ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CATHOLIC CHURCH, ANYINAM
(P.O. Box AY 85, Anyinam)
Situational Profile of Anyinam
A. Location And Size
Anyinam is located almost at mid-distance of Accra- Kumasi lorry road, precisely about 159km and 133km from Accra and Kumasi respectively.
It is situated between Asamang- Tamfoe and Enyiresi town on the Accra – Kumasi main road and shares borders with the following towns and villages- Mampong, Moseaso, Frimponso, Vandapuge, Accra Village, Adasawase and Muoso.
It is the hub and the commercial centre of the Atiwa District and about 10min drive to Kwabeng the Administrative seat of Atiwa District. According to a report released by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in 2010 on Anyinam the town lies on Latitude 6’ 22’ 49’ and longitude 0’ 33’ 49’. Obviously, Anyinam is of the fastest developing town in the Atiwa District with about 16 suburbs namely Abrenya, Abominam, Ayigbetown, Bethlehem, Buronikrom, Clinic, Donkrom, Anikokoso, Kotieku, Kodobeda, Nkatieso, Nketego, Osabarima/ Cos, Roman Sukuum, Train Station, and Zongo.
B. Significance of the Location of Anyinam
All walks of people, especially those from the Atiwa District and by extension Akyem Abuakwa, are making frantic efforts to get a space at Anyinam. Largely because of the strategic position or location and commercial activities that go on in the town.
In 2000, the National population and Housing Census captured 18,359 people and 950 houses at Anyinam against 5,836 people and 819 houses for Kwabeng, the District Capital.
According to figures from the Anyinam Health centre, there were 14,252 people in the town as at 2009.
We have private and government schools, ranging from Kindergaten to Senior High School. The government ones have different heads or administration and they are;
Roman Catholic Primary and JHS, Presbyterian Primary and JHS, A.M.E. Zion Primary and JHS, African Faith Primary and JHS, Islamic Primary and JHS
The private schools have different headship and management. Each begins from kindergarten and continues progressively to a higher level. The private schools are;
Morning Dew, Heavenly Blue, Hope, Anointed, Adae Yeboah, Methodist, Peace, Bishop.
Three main Religious bodies are on the ground, namely; Christian, Islamic, and African Traditional Religion. The Christian Churches far out number the other two Religious bodies. The Christian Churches are Orthodox, Pentecostal and Charismatic. They are;
Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, A.M.E. Zion, Seventh Day Adventist, Kristo Asafo, Universal, Apostolic, Pentecost, Assemblies of God, Jesus is Alive, New Apostolic, Christ is the Answer, The Word Miracles, Deeper life, Jehovah Witness, Christ Church, Messiah, Brotherhood, Christ Resurrection, Light of the World, Living Bread, Mount Sinai, New Testament, African Faith Tabernacle, Winners, New Division, The Lord is my Shepherd,Christ Divine, Baptist light Chapel.
The prominent ones are;
Farming, Tailoring, Hair Dressing, Teaching, Banking, Driving, Carpentry, Masonry, Hockers, Office Workers, Mechanics etc…
G. Social Amenities
Electricity, Schools, Pipe borne Water, Boreholes, Public Toilet, Post Office, Market, Funeral Grounds, Club House, Lorry Station, Health Centre.
H. Early Settlement Profile of the Town Anyinam
1. The ancestors came from Adansi in the Ashanti Region and settled at Banso in the Eastern Region. They were led by one Obenefo Kyere and Kwaku Asante the family Head (Abusuapanin).
2. The second settlement: a hunter called Doku found a pond during his hunting expedition and decided to settle there with the family. The area is called “Nya Amane’, which literally means “GET TROUBLE”. But due to the constant overflow of the Birem river, they moved into another area.
3. The third settlement: this area was referred to as “Hand Pump”, which was corrupted into “Hand Poko”. On this site, the settlers were troubled by worms and so they moved further.
4. Fourth settlement: it is called Abonkyereso or Akrofunso where the Agriculture Department Office is located. It was here that they decided to cross the Birem River to help them to strategize their position, because of the on-going war between the Akyem Abuakwa and Ashantis and settled at the present location.
I. Etymology of Anyinam
Originally the town was called ‘AGYINAMU’ meaning a “a meeting place” or a place where people come together to take vital decisions.
In this case, Anyinam was where the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Leaders met to take major decisions. In this regard, because of its geographical position, the people of Abuakwa found it very convenient to assemble (HYIA MU) here to take major decisions affecting the welfare of their people.
