Clarification appended on March 5
Thirty inmates were baptized at a Togo prison chapel built by the Seventh-day Adventist Church after prison officials asked for help replacing a previous chapel that collapsed in bad weather.
The inmates took their stand for Jesus during a special dedication ceremony at the main prison in Lomé, the bustling capital of the sub-Saharan African country, church leaders said Friday.
The chapel, which contains an outdoor baptistery, benches for 100 people, and electricity to run lights, fans, and a sound system, cost $13,000, of which nearly half was donated by the General Conference, the administrative body of the Adventist Church.
General Conference president Ted N.C. Wilson approved a $6,000 expenditure from a special presidential discretionary fund after being contacted by the Adventist Church’s Togo-based Eastern Sahel Union Mission.
“Thirty souls sealed their covenant with the Lord through baptism in the new baptistery built with your donation,” Sélom Kwasi Sessou, executive secretary of the Adventist Church’s Togo-based Eastern Sahel Union Mission, wrote in a letter to Wilson.
The baptisms, conducted last Sabbath, Feb. 21, were the result of an evangelistic series led by Bruno Amah, an Adventist member jailed in the prison, together with the Togo church’s Chaplaincy Ministries department, said Sessou, who headed a church delegation at the dedication ceremony.
In addition, 120 inmates took part in a communion service during the ceremony.
The prison director thanked Sessou and the Adventist Church for the funds for the chapel, and he promised to pray for God’s blessings on the church.
“He promised that the room will be multifunctional and be put to good use,” Sessou said. “He said they will ask the Almighty God to continue to keep a benevolent eye on the Adventist Church and that He opens more doors for possible blessings.”
A plaque on the front of the chapel bears the Adventist Church logo and recognizes the role of the church and Wilson in the construction of the building.
Wilson expressed gratitude to God for the 30 baptisms and to asked that church members around the world remember Bruno Amah and all Adventist prisoners in prayer.
“Praise God for His leading in this prison outreach,” Wilson said.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story said the chapel was financed with a $6,000 donation from the General Conference. The story has been amended to specify that the chapel cost $13,000 to build and the General Conference provided $6,000 of the amount.