News Release

New Temple Presidency for the Accra Ghana Temple

New Temple Presidency for the Accra Ghana Temple. Stephen L. and Vanessa J. Graham recently began their service in the Accra Ghana Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as temple president and matron, respectively, responsible for overseeing the daily operation of the temple.

“We both feel very humbled and honored to come here to serve the wonderful saints of West Africa in the House of the Lord,” said President Graham.

To members of the Church, temples are literally “houses of the Lord.”  Temples are sacred buildings in which Latter-day Saints receive instruction about the purpose of life and their relationship to God.  There they take part in religious ceremonies that reach beyond mortality, both for themselves and in behalf of deceased ancestors.  They also make promises, called “covenants,” to serve God and others.

This is not the first time that the Grahams, from Provo, Utah, United States, have served the Church in Ghana.  President Graham was president of the Missionary Training Center in Ghana from 2012 to 2014.  He also served as a mission president (Tahiti, 1984-87), chaplain (BYU Hawaii, 2015), bishop, high councilor and temple ordinance worker.

Sister Graham was born and raised in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, prior to moving to the United States.  Both President and Sister Graham speak English, French and Tahitian. 

President Graham continued, “Together with the counselors in the temple presidency and their wives, we desire that the affairs of the temple might always be conducted in such a manner that all who come to that holy place will feel the presence of the Spirit and be taught from on high.”

Assisting the Grahams as first counselor will be President Frederick Antwi and as matron’s assistant, Sister Victoria Antwi.   President Antwi has served as a bishop, member of a stake presidency (a stake is a geographic area) and a full-time missionary.  Sister Antwi has served as a leader in the Primary and Relief Society (the Church’s children’s and women’s organizations) and as a full-time missionary. The Antwis both speak English, Fante and Twi and come from Yamoransah, Ghana.

President Philippe Gyr Assard will serve as second counselor and his wife, Sister Annelies Margitta Assard, will serve as a matron’s assistant in the temple. The Assards are from Abidjan, Ivory Coast.  They also lived for a time in Germany where Sister Assard was born and raised and President Assard worked as a mechanical engineer.  The Assards speak French, German and English.  President Assard has previously served in various Church assignments including, patriarch and full-time missionary.  Sister Assard has served as stake Relief Society president and full-time missionary.

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