By AT News Team, April 9, 2015:   At least eight members of the Meduma North Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Ashanti Region of Ghana died Sabbath afternoon (April 4) as the result of a three-car accident on the Kumasi-Mampong road at about 4 pm local time. One of the dead is a child, according to a report on GhanaWeb.com.

A funeral for the entire group was announced on Tuesday (April 7), “with the consent of the families,” by Pastor Abankwa Amoakohene, president of the Mountain View Ghana Conference. Another 13 people injured in the accident were still being treated at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.

A convoy of three vehicles were returning from an Easter Sabbath event when one of the cars attempted to pass the other two, police commander Francis K. Asante told TV3 television news. The passing car was faced with a head-on collision with a truck and when it pulled over the other two drivers had to slam on their breaks, lost control and rolled the cars into the ditch.

The congregation held a prayer service on Sunday. The families are “deeply traumatized” by the tragic event, stated a report on GhanaWeb.com.

The Adventist Church reported a membership of 217,000 among the 25 million population of Ghana at the end of 2014, a year in which a membership audit resulted in removing about 175,000 member names in an “adjustment” to statistical records. When children from church families who are too young to be baptized are included as well as non-members who attend regularly and inactive members, the reality is that there are about a half million Adventist adherents in the country. There are 3,308 local congregations in the denomination’s two union conferences in Ghana.

At least one church member, the Hon. Kwame Osei-Prempeh, has served as an elected member of parliament since 1997. Three years ago the first Adventist minister to serve as a chaplain in the Ghana Armed Forces, Capt. Peter Nyanko Duadu, was appointed administrative officer of all military chaplains. About the same time, Prof. Daniel Buor, vice chancellor of Valley View University, the Adventist higher education institution in the country, was presented the prestigious Gold Award of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science for his research in public health and medical geography.