The Rev. Alice Kyei-Anti (“Mama Alice”) in California early in 2019 during her last visit to the United States.
In Memory of Mama Alice: August 3, 1944 to February 20, 2021
We give thanks for the life of service of Rev. Alice Kyei-Anti (widely known as “Mama Alice” throughout the world). As she told us “I often reflect upon the words of Isaiah: ‘Here am I. Send me.’ And, he said, ‘go.’ I continue to follow His directive to go where I am needed.”
We also give thanks for the strong relationship that Mama Alice had with Westminster and its members, which began in 2006. The Westminster church family joins with all in praying for comfort for those who loved Mama Alice. May her soul rest in peace.
Mama Alice was born in Ghana and is survived by her daughter, Joana Danquah, and grandson, Nana Kwame Ofori-Atta, who lived with her. Her extended family is spread internationally.
Mama Alice was the only woman ever elected to serve as a chairperson for one of the presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG). Following her term as chairperson, Mama Alice was the pastor at the Redemption Congregation in Tema (a current Westminster partner). When she retired from Redemption in 2011, she had spent 42 years of working full-time for both the Lay and Ordained Ministry of her Church as well as five years as a teacher. Including her service in Malawi, Mama Alice represented her Church in 19 countries outside of Ghana. She was a trained midwife and a strong advocate for women’s issues and against domestic violence.
Mama Alice visited Westminster five times. During her time in Albany, Mama Alice preached at Westminster, for Albany Presbytery, and four additional congregations. On her visits she made a significant number of speeches and impacted many lives. As Westminster’s partner in Ghana representing the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Mama led or helped to lead three of Westminster’s mission trips to Ghana. A highlight of the 2009 trip was a jointly sponsored PCG / Westminster workshop for dementia caregivers. In 2011, she led the Westminster team to places in Ghana in which she had worked to help eliminate extreme poverty. Mama Alice left a powerful mark on members of our congregation and community.
Mama Alice’s impact in Ghana has been noted in many tributes. The former moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, The Rev. Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Menso, wrote following her death “… At my ordination in 1986, you were the preacher, and you urged me to serve my God ‘faithfully and diligently’ in spite of the challenges of ministry and life. You were able to utter these words . . . because you yourself were a shining example of faithful and diligent service both in active service and retirement.”
Church member Belinda Quaye has been in regular touch with Mama Alice and they have often prayed together for church members. Belinda and her family were the last people from Westminster to see Mama Alice when they paid her a visit at her home in Accra on November 25, 2020.
The traditional Ghanaian family meeting and church service is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, 2021. After the meeting, Westminster will receive the obituary prepared by the family, including a site where memorial donations may be sent.
For a link to a 12-page tribute to Mama Alice, go to ,www.wpcalbany.org/serve
~ By Members of the African Mission Committee