HISTORY OF THE REV. THOMAS BIRCH FREEMAN MEMORIAL METHODIST CHURCH
The Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman Memorial Methodist Society started from a very humble beginning as Nelson Sunday School. This Sunday school met in the house of the late Mr. George Nelson on the Orgle Street in the Accra Central Area to learn and write the Ga Language and also to read the Bible in the Local dialect. Mr. Nelson was a Brazilian Chief Tailor and a leader of the Methodist Church in Accra.
Due to rapid growth in membership, Mr. Nelson’s house could no longer accommodate the school. More spacious location was found at the late Mr. Frank Orgle’s house nearby. That took part of the school Mr. Orgle later became the first Circuit Steward of the Accra Circuit.
After a while, due to more people wanting to acquire more knowledge, it became obvious that the two locations could not accommodate the school. A lot of people attending the school were from the Asere and Gbese suburbs. It was therefore decided that a school be established in that area to cater for those people. A new school was therefore established when the Accra Circuit Sunday schools council under Mr. E. W. Quartey-Papafio, the then General Superintendent approved its establishment. Mr. Quartey-Papafio approached his family for land at the Bukom Square for that purpose. The building so put up served the Sunday school which later became known as the Freeman Memorial Methodist Sunday School named after the Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman, the great missionary.
In the year 1902, it was further discovered that since majority members of the Wesley and Wharton Societies and leaders were resident in the Asere, Abola, Gbese and the Bukom areas and the journey to Wharton Memorial Chapel and the Wesley Chapel, James Town was a little tedious, and in the light of the fact that some of them had become old and could not attend services in those two chapels, permission was granted for the Sunday school to used as a chapel. With that the Society was formed. The cost of renovating the Sunday school building was borne from the will of the late Mr. Sey, a wealthy and an influential leader of the Methodist Church in Accra and who hailed from Cape Coast in the Central Region. In addition Mr. N. J. Nunoo made stalls, Iron-shed vestry and a pulpit for the new Church.
The Rev Joseph R. Addo, then Superintendent Minister of the Accra Circuit appointed Mr. Emmanuel Edmund Bannerman as the first Organist to help with Hymn singing to improve worship. Other Organists were appointed to help the Church such as Messrs James Addy, J. Wilson Mills, J. Peter Baddoo, Dr. M. A. Baddoo, Messrs Adolf Doku, E. Pappoe Thompson, E. Allotei Cofie among others.
The following are Ministers who have served the Freeman Society: Reverends Charles C. Ohene, E. W. Ogbamey Tetteh, H. Vincent Acquaye Baddoo, W. Quartelai Quartey, Jacob S. A. Stephens, Nahum A. Mensah, Emmanuel Ashitey, Charles R. A. Pappoe, Francis Bruce-Thompson, Charles O. Aryee, Seth Aryee, Abraham A. Tagoe, Edmund A. Ashitey, Andrew O. Thompson, Timothy Noble Yorke, Eugene Armaah.
Many persons have served the Society as Class Leaders examples are: Messrs J. Peter Baddoo, E. OKoe Quaye, E. K. Ashie, J. K. Ashie, E. L. Armah, Cash Abbey, E. A. Okine, E. J. Bruce and Madams Janet Kai Willington, Naomi Abbey Mensah, Naomi Okine, Victoria Ashie, Rebecca Tsotso Sowah (All Deceased).
In 1979, it became clear that the Chapel at Bukom could no longer contain its large number of members. A decision was taken by the Leaders Meeting to secure a place for the building of a new Chapel. This decision was taken at a time when the nation was in a revolutionary era. As a result Makola market where majority of the women were selling had been razed to the ground and therefore lost their jobs, cash or goods. Others were not too happy about the decision of the new chapel because of financial implications involved. Hence some members were hesitant in supporting the decision. Yet with time they changed their minds and accepted the proposal for a new Chapel for the Society.
Permission was sought from the Accra Circuit for the release of the broken down buildings of the James Methodist Middle school (4 GCR) for the erection of a new church building. The permission was granted on condition that a new place be found for the students. This brought Nii Okai Pesemoku II, Gbese Mantse to approach the Accra City Council (now AMA) under the chairmanship of Brother S. Kojo Newman to build the present James Town Methodist School at Korle Bu, behind St. Mary Senior High School at Korle Gonno.
