General News of Tuesday, 18 December 2018
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams has said President Nana Akufo-Addo has no hidden agenda in connection with his desire to build a national cathedral for Christendom.
The Founder of Action Chapel International, who is also the Chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the 13-member Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral project, told his congregation during the second service on Sunday, 16 December 2018 that he had an extensive one-on-one discussion with the president to get clarity on certain issues before he decided to be part of the project.
Archbishop Duncan-Williams has, therefore, urged critics of the national cathedral to have a change of heart, since, according to him, he got on board purely because the project is in tune with his personal cause to push the Kingdom of God and the Gospel.
“I’ve spoken to some people who told me: ‘Until I spoke to you, I was against this national cathedral. And I thought that even you ‘Papa’, are allowing yourself to be used. You’ve changed my mind, I’m on board’. And I want you also to change your mind because I’ve been with some of you for 40 years. Trust me on this one that I’m not blind. I’m very very clear. I have my eyes together and my head together.
“And I’m not gaining anything or benefitting anything; nobody is paying me anything. And nobody is forcing me to do anything.
“I’m doing it based on conviction, for God and country. And you have to trust me. If ever I think there’s some hidden agenda, you know me, I’ll come and tell you. But as of now, I don’t see any hidden agenda”, he told the congregation.
He said: “We’re doing a fundraising dinner for the National Cathedral, and I know that it’s a controversial issue, because there are all kinds of opinions, philosophies and logic about the national cathedral but I am committed to it because it is something that stands for the cause I stand for – Christianity, the cause of Christ. And I know that everybody has their own views of why we must build the national cathedral.
“We use money to build things like the stadium. I don’t believe in football and I don’t watch football, but I don’t have a problem if we build a football stadium for those who like a stadium and believe in football. And I wouldn’t say the money we should use to build a football stadium, we should use it to develop an area for the poor. Because Jesus said: ‘The poor, you shall always have with you’. But the fact of the matter is that: it’s not the country building it anyway.
“I’m the Chairman for the fundraising committee. And we’ve started raising money already. We’re raising money. By 28 December 2018, we’ll have over $1 million, about $1.5 million coming in as seed money and there’s more money we’re raising from all over the place. And there are a lot of people who are making commitments [towards it] … And there’s going to be a Bible museum of the first in the whole of Africa. So many things that come with it.
“And for me, when it comes to matters of faith, the things that honour God, I’m for it. Now, others may have their reasons, but my reason for being involved is because this thing [national cathedral], to me, is not party politics, this is beyond party politics to me, it’s a national asset that will outlive every one of us.
“And generations after us will come and see it and give God the glory. When generations come and go there, they won’t talk about the political party. They will see the glory of God. What will be done there, it will blow your mind. That people will stand there and praise the Lord, irrespective of your political persuasions.
“Now I know that everybody has their arguments, I’ve heard a lot of things, people have come to me of different party persuasions and have said all kinds of things, and have said to me: ‘Why are you involved, why should you be involved?’. And I said: ‘You know something, give me a break, I’m not part of your political parties, I don’t belong to any political party, I am an ambassador of the Gospel’.
“Listen, I’ve been preaching for 41 years, I’ve dealt with presidents who have come and gone; give me a little credit that [even] if I’m not smart [at all], I have some discernment. And it’s very difficult to fool me. That’s all I will say. It’s very difficult to fool me. Before I got involved with the national cathedral, I sought a meeting with the president, one-on-one, and I said: ‘Mr President, I need clarity about this national cathedral. I want you to talk to me. I need clarity’. And I asked him some very strong questions. And after he answered my questions, I walked away and I said: ‘I’m involved’. Don’t ask me: ‘What did you ask him because you’re not the one involved’.
“And the venue we are dealing with, looking at all the other venues we have looked at, it is the best place for now. Because I was one of those who thought we should find another venue. And I went to some areas to look at some other venues; for instance, where the military cemetery is. I was one of those who were eying that place. Then upon searching and looking at it, I realised that that place is designated for the military cemetery. And I said: ‘I better find my way out of this quickly’. ‘You’ll go and tell the military you want to use the place designated for their last honour for what? Don’t even try it’.
“And then I went to another place, I drove there with my driver, I went places and I asked questions, and when I saw the complications and the international companies involved and everything, I realised that we would have been better off here [the chosen location] than some of the places some of us are looking at. And I brought it up at the board meeting – my suggestion of other places. And I realised that at this place [the chosen location], there are nine judges there, they have all been relocated and given another place better than where they were. There are only three more buildings which we are working and negotiating on, and we just resolved one.
“So, you can sit there and talk and insult and say whatever because you have the right and freedom of speech, but don’t underestimate the intelligence of some of us. That some of us are not blind and we don’t belong to any political party. We are committed to the cause of Christ and the cause of the country and what is good for the future of the nation.
“On that note, everybody, buy a ticket for the fundraising dinner. It’s the 28th of December and we are selling a chair for a $1,000, a table for $10,000. I need some of your secret monies. And some of you, your savings, you are going to Dubai and Europe for [holidays]. Give us that money to build the national cathedral. One day, you and your loved ones and your children’s children may use there. One day one of your sons or daughters will be president of Ghana and shall benefit from that thing”, he said.