21 February 2013

Liberia: Corruption Rocks SDA Church

The head of the Seven Day Adventist (SDA) Church in Liberia, Pastor Rufus K. Freeman, and the President of the SDA Union for West Africa, James Goley have both been accused by Church members of corruption and misappropriation of funds.

Pastor Freeman is former Principal of the SDA Konola Mission along the Gbanga- Monrovia highway. In three fiscal years, the Government of Liberia has provided financial aid to the Konola Mission.

Documents obtained by The NewDawn has revealed that during the 2010/2011 budget year, government provided subsidy to the mission in the tune of US$30,000, while in 2011/2012 US$ 60,000 was allotted for the mission, and the 2012/2013 national budget also allotted US$54,000 for Konola Mission.

However, in his report to the Church for 2012 Pastor Freeman omitted the subsidies from the Government of Liberia to the SDA School System, failing to account for the money.

But responding to inquiry during the 2012 SDA year-end-meeting held on February 12, 2013, Pastor Freeman allegedly said he could not include in his education report, subsidy from the government because the SDA Church has not received any money from government since 2010.

He reportedly told delegates at the meeting that government only indicated there is money in the national budget for the SDA School System, but the Church is yet to receive the fund.

Speaking to the media on the allegation against him, Pastor Freeman denied ever making such statement to Church delegates at a meeting. He however, admitted that the SDA Church has received subsidy from government since 2010.

He indicated that the money for Konola was used to construct a dormitory, purchase generator and pay teachers' salaries. In contradiction, the man of God told reporters that he only received US$30,000 from government during the 2011/2012 budget year.

But documents possessed by The NewDawn revealed that the Konola Mission received US$60,000 from government during the fiscal year 2011/2012. He later noted that the SDA Education Officer is the best person to give details on the monetary evaluation of all projects executed under his administration.

Meanwhile, the President of the SDA Union for West Africa, James Goley has also been placed in the spotlight for allegedly mortgaging Church properties, including illegal sale of SDA land in Congo Town.

Details on this and many other corruption allegations that seem to bw rocking the Seventh Day Adventist Church-Liberia follow in subsequent editions of this paper.

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