Liberians Express Concerns about Neutrality -As LCC Elects New Leadership

For many years now since its founding, the Liberia Church largely represented by the Council of Churches (LCC) has been a moral voice of the downtrodden, always keeping ruling elites and all politicians in check for the good of the nation and people. The Church played a pivotal role during the complicated civil conflict by mediating between and amongst belligerent groups and providing humanitarian relief. Following the last weekend election of current officials, Liberians are pondering if the LCC will withstand the whirlwind of competing political interest as some of those elected are known politicians across the aisle. The Analyst reports. 

The Analyst has learned that the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), which was established in 1982 to serve as a fellowship of all organized bodies of Christians in Liberia, has elected a new leadership to steer the affairs of the ecumenical body for the next two years.

Heading the new LCC leadership is Rev. Dr.  Samuel Reeves, Jr. as President. Others include Bishop Samuel J. Quire, 1st Vice President; Rev. Sanjee Abioseh Stepter, 2nd Vice President; and Mr. Emmanuel Howe, Treasurer.

The election of the new LCC leadership however follows concerns from certain quarters of the Christian community regarding the history of some LCC top brass, whose past and present connections with political institutions in Liberia could make the body’s ecclesiastical work partial.

The concerns are prompted by the fact that the newly elected President, Dr. Samuel Reeves, Sr., ran during the 2017 presidential and general elections as Vice President on the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) ticket; his 2nd Vice President Rev. Sanjee Abioseh Stepter, is on record as being an executive ranking member of the Council of Patriots (COP), Liberia’s biggest political pressure group that organized the famous June 7, 2019 protest.

Some members of the LCC who spoke confidentially with this paper expressed reservations over the new LCC leadership makeup, stating further that the entire electoral process was shrouded in mystery, with the expressed aim of the rather apolitical administration of Rev. Kortu Brown.

However, countering the negative perception, an elder of the LCC Executive Council informed the paper that Bishop Kortu Brown never stood for re-election.

“Bishop Brown was elected for two years. Elections are held after every two years in May. May 2020 was the end of his first term. When CODIV-19 entered Liberia, the LCC asked him to stay on. Entering 2021, the Executive Committee that comprises representations from member churches decided that elections should be 2022 May, which just took place. But Rev. Brown decided not to participate.

“Over the years, Bishop Brown did his best,” the LCC elder said further, referring anonymity.

“He assumed leadership of the LCC at a time when the organization was struggling. He revamped the organization, and refurbished the headquarters. He has been trying his best. One of the major achievements of Bishop Kortu Brown during his tenure was he to organized the visit of the     President of the National Council of Churches in United States of America.”

According to the LCC insider, Bishop Brown hopes that the administration will not shatter the perception of others who feel that the new administration’s tenure will be characterized by confusion between the LCC and the government because the top leadership allegedly comprises politicians.

“This is a bigger task for the new leadership, to retain the credibility of the Liberia Council of Churches,” the LCC elder stated.

The Liberian Council of Churches was formed in 1982 to serve as a fellowship of all organized bodies of Christ within the Republic of Liberia. The council has around 25 member churches and 11 member organizations, totaling 36.

The council seeks to, among other things, discuss religious and national issues and make relevant recommendations to the government, offer prayers for the survival of the nation, and mobilize resources to support the needy and church programs.

Since its establishment, the council has been active in the resolution of national issues for peace consolidation and development in Liberia. In the process, it has collaborated with various governments in West Africa as well as within the international community.

The LCC has been an active participant in all peace negotiations or settlements of Liberian civil conflicts, both national and international as well as the most recent Accra Peace Conference on Liberia at which the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was formulated, endorsed, and signed.

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