News Release

Church Members Celebrate 10th Anniversary of the Accra Ghana Temple Dedication

The Accra Ghana Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints marked its 10th anniversary on January 11, 2014. Church members throughout the country attended special meetings in their respective areas to celebrate the historic occasion and share their great appreciation for the temple.

Many individuals who attended the meetings recalled the joy and excitement they felt when the announcement was made that a piece of ground had been approved to build the first Latter-day Saint temple in West Africa.

“It was an unforgettable day,” said Ezra Sekyere, a Church member in Ghana. “The spontaneity with which the announcement was greeted was so infectious. It was like an electric current had run through all of us.”

Latter-day Saint temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered houses of God where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and strengthen their commitment to serve Jesus Christ and those around them.

By attending the temple regularly for the past 10 years, Sekyere explained that “my knowledge of the significance of the temple has expanded and my understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ has increased from participating in the ordinances therein.”

The Accra Ghana Temple serves Latter-day Saints in West Africa, including the areas of Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo. The exterior of the 17,500-square-foot temple is Namibian pearl granite. Landscaping includes native flowers and palm trees.

“Built by Africans from African materials, the Accra Ghana Temple is a landmark all Africans can be proud of,” said Sister Marged Kirkpatrick, a senior missionary in Ghana at the time of the temple dedication. “Intricately crafted African granite was used for the floors, and native Makore wood for all the moldings. Carved carpets, beautiful murals of the Ghanaian countryside, handcrafted furniture and special art-glass windows all reflect an African influence.”

Before the temple was dedicated on January 11, 2004 by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then worldwide leader of the Church, West Africans traveled either to Johannesburg, South Africa, or London, England, to attend the temple worship, if they could afford the travel cost.

“You’ve gone a long time without a temple,” President Hinckley told a large congregation of Church members assembled at Accra’s Independence Square when he announced the construction of the temple. “When the Accra Ghana Temple is completed, you won’t have to travel all the way to London, or all the way to Johannesburg, to have the blessings of the Lord.”

Because of the sacred ordinances and ceremonies performed in temples as “houses of the Lord,” only members of the Church who are in good standing are allowed to enter. However, prior to the dedication of each temple, the general public is invited to tour the building. Most recently, the Gilbert Arizona Temple in the United States opened its doors for public tours.

A second temple in West Africa was dedicated on August 7, 2005, in Aba, Nigeria. There are currently 169 temples throughout the world either in operation, under construction or announced (See temple list). 

Video: "Temples" (5:41) 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.