.... — Announces April 24th for Consecration and ordination the Bishop Coadjutor
Following the election of Father James B. Sellee as Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia, His Grace, The Most Rev. Dr. Jonathan B.B. Hart, who is currently battling stroke in the United States of America, is expected to resign and retire early as Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia.
Bishop Hart was consecrated Bishop of Liberia on 2 March 2008. He was elected by the Electoral College of the Internal Province of West Africa of the Church of the Province of West Africa on 1 March 2014, to be the new archbishop, replacing Solomon Tilewa Johnson of Gambia, who had died suddenly shortly before.
He was enthroned at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, in Monrovia, at 6 July 2014.He was enthroned as the Primate and Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, in Monrovia, on 3 March 2019. The Church of the Province of West Africa includes approximately a million members in eight countries: Cameroon, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Making the pronouncement, Bishop Hart disclosed that he will also be retiring and resigning as Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa and Primate Metropolitan Archbishop of the Church of West Africa.
“Fellow Episcopalians, owing to my ill health which makes it difficult to continue serving as Diocesan Bishop, I have prayerfully decided that I will resign and retire as Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022. This being the case, I will also resign and retire as Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa (IPWA) and Primate Metropolitan Archbishop of the Church of West Africa (CPWA),” he said in a press release yesterday.
Anglicans have been present in Liberia since 1836. Until 1982, the Anglican Church in Liberia was a missionary diocese of the US-based Episcopal Church. In November 1981 TEC’s Executive Council agreed to Liberia’s request to become part of the Province of West Africa; and the transfer took place on 18 March 1982.
Archbishop Hart is the second Bishop of Liberia to have served as Archbishop and Primate of the Province of West Africa. He was Jonathan Bau-Bau Bonaparte Hart in Crozierville, Montserrado County, on January 9 1953. The Most Rev. Jonathan Hart, suffered a serious stroke on February 13, 2020 and has since then off and on with recovery.
Bishop Hart then praise all members of the church for holding up their Diocese and especially the holding of a successful Special Diocesan Convention “where we elected the Very Rev. Dr. James B. Sellee as Bishop Coadjutor for our beloved ECL.”
“I personally want to use this occasion to congratulate him on his preferment to serve our church in the high office of Bishop. We have set Sunday, April 24th, 2022 same as the second Sunday of Easter for the Consecration and Ordination to be held at the Trinity Cathedral. Following the consecration, I plan to work alongside our Bishop Coadjutor until my retirement,” said Bishop Hart.
The Most Rev. Dr. Hart said he will remain faithful to promoting the Ministries of the Church and call on Episcopalians to rally around the new Bishop to promote the work of God in the Diocese.
“To the Venerable Sie Sunday Freeman,” he stated, “words are inadequate to express to you my sincere gratitude for the able manner you served as Vicar General for our Diocese since you were appointed to this position a little over two (2) years ago.”
The Bishop Coadjutor-elect, The Very Rev. Fr. James B. Sellee, was confirmed by the house of Anglican Bishops in West Africa in a letter dated March 1, 2022, instructing the Diocