LISTEN: Sunday Service
The Primacy of Spirit (Excerpt)
The Temple of Nyame evolved in 1978 from the African Cultural & Religious Society. The African Cultural and Religious Society (A.C.R.S), founded and registered in the District of Columbia in 1973, is one of the pioneer organizations in the promotion and practice of Traditional African Culture in the Washington, DC area. It grew from a study group organized by Nana Kwabena Aboagye Brown in 1969, which ushered in the beginning of the Akan movement in Washington, DC. In 1969, Nana Kwabena Aboagye Brown and his family sponsored the first official visit to the District of Columbia of Nana Yao Opare Dinizulu, Omanhene to the Akans in North America.
In 1973, A.C.R.S. sponsored the second official visit of Okomfohemaa Nana Oparebea to the United States. This advanced the growth and development of the Akan religious movement in Washington, DC. She at that time established the Asuo-Gyebi Shrine of Washington, DC (including Tegare, Nana Esi, the Mmoatia, Adade Kofi, et al) all under the auspices of the great Nana Akonedi. This is the second official shrine for Asuo Gyebi in America, and Nana Kwabena is her first official initiate (Bakai) and long standing representative in Washington, DC.
In 1976, in addition to the weekly Akoms (Sunday worship services in tribute to the gods of Africa), regular meetings were held on Saturdays that included more in depth discussions of the concepts of God in Africa. In 1993, the Temple of Nyame became affiliated with the Asuo Bonteng, Bokyerwa, and Tegare Shrines of Techiman and Aboabo, Brong Ahafo, Ghana, West Africa.
In January 2002, while in Ghana, the Temple received the oracle Afa, also known as Ifa, and is using it to enhance the services that the Temple provides for the spiritual uplifting and guidance of the community.
The Abasom Asuo-Gyebi of the Temple of Nyame and the Orisa Yemoja received by Iya Mari while a member of the Yoruba Temple—under the leadership of Iya Nifa Pamela Mother Taylor and her Teachers in Trinidad, South Carolina and Nigeria, West Africa—were united as one shine in 2003.
There are three pillars upon which the foundation of the Temple rest and from which lessons are taught. They are Spiritual Initiation and Unfolding, Rites of Passage (Birth, Puberty Marriage, and Death), and Liberation Theology (the application of religion to contemporary social issues and problems). The Temple also has very vibrant female and male societies, which are associated with its Rites of Passage Program.
Public Programs include: Odwira and Ancestral Akom (ancestor reverence and first fruits celebration), Spring Rites, Sunday Akoms, Meditation, Young Women’s Rites Program and African language lessons. The Temple is also available for spiritual consultation and to perform marriages, naming ceremonies, funeral rites and other rituals. The Temple has female and male societies that are associated with its Rites of Passage Programs.