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History of the Assembly of God Hospital, Saboba
formerly known as the
Saboba Medical Centre

1947 June 22 Surveying the site of the Saboba Mission. Florence Blossom, Polly Smith, Addie Wickman and Hal Lehman. Taken by Mel McNutt.

Saboba, Gold Coast

October 27, 2010
by John Goodwin

In 1945, my father Homer. T. Goodwin, made a trip into Konkomba land to call on the converts from his earlier trips. Previously he had ridden in on horseback, but now he was driving a U. S. military surplus jeep obtained from the U.S. Base in Accra, Ghana. He went directly to the Chief’s compound where he always stayed. He was told a young British Colonial officer had come and was building a residence. The next morning as my father stopped to pay his respects. The young officer informed him that it would be his last trip to Saboba. Shocked, he asked why. The officer told him he had decided that the Komkombas were still in a primitive, indigenous state and were to be preserved as an undisturbed anthropological exhibit. Therefore, no missionaries or any other outside influence would be allowed.

One Saturday afternoon not long after that, my father was walking along the beach in Accra, and a British gentleman fell into step and began to visit. He expressed interest and began to ask questions about my father's work in the Gold Coast. Because the Saboba incident was fresh and disturbing to him, he related the details. As they said their goodbyes, he asked my father to come see him in his office. When asked where that was, he said that he was the secretary to the Governor of the Colony. When my father arrived at the governor’s office the next week, the secretary had already discussed the situation with the Governor and was asked one question: Can you promise to establish a Health Post in Saboba and bring nurses in to minister to the physical needs of the Konkomba people? Of course my father’s reply was yes.

He immediately sent urgent messages to his mission agency for missionary nurses to be recruited. He then went to the commanding officer at the U. S. Base in Accra and requested supplies and equipment. The base was closing, so his request was granted and included a portable field hospital, which was used as the initial clinic.

Clinic 0 Alone

1949 First Clinic
A U. S. World War II surplus building donated to the Assemblies of God. Set up by Leonard McNutt.

The governor also offered the house in Saboba, the young British Colonial officer was building, to be used as the missionary's residence.

Later when the Mission truck approached Saboba with the supplies, and equipment, the truck carrying the the Colonial Officer officer, had to move off the road to let them by. He had slept in his new house only one night.

1948 Saboba mud house

1948 The bungalow
The McNutts were privileged to be the first family to live in that house

1949 Right End view

1949 The bungalow occupants: Ruby Johnson and Ozella Reid

1948 Paramount Chief Narlongi

The McNutts in 1948.

Front:  Gayle,
Second row  l-r: Mel, Marita F.
Third row l-r: David, Marita J.,  Dennis

The first person to begin the effort in Saboba was Homer Goodwin. The dream was to open the work first, with a medical clinic. The medical center began in 1949 as a mother/child clinic, commissioned by the Foreign Missions Department of the Assemblies of God, Springfield, Mo. The first building was built by Melvin Mc Nutt.  The Mc Nutts were the first white family to live in Saboba.
The hospital grew over the years under the leadership of  the following staff.
Click on the turquoise word:


From its humble beginnings The Saboba Medical Centre has become a significant  medical institution  and is now the Regional District hospital for  the Saboba - Cheriponi region  of Northern Ghana. It has grown to a 100 bed hospital, a Primary Health Care Clinic, an Out patient Clinic, a laboratory, and a pharmacy.

Saboba 1949 Mrs. Mc Nutt with a patient.  

Some of the very first patients treated at the Clinic.

1949 The Regional doctor gave Mrs. Mc Nutt directions as to how to treat the wounds. She also treated patients during the spinal meningitis epidemic in 1948. Marita Joy, age 12, helped prepare the detol solution for cleaning the wounds.  

1948 Saboba Market Merchant

This is the same Baobab tree as the one above taken in 2006.

1948  Mrs. McNutt at the Saboba Market  buying meat.

2005 Gayle Weber and Marita Gladson meet with people who remembered them from 1949

Right to left Suleman Maabo, Obi, one of Gylima's daughters, Kayil deceased in 2008, and Amos Biyimba.
Kayil said that Gayle threw a rock at him when she was about 4 years old. She apologized at this meeting.
What a privilege to meet these people again!


Saboba's Hope Inc. is a California non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3). EIN 26-2919781