2023 Liberia Annual Conference
Feb. 7-12, Gbarnga City, Bong County, Liberia
Officiating: Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. and retired Bishop Arthur F. Kulah.
The 190th session of the Liberia Annual Conference brought together several speakers from across the United Methodist connection. They were, Rev. john G. Mulbah, retired elder of the Gbarnga District, Rev. Allen Paye, as the Bible Study leader, Rev. Rose R. Farhat, as the Conference Speaker, and Rev. Amos George McCarthy from the Great Plains Annual Conference in the US.
In his 2023 episcopal address, Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. challenged Liberians, especially, United Methodists to take the elections matters serious. He said members of the church within voting age should not allow themselves to be left out, adding, “make yourselves available to register and do all you can, as much as you can, to make these electioneering activities and the elections themselves peaceful and credible.” He cautioned all of the pastors within the United Methodist Church in Liberia to include in their weekly bulletins the election registration schedule that was released by the National Elections Commission of Liberia. He pointed out that the National Elections Commission (NEC) requested the church to play a significant role in the processes that will lead to the elections.
“Do not allow disagreement over a particular choice of candidates lead to violence,” Quire warned.
Also in his closing message, Bishop Quire urged members of the conference to depend on HIM Who has called them. Quoting from the text of the conference theme, he told United Methodists in Liberia to be still for the storms will soon be over. “Be still and know that God is God, even in our circumstances,” he asserted. Quire pointed out that God is willing and ready to speak to the situation in the United Methodist Church in Liberia; in the Global Connection of the United Methodist Church, in the various districts, in the local churches, in the organizations and units, in the homes, in the institutions, and even in the hearts of all United Methodists around the world.
In its ten counts resolution, the conference resolved that a “Higher Education Sunday or United Methodist University Sunday” be celebrated by all local churches of the Conference, and funds generated on that Sunday shall be turned over to the University for financial support. It was further resolved that all United Methodist churches and institutions immediately allocate in their respective budgets “reasonable amounts” for the support of the United Methodist University in the proportion of 70% for the direct support to the operations of the University, and 30% for support to offset the tuition cost of the fees for those benefitting from the Bishop Quirs’s Scholarship Initiative. The resolution also calls for a review, evaluation, and assessment of the activities of the Strategic Plan Commission in line with the extent to which it has achieved its stated objectives since its establishment in 2019 and subsequent merger with the Connectional Ministries. It was further resolved that the Commission reports to the 191st Annual Session of the LAC/UMC.
For the first time in seven years, the Liberia Annual Conference in its 190th Annual Session did not discuss anything relating to the issue of separation within the United Methodist Church. In his Episcopal Address, Bishop Quire, simply stated that “As Liberian United Methodists, we cast judgment on no one, neither do we condemn.” About “The Gracious Protocols,” Bishop Quire said the issues before United Methodist Church still remain. He called on the church in Liberia to adequately educate the entire Conference using the various auxiliaries of the Liberia Episcopal Area. “Let us not get wearied, but keep on praying for God’s intervention,” he stressed.
At the 190th Annual session of the United Methodist Church in Liberia 47 persons were voted into the clergy order; four persons in the category of elders in full connection, nine persons were commissioned while 34 persons were ordained in the probationary and associate order. The conference retired three of its pastors from active duties in the church. The membership of the church in Liberia according to the Statistician Report is about 300,000.
A total of 1,134 United Methodists from across Liberia and abroad participated in the 190th Annual session of the United Methodist Church in Liberia. Among them were 498 clergy, 358 laity, 33 deaconesses, 117 conference officials, 20 staff members, 65 observers among others.