The Very Rev. Ernest K. Baiden served the Lawra Mission Circuit of the Northern Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana for three years, from 1 October 2012 until 30 September 2015. To those in the Lawra area, he was known as Brother, Uncle, Father, Pastor, Reverend and most of all, Beloved Friend. Rev. Baiden looked at his time in Lawra as, “This is where God wants me at this time in my life.” In the church, Rev. Baiden’s number one focus was on the spiritual life of the church. His desire was to see people come into a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. He tried to revive and infuse new life into each of the Societies in his charge. Rev. Baiden taught Baptism and Confirmation classes in each Society, as the Caretakers alerted him of the desire of the people to make a public profession of faith. He reestablished the Local Preachers Training Programme within the Circuit, encouraging others to attend the classes and become fully certified Local Preachers. He was ready at a moment’s notice to travel to any village to assist and give comfort to the grieving and brokenhearted people of his congregations. He could often be seen visiting the invalids of the Societies, bringing them communion, encouraging them and praying with them. Many looked at Rev. Baiden as their spiritual father, to the extent for that when people traveled south they would entrust their loved ones to the care of their pastor.
Rev. Baiden was an advocate for the least of those in the community, always lifting up and giving value to the oppressed. He gave dignity to all he met. He was involved in the Special Needs Awareness Programme, helping the families with special needs children realize that their children were important; they were gifts from God, children whose lives should be celebrated. He wiped the tears of many orphans, doing all he could for them. Rev. Baiden was a disciplinarian and did not play favorites. In any situation, if you were correct, he would tell you. And if you were in error, he would tell you that, too. He didn’t believe in rumors, but looked at a person’s character. He sought the truth in all situations.
It was a bittersweet day for the circuit when Rev. Baiden was posted as the Synod Secretary of the Northern Diocese. We celebrated with him. We also grieved at losing his leadership for our circuit. And, now, again, we have to say “Good-Bye” to one who has been Christ to us in so many ways. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Follower of Christ, Cross Cultural Worker, presently serving Christ in the Lawra area of the Upper West Region of Ghana.