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LCC ‘Ruckus’…As Dr. Reeves Takes Over Today

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By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: Rev. Dr. Samuel Reeves of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention is expected to be inducted into office as President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) today, Friday, June 3, 2022, but faces stiff opposition among church leaders and some higher ups of the ruling establishment in Liberia.

Rev. Reeves got elected at the 33rd Annual General Assembly which was held at the New Water in the Desert Apostolic Pentecostal compound in Brewerville, outside Monrovia from the Thursday, May 26, to Friday May 27, 2022.

The Baptist prelate was elected along with others including Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. of the United Methodist Church of Liberia Annual Conference as first vice President elect; Moderator Sanjee Abioseeh Stepter of the Presbyterian Church of Liberia; as second Vice President elect, and Mr. Emmanuel Howe of the Episcopal Church of Liberia as Treasurer elect.

Ahead of the Dr. Reeves induction ceremony, barrage of criticisms have emerged from members of the Christian Community against the election of the Senior Pastor of the historic Providence Baptist Church on Ashmun Street in Monrovia as LCC’s new president and Moderator Sanjee Abioseh Stepter of the Presbyterian Church of Liberia as second vice president.

The vehement opposition against these two men is based on their respective roles played in the body politics of the country, especially as voices in the opposition community.

Some members have also threatened to lead a radical movement against Rev. Reeves’ leadership at the level of the Liberia Council of Churches, declaring that his election is not in the interest of the church of Liberia.

One of the critics, and member of the Liberia Council of Churches, Rev. Festus Logan, described the Baptist Senior Pastor as “an established politician” who does not deserve the presidency of the Liberia Council of Churches.

Also some key and influential members of the George Weah-led administration indicated that Dr. Reeves participation in the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections on the ticket of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), as Vice Running-mate of Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), as reasons to reject Dr. Reeves election as President of the LCC.

Nevertheless, some keen political and religious observers, who prefer anonymity for this story hinted that Dr. Reeves has been critical of the Weah led government since its incumbency and as such, he (Pastor Reeves) will use the Council of Churches platform to carry out more criticisms of the government as Liberia fast approaches the crucial National Elections come 2023.

Interestingly however, Dr. Reeves’ former political party, Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), swiftly came to his rescue.

MOVEE’s National Chairman, Dan Sayee, in a press release, denied claims that the Dr. Reeves is still member of the party. Mr. Sayee added that the Baptist Prelate resigned from the party after the 2017 Elections and has returned to the pulpit at the Church.

Howbeit, critics say, Reeves election as President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), alongside Rev. Sanjee Abioseh, a ranking member of the now splintered political pressure group, Council of Patriots (CoP) as 2nd Vice President, respectively is not only embarrassing but seriously unbelievable.

Others say the LCC, once revered as the “conscience of the nation”, seems to have lost its steam.

Moreover, some officials of Liberia’s main-lined Churches of Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Lutheran have accused the outgoing President of LCC, Dr. Kortu Browne, of serving as extended public relations arm of the Weah-led government. This allegation has not been independently confirmed.

President George Manneh Weah himself, has built a church in which he is a Pastor, winning more souls for Jesus Christ. It is not clear whether or not, President Weah too is a member of the LCC.

Interestingly, constituent member churches of the LCC, recently elected Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., as its new president, replacing Rev. Dr. Kortu Brown.

Reports say Dr. Browne’s two-term tenure expired since 2019, but he was still serving the top LCC post due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due the Pandemic, LCC Executives reportedly asked Dr. Browne to hold on until May this year.
Also Dr. Reeves to serve a two-year term.

Dr. Samuel Reeves, Jr., is the Presiding Pastor of the Providence Baptist Church, located at the corner of Ashmun, Center and Broad Streets, the Church in which the Declaration of Independence of Liberia was signed.

Rev. Reeves has promised structural and administrative reforms at the LCC.

Speaking at the climax of the Liberia Council of Churches 33rd Annual General Assembly, President- elect, Reeves who is also the Head of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention described his election by the LCC as an honor and a privilege.

He pledged to steer the affairs of the LCC with more collaborated efforts as he recognizes himself as the head of a team but promises to see more of the team and less of him.

Dr. Reeves was full of praises for his predecessor, Bishop Kortu K. Brown, whom he has had a long standing relationship with and offered to closely work with him in order to take the LCC to another level.

At the same time, the Baptist Prelate promised that the Liberia Council of Churches won’t be a friend or an enemy to the government but partners as they look to work for the progress and development of Liberia.

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