Monrovia Liberia – President George Manneh Weah has reemphasized the important role played by the Providence Baptist Church in the foundation of the Liberian nation.
President Weah recalled that the history of Liberia cannot be told without recounting the numerous contributions of the country’s first church, describing it as an embodiment of the history of ‘our great country’.
“Often referred to as the “Cornerstone of Liberia”, the Providence Baptist Church is the first place of worship that some of our ancestors who returned home after being freed from slavery built after arriving on Providence Island. It was here in this same edifice that our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence that gave birth to Africa’s first independent Republic. This church has been so central to our national life that it even hosted our National Legislature for a period” President Weah said of the Church.
The Liberian leader was speaking Sunday March 1, 2020 at a worship service marking the start of activities of the bicentennial (200th) anniversary of the Providence Baptist Church on Ashman Street.
He lauded the religious community in Liberia for the role it has always played in bringing about resolutions to some of Liberia’s ‘intractable’ crises, and urged the Church to continue to play that role.
President Weah added “In Matthew 5:16, Jesus instructed us, saying: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Let me now call on the church to shine its light on the Liberian society”.
He assured the Church that Government will continue to play its part in the preservation of law and order, noting that government also expects the clergy to use the “Power of the Pulpit” for the good of the country.
“It is often said that Liberia is all we have. I could not agree more. And that is why we depend on the religious community to bring about social cohesion and harmony. While our ethnic, religious or political diversity can serve to strengthen our democracy, some have attempted to exploit these divides for selfish political motives. The church cannot sit by supinely or become a willing and complicit participant while these things happen” President Weah stated.
The President added “the Government is happy to partner with you for the upcoming bicentennial celebration. We will endeavor to do all that is necessary to ensure a very successful celebration of this critical component of our history. I understand that the planned activities include a tour of Liberia’s historic sites, including the landmark Providence Island, which shares a binding tale with the building we are gathered in today. This comes at a time when we are taking targeted steps to improve our enormous potential in the tourism sector. I am glad you plan to work with the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism in this regard”.
He then promised to be a central part of the celebrations marking 200th anniversary of the Providence Baptist Church.