HISTORY OF THE METHODIST RETREAT CENTRE, KWADASO- KUMASI
Some-time in the mid 1990’s, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Association of Methodist Men’s Fellowships decided to undertake the construction of a Conference Centre in Accra. After several attempts to acquire land for this project, the then General Superintendent Minister and Chairman of the Accra District, Rt. Rev. Victor B Nartey-Tokoli, graciously offered a portion of land at the Wesley Grammar School, Dansoman in Accra for the purpose.
The fellowship then undertook a cadastral survey of the land and had drawings made by Messrs. Ken Ampratwum and Albert Essamuah. Before physical structures could be constructed, the same land had been allocated for the establishment of the proposed Methodist University.
Initially the fellowship felt it could go ahead and construct some of the hostels and facilities which could be used by the University. Unfortunately, the promoters of the University had engaged new Architects whose ideas and concept were at variance with those of the fellowships architects and since the land belonged to the church, the fellowship had to pull out of the project and handed over the site to the University authorities.
Subsequently, at the 17th Annual Conference in Accra in the year 2000 under the chairmanship of Bro James Abaidoo Brew, this was fully discussed and at that meeting, it was decided that a Hospitality Centre project initiated by the Kumasi Diocesan Men’s Fellowship, be taken over and adopted as the Connexional Project. The project concept was then re-defined as a “Self-financing, Hospitality/Educational Retreat Centre” to provide a quiet and serene environment suitable for holding conferences for a large number of people as well as being used for retreats for the study of the word of God.
Before the takeover in May 2000, the Kumasi Diocese Men’s Fellowship had spent Twenty three thousand, two hundred and one Ghana Cedis, Sixty five pesewas (GHC23,201.65) ie (Two hundred and thirty two million, sixteen thousand four hundred and eighty three old Cedis, ¢232,016,483-Old Cedis).
This was used to construct the following –
A Building of the three (3) chalets
B Two (2) of the chalets roofed with tiles,
C One (1) chalet roofed with wooden boards without tiles
D Tiles purchased for the 3rd Chalet
E The fence wall partly constructed
When the Connexion took over, NEC made some few changes in consultation with the Architect, It was therefore planned to have the following;,
- 3 Chalets containing 12 rooms
- 500 Seat-Auditorium with 3 Committee rooms.
- 100 Bed-Accommodation facility with variable occupancy for single, double, for three or four persons
- 150 Seat dining facility
- Administration Block with offices and stores
- Garden and Recreational facilities.
The capital cost of the project was estimated at US$648,000 at that time.
The following Committees were therefore put in place to oversee to the construction of the project:
A The Project Implementation Committee based in Kumasi and
B A Coordination Committee based in Accra with Kumasi Diocesan Chairman as co-opted member.
FUNDING OF THE PROJECT
Funding of the project were planned to be through members contributions, levies of GH¢10 per member per year, voluntary pledges, Loans, Donations, Fund raising activities at Branch, Circuit and Diocesan levels, One bag cement etc.
In year 2006, under the Chairmanship of Bro Evangelist Charles Mensah, NEC initiated to seek funding to continue the project by issuing Redeemable Certificate of Investments which were with the minimum subscription of old one million cedis (GHC100) per contributor. Quite a number of members subscribed to this.
The other source of funding is the Men’s day proceeds out of the week-long celebration which the Church hierarchy had endorsed for the construction of the National Project at Kwadaso.
In view of lack of job opportunities and economic hardship, the main source of funding has been the proceeds received from the Mens Day celebrations.
To date, the project has gone through the following phases
Phase 1 The completion of the 3 Chalets of 4 rooms each (ie 12 rooms), the Fence wall and the horticultural work. This was dedicated on 15th March, 2009 under the Chairmanship of Bro Richard Stanley Quarshie.
Phase 2 was the construction of the Multipurpose Auditorium which was modified to a 750 seater. This has a seating capacity of 500 in the main hall and 250 on the aisle. It has been furnished with 500 plastic chairs and fitted with a sophisticated Public address system, The Auditorium is duly registered for marriages with a vestry for signing of marriage registers. There is an ablution block attached to the Auditorium for both men and women .This was also dedicated on 11th March, 2011 under the Chairmanship of Bro Richard S Quarshie.
This was the construction of the Reception/Waiting hall, an office for the Centre Manager, a 200 seat Restaurant, a large Kitchen with a Matron’s office, a Cold Room, Change and Wash Rooms, Store and Four Shops.
The waiting hall have been furnished with visitors chairs, the Managers offices with furniture, cabinets, computers and a printer to take care of all members data and other important records in the Center.
The Restaurant have been furnished beautifully and the Kitchen supplied with all necessary equipment e.g. large Oven, Deep Freezer, Double door Fridge, Six Burner Gas cooker and assorted kitchen items to serve a large number of visitors
In addition to these, an GHC8,500 mechanized borehole had been dug to provide constant water supply at the Centre. There is also a 27KVA Generator acquired to alleviate the current power supply challenges facing the Centre as a result of the nationwide “dumsor” challenges.
All these were dedicated on Saturday 29th August, 2015 under the Chairmanship of our Bro Hayford Asare-Bekoe by the Most Rev Prof. Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, the Immediate Past Presiding Bishop, supported by the Administrative Bishop, Rt. Rev Dr. Kwaku Asamoah Okyere and the Vice Chairman of the Lay Movement Council, Bro Enoch Baah.
Currently, there are two main Committees to manage this facility;
- The Project Implementation Committee (PIC) which supervises the construction of the project and
- The Centre Management Committee (CMC) oversees the day to day operations of the Centre
The Connexional Vice Chairman of the Mens Fellowship is the Chairman of these committees.
THE NAME – “METHODIST RETREAT CENTRE”
The name of the Connexional Project is called “The METHODIST RETREAT CENTRE”, KWADASO.
This name was chosen to go in line with the objective of the Project – hospitality and retreat center for the Methodist Church Ghana. It is a good relaxation centre, also for the study the word of God, quite times, have marriages, and is capable of holding meetings, workshops and Conferences of various types.
The next phase is the fourth phase which is the construction of the Conference, Syndicate and Guest rooms in the First floor and about 100 guest rooms on three other floors. This was commenced in 2016 just after the mens day celebrations. The next phase will require about GHC1.5 million cedis to complete.