Announced: Feb. 16, 1998.
Location: 57 Independence Ave.,
North Ridge, Accra, Ghana
Site: 6 acres.
Exterior finish: Granite quarried in Namibia, Africa, called Namibia Pearl.
Temple design: Traditional, built in third generation of small temples.
Project manager: Russ Tanner.
Contractor: Taysec Construction Limited
Rooms: Celestial room, two endowment rooms, two sealing rooms and baptistry.
Total floor area: 17,500 square feet.
Dimensions: 190 feet by 147 feet.
District: Countries in western Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Benin, Togo.
Groundbreaking: Nov. 16, 2001, by Elder Russell M. Nelson.
Dedication: Jan. 11, 2004, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; three sessions.
John Cottam Riding, 67, Mapleton 1st Ward, Mapleton Utah Stake, called as president of the Accra Ghana Temple, succeeding President Grant Gunnell. President Riding's wife, Naomi Meservy Riding, will serve as temple matron. President Riding served as president of the Ghana Accra Mission, and as a stake president and counselor, bishop, stake family history consultant and senior missionary. He is a former vice president of human resources, Air Touch Communications, San Francisco, Calif. He was born in St. George, Utah, to Edwin D. and Kathleen Cottam Riding.
Sister Riding, who served with her husband when he was a mission president, is a former ward Young Women, Relief Society and Primary president, ward organist and choir director, and senior missionary. She was born in Provo, Utah, to Edward Southwick and Lucille Lavina Hansen Meservy.
ACCRA, Ghana — For many months, Latter-day Saints in Bo District, Sierra Leone, had looked forward to attending the Accra Ghana Temple.
There is unrest in Ivory Coast, so they decided for safety to take the long way, going around Ivory Coast instead of through it. They traveled by bus and drove both day and night from Bo, Sierra Leone, through Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and finally into Ghana. Forty adults came to receive their own endowments and be sealed as husbands and wives and have their children sealed to them. They left Friday morning, Oct. 27, and arrived in Accra five days later, on Nov. 1, at 3 a.m. Two drivers and one mechanic accompanied them. Because space was limited, some sacrificed to let others come
Each person was responsible for his or her own food. They did not realize the trip would take so long; they ran out of food and water on the third day.
ACCRA, Ghana — A landmark in the era of the Church's temple building was reached Jan. 11 with the dedication of the Accra Ghana Temple, the first temple in West Africa, and the 117th worldwide.
Before the Accra temple was dedicated, members had to travel to the Johannesburg South Africa Temple or the London England Temple to receive temple blessings. Only about 415 members in the Accra temple district had been endowed prior to the new temple's dedication.
The Accra Ghana Temple District includes all of Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and, until the Aba Nigeria Temple is dedicated, Nigeria. While English is the official language in Ghana, multiple languages are employed by members, including French, Twi and Ga, and dozens of other West African dialects.
Following is the full text of the dedicatory prayer given by President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicating the Accra Ghana Temple on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004.
O, Lord God Almighty, Thou who rules in the heavens above and in the earth below, we come unto Thee in solemn prayer in the name of Thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Wilt Thou look down with favor upon us, Thy children, as we meet to dedicate Thy house.
We acknowledge Thine overruling hand in all things. We have partaken of Thy providence. Through revelation to Thine appointed servant, Thou hast opened the way for millions of Thy sons and daughters to receive of every blessing afforded by Thy divine gospel. This house, and the ordinances to be given herein, constitute the answer to the prayers and petitions, the service and the labors of those who will be blessed because of the presence of a sacred temple in their midst.
How glorious, O Father, is this day of dedication. How wonderful it is that we are met together in peace as Thy people.
We thank Thee for the brotherhood that exists among us, that neither color of skin nor land of birth can separate us as Thy sons and daughters who have taken upon us sacred and binding covenants.
We know that the ground on which this temple stands was made available because of Thine intervening hand. We know that Thy care has been over its construction and the construction of the other facilities found here.
Father, our hearts are filled with gratitude. We rejoice and sing anthems of praise to Thy holy name. We lift our voices in songs of thanksgiving.
We are mindful on this solemn occasion of Thy visit with Thy Beloved Son to the boy, Joseph Smith, to open the curtains on this glorious final dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times.
