For decades, the mention of the name Dr. Asafo-Agyei in Kumasi and the entire Ashanti Region has prompted instant reminders about a person imaginatively bigger than life itself.
Surely, even to some people, children included, who have neither met nor engaged him in any capacity, the man still evokes nothing less of a fascination and phenomenon.
And why not!
He is one doctor whose exploits in the medical profession have reached every corner of the region, to the extent that many seeking medical attention have made his Asafo-Agyei Hospital at Daaban their first stop.
Four decades in practice, Dr. Asafo-Agyei has attended to, and treated, millions of patients from far and near with profound professionalism and care for which he is celebrated globally.
Aside being a professor of medicine, for which he now wears both ‘Prof.’ and ‘Dr.’ titles, he is also a recipient of many enviable domestic and international awards and fellowship honours.
His leadership acumen is equally celebrated. There is, however, one thing about him that many people did not know: He is a Bishop. Yes, an ordained man of God!
He was ordained into priesthood together with his wife, Diana, a nursing officer, in February 2001 at the Oasis of Love Church in Kumasi.
They have, since 2003, led the Great Eternal Harvest International Ministry (GETHIM), a fast-growing church with a Bible College in Kumasi, which he founded.
The icing on the cake in Prof. Dr. Asafo-Agyei’s pastoral work dawned a fortnight ago – Saturday, October 3 – when he was installed an Archbishop of GETHIM.
The consecration also makes him the Archbishop of Africa and Ghana for the Rapha Faith International Ministerial Network (RFIMN), a global assemblage of churches fostering unity among independent charismatic and pentecostal churches.
At the ceremony held at the GETHIM auditorium at Daaban, four others were also consecrated as bishops: namely: James Appiah, Dominion Ahmed, Abba Abdulkarim Shalom and Mrs. Asafo-Agyei.
The Presiding Bishop of RFIMN, UK, His Eminence, Benny Terry Danson, and the Presiding Archbishop of Global Harvest International Fellowship, USA, His Grace Kenneth McNatt, officiated the ceremony.
Dignitaries who graced the consecration service included the Ashanti Regional Minster, Peter Anarfi-Mensah, the Chief of Kumawu, Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua, and former Regional Minister S.K.Boafo.
Prof. Dr. Asafo-Agyei told The Spectator after the ceremony, that he was humbled by his elevation from the status of Bishop and gave indication about his readiness to win more souls for God.
“I see this as another reminder about the kingdom of God, and my role to direct more souls in there,” he said, indicating that although many people see his installation as a promotion, “I see it as God communicating a different assignment to me.”
Named Asafo-Agyei Anane Frempong, he was born at Bekwai in the Ashanti Region in March 1944.
The 71-year-old newly-installed Archbishop-cum-medical doctor attended the Presbyterian Primary and Bantama Primary schools between 1951 and 1957, then to Adum Presby Middle School (1956-’59).
He proceeded to the Presbyterian Secondary School (PRESEC) at Krobo Odumase, but did his sixth form at the Prempeh College between 1964 and ’66.
He gained admission to the University of Ghana (UG) Medical School and earned a MB Ch.B degree in 1972, to become a medical doctor.
He did his housemanship at Korle-Bu (Accra) and Komfo Anokye (Kumasi) teaching hospitals before veering into private practice with Dr. O.T Agyemang in 1978.
Two years after, Prof. Dr. Asafo-Agyei went solo by establishing in 1980 the Asafo-Agyei Hospital at Daaban, from where he has attended to his patients for decades.
One of the successes he has chalked is becoming the first Ghanaian doctor to non-surgically treat piles using a method called hemorrhoidectomy, after his training at the Piles Specialist Training Centre in Gujarat, India.
A father of six daughters – Nana Ama, Nana Adwoa, Nana Yaa, Peggy, Abena Safoaa and Asantewa, Prof. Dr. Asafo-Agyei has picked countless international and domestic awards and honours.
The International Biographical Centre (IBC) of Cambridge conferred on him the ‘International Man of the Year’ and ‘International Man of Achievement’ awards for 1991/92 and 1993/94, respectively.
The IBC, in May 2000, awarded him as one of its 2000 outstanding scientists of the 20th century, and appointed him its Director General for Africa in 2005.
The Australian-Asian Institute of Civil Leadership (AAICL), which rewards and promotes excellence in leadership in various fields of endeavour, made him a fellow in 2006, which honour came with the conferment of an Honorary Distinguished Professor (Hon. FAAICL) on him.
Prof. Dr. Asafo-Agyei received a ‘Medicine and Healthcare Award,’ in addition to an Order Medal and Edict, during the Inaugural World Forum at the Oxford University in July 2006.
He became chairman of the Ashanti Region branch of the Ghana Medical Association in 1975, aside his membership of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, and the Society of Private and Dental Practitioners.
From JAMES HARRY OBENG,