The Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of the Christian Action Faith Ministries, Nicholas Duncan-Williams has admonished couples, particularly the men, not to follow his example and divorce their spouses.
Archbishop Duncan-Williams and his first wife, ‘Mama’ Francisca, in 2007, walked out of their 26-year-old marriage due to what the Bishop said were “irreconcilable differences.”
The Papa, as he is known to his over 20,000 congregants, in April 2008 married Rosa Whitaker, the CEO and President of the Whitaker Group, a Washington D.C.- based consultancy firm specializing in trade and investment in Africa.
Attempts to settle the divorce out of court failed, with murky details of the marriage playing out in the media and the US-based children of the couple joining the fight against their mother, whom they accused of mistreating their father and being the source of their marital problems.
In a letter read to the congregation in 2006, Bishop Duncan-William said, “the challenges in my marriage are personal and shall remain private for the sake of our children and loved ones,” noting however that “the decision on my part was not taken in a haste without years of prayer, best efforts and Christian counselling”.
Seven years on, Duncan-Williams maintains he still believes in the sanctity of marriage.
He was giving a rare glimpse into his divorce many years ago when the crew of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM transmitted from the Church’s headquarters on the Spintex Road, Accra, on Monday, November 3, 2014.
“I believe what the scriptures say about marriage, divorce and remarriage,” he said.
He advised couples contemplating divorce to carefully think through it before they decide to walk out because, “it is very complicated” especially in marriages where children are also involved.
“This thing about divorce is not that simple…and that is not to say that if you are in an abuse situation you have to stay in it and die.
“I don’t want my situation to give anybody a license to die or to go and divorce their spouse…It’s not that simple, it’s very complicated,” he stated.
He, however, qualified his comments, saying he was not suggesting that anybody suffering any form of abuse in their marriage should remain in that situation.