Tuesday, 17. August 2021

Obituary: Reverend Samuel Atteh-Odjelua

Important PCG contact person for the EMS regarding interchurch relations


Reverend Samuel Atteh-Odjelua, Chairperson of the Dangbe-Tongu Presbytery, Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), passed away suddenly early Friday morning 13th August 2021.

From 2013-2016, Odjelua was Director, Department of Ecumenical and Social Relations. In this capacity, he was the primary PCG contact person for the EMS regarding interchurch relations. In this capacity, he bore the organisational responsibility for the EMS Team Visit to Ghana in 2015. Reverend Heike Bosien (Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Wuerttemberg, Germany), leader of the nine-person international delegation, experienced Odjelua as “thoughtful, appreciative and entirely dependable. It was a great pleasure working together with Samuel during the Visit.” Emmanuel Tettey, Odjelua’s Department associate and member of the EMS Youth Network, comments that Odjelua was a “great leader, quiet and empathetic. He gave me considerable freedom in carrying out my responsibilities.” Riley Edwards-Raudonat, EMS Africa Liaison at the time, remembers Odjelua’s tactful handling of the sensitive issue of homosexuality and the church: “With his calming manner, he skillfully defused many a heated discussion.”

Samuel Odjelua trained for the ministry at Trinity Theological Seminary in Legon, Ghana. Later, he completed a Master’s Degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Former EMS General Secretary Bernhard Dinkelaker first met Samuel Odjelua while he was serving the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Vienna, Austria as Ecumenical Co-Worker in the 1990’s. Als Dinkelaker recalls, “Odjelua was the first representative of the PCG to serve the Austrian Protestant Church in this capacity, adroitly finding his way in a yet-unexplored territory. It was also at this time that the PCG Congregation in Vienna was formed, in part through the leadership of Samuel Odjelua.” After returning to Ghana, he served for a time as Minister of the PCG Congregation in Akuse. As Chairperson of the Dangbe-Tongu Presbytery, he belonged to the PCG’s highest decision-making bodies. In this capacity, he would have given the morning devotion on Monday, 16th August at the PCG General Assembly in Abetifi (https://fb.watch/7qfPc7e1dp/). How much we would have liked to have heard him there! Odjelua presumably died of a cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife Zilla and three children.



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