In the wake of the announcement that the Global Methodist Church will be fully operational beginning May 1, 2022, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr. said the United Methodist Church in Liberia will remain a United Methodist Church until after the decision of the 2024 General Conference. “We will not be a part of the Global Methodist Church, but we will pray for them,” Bishop Quire told group of United Methodists on Sunday, April 17, 2022 in Bopolu City, Gbapolu County, northwestern Liberia.
He said the church in Liberia will remain in prayers for the groups that organized and will launch the Global Methodist Church on May 1, 2022, adding, “we took an oath to protect the constitution of the United Methodist Church as a result will not do anything until the legislative body of the church makes its decision in 2024.” He said the church in Liberia will uphold The Book of Discipline and the position on marriage. Quoting paragraph 161 C of The Book of Discipline, Bishop Quire affirmed that the church in Liberia will support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The pronouncement by Bishop Quire on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, is believed to offset initial efforts by individuals who have been advocating for the church in Liberia to join the Global Methodist Church. The statement further affirmed his 2022 Episcopal Address in which he told members of the church in Liberia to wait for the decision 2024 General Conference before deciding whether to remain or leave the United Methodist Church.
When contacted, one of the church’s General Conference delegates, Jefferson Knight and signatory to the Christmas Covenant told UMNews that the pronouncement by Bishop Quire will strengthen the unity of the church which he has been calling for all along. “There is a possibility that the church in Liberia will remain a United Methodist Church beyond 2024,” Knight asserted. He said those who will be advocating for the Global Methodist Church should be protected by the democracy of free speech which the church’s law guaranteed, stressing, “but if they decide to undermine the unity of the United Methodist Church in Liberia while serving at the leadership level, then let the church laws hold them responsible for creating disunity among church members.”
Also speaking to United Methodist News (UMNews), the church’s Connectional Table director, Rev. Dr. George D. Wilson, Jr. said the May 1, 2022 announcement by the Global Methodist Church will have no bearing on the activities of the United Methodist Church in Liberia. “The Global Methodist Church will become operational on that day and we need to provide information to educate our members and clergy on the question of separation from the UMC.”
Rev. Caleb S. G. Dormah, head of the church’s Taskforce for at-risk youth said individuals who are advocates for the Global Methodist Church and are still members of the Liberia Annual Conference should now decide to create their version of the Global Methodist Church in Liberia, adding, “they should not use the facilities of the United Methodist Church in Liberia as a platform for their advocacy.” He said May 1, 2022 should be a day of decision making for the advocates for the Protocol of Separation in Liberia. “Those of us who want to remain United Methodists will remain,” he concluded.