In 1985, Father Tandoh completed his Novitiate year in the religious order of the Holy Sprit Congregation in Ghana. He took his first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a layman before he began his studies at the School of Philosophy in Insukka, Nigeria.
Dayton became Fr. Tandoh’s home in 2000 when he became the Religious Education Director at Resurrection Catholic School. By the end of the year, he was appointed the Pastor of Resurrection and St. James parishes. Today, he is the pastor of five parishes in Montgomery County: St. Mary’s Camden, St. Mary’s Dayton, Holy Family, St. Augustine and St. Benedict the Moor.
To improve the quality of life for the first community that welcomed him, Fr. Tandoh lead a $4.5 million fundraising campaign to build a new church for the 500 families of St. Benedict the Moor parish. Completed in 2005, it stands as the only predominantly African-American Catholic Church in Ohio built by African-Americans. During this time, Fr. Tandoh continued to serve the children of the Dayton urban area by teaching at Mary Queen of Peace School.
Fr. Tandoh’s civil rights service has been greatly demonstrated by his work with Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (L.E.A.D.). One of his first acts with L.E.A.D. involved working with the city commissioner to increase the removal of dilapidated homes from 75 in 2004 to 800 abandoned structures in 2008. He called upon the Dayton Police Chief in 2008 to outline a plan to implement a Community Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP) program in the city. Chief Richard Biehl has reported that the first steps of the program have begun.
Montgomery County has no publicly funded medical detox program for the thousands who suffer from drug addiction. Fr. Tandoh asked Dayton Commissioner Dan Foley to create a comprehensive plan to provide effective, quality treatment for those suffering from substance abuse. Commissioner Foley and his task force have devised a plan and started implementing it.
Throughout his service to the community, Fr. Tandoh has used the power of his vows to help him, “Vows make your life easier. In every situation, you know the right thing to do because of the vows. No confusion. Just do the right thing.” His 25 years of spiritual service will be celebrated during the Sunday service on August 22 at 12:30pm at St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, followed by a reception.