The Ghana Prisons Service has inducted into office a new Chaplain- General, Reverend Chief Superintendent of Prisons (CSP) James Teye Tetteh, to steer the religious affairs of the Service, and provide spiritual counseling and guidance to both officers and prison inmates.
At a ceremony which came off at the Prisons Interdenominational Church at the Prisons Headquarters at Cantonments in Accra recently, Rev. James Tetteh took the Chaplaincy Oath administered by Apostle Dr. Opoku Onyina, Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, in the presence of some highly placed men of God.
Preaching, General Secretary of the Ghana Christian Council and a member of the Prisons Service Council, Reverend Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, on behalf of the various religious Councils in the country congratulated Rev. Tetteh for the glorious calling to serve as the Chaplain-General of the Prisons Service.
He said pastors in the various religious institutions have not been able to use the gospel to make their members law abiding, hence their presence in prison to be reformed by the Prisons Chaplaincy.
“So I want to use this platform to invite all religious bodies in the country to support prison ministry with their prayers, and resources,” he added.
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong advised the new Chaplain-General that the passion of his ministry must be to inspire hope in both Christian and non-Christians, as the success of Christian leadership was not in personal comfort, but in how much hope he gives to the hopeless.
“You are coming with dreams, but you cannot do it all alone. Look for those who have gone ahead of you for direction, and let the Chaplaincy system and God be seen more than you,” he said.
He continued that the Prisons Chaplaincy does not need just individuals, but a system that works. And persons who work within the system must have a mindset that calls for serious human-centred transformation in line with the Prisons 10-year Strategic Plan. And that system must also be able to relate with all religious bodies and traditional authorities to draw support for the Service.
Director of Prisons in charge of Welfare, Madam Josephine Fredua-Agyemang, who represented the Acting Director-General of Prisons, Mr. Emmanuel Yao Adzator, in a speech, congratulated Rev. James Tetteh for his new role as the Chaplain-General of the Service.
She said prisoners need regeneration, material and social support, so there was an urgent need for the Service and religious bodies to collaborate to reform and rehabilitate inmates through the word of God, counseling, material support, financial support to inmates’ education, refurbishing prison workshops, eradicating discrimination against ex-convicts, and assisting inmates to smoothly transit back to society after their release.
“The function today is landmark, and it is a charge the Prisons Administration is giving to our Chaplains to begin to knock more at the doors of churches for the desired collaborations to make the Service move forward,” she intimated.
Rev. CSP James Tetteh in a short address was grateful to the acting Director-General of Prisons for the confidence reposed in him, the Prisons Chaplaincy, the leadership of the various religious Councils, and all present for their contributions towards making the induction ceremony a success.
He said his Unit will continue to pursue the passion of growing prisoners’ relationship with Christ, give meaning to the character of prisoners, strengthen the ministry to prisoners’ families, officers and their children, and the society at large to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
“I have a dream, that prisoners from our prisons will be morally upright people of faith and integrity in a world where mediocrity seems to be the order of the day. I have a dream, that the Ghana Prisons Service will in the shortest possible time become a truly correctional institution,” Rev. Tetteh recited.
CSP James Teye Tetteh, who succeeded Rev. CSP Gabriel Dankwah, holds a Masters Degree in the Study of Religion from the University of Ghana, an International Diploma in Restorative Justice from the Queens’ Theological College in Kingston, Ontario – Canada, and a Diploma in Christian Counseling from the International Theological Seminary.
He was enlisted into the Ghana Prisons Service in the year 2003, and was posted to the Nsawam Medium Security Prison after successfully completing his Cadet Course training.
He was the first Resident Service Chaplain of the Prisons, and later became the Eastern Regional Chaplain. He is married with four children.
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