Church History
Ghana: Church Chronology

Ghana: Church Chronology

1960s • GhanaSeveral Ghanaians became interested in the Church through copies of the Book of Mormon and Church pamphlets they received abroad or from friends.

1962 • Accra, GhanaRaphael Abraham Frank Mensah became converted after reading Church publications he received from a non-Mormon woman in England.

1962 • AccraMensah wrote to Church President David O. McKay requesting more literature, began to preach the gospel, and formed a congregation of believers.

February 1964 • AccraR. A. F. Mensah gave the Book of Mormon and other Church literature to Joseph William Billy Johnson, who became converted and soon joined Mensah in preaching and conducting meetings.

R.A.F. Mensah and J.W.B. Johnson

April 6, 1964 • Accra

R. A. F. Mensah and J. W. B. Johnson gathered others who had been converted by their preaching and organized a congregation named after the Church.

Late 1960s • GhanaThe congregations formed by R. A. F. Mensah and J. W. B. Johnson grew to about 1,000 members. Among the early leaders of the group was Rebecca Mould.

1960s • GhanaJohnson and others regularly petitioned Church leaders to send missionaries but were told the time was not yet right.

July 26, 1969 • AccraMensah, Johnson, and others registered their congregations with the government as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) Ghana Mission.”

1969–71 • GhanaMerrill J. Bateman, a professor at BYU, and businessman Lynn M. Hilton visited the unofficial congregations flourishing in Ghana.

1970s • GhanaGhanaian converts continued to write to Church headquarters asking for missionaries and baptism.

June 8, 1978 • Salt Lake City, UtahSpencer W. Kimball, President of the Church, extended priesthood ordination to all worthy males regardless of race, opening the way for the creation of Church units throughout Africa, including in Ghana.

August 1978 • GhanaMerrill J. Bateman and Edwin Q. Cannon Jr. were sent on a fact-finding mission to West Africa, where they met with leaders and members of Ghana’s unofficial congregations.

December 5, 1978 • GhanaThe first missionaries, couples Edwin and Janath Cannon and Rendell and Rachel Mabey, arrived in Ghana to establish formal Church branches.

December 9, 1978 • Cape CoastEdwin Cannon and Rendell Mabey performed the first 125 baptisms in Ghana, including those of R. A. F. Mensah, J. W. B. Johnson, and other pioneers, at a beach near Cape Coast. More were baptized during the next week.

December 10, 1978 • Cape CoastThe Cape Coast Branch was organized with J. W. B. Johnson as branch president.

December 12, 1978 • Takoradi, GhanaAn additional 124 converts were baptized later that day in Takoradi, and another branch was formed. Rebecca Mould was called as Relief Society president of the branch.

July 1980 • Salt Lake CityThe First Presidency organized the Africa West Mission, which included both Ghana and Nigeria.

1980 • AccraPriscilla Sampson-Davis was prompted by a vision to begin translating Church hymns into Fante, her native language. She later translated the Book of Mormon and other Church materials.

June 4, 1983 • Cape CoastElder David B. Haight, the first member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to visit Ghana, dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel.

1983 • GhanaIsaac Nortey Dadzie and Leon Deguenon became the first native Ghanaians to serve full-time missions. Both served in Ghana.

1983 • GhanaIn response to widespread famine, the Church sent aid supplies to Ghana, and local leaders organized cooperative farms.

1985 • Cape CoastElder Neal A. Maxwell dedicated a newly completed meetinghouse in Cape Coast, the first built by the Church in Ghana.

July 1985 • AccraThe Ghana Accra Mission was established.

June 14, 1986 • GhanaJosephine Korkor Quiacoe and Angela M. Adjaye were called as the first Ghanaian sister missionaries.

June 1989 • GhanaActing on misinformation, Ghana’s government banned the activities of a few religious organizations, including the Church. Foreign missionaries were deported, meetinghouses locked, and public meetings prohibited.

1989–90 • GhanaChurch members in Ghana held private sacrament services in their homes and visited other members regularly during the freeze (as the government ban came to be known).

November 1990 • GhanaThe Ghanaian government lifted the ban on Church meetings and permitted the Church to resume activities.

April 21, 1991 • Accra and Cape CoastElders Boyd K. Packer and James E. Faust organized the first stakes in Ghana, in Accra and Cape Coast.

April 21, 1991 • GhanaEmmanuel Abu Kissi became the first Ghanaian called as a regional representative and J. W. B. Johnson the first Ghanaian ordained as a patriarch.

1995 • Salt Lake CityGhanaian members translated the temple ceremonies into Fante and Twi to accommodate the growing number of Ghanaian Saints who traveled to temples abroad.

1998 • AccraThe Church established an employment resource center in Accra to provide training and assistance to both members and nonmembers seeking employment.

February 16, 1998 • AccraChurch President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Ghana. At a gathering of 6,700 members at Accra’s Black Star Square, he announced that the first temple in West Africa would be built in Accra.

April 1998 • AccraEmmanuel Ohene-Opare became the first Ghanaian to serve as an Area Seventy.

November 16, 2001 • AccraElder Russell M. Nelson presided at the groundbreaking for the temple in Accra.

May 17, 2002 • Tema, GhanaThe Ghana Missionary Training Center was dedicated to help prepare missionaries serving in West Africa and parts of Central Africa.

Accra Ghana Temple

January 11, 2004 • Accra

Church President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Accra Ghana Temple.

July 1, 2005 • Cape CoastThe Ghana Cape Coast Mission was organized.

2012 • GhanaChurch membership in Ghana reached 50,000.

July 2012 • KumasiThe Ghana Kumasi Mission was established.