As the quest for more higher learning institutions to accommodate more Liberian students continues, the Assemblies of God (AG) Church in Liberia has concluded on its decision to open a degree granting university. At a fundraising program, the church launched a US$1 million fund drive to accomplish the goal.
Gathered at the Church headquarters located on Buchanan Street in Central Monrovia over the weekend, the congregation, led by its leaders, expressed joy for the long awaited dream gradually coming to a fruition.
The Rev. Dr. Abenda F. Tamba, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Liberia, said the university project is expected to begin operations in 2023. Therefore, he noted, in order to ensure that such a dream is realized, people must sacrifice a portion of their earnings for the establishment of the university.
“There are two proclamations as General Superintendent that I will be making and they take immediate effect: “All of us agreed that we should give one month of our salary, each to this university fund drive. All members will give one month, each. If you are running a business, you can give us one month's worth of your profit. All this can be done within a period of 12 months; that is, from November of this year to October of next year.”
He disclosed that some members of the church have already made their full payment of the one month salary or profit and their courage to act urgently should motivate others who are yet to make up their minds to do something about the payment.
Tamba said it has been many years of consultation and genuine commitment to ensure that the Assemblies of God Church, established in Liberia in 1908, owns its own degree granting university like any other Christian denomination in the country.
“In 2020, the general council convened at the Zion AG Church in Coffee Farm, Caldwell and unanimously passed a resolution to create a university,” he explained.
Tamba, however, noted that the university could not be established as planned at the time time due to the outbreak of the deadly CoronaVirus (COVID-19).
“We got into a transitional year and the leadership at the time thought it was wise to leave the implementation of the vision onto the incoming leadership. The transitional period ended and an election was held in Fish Town, River Gee County. The new leadership decided to continue with the vision of establishing and operating a functional AG University in Liberia, he disclosed.
According to the AG Church’s Superintendent, the idea to establish the proposed university was preceded by the opening of more AG Church branches across Liberia.
Tamba said after the induction into office of him and his co-workers and with special time in prayer which lasted for 91 days, both the idea of church planting and the establishment of the university became achievable realities.
He noted that the bank accounts for the establishment of the university are already secured and all deposits made will be reported to each of the branches of the Church across the country.
He declared the first Sunday in April of 2023 as ‘AGU’ Sunday and all funds raised at every branch, including the headquarters will be deposited in the accounts of the proposed university in order to realize the one million United States Dollar goal.
About where the university will be situated, Tamba said the large campuses where the high schools are currently operated as well as the Bible College in Brewerville will be renovated and improved upon for university classes.
Rev. Dr. Jimmy B. Kuoh, chairman of the Committee that drafted the strategic plan for the establishment of the AGU, said the establishment of the university is long overdue but necessary and it is about to happen.
“The AG Church was founded in Liberia in 1908, and in 1909 the church immediately opened a school for boys. After many years, we now boast of owning many grade schools in the country. Now is time to go up. Now is the time for us to have our own university,” Kouh said.
He explained: “In 2020, a resolution was presented to the general assembly. On March 16, 2022, the General Superintendent appointed a 17 man committee chaired by me to draft a strategic plan for the establishment of the university. The committee was divided into sub-committees and each was given a task to draft something on a specific aspect of the university, including asset identification and management, research to determine the courses we need to offer, design of the legal framework, financial mobilization, as well as recruitment of labor and labor policies, have been strategized.”
The former General Superintendent of AG added that the strategic plan document consists of 120 pages and it has all of the relevant information that can bring about growth.
E. Jenkins Peal, Pastor of El Shaddai Outreach Ministries served as the guest preacher and in his remarks, the prelate told the AG congregation that the initiative is a laudable one and as such, everyone in the congregation should consider that his or her name can be on the list of contributors too.
“The rally, code named “Let my name be there too,” is realistic and counting on the Book of Hebrews 3 vs 3 and 4, “Every house is built by someone.”
He admonished everyone involved to contribute for the love and glory of God.