Forgiveness is a biblical virtue that Christians use in their daily lives to stay reconciled and united. The principle was emphasized by Jesus Christ himself when the Apostle Peter asked: Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother? Seven times? In response, Jesus said, "not seven times, but seventy times seven."
On this principle, the National Field Director and Bishop-elect of the Open Bible Church Ministries in Liberia, Rev. Dr. Jacob A.B. Vambo, III, says staying together as a church and fostering its (church) objective requires "Forgiveness" that comes with "One heart" and togetherness.
Speaking at a Thanksgiving Service at the close of the event, Rev. Dr. Vambo, III, called on members to unite for the growth and development of the denomination.
He said if members put aside their differences, he sees the church impacting more lives and winning souls to Christ.
"It is time to put our hearts together as people and as a Church. Let me be the first to ask for forgiveness if I have wronged anyone, whether by my actions or deeds," Rev. Vambo stressed.
Liberians, whether religious or non-religious, are divided sectionally and tribally that each group sees others differently. Even at the level of the Church, Christians because of their denominational differences see one another differently without considering others their brothers or sisters regardless of being of the same religious group.
Divisive sentiments among Liberians took a center stage during the war when many citizens became factionalized and controlled by rival rebel groups, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Liberians. Without a clear standard set for justice and reconciliation, Liberians have kept trying to come together under the principle of "Forgiveness" and "Putting aside differences," and the church has been the main driving force for this reconciliatory philosophy.
In his sermon on forgiveness and unity among members of the congregation, Rev. Dr. Vambo used the occasion to caution members to practice what the Bible teaches through their day-to-day activities by living right, and one of those practices is forgiveness.
Members of congregation at The Open Bible Standard Churches Liberia Annual Conference
At the end of the Annual Conference which usually brings members from across Liberia in a particular location, The Open Bible Standard Churches Liberia, Inc., in accordance with its constitution and, as part of the many activities marking this year's conference, elected a new set of officials following the expiration of the four-year mandate of the old leadership.
The incumbent Rev. Dr. Jacob A. B. Vambo III was re-elected on white-ballot as National Field Director and Bishop of the Open Bible Standard Churches of Liberia for the next four years. Rev. Hilary G. Paul was also elected Assistant Field Director and Deacon Timothy Shark Verdier Sr., was elected as National General Secretary.
Others include Pst. Matthew Garduah; Asst. National General Secretary, Deacon Philip N. Seekie; National Treasurer and Bro. Sam G. Wonlah; Financial Secretary, among others.
The Open Bible Standard Churches Liberia, Inc. was founded in 1935 by a group of Missionaries from the United States of America, with a mission to make disciples, develop leaders, and plant churches.
This year's conference, which was held from Monday, January 13, to Sunday, January 19, 2020, at the church's headquarters on Old Road, Monrovia, was held under the theme: "Building a Church with a Difference" with text from the book of Acts 2:42-47.
At this year's convention, 426 delegates were drawn from each of the 33 chartered churches spread across the country including Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Margibi, Sinoe, Maryland and Montserrado counties.
The Church, since its formation, has been winning souls to Jesus Christ and made progress in line with the intent of the Great Commission by impacting the lives of Christians in Liberia and across the world as a denomination.