Liberia: 'Speak Truth to Power'

-- Rev. Nyanti challenges Baptist leaders

At a well-attended induction ceremony of Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr. of the Liberia Baptists Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC), Reverend Sara Beysolow-Nyanti, on Sunday, October 26, urged members of the institution to speak truth to power amid social ills ranging from corruption to secret killings that the country is going through.

Rev. Nyanti, who is also the highest-ranking Liberian in the United Nations system and an international development expert, told the congregation that instead of Baptists imparting the nation, they have become just like the nation that they complain about of ills, selfishness, and hatred.

Serving as a guest preacher at the close of the 46th Mid-Year Session of the LBMEC on Sunday, October 26, 2020, at Ricks Institute in Virginia, Montserrado County, Rev. Nyanti, who spoke on the theme: "The levels of Service", reading from the book of Colossians 3:23-25, said instead of Baptists teaching the word of God, they are now tearing each other apart as well as destroying the nation. She expressed grief over why they must sit without speaking truth to power as ills overcome the society.

She said the time has come for all Baptists and Liberians to put God first.

"It is not the program that will take us to heaven," she stressed.

"Did speaking truth to power die with Archbishop Michael K. Francis? Why have we not spoken about our girls who are being raped or the professionals who were murdered? Who is speaking? May God help us in Jesus name. Our boys and girls are being raped. There was a time when we spoke truth to power. You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything," she added.

Rev. Nyanti called on the president of LBMEC, Rev. Reeves, to join the Council of Churches to speak the truth to those in power because the future of Liberian children is under threat of destruction.

Also at the occasion, former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai urged his fellow Baptists to recommit to true fellowship in their Christian endeavors, especially on peace and reconciliation.

The Baptists have a long history of existence in Liberia, dating as far back as 1821. The denomination was first established by Lott Carey, a Christian believer and missionary who came as a settler during the colonial period and built the Providence Baptist Church that is regarded as the oldest church in the country's history. In fact, the signing of Liberia's Independence in 1847 was done in the Providence Church, a historical hallmark that makes many Liberians to believe that the country was built on Christian principles.

The Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention has experienced deep division within its ranks over the years, whereby some churches under this denominational branch have separated themselves from others.

Ambassador Boakai also called on Baptists to continue their services by strengthening the spiritual and physical growth of the Nation and its people.

He then reminded the Leadership of the Convention to do away with their personal and political differences to foster the objective and goal of the church to make a positive impact on the nation at large.

Earlier on, Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., the new President of the LBMEC, told Baptists that the Convention has been struggling with reconciliation and unity for a long time. "As someone remarked recently in one Liberia Council of Churches' Meeting, 'as the Baptists go, so goes the Nation.' What a befitting statement for the Cornerstone of the Nation, though negatively intended! Indeed, Baptists are not only the National Cornerstone but also the light of Liberia, planted on every hill, showing the way out of darkness, degradation, and vilification, that light has faltered and continues to blink rather than shine. When Baptists reconcile, so will the nation."

"We, therefore, commit to you this day, at this place, as your 22nd President of this great Convention, that with prayers and supplications I will stop at no height, nor depth; I will engage every corner of our Convention in the North, in the West, in the South, and in the East, as God gives me the power to reconcile our people, to heal the wounds, to bandage the sores and remove all scars, making us whole again," he said.

"This administration will reconcile us that we may lead in reconciling the nation. There will be no witch-hunting of anyone. Everyone will be expected to live as a free Baptist in a free society. This administration offers unconditional Christ-like charity for all and malice towards none."

"Indeed, there will be no witch-hunting; there will also be no impunity for pillaging and squandering the resources, assets, and wealth of the Convention. We commit here today to be an administration of full disclosure, accountability, and transparency in all our actions on your behalf; therefore, we also resolve here today that same will be demanded of the previous administration," he added.

To this end, Rev. Reeves announced that, in the next few days, he will set up a Transitional Team with the simple task of creating a Turnover Portfolio for his administration no later than November 30th.

The Turnover Portfolio, according to him, will provide prospectus on the Convention's institutions regarding their mission and vision, their strengths and weaknesses both financial and otherwise; such a report will enable the Convention to start a new mat, platted from the old mat, allowing less energy in reinventing the wheel. "Such a portfolio will allow us to unmistakably continue the programs of the previous administration."

Author

David A. Yates

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