Bishop Addresses Conference

Don’t Engage In Unwholesome Practices

-Bishop Innis Warns United Methodists

The United Methodist Bishop in Liberia has called on the young and old people of the church not to engage in unwholesome practices that could demean the church in a society that it should be transforming. “If United Methodists get involved in issues that will bring down the church, then United Methodists will not set good examples for the building of a vibrant society,” the Bishop warned.

Bishop Innis delivering his Episcopal Address at the 181st Annual Session
Bishop Innis delivering his Episcopal Address at the 181st Annual Session, LAC/UMC, Gbarnga, Bong County

Delivering his Episcopal Address at the 181st Annual Session in Gbarnga City, Bong County on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Resident Bishop of UMC Liberia, called on all United Methodists to be good examples to the nation and the world. He also warned them not be in the business of cheating God as God sees all that goes on no matter where it happens.

Bishop Innis further called on United Methodists in Liberia and the diaspora to make disciples for Jesus and transform the world through their prayers and actions. Bishop Innis indicated in his report that it was important for United Methodists to use their gifts and talents for the development of the church and the society. “Be more intentional about your actions in using your gifts and talents to transform the world because the effective utilization of one’s gifts and talents can change the world,” Bishop Innis asserted.

According to Bishop Innis, education must be used as a light to transform the lives of nation and its people. He stressed that if the church provides education to the nation, it would certainly transform the lives of the people in ghettos and bring them to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The UMC President made mention of Melville B. Cox, a Methodist Missionary whose sacrificial service helped to established Methodism in Liberia.

He pointed out that the United Methodist University (UMU) is making tremendous headway in the country and called on United Methodists to give their continuous support to the university. He said that a new library has been completed and dedicated for use by the students of the Gbarnga School of Theology (GST) in Gbarnga City, Bong County, Liberia.

He noted that UMC Liberia can now celebrate the benefits of the sacrificial services that Missionary Cox and co-workers undertook to bring Methodism in this land.

Bishop Innis was quick to mention that the church has made significant impact in the area of education across the country. He recounted the construction of schools throughout Liberia through the Department of Community and the provision of educational assistant by Alfalit International Liberia, Inc. “Education should be a gift of Methodism to Liberians and United Methodists must be committed in making educational opportunities available to the people of Liberia,” the LAC Boss noted.

During the Episcopal Address, the President of the Liberia Annual Conference, highlighted

Bishop Innis delivering his Episcopal Address with a partial view of the Clergy
Bishop Innis delivering his Episcopal Address with a partial view of the Clergy

progress that the church is making in construction work at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Nimba County. He called on the Government of Liberia to resume its subsidy program to the hospital which has not been forthcoming. He congratulated the Nimba County Legislative Caucus and its Chairman, Senator Thomas Grupee for their support to the church, especially the work at the hospital in the county.

Through the 16 page address, Bishop Innis called on some members of the church who broke away from the church some years ago to come back to the fold for us to work under one umbrella. He averred that the breakaway group had promised that they would return to the church and take up their position in a one recognized United Methodist Church under the law, but have since failed to do so. He said, President of the Liberia who is a United Methodist also intervened in the process but yet to no avail. He announced the dissolution of the reconciliation committee that was set up to handle the breakaway issue.

Commenting on the 2016 Episcopal Election, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis pleaded with United Methodists not to distract the electoral process that is forthcoming for the Episcopal Office for the United Methodist Church in Liberia.  “Whosoever is involved in acts inimical to the process will be dealt with according to the law of the state” the Bishop warned.

The conference continues tomorrow with Districts Superintendents reporting.