Monrovia - As the country gears up for the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections, a Liberian Prelate, Rev. Joe Chayetee Jarwleh wants the leadership of the country to be placed in the hands of church leaders.
He made the assertions at the program marking the honoring of Rev. Dr. Zarwulugbo Liberty, Sr. by natives of Gbi-Doru District and members of the ‘Church of The Believers’ on Sunday, January 8 in Sinkor.
Reverend Jarwleh pointed out that the failure of religious leaders to participate in political activities in the country was wrong and damaging.
He noted that in addition to offering prayers for the nation in times of elections, the religious community should play active role in the political process of the state by vying for key leadership positions.
“In choosing the leadership of the country, we sit back, and say we will pray for them. And when we pray for them, they get to power and damage what we have prayed for. "
"Yet we say we are Christians; we will not take part. I think we have to change our mentality now so that we can straighten this country,” Reverend Jarwleh intoned.
Reverend Jarwleh, also the Executive Director of Teacher Aid Program, an institution that provides training for teachers, offers scholarships to teachers of the Christian High School, a tuition free school sponsored by Dr. Liberty.
He noted the gesture was his way of buttressing the honoree’s effort.
In a statement issued by the natives of Gbi-Doru and the church, the citizenssaid they decided to honor the Liberian prelate for his immense humanitarian services to the district and the church.
The Gbi-Doru residents recounted Dr. Liberty’s numerous services including provisions of scholarships and support to orphans through the Koko Children Village and the Church of the Believers.
According to them, Dr. Liberty has used his traditional and Christian leadership experience to unite them when there was a conflict between the citizens that nearly lead to the dissolution of the Gbi-Doru Developmental Association, the largest developmental association with branches in Liberia and the United States of America.
“Dr. Liberty’s effort in praying for his people, listening to their problems, and leading the reconciliatory process which resulted in the unity of the Gbi-Doru people cannot be forgotten. He is one of the key foundations of the Gbi-Doru Development Association and the Gbi people,” the statement said.
The Church of the Believers added that Dr. Liberty, knowing the financial constraints of his members, established a tuition-free institution-the Christian High School, for all their children and the orphans. And since then, more than one hundred students have graduated.
They narrated that Dr. Liberty, a man who grew up in an impoverished family, in addition to his many humanitarian services in Liberia was able to establish the Africa International Christian Mission in Florida, the United States of America.
They also revealed that while in the US, Dr. Liberty was engaged in several Christian and humanitarian activities including operating a food pantry to meet the needs of the poor in the US, serving as mentor to many Christians- some of whom are now church leaders; and along with his wife, he established a prayer ministry that brought together Liberians all over the United States via conference call.
For his part the guest speaker, Reverend Venicious Reeves of the New Covenant Outreach Ministry, speaking on the theme “A Model Servant,” stressed that a model servant is someone whose life is worth imitating and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for others.
Reverend Reeves named humility, loyalty, and courage as key attributes of a true leader. He thanked Dr. Liberty for his exemplary leadership role in the church and the community; and called on other church’s leaders to follow his footsteps.
In brief remarks, the honoree said his desire to engage in humanitarian works was based on his religious conviction, and nothing else.
“My conviction is to empower others to help themselves and reach their potential. All of the things I do, I do them because of my Christian conviction, but I don’t do them because of any political agenda. If you do things with an agenda, then you have done nothing,”Dr. Liberty asserted.
Continued Dr. Liberty: When you do things because of your political agenda, you have done nothing; because you are only doing it get something in return. And when it is not accomplished, then you will be out.
But when you do things because somebody needs help and there’s no condition attached, you are being genuine.
He thanked his kinsmen and the church for the recognition, adding it has inspired him to do more.
Dr. Liberty, a graduate of the Knox Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in 2008 and 2011 respectively in Fort Laderdale, Florida, told the gathering that he was back in Liberia to continue his Christian and humanitarian services.