LDS Senior Missionary Serving in Ghana Builds Pulpit for Paralyzed Branch President

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Image via Gary Parke.

This article was originally published in Deseret News by Sarah Petersen. Below is an excerpt.

Elder Gary Parke and his wife, Helen, sat before an LDS congregation in Tema, Ghana, waiting to speak about temple preparation, when several men entered the building wearing suit coats. The uncommon attire for the tropical climate suggested this was no ordinary sacrament service.

One of the men, the stake president, walked to the pulpit and announced the names of three new branch presidency members.

“Two brethren stood up, and I thought, ‘OK, so maybe the counselor didn’t make it today,’ ” Elder Parke said. “From where we were sitting, we could not see President Azumah. … The next thing I saw was him coming around the corner, around the podium.”

Ike Joseph Azumah, the new branch president, approached the stand on his hands, using one knee for balance and flip-flops to protect his palms. President Azumah took his place on the stand, and using a wireless microphone, bore his testimony.

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Bridget is a newsroom writer at LDS.net. She graduated in April 2015 from Brigham Young University in communications with an emphasis of public relations. She served a Spanish speaking LDS mission in McAllen, Texas. She is a skilled pianist and an expert baker of chocolate chip cookies.