Reminiscing the LCC Journey -Bishop Brown Speaks From His heart

MONROVIA – Having served Liberia’s biggest and most powerful ecumenical body for four-and-a-half years, Bishop Kortu K. Brown stepped down as President of the Liberia Council of Churches on June 3, 2022 to turn over the mantle of authority to the newly elected leaders of the LCC. In a touching summation of his tenure as LCC president, Bishop Brown has provided a keen insight into the gains and challenges that the body of Christ encountered over the years during his reign, from 2017 to 2022.

The Beginning

In a special press statement delivered on the occasion of his natal day (June 6, 2022) in Brewerville City, Montserrado County, Bishop Brown noted that when he got elected in November 2017, representing the Apostolic Pentecostal Church (APC) International, he did so along with the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL), Rev. Dr. Jensen D. Seyenkulo as 1st Vice President, the President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC), Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay as 2nd Vice President and a Presiding Elder of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Liberia, Rev. Deborah D. Toe as Treasurer, amongst others.

“As we advanced in our tenure, Rev. Dr. Olu Menjay got replaced by Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves as President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention in early January 2021 and subsequently, as 2nd Vice President of the LCC while the two-tenure service of the Bishop of the Lutheran Church also came to an end with the election in April 2022 in the City of Gbarnga, Bong County of a new Bishop, Rev. Victor Padmore who will be consecrated in early July 2022. With the above developments and in keeping with the “established tradition” of the LCC since its founding in 1982, Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves emerged as the new President based on his position as 2nd Vice President and next in the leadership succession after the 1st Vice President. I didn’t field my name as a Candidate for reelection

33rd General Assembly

Proffering supplications to the Lord Almighty, Bishop thank God that after postponing twice, due to COVID-19 and Constitutional date, the 33rd general assembly of the LCC was finally held on May 26 and 27, 2022 at the New Water in the Desert Apostolic Pentecostal Church on VOA#1 Road in Brewerville, Montserrado County.

According to Bishop Brown, the general assembly, under the Chairmanship of Rev. Dorothy McCaulay of the United Methodist Church ended peaceably resulting in the election of new leaders of the LCC and subsequently, the conduct of an official turning-over ceremony with our presence as outgoing President and leaders of the LCC something which didn’t happen in 2010 when AME Bishop David Daniels took over from UMC Bishop John Innis, in 2012 when Episcopal Bishop Jonathon B.B. Hart took over from Bishop Daniels, and in 2017 when I took over from Bishop Hart.

“We want to thank the delegates to the 33rd general assembly for the orderly way they conducted themselves both during the election for new leaders and climaxed the ceremonies of the assembly, and the thanksgiving and induction service on Friday, June 3, 2022 at the Providence Baptist Church. I, on behalf of my team which worked cooperatively with me during our leadership journey, want to thank the Member Churches and Organizations including Heads of Churches, Standing and Ad hoc Committees, Secretariat and ordinary Liberians for the confidence reposed in us to serve and the support and cooperation they provided us during our tour of duty including backing for the restoration of the once dormant 3-floor Headquarters offices of the LCC located on 15th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia,” the former LCC boss stated.

Partnership with Religious communities

Acknowledging that his tenure would not have successful without the contributions of the entire Christian community, Bishop Brown thanked the general Christian community for their excellent support and partnership on many initiatives to help advance Christian unity, witness and service including cooperation on the promotion of the SDGs, the celebration of Liberia’s 200th anniversary of the country’s founding as a nation-state and the campaign to defeat COVID-19 especially in the years, 2020 and 2021, amongst others, when churches and other places of worship were forcibly shut down and pastors jailed by the Police.

“We thank the Interreligious Council of Liberia and National Muslim Council of Liberia for their partnership during my tenure as we worked to advance religious harmony and peaceful coexistence in the context of sustaining peace, reconciliation, security and stability. This gratitude is also extended to the Civil Society organizations of our country who always find a partner in the LCC and the religious community in advancing our common objectives of ensuring that the right things are done for our country,” Bishop Brown intoned.

