In the Summer of 1995, Prof. S. O. Gyandoh’s Elkins Park residence served as a “pilot-sanctuary” for the United Ghanaian Community Church (UGCC), when the organizers of the proposed Ghanaian congregation accepted an invitation from Prof. & Mrs. Gyandoh to conduct a private memorial service for Mrs. Gyandoh’s late sister, Josephine Mensah. The organizers of the new church saw this as an opportunity to determine the response of the Ghanaian community in the Philadelphia metropolis to the formation of the first Ghanaian congregation in the area. The service, the first of its kind in the Ghanaian community, was very well attended, and the participation level of the worshippers was arguably very high. This gave impetus to confidence in the success of planting a Ghanaian church in Philadelphia.
Today, after 26 years in existence, the United Ghanaian Community Church has grown to become the largest Ghanaian congregation in Philadelphia, and the role of Uncle Gyandoh, as he was affectionately called, cannot be over-emphasized. He was there on December 25, 1995 when the church was officially inaugurated, and he remained a regular worshipper together with his family until his passing.
With his vast experience as a Methodist, Uncle Gyandoh became a great source of inspiration and support to the organizers of the new church, frequently offering very valuable pieces of advice and guidance. Uncle Gyandoh’s passion for hymns was boundless, his most favorite being Charles Wesley’s “Head of Thy Church Triumphant”, which also happens to be the church anthem of the United Ghanaian Community Church.
Uncle Gyandoh, the Lord planted you in Philadelphia for multiple purposes, including this specific role of being a part of the birthing of the very first Ghanaian congregation in the metropolis. And having finished very well, may the Lord welcome you into His bosom with a “well done, good and faithful servant …” (Matthew 25:21). Rest peacefully in the Lord, Uncle, until we shall meet again in eternity.