Church the Association of Methodist Men’s Fellowships was formally inaugurated by the then Acting President of Conference Rt. Rev. Awotwe Pratt. A week later he again inducted into office the first Executive Committee of the Association at Wesley Methodist Church, Accra. The Officers included Brothers D. T. Ackah, Chairman, Charles Quansah, Secretary and K. M. Abadoo, Treasurer. District Representatives were also inducted into office at the same ceremony.
As Rt. Rev. Awotwe-Pratt aptly put it in the Foreword to the brochure prepared for the Inauguration of the Association “ (the Men’s Fellowship) was born to provide a forum, an outlet and opportunity for fellowship and service through self- dedication to God and to cater for men of advancing and mature age for whom no specific organization existed in the Church. Its Motto: ‘FOR CHRIST: WE LIVE’ is a reflection of the committed life of its members as is also depicted by its badge – a Christian warrior on the back of a galloping horse, determined to win souls for Christ.”
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
1. To acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ;
2. To follow the life of Jesus and to discuss His works;
3. To assist in the spiritual and moral growth of members in our Lord Jesus Christ;
4. To mobilize the men of the Church in fellowship with Jesus Christ and with one another and help to alleviate hardships in times of need;
5. To promote activities to raise funds for the furtherance of God’s work;
6. To promote lectures, debates, seminars and discussions on religion, culture and world affairs and their relevance to Christian teaching and practice.
[Acknowledgements : THE METHODIST CHURCH AND THE MEN AT CALVARY]