ACCRA, Ghana — 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 Oct. 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 David A. 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 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.