Monrovia — The Senior Pastor of the historic Providence Baptist Church in Liberia, Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr. has been elected as the new President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary And Educational Convention (LBMEC).
Rev. Reeves was elected to replace outgoing President, Rev. Dr. Olu Menjay at a transparent election held at the 46th Mid-Year Session of the LMBEC.
The mid-year session was held on the campus of the Ricks Institute, located in the Township of Virginia, outside Monrovia.
He won his opponents, Rev. Jenkins Bask Johnson of the Mount Nebo Baptist Church in Nimba County, and Rev. Dr. G. Benjamin S. Yeanay of the First Baptist Church in Monrovia with 89 votes, out of a total of 179 head-count votes.
Rev. Johnson came second with 48 votes, while, Rev. Dr. Yeanay accumulated a total of 42 votes.
Rev. Alonso Duncan, Senior Pastor of the Bridgeway Baptist Church in St. Paul Bridge and Deputy Chaplain of the House of Representatives, was also elected as Vice President unopposed at the mid-year session.
The electorates at the congress came from about 179 Baptist churches from across Liberia, excluding Gbarpolu County.
Speaking shortly after he was pronounced the winner of the presidency, Rev. Reeves congratulated his supporters for the level of trust and confidence reposed in him.
He vowed to resist what he termed as "tribal politics" within the LBMEC.
He further promised not to suppress the voices or views of any member regardless of status in the Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention.
"Going forward we will ensure that there will be no tribal politics in our Convention. The views of everyone will be heard and respected".
Rev. Reeves disclosed that honesty, transparency and accountability will be the hallmark of his administration.
He pledged to help ensure that Baptist churches operating in the country get on par with others by establishing schools on their own.
He, however, commended the outgoing President of LBMEC, Dr. Olu Menjay, for ably steering the affairs of the Convention leading to the peaceful conduct of the elections.
Rev. Reeves lauded his opponents for partaking in the process, and urged them to join his administration to move the Convention to another level
Also speaking, the Special Presiding Officer of the 46th Mid-Year Congress of the LBMEC, former Liberian Vice President Joseph Nyema Boakai, commended the candidates and their supporters for the orderly manner in which they conducted themselves.
Mr. Boakai is a reputable and committed Deacon of the Efforts Baptist Church in Monrovia.
He attributed the peaceful conduct of the elections to the manner and form in which the candidates and their supporters carry out their political activities.
"We want to thank Rev. Reeves for his election and all of the candidates. After the elections, all of us are winners".
Speaking earlier, Mr. Boakai urged the delegates to be reminded that Liberia and the world at large are watching and as such, the outcome of the just ended congress will serve not only serve as a precedent, but it will also be written in the history of the country as one of the most peaceful electoral processes conducted.
He described members of the Baptist Church in Liberia as "democrats".
"I want to thank all of you for my preferment; I am honored to serve. We pray that this election will be recorded as a very peaceful election in the history of our Convention. The world is watching us; the country is watching us; whatever we do today will serve as a precedent".
For his part, Rev. Jenkins Bask Johnson conceded to defeat and commended Rev. Dr. Reeves for his preferment.
He urged the newly elected President of the LBMEC to assiduously work to help reconcile members of the Convention after a tense electoral process.
Meanwhile, the outgoing President of the Convention, Rev. Dr. Olu Menjay has urged the defeated candidates and their supporters to work with the newly elected President for the common good of the LBMEC.
Early on, Rev. Menjay pointed out that the selection of ex-Vice President Boakai to serve as Special Presiding Officer of the mid-congress was due to the deaths of two former Presidents of the Convention.
He maintained that though the selection of Mr. Boakai, who is a reputable and credible Baptist, contravenes the constitution of the LBMEC, the decision taken was endorsed at the meeting of the delegates prior to the election.
Meanwhile, the newly elected officials of the LBMEC are expected to be inducted into their respective offices on Sunday, October 25.