MONROVIA: The Executive Board of Directors of the Liberian West African Council of the 35th Episcopal District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Incorporated (LWAC/PAW) has ex-communicated 13 leaders of the church for their alleged rebellious activities including the facilitation of thugs to disrupt its activities on several occasions.
Teranzo Sebo, J. Torbor Nyemah, Annie Russel, Victoria Moore, Margaret Nagbe, Elizabeth Dixon, Cece D. Wesseh, Esther Kofa, Evelyn T. Teah, Adrian Kieh, Mary Dorkpoh, Martha Chea, Lucy Chea among others are those reportedly excommunicated by the Church.
The PAW members have been accused of constantly rebelling against the church authorities including Bishop, Dr. Leo M. Simpson, who is also the Overseer of the Church.
The expelled members are said to have accused Bishop Simpson of “Westernizing” the Church which was more like a traditional church, something that they, as members, got used to for several years.
Another reason for the alleged rebellion initiated in the church, according to well-placed insiders, is to immediately remove, the Church Bishop, Dr. Leo M. Simpson, and install their favorite person, as Bishop of the Church.
Interestingly, speaking to journalists at the Miracle Praise and Worship Center in the JJY Community along the Japan Freeway, the Chairman of the PAW Board of Directors, Bishop Leo M. Simpson confirmed that some of the church members want to have him removed.
Bishop Simpson expressed surprise over the activities of the concerned LWAC/PAW members against him and other officials of the church.
He said the appointment of Bishop of the church is done by the PAW Board of Directors based in the United States of America (USA), and not by the will of anyone from anywhere.
He also indicated that the Board of Directors which is the highest decision making body of the PAW has resolved to ex-communicate the ‘rebellious members’ so as to serve as a deterrence to anyone or group who may want or contemplating of doing similar thing.
According to him, there have been several attempts by the church to resolve the concerns of the members, but all effort have been fruitless.
Bishop Simpson recalled that on December 6, 2021, one of the alleged leaders of the group, Teranzo Sebo, wrote a false complaints against some members of the church to the Liberia National Police.
As a result of the false complaint, the Bishop said, four members of the Church were briefly detained by the police and subsequently forwarded to the Civil Law Court.
According to him, the Civil Law Court “B” Judge Scheaplor R. Dunbar has placed a preliminary
injunction against members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) who had planned to disrupt the Church’s activities.
Judge Dunbar, he said further ordered the members to stop all action(s) planned against him (Bishop Leo M. Simpson) who is the Overseer of the Church, pending the determination of the Bishop’s petition filed before the court.
“You are hereby ordered to stop all action(s) planned against the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) by the Choirs (respondents) pending the determination of the Bishop’s (petitioner’s) petition in the proceedings,” the court order said.
According to the Writ, the choir members concerned are Teranzo Sebo, J. Torbor Nyemah, Annie Russel, Victoria Moore, Margaret Nagbe, Elizabeth Dixon, Cece D. Wesseh, Esther Kofa, Evelyn T. Teah, and Mary Dorkpoh among others.
It further commanded the Sheriff of the Court to issue a notice of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order to prohibit the respondents’ planned disruption of the Church’s activities.
The paper has gathered that while the case is pending before the court for adjudication, the Executive Board of Directors of the Liberian West African Council of the 35th Episcopal District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. took the action to ex-communicate them from the church.
But Bishop Simpson indicated to reporters that the measure was necessary in order to safeguard the spiritual and legal interest of the PAW.
When contacted for comment, one of the alleged renegade leaders of the group, Teranzo Sebo, declined to comment, saying he and his group will only speak on the matter if they consult with their lawyer.
Meanwhile, a two days annual ministerial retreat organized by the 35th Episcopal District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. has ended over the weekend.
During the assembly, Bishop Simpson called on all members of the PAW to develop leaders as their local churches struggle to transition into the challenging 21st Century.
He said a handful of the local churches are dying due to the lack of strong, effective and quality pastoral leaderships.
“Our churches have all but lost their influence and relevance in today’s post Ebola and COVID-19 affected LIBERIA,” he noted. By T.R Dixon