President John Evans Atta Mills at the weekend urged Ministers of the Gospel not to compromise the unique positions they occupy in society.
He said Men and Women of the Gospel must stay committed to their calling, warning that the nation is doomed if the Church reneges on its duty of upholding uprightness and morality.
“The Church must not, and cannot afford to fail us; for we are doomed if the Church reneges on its core duty of upholding morality,” President Mills said in a speech read for him at the 65th graduation ceremony of the Trinity Theological Seminary at Legon, near Accra.
The Reverend Dr Nii Amoo Darku, Member of the Council of State, read the President’s speech at the ceremony, at which 135 graduated with first degrees in Theology.
The ceremony was held on the theme “Funding Theological Education in Ghana.”
President Mills said the new graduates going out to perform the arduous task of enhancing the image of the clergy must represent the Lord here on earth as they seek to bring lost men and women into faith and prepare them for the ultimate.
As religious leaders, President Mills reminded the clergy that they are expected to be the light of the world, and their actions must reflect their unique positions.
The President expressed worry at some Ministers who have not lived up to expectation, and stressed the need to stay by their words.
“Let your yes be yes and no be no and you will be serving the Lord according to His wishes and will,” President Mills said.
He called on the clergy to offer constructive criticisms to Government, explaining, “please let us know whether the path is straight or not because your silence will not inure to the benefit of the Better Ghana that we are all trying hard to build.”
The President repeated that he had no regrets to proclaim the glory of God.
He repeated his appreciation to God’s mercy on him and the nation, echoed at last week’s National Thanksgiving Service that: ” I take this opportunity to reiterate the point that I am not ashamed to be a servant and vessel of the Lord and thus accountable to Him and the people I serve.
“He is the Potter and I am the clay and I will not stop praising my Maker while I have breath.”
President Mills called on Ghanaians not to take the relative peace the nation is enjoying for granted, and called on the clergy, as a sacred duty, to continue to pray for God’s mercy and favour on the Motherland, and in their own way work towards it.”
President Mills commended the outgoing President of the Seminary, Rev Dr Cyril Fayose, for his hard work during the five-year term.
Rev Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, the Guest Speaker, explained the role of the clergy in nation building as teachers in educational institutions, as builders of moral fabric of society, who shape and inculcate values in the youth; bringing inspiration and hope to enable people to cope and forge ahead with daunting challenges, promoters of peace, and strengthening marriages.
“Take these things out of a society and you will witness a spectacle of strife, despondency, crime, intolerance, destruction of life and property,” he said. “I don’t think I need say more about the relevance of theological education.”
Rev Ogbarmey Tetteh endorsed the creation of African Theological Education Fund in 2011, adding that, Ghana must develop a comprehensive funding including both public and private.
Other options which he suggested are student loans, sponsorships, scholarships, endowment funds, Individual and Family Education Fund as well as community education fund.
Rev Dr Fayose, the Seminary President, called for individual and public support to address the accommodation, transportation, land encroachment, lecture hall challenges among others of the seminary.
President Mills, on behalf of the Government, presented a 33-seater Yutong bus to the seminary.
The occasion was also used to commission a business centre for the seminary.