The Tema Area Head of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Matthew Larbi Wettey, on Sunday, November 15, 2020, retired from the full-time ministry of the church after serving meritoriously for 32 years.
The special service which took place at the F. S. Safo Memorial Temple in Community 5, Tema, was officiated by the International Missions Director (IMD), Apostle Emmanuel Gyesi-Addo. It was attended by people from all walks of life.
Speaking at the service on the theme, “Because you have done this,” Apostle Gyesi-Addo said that, “the call of Abram to leave his father’s land was in itself a test from God. His response to the call, followed by the subsequent events and the ultimate quest to sacrifice caused God to swear by Himself to bless him and his generations.”
Reading from Genesis 22:15-18, he said that although God has given Christians the essentials needed for survival in life with varied promises in scriptures, He requires them to make a personal commitment to love, belief, obey and make committed sacrifices for Him to activate His blessings for the believer.
According to Apostle Gyesi-Addo, all the sacrifices made by Abraham was as a result of God testing him and that the test of the believer is a call to glorify God and understand His purpose for their lives in their Christian journey.
“God tests us to find out if we can unreservedly offer our everything to Him and also to find out if the believer can love Him and sacrifice so supremely as He did with His Son (Jesus) for mankind,” he stated.
Recounting some of the tests and sacrifices Apostle Larbi Wettey and his wife Elizabeth had to make prior to their call into the full-time ministry, the IMD was full of praise to God and Apostle Wettey for passing the test by heeding God’s call, sacrificing and losing some things which God eventually has replaced according to His covenant with him.
Called into the full-time ministry of the church in 1988 as Probationary Overseer, Apostle Larbi Wettey was confirmed an Overseer in 1990, called into the pastorate in 1993, the office of Area Head in 2011 and Apostle in 2013.
Apostle Wettey, considered as one of the revered historiographers of the church, served in Asamankese Mepom (1988-1993), Sepe Buokrom (1993-1999), Prestea (1999- 2005), Darkuman (2005- 2011), Axim Area (2011- 2016) and Tema Area (2016- 2020).
In the course of the ministry, he also served on several committees, notable among them was the National Discipleship & Literature Development Committee (NDLDC).
He was also a fluent interpreter on Pentecost Hour – a sponsored religious broadcast of the church which was aired on GTV between 2003 and 2011. Together with his wife, Maa Elizabeth, they have authored 10 books.
The pastorate in the Area in their testimony described Apostle Wettey Larbi’s love for the ministry of the Holy Spirit as profound. “He teaches extensively on the gifts, baptism, and fruit of the Spirit and looks forwards to their manifestation,” the testimony read. “He is a great leader and team player who combined delegation of duty with effective coaching and patient supervision to ensure that assigned tasks are effectively executed.”
The Area Presbytery, on the other hand, described him as a versatile and growth-oriented minister. “He has an all-inclusive approach to church administration, which fostered unity and cordial work relationship between pastors and officers and one with passion for ecumenism as he served as the Tema Zonal Vice-Chairman for GPCC,” the testimony said.
The Tema Area Women’s Ministry in their testimony to Mrs. Elizabeth Wettey Larbi eulogized her as one who made a great impact on the ministry which will always be remembered.
“She has the knack for being neat, cheerful and with a strong positive disposition enthusiasm and brimming energy as she welcomed all manner of persons, including street children, the vulnerable and the downtrodden to her home to feed them,” it said.
Delivering the General Council’s testimony, the Kasoa Area Head, Apostle Ekow Badu Wood, said the Council saw Apostle Larbi-Wettey as “a man of prayer, affable, very humble and loyal who distinguished himself as a hardworking soldier of the cross and could be trusted for integrity, faithfulness, and dignity.”
The Council also acknowledged his book, ‘The legacy of Pastor James McKown’, which documents the life and ministry of the Founder and the history of the church in its formative years, as a great resource for Pentecostal and theological training.
The General Council also described Mrs. Larbi-Wettey as exceptionally affable, God-fearing, and a principled woman. “Her cheerful smile and enthusiastic dance during praise sessions at General Council Meetings will be greatly missed,” the testimony stated.
Report by Samuel Owusu Amofah.