Elder Bednar Dedicates New Missionary Training Center in Ghana
Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer
With an increasing need to accommodate the growth of the Church in Africa, a new missionary training center has been built—and now dedicated—in Accra, Ghana, after a special ceremony on October 24.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with members and dedicated the new facility.
“To see them is a miracle,” Elder Bednar said of the 200 missionaries currently in the Ghana MTC, according to a press release published on Mormon Newsroom. “You have heard these young people pray and say things and sing in a foreign language they did not know four weeks ago. That is a manifestation of heavenly help. It is a miracle, which is replicated at 15 missionary training centers around the world.”
Located next to the Accra Ghana Temple, the new missionary training center is a response to the growing number of missionaries and members in the area.
“Four years ago this site was a vacant lot. It was covered with trees and a path running through it,” said Elder Terence M. Vinson, General Authority Seventy and President of the Church’s Africa West Area, in the release. “Now it is a ‘spiritual school,’ which is more than a beautiful edifice.”
During the dedicatory prayer, Elder Bednar asked for a blessing upon “those who labor, who study, who live, and who serve at this center.”
“We dedicate every part, feature, and function of this facility and consecrate them for the sacred purpose of helping to prepare Thy servants to proclaim Thy Beloved Son’s gospel so it will sound in every ear and touch every heart, of every people, in every country,” he said.
The campus consists of four structures—including a five-story residence hall with 80 dormitory rooms—and has the capacity to house up to 320 missionaries at a time.
“Its value does not lie in the bricks, the paneling, or the furnishings; the true value is in the hearts of these missionaries who sacrifice much to pass through here,” Elder Vinson said.
The new MTC has 28 classrooms, 18 practice teaching rooms, and seven computer labs to help train missionaries before they leave to their assigned areas around the world. The campus also includes a cafeteria, laundry facility, athletic fields, and large meeting rooms.
“They learn skills which will help them listen to the Spirit and support their companions as they teach those seeking the truths taught by the Savior,” said Elder Vinson in the news release.
Many of the missionaries reporting to the new facility come from west and southeast Africa, but the new building will also serve missionaries from around the world who are assigned to labor in Africa. The new MTC makes it easier to teach missionaries in their native language and for them to learn the language of the area where they have been assigned to serve.
The building has similar design features—artwork, color scheme, and architectural design—as the newly dedicated Provo MTC and includes many open spaces and windows.
“These principles are intended to really invite natural light into the spaces,” said Kelly Mills, administrative director of MTCs, in the Mormon Newsroom release. “In the middle of all that is this beautiful protected courtyard space that’s protected from the sounds of the street, and it’s just a beautiful outdoor space where missionaries can contemplate and study and be in God’s creations.”
Local Church leaders and members attended the event, along with local civic leaders such as Accra Mayor Mohammed Adjei Sowah and Reverend Father George Arthur, Chaplain General of the Ghana Police.
Prior to the dedication, leaders and members of the community were able to tour the new building during a week-long open house in August. (See related story.)
A missionary from Senegal reviews an English language lesson while in the Ghana MTC.
Missionaries in foreign-language study as they prepare to serve in French-speaking countries.
A missionary who recently completed training in the Ghana MTC awaits departure for his field of service.
Sister missionaries study in a classroom in the Ghana MTC.
French-speaking missionaries from around the world arrive in the Ghana MTC to learn English as they prepare to serve as missionaries in English-speaking countries.
Elder Collins from the USA and Elder Abiloye from Nigeria eat their first breakfast in the Ghana MTC. They arrived from their homes the evening before this photo was taken.
Missionaries from 21 countries are represented in the current group at the Ghana MTC.
Missionaries from around the world join in singing a hymn on their first morning at the Ghana MTC.
Sister Rebecca Brubaker and President Scott M. Brubaker, president of the Ghana MTC, welcome the new missionaries.
Elder Baird and Elder Ani serve as companions while learning in the Ghana MTC.
Some missionaries receive required immunizations while at the Ghana MTC.
Elder Antwi, right, from Ghana is helping Elder Beaird from the USA learn about living in Africa.
Missionaries walk to classrooms at the Ghana MTC.
Missionaries from French-speaking countries are learning English at the Ghana MTC.
A missionary studies Preach My Gospel during his stay at the Ghana MTC.
Elder Buckhannon studies diligently during personal study time.
Mission presidents and their wives from the Africa West Area missions attend the dedication of the Ghana MTC as well as a mission presidents’ seminar.
A missionary choir sings during the MTC dedication in Ghana October 24.
President Trevor Keyes (left) from the Accra Ghana Mission speaks with Elder Larry S. Kacher from the Africa West Area Presidency.
Dr. Emmanuel Kissi (left),an early pioneer of the Church in Ghana, attends the dedication of the MTC October 24.
French-speaking missionaries listen to the dedication proceedings through headphones and translators October 24.
Mission training center president Scott Brubaker conducts the dedication service for the Ghana MTC October 24.
Elder and Sister Bednar enjoy a hymn sung by the MTC choir during the Ghana Missionary Training Center dedication on October 24.
Dedication services for the Ghana MTC on October 24.
Dedication services for the Ghana MTC on October 24.
Accra Mayor Mohammed Adjei Sowah speaks with Elder David A. Bednar after the Ghana MTC dedicatory prayer.
Reverend Father George Arthur, Chaplain General of the Ghana Police, greets Elder Bednar after the MTC dedication.
Some of the special guests who attended the dedication of the Ghana Missionary Training Center (MTC) October 24 pose for a photograph.
A family from Ghana attends the dedication service of the Ghana MTC.
Many Church members in Ghana attended the dedication service for the new MTC on October 24 .
Missionaries at the MTC in Ghana have companionship study periods.