Officiating bishops: Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. and retired Bishop Arthur F. Kulah
The 188th annual session of the Liberia Annual Conference featured several speakers, including the Revs. Peter Kollie, retired elder of Gbarnga District; Jerry P. Kulah, Muriel V. Nelson and Isaac Chukpue-Padmore.
In his Episcopal Address delivered on March 19, Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. called on the United Methodist Church in Liberia to align itself with other United Methodist traditionalists all around the world to create a truly global Methodist church that is rooted in Scripture, adding, “We want to be a part of the traditionalist Methodist Church that will make disciples of Jesus Christ.”
Quire warned that the church in Liberia would rather “stand on the side of Scripture and truth” than to compromise its faith in the Scripture and disobey Jesus Christ, its Savior and Lord. “We are also confident that the God whom we serve is not broken, God will sustain God’s Church,” he emphasized.
Bishop Quire reiterated his desire to create a Development Corporation where the church can invest in real estate and other tangibles, safe, but long- and short-form investments that would give the church financial viability.
Delivering his opening message, the Rev. Peter Kollie challenged United Methodists to act like Christians in their communities if they call themselves Christian. He cautioned pastors to live like they are pastors representing Christ, adding, “We must show God to our community by what we say and what we do.”
The Rev. Jerry P. Kulah called on the United Methodist Church in Liberia to stand on the side of the Holy Scriptures, stressing anything that compromises the teaching of the Bible must not be accepted. Kulah, one of the lead facilitators of the discussion on the “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation,” warned that the church in Liberia will not align itself with United Methodists who will not want to uphold the decisions of the 2019 Special General Conference.
On Sunday, March 21, at the closing session of the conference, the United Methodist Church in Liberia affirmed its February 2020 decision to support the traditionalist stance of the global United Methodist Church. The decision was reached through sessions led by Rev. Dr. Julius S. Nelson Jr. for the laity and Rev. Jerry P. Kulah for the clergy.
Jefferson Knight, member of the Liberia delegation to the 2022 General Conference and signatory to the Christmas Covenant and statement of the Africa Voice of Unity, said, contrary to the information shared to the conference during the session, the Christmas Covenant and the Africa Voice of Unity statement were seeking to uphold the unity of the church. “We don’t want to see the United Methodist Church divided, especially in Africa,” Knight emphasized.
Seventy-one persons were voted into the clergy order of the Liberia Annual Conference: 13 as elders in full connection, two as permanent deacons, eight as commissioned probationary members, and 48 as elders in associate order. The 188th Annual Session of the Liberia Annual Conference also retired 42 pastors from active duties from the church. Membership of the conference officially stands at 300,000.
—Submitted by E Julu Swen, a communicator in Liberia.
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