The Building project was started on 27th July, 1981, by 8th May 1983, the foundation and platform had been completed. The foundation stone was therefore laid by the then President of Conference, the late Rt. Rev. Samuel Essemuah.
The construction continued despite scarcity of building materials on the market in the mid 80s and some other set back. However, with unity of purpose and dedication to the service of our Lord, the membership forged ahead. The Superstructure was completed in 1992 and was dedicated to the glory of the God on 24th February, 2001 at the cost of GH¢325,000.00 (Three hundred and twenty-five million old cedis).
The Freeman Society has been the head society of the Accra South Circuit which was created in 1979 and then comprised societies in the now Teshie-Nungua and La Circuits. The first Superintendent Minister was the late Very Rev. Charles Oswald Aryee.
SUPERINTENDENT MINISTERS WHO HAVE SERVED THE SOCIETY OVER THE YEARS ARE:
Very Rev. Charles Oswald Aryee - 1978 – 1979
Rt. Rev. Seth Aryee - 1979 – 1982
Rt. Rev. Abraham Tagoe - 1982 – 1985
Very Rev. Edmund Ashitey - 1985 – 1990
Very Rev. Andrew Thompson - 1990 – 1994
Rt. Rev. Emmanuel A. Ashitey - 1994 – 1999
Rt. Rev. Charles R. A. Pappoe - 1990 – 2003
Very Rev. Eric Aflah Sackey - 2003 – 2006
Very Rev. Samuel K. Quartey - 2006 – 2011
Very Rev. Victor B. B. Boyetey - 2011 – 2015
Very Rev. George Mensah - 2015 – 2019
Very Rev. Solomon Patterson - 2019 – Date
i. Rev. Nathaniel Lomoko - 2010 – 2014
ii. Rev. Patience Owusu-Boadi - 2014 – 2017
iii. Rev. Patricia Cobblah - 2017 – 2018
iv. Rev. Mary N. A. Sarblah - 2018 – today
i. Bro. E. J. Bruce - 1965 – 1978
ii. Sis Naomi E. Okine - 1978 – 1981
iii. Bro. A. L. Addy - 1981 – 1985
iv. Bro. Victor Tetteh - 1985 – 1992
v. Bro. Charles Bannerman - 1992 – 2000
vi. Nii Tackie Lomoko - 2000 – 2003
vii. Sis Ellen Bruce-Ashley - 2003 – 2009
viii. Bro. Alphonso Kotey - 2009 – 2014
ASSISTANT SOCIETY STEWARDS
i. Nii Tackie Lomoko - 1985 – 1992
ii. Sis Patience Tetteh - 1985 – 1992
iii. Bro Charles Bannerman - 1982 – 1992
iv. Sis Elizabeth Wilson - 1992
v. Bro. Nat A. Addo - 1992
vi. Bro. Alfred Armah - 2005 – 2009
vii. Dr. Nii Addo Bruce - 2003 – 2009
viii. Bro. Emmanuel Quarcoo Snr. - 2009 – 2014
ix. Bro. Emmanuel Quarcoo Jnr. - 2009 – 2014
i. Bro. Samuel Ayite-Adjin - 2010 – To-date (Chapel Steward)
ii. Sis Agnes Quaye - 2006 – 2014 (Poor Fund Steward)
iii. Bro. Isaac Amartei - 2009 – 2016 (Development Officer)
i. Bro. Charles Quartey - 2014 – 2019 (Society Steward)
ii. Bro. Henry Tetteh . - 2014 – 2019 (Asst. Society Steward)
iii. Sis Janet Tackie . - 2014 – 2019 (Asst. Society Steward)
iv. Bro. Samuel Ayite-Adjin - 2010 – To-date (Chapel Steward)
v. Sis Esther Tetteh - 2016 – To-date (Poor Fund Steward)
PRESENT TEAM OF STEWARDS
i. Bro. Charles Nii Ayiku Ayiku- 2019 – (Society Steward)
ii. Bro. Eric Alasah Dixon - 2019 (Asst. Society Steward)
iii. Sis Zelma Okine - 2019 (Asst. Society Steward)