Collaboration with International community

In also acknowledging the support received from the international community, Bishop Brown thanked the members of the International community represented here in Liberia to include the United States Embassy, ECOWAS, African Union, United Nations, European Union, Swedish Embassy, German Embassy, etc., for the excellent collaboration on the promotion of free, fair and transparent elections, good governance, peace, justice, the rule of law, transparency and accountability, etc.

Global Ecumenical Partnership

He also congratulated the global ecumenical family to include the World Council of Churches (WCC), All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), National Council of Churches (NCC) of the USA, Bread for the World Germany, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), amongst others, noting that they contributed immensely to efforts to revive and rebrand the Council which have resulted into the current vibrancy of the organization.

“The NCC complemented by WCC collaborated with the LCC in helping raise awareness in the United States on the need to extend the expired TPS/DED of approximately 20,000 Liberians in the USA. I was invited as the first LCC official ever to participate and speak at a Christian Unity Gathering of the NCC, the annual meeting of the NCC held in October 2019 in Virginia, USA. The 2019 gathering commemorated the 400th year of the landing of the first African slaves in the USA. I also participated in the 70th anniversary activities of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2018

“The All Africa Conference of Churches has a membership of about 140 million adherents on the continent of Africa. During my tenure, many peacebuilding programs for church leaders were initiated and executed in Liberia. The last of such sessions in October 2021 led to the creation of a forum dubbed “West Africa Peace and Stability” initiative by representatives of WCC Africa Office, AACC President and leaders of the churches and council of churches in West Africa to resuscitate the now dormant Fellowship of Churches and Christian Councils in West Africa (FECCIWA),” Bishop Brown affirmed.

Engagement with Government

Outlining basically what we termed and challenges in the execution of Council’s work as it relates to the Government of Liberia, Bishop Brown expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government of Liberia for the collaboration and cooperation during his tenure.

“There were many challenging moments including the critical discourses on the reports of mysterious deaths and ritualistic killings in our society, the serious questions about transparency and accountability, the disagreement over the national Referendum which led to its defeat and the misrepresentation sometimes of the public positions of the council, amongst others. However, there were appreciable moments of cooperation to include the intervention in the many street protests, sustenance of peace and stability, cooperation on many issues of justice and security, the celebration of the Liberia’s Bicentennial, the fight against COVID-19, the Special Senatorial Election of December 2020 and the many by-elections which passed peaceably, amongst others.

“During our tenure, our strategy of engagement with the Government of Liberia was two-fold: “Public advocacy and/or direct engagement”. There were times when we raised issues of consequence in the public. However, on some of the major issues, the government and the LCC remained directly engaged even if those engagements were sometimes contentious. We commend the Executive Mansion, Ministry of Justice, National Elections Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liberia National Police and many of the integrity institutions for the willingness to always engage even when we sometimes seriously disagreed like on the issue of mysterious deaths in our society, the US$25 million to stabilize the exchange rate, the economic hardships, hiked in prices of basic commodities, etc. The Ministry of Commerce, National Port Authority, LPRC, Legislature, Judiciary, amongst others, were challenging,” Bishop Brown averred.

Future Commitment

Expounding on what the future holds for his as past president of the Liberia Council of Churches, Bishop Brown pledged to remain engaged with the efforts of the Council, the sustenance of peace, reconciliation and national cohesion, the campaign against mysterious deaths and ritualistic killings, the fight for transparency and accountability in public service and the promotion of religious harmony, amongst others.

“We pledge our cooperation to the new leadership of the council of churches and wish them well in their service to the church and the nation.  We hope that the smooth transition in the LCC will contribute in a small way to helping improve the image of our country and also serve as a motivation for free, fair and transparent Presidential and Legislative elections in October 2023,” the venerable Liberian prelate promised.

Comments are closed.