We thank Thee for the Book of Mormon as an added witness of the divinity of Thy Son. We thank Thee for the holy priesthood with all of its offices, authority, and keys. We thank Thee for the Prophet Joseph and for all who have succeeded him. We thank Thee for Thy Church and kingdom with prophets and apostles who constitute its foundation, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone.
And now, acting in the authority of that priesthood which has come from Thee, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this, the Accra Ghana Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We consecrate it to Thy holy purposes.
We dedicate the ground on which it stands with its beautiful vegetation. We dedicate the walls and the windows, the roof and the steeple with the crowning figure of Moroni. We dedicate the baptistry, the various ordinance rooms including the beautiful celestial room, the sacred altars, and all of the other rooms and facilities. We pray, dear Father, that Thou wilt accept this Thy holy house as the gift of Thy thankful people. By the strength of Thy mighty hand save it from the storms of nature and any desecrating act of man. May all who look upon it regard it as the house of the Lord with holiness unto the Lord. May all who enter its portals do so with meekness of spirit and gratitude of heart, and with cleanliness before Thee whose house this is. Please cause that Thy Holy Spirit shall dwell within these walls at all times. This is the temple of our God, hallowed unto us, Thy children. May it ever be a place of refuge from the noise and cares of the world.
As we dedicate the temple, we also dedicate the adjacent stake center with all of its components and facilities. May it serve as a gathering place for Thy Saints where they may worship Thee, where they may be instructed in doctrine, where they may socialize together in bonds of friendship. May they treasure it and care for it, and may it be safeguarded from vandalism, fire, and storm.
We, likewise, dedicate the other facilities established on this ground, including the structures which will provide offices, apartments, and temple patron housing, that this entire complex may serve well the needs of Thy Church and Thy people in this nation.
These structures have been made possible by the tithes of Thy faithful people throughout the world. Touch the hearts of the members of the Church in this and surrounding nations that they may so live as to be qualified to enter Thy temple. Give them the strength to live the gospel, to observe the Word of Wisdom, to be faithful one to another as husbands and wives and children. May they be good citizens of the nations to which they belong. And may the rulers of these nations be generous toward Thy people and safeguard their liberties.
Let faith rule the hearts of Thy Saints that they may contribute their tithes and offerings and be worthy of Thine outreaching hand in their behalf that they may be prospered in their labors, that their lands may be productive, and that the blessings of heaven may come down upon them in great measure, that they may be lifted from the scourge of poverty, that they may be looked upon as a favored people.
May Thy work spread in this land and in adjoining nations. May the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands be touched in such a way that there shall come into Thy kingdom a veritable flood of faithful and devoted Latter-day Saints.
We pray for this nation of Ghana and for all who constitute its government. May it become a model among the nations of this vast continent. May it grow in strength and influence for good. Incline the hearts of its rulers that they may befriend Thy people, even Thy faithful Saints.
O God our Eternal Father, please move forward Thy work throughout the world. Open the hearts of people everywhere to the message of Thine endowed servants. Open the doors of the nations which are now closed. Touch the hearts of their leaders that they may welcome and befriend Thy work. Dispel the clouds of ignorance and prejudice against Thy Church and kingdom. We pray for peace in the earth, that Thy children may be spared the burdens and pains of war and know the blessings, sweet and wonderful, that come of peace.
Smile with favor upon Thy Saints. Let us feel of Thy love. Forgive our shortcomings, our sins and imperfections. Help us to rise above our weaknesses. Save Thy people from disease and plagues, from the ravages of scourging epidemics.
Bless all who shall serve in these facilities. May all work together with an eye single to Thy glory, rejoicing in their great opportunity.
Father, bless Thy servants who have been called to positions of leadership in Thy Church. Give them health and strength and add to their years of service. Bless their families and their interests and protect them from the darts of the adversary.
Now, all honor and power and glory be Thine we pray as Thy thankful children. We express our love to Thee and to Thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer, through whose atoning sacrifice have come the blessings of Thy work and Thy glory in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (see Moses 1:39). We pray humbly and gratefully in His holy and sacred name, even the name of Jesus Christ, amen.