Others think, because of the immense presence of OAK TREES here which in the Twi language is ‘ANYINA’. But the white people corrupted “AGYINAMU” into “ANYINAM” or preferred to call it ANYINAM instead of “AGYINAMU”.
The History of Anyinam Catholic Church
A. The early Pioneer and his Pioneering Role
Up to the early part of the 21st century, there was no organized Catholic Church at Anyinam until the end of the first quarter of the century (1920 to be precise) when the late John Albert Asiedu of blessed memory, a native of Anyinam, who was born at Akyem Saamang near Osino in 1888. He had his primary schooling at Cape Coast Catholic Primary School and baptized a Catholic in 1901. He came home with him the Catholic Faith and planted the seed of his faith in his home town, Anyinam in the year of our Lord, 1920.
Mr. John Albert Asiedu and his family started the Church in his own house in the form of morning and evening devotions. Later, they moved into a room opposite his residence where other converts joined.
In the course of time he approached the then chief of Anyinam with a request for gong-gong to be beaten to inform the inhabitants of the town about the existence of the Catholic Church in the town. To propagate the faith the more, he further went from house to house through motivation with the youth in particular as his target group to join the Church. The late John Albert Asiedu initially combined his role as President of the Church with that of a catechist.
B. The Birth of the Church
Records have it that in 1948, Rev. Fr. Henry Janssen S.M.A., the Parish Priest of Koforidua came to celebrate the first Holy Mass in the store room where the members used to meet. Some of the early members who formed the congregation at the first Mass were Elizabeth Adwoa, Margaret Wirempoah, Elizabeth Boatemaa, Augustine Nimako, Helena Asantewaa, Elizabeth Awisi, Kwadwo Appiah, William Gyapong, Anthony Frimpong, Kofi Tawiah, Abena Nyarkoah, Papa Anku, Mama Anku, Papa Lomo, Mary Fialebu, Kumah, Adwoa Asantewaa, Afia Adu, Abena Kwabena, Theresa Agyeiwaa, Rose Wirempoah, just to mention a few.
The Sacrament of Baptism was first administered at the Lorry Station by Rev. Fr. Henry Janssen S.M.A. on 4th February, 1951. From then onwards Anyinam became an outstation of Koforiadua St. George Parish. Holy Mass was however celebrated periodically but the members had service on their own in the form of morning and evening prayers as well as praying the Holy Rosary.
C. Anyinam Parish and Its Outstations
By the early 1970s the Church had spread to other places outside Anyinam. The first place to embrace the faith after Anyinam was Akrofufu which has now been elevated to a Quasi Parish. Others followed suit, namely, Akyem Sekyere, Osino, Adasawase, Banso, Sunkubenase, Abomosu, Asunafo, Enyiresi, Ahankrasu, Kwahu-Jejeti, New Jejeti, Osoroase, Akakom, Moseaso, Hemang, Saamang, Kwabeng, Akwadum, Subriso, Asamama, Mouso, Asamang-Tamfoe, Abrenya and Awenare.
D. Elevation to Parish Level
St. John The Baptist Catholic Church at Anyinam was elevated to full Parish status in a grand ceremony presided over by Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle DD, STD, the then Bishop of Koforidua Diocese on 17th November, 2002. Rev. Fr. George Acheampong was made the first Parish Priest.
E. Visiting Priests At the Time
Most of the Priests who celebrated Holy Mass at Anyinam between 1920 and 1930 were all visiting Priests who travelled all the way from Accra and Koforidua to the place. They lodged in the house of Mr. John Albert Asiedu since there was no Mission House at the time. The daughters of the late Mr. John Albert Asiedu took care of the meals for the Priests. Among the early Rev. Frs. Who celebrated Holy Mass in Anyinam were:
Rev. Frs. Henry Janssen S.M.A., Leonens S.M.A., Joseph Sey S.V.D., Legens S.M.A., Severobgo S.M.A., Lawrence De Santos S.V.D., D.K. Andoh S.V.D., J.D. Dauphine S.V.D., J.O. Bowers S.V.D., J. A. Elsbend S.V.D., J. Van Paridon S.V.D., Beemsterboer S.V.D., Cosmore S.V.D., G.G. Wilson S.V.D., T.J. Hatfield S.V.D.
F. Resident Priests
The following are some of the Priests who have had permanent appointments to Anyinam so far. They are:
Rev. Frs. John Res S.V.D., Anthony Brodinsick S.V.D., John Schilitz S.V.D., Robert Sackey, Henry Frimpong, Edward S.V.D., Weldermar Kus S.V.D., Gregory S.V.D., George Acheampong, Michael Awuah- Ansah, Peter Tawiah Debrah, Stephen Asare, Bright Kennedy Agyepong, Derick Mawuli, Charles Boniface Ahenkorah, Raphael Appiah-Nimoh, Richmond Kwaku Sintim, William Kusime, Prince Horsu.
G. The Administration of the Church
This has been under the Church Committee members who play advisory roles and whose meetings are presided over by the Priests. Presidents Anyinam have had so far.
1920-1967 John Albert Asiedu
1968-1975 John Peter Asiedu
1976-1980 Gabriel Brobbey-Mensah
1981-1995 Godfred K. Agyei
1996-2002 George Ofori-Atta
2003-2005 Frederick Teye Amponsah
2005- 2009 George Ofori-Atta
2009- Michael Addae Yeboah
The following are the past and present Catechists who have rendered selfless and dedicated services to the Church since its establishment.
Mr. John Albert Asiedu
Mr. Godfred Kwabena Agyei
Mr. David Anomah-Bempong
Mr. David Omane
Mr. Dominic Agyekum
Mr. John Nkrumah-Boateng
Mr. Alexander Darko
Mr. Anthony Kofi Banaman
Mr. Francis Agblohu
The founding member of the Church, the late Mr. John Albert Asiedu had a vision that the growth of the Church would depend to a large extent on the proper training of the youth. Consequently, he founded a Primary School to serve this purpose in 1948. The first teacher of the school was Mr. Bedjabeng from Koforidua. The present population of the school stands as follows:
NO. OF PUPILS
NO. OF TEACHERS
Junior High School
J. Acquisition of Land
Increase in the population of the Church necessitated the acquisition of a piece of land for the construction of a Church building, including a School and for other development projects. In view of ths proposition the late Mr. John Albert Asiedu, the founding member thought it necessary to approach the then Chief of the town, the late Baafour Kwaku Buabeng II for a parcel of land which he readily consented to his request. He offered two hectares of land. This is exactly the spot on which we have the Church, the Mission House, the palm and coconut plantations, the orchard and cemetery with the rest of the land yet to be developed.
K. Priestly and Religious Vocations
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at Anyinam has since its inception been blessed with the production of one native priest as well as one native Religious Sister. Rev. Fr. Nicholas Kofi Agyei, a Diocesan Priest currently stationed at the Christ the King Parish at Kwahu-Pepease. He is the son of the late Mr. Godfred K. Agyei and Mrs Felicia Agyei. While Rev. Sr. Mary Genevieve Amma Gyaakomaa Ofori-Atta of the Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer (HDR) congregation of Accra currently on sabbatical leave in the United States of America (USA). The daughter of Mr. George Ofori-Atta and the late Mrs. Florence Adwoa Ofori-Atta of blessed memory.
The Church can boast of the following societies who help to boast the activities and functions o the Church. The societies so far are: Christian Mothers Association, Church Choir, Youth Choir, Catholic Organization (CYO), Knights of the Altar, Sacred Heart of Jesus Confraternity, COSRA.
M. Present Strength of the Parish
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church has fifteen (15) stations divided into three (3) zones.
These are: Anyinam, Adasawase, Moseaso, Asamang-Tamfoe, Osino, Saamang, Akim Hemang, Sekyere, Enyiresi, Ahankrasu, Abakoase, Subriso, New Jejeti, Kwahu Jejeti, Osoroase.
Mass schedules for Sunday:
Anyinam-first Sunday 9:00am, second to last Sunday 7:00am
Osino – first Sunday 7:00pm, second to last 9:00am
Sekyere – first Sunday 7:00am , second to last Sunday 9:00am
Anyinam- Wednesday 7:00pm, Thursday 5:00am, Friday 7:00pm, Saturday 5:00am
Osino / Hemang – Tuesday 5:00am / 6:00am, Asamang-Tamfoe Tuesday 5:00pm
Sekyere / Abakoase / Subriso – 5:30am / 6:30am / 8:00am
Activities in the Parish
Hour of Grace / Benediction
Sunday CYO – 3pm
Monday Charismatic Renewal – 7:00pm
Tuesday Choir Practice- 7:00pm
Wednesday Catechumens -4:00pm
Thursday Christian Mothers Association 5:00am
Friday Youth Choir
Saturday Snr. Choir