News Release

NAACP Brings Students to West Africa

Fellowship college students and recent graduates tour Missionary Training Center in Ghana

Over 100 students and advisors from the Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown Student Fellowship arrived in Ghana to experience Ghanaian culture, learn about the Atlantic slave trade and receive deep insights into their ancestral lineage. This event is sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in collaboration with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The students are from diverse backgrounds and areas across the U.S. Accompanying the group are Elders Jack N. Gerard and Matthew S. Holland and their wives.

The Reverend Dr. Amos C. Brown and NAACP CEO and President Derrick Johnson are leading the student delegation. Rev. Dr. Brown shared that years ago, he had the opportunity to live for several months in West Africa.

“Being in Africa allowed me to experience the culture and see with my own eyes the strength of the people,” he said. “You have been given the same opportunity this week, and we want to thank The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their support.”

On Wednesday, August 3, the Church’s Africa West Area Presidency hosted the fellowship for a tour of the Accra Ghana Temple site and the Ghana Missionary Training Center. The Africa West Area Presidency (Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, Elder Jorg Klebingat and Elder Bradford Alfred Kyungu) welcomed the students.

“We are so happy to see each of you,” Elder Nielsen said. “What an exciting day for us to be able to share with you how we feel about Jesus Christ and His restored Church here in West Africa.”

Fellowship student DeAngelo Perez spoke about his experience after touring the MTC. “Throughout history people have tried to understand each other,” Perez said. “We are on this trip to do that same thing. This trip won’t do it in the 10 days we are here, but I think it will help us in creating that mutual understanding and greater respect for each other.”

Brother James Owusu-Ansah, said, “I am very grateful to the Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown for the statement he made that as followers of Jesus Christ we come together to reason.”

During a presentation of how the Church is assisting with humanitarian aid in West Africa, Sister Marian Esiape shared a statement from Church President Russell M. Nelson: “When we love God with all our hearts, He turns our hearts to the well-being of others in a beautiful cycle.” Sister Esiape said the Church’s focus on humanitarian needs is “one of the things the Church does best. We do so by providing without respect to belief, political persuasion, culture or nationality.”

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.