The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has accepted the resignation of Very Rev. Dr Yaw Frimpong-Manso, the immediate past Moderator of the General Assembly of the church.
With this development, Very Rev. Frimpong-Manso would, by implication, forfeit all rights, titles, entitlements, privileges and protocols ordinarily enjoyed by or accorded a former Moderator and/or Reverend Minister of the church.
This was contained in a pastoral letter to all members of the church, a copy of which has been made available to the Daily Graphic.
The letter was signed by Rev. Dr Samuel Ayete-Nyampong, Clerk of the General Assembly of the church.
Very Rev. Frimpong-Manso is currently serving with the Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed Church of the Presbytery of New York in the United States of America.
Giving the background to the issue, the letter said at the end of his tenure as the Moderator, Very Rev. Frimpong-Manso was seconded by the church to serve with the Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed Church of the Presbytery of New York.
It said by a letter dated July 10, 2015, Very Rev. Frimpong-Manso wrote to inform the church that the Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed Church had extended his status as a designated pastor for six years, which had been approved by the City of New York Presbytery with retrospective effect from April 1, 2015.
According to the letter, the General Assembly Council was unable to accept this position and asked him to return to Ghana by December 31, 2015 for re-assignment in accordance with the ordinary and normal schedules of the church.
It said, however, that by a letter dated October 15, 2015, Very Rev. Frimpong-Manso notified the General Assembly Council (GAC) of his decision to resign from the service of the church.
“This unprecedented action taken by a former Moderator and the ensuing debate on the airwaves, saddened the leadership and the entire membership of the church greatly and so became the subject of intense prayer and supplication while some senior members of the church appealed to him to reconsider his decision,” the letter said.
It said by the church’s policy, any minister who resigned voluntarily ought to be invited by the Clerk of the General Assembly (GA) for an exit interview.
“In accordance with this policy, the Clerk of the GA wrote to the Very Rev. Dr Yaw Frimpong-Manso, inviting him to meet with the Clerk in Accra for an exit interview.
“The church offered to provide him with a return ticket for purposes of the said interview. In a letter dated November 25, 2015, Very Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso declined the invitation to travel to Accra for the interview and instead requested that the Clerk of the GA travels to New York to meet with him there,” the letter added.
It said upon careful consideration, the leadership of the church agreed to the former Moderator’s request and sent a two-man delegation, led by the Clerk of the GA, to meet with him in New York.
According to the letter, the delegation held detailed and frank discussions with him, and also met informally with his family in their home in New York on the subject.
“At the end of the discussions, Very Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso maintained his decision to resign from the service of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. In the circumstance, the General Assembly Council (GAC) at its meeting on 14th to 17th March, 2016, had no other option than to regrettably accept his voluntary resignation.
“The acceptance of his resignation was formally communicated to him by the GA Clerk’s letter dated 21st March, 2016, in which it was stated that as a consequence of his resignation, he ceases to be a Reverend Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana effective 16th March, 2016,” it stated.
It said the GAC was mindful of the fact that since the resignation of a former Moderator was unprecedented and indeed the resignation of a Reverend Minister rare, these events were bound to cause serious concerns to the faithful.
The council, it said, found the situation regrettable and did everything possible to avert it but to no avail.
“The GAC may not share Dr Frimpong-Manso’s aspirations but cannot deny him the right and freedom to pursue them. What we can do, and urge all the faithful to do, is to continue to love him and his family and pray that the Lord continue to guide and lead all of us into the future, that we may all glorify His name.”
On behalf of all the faithful, the GAC thanked Dr Frimpong-Manso sincerely for his past service to the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and wished him and his family the very best of God’s blessings and guidance in their future endeavours, the letter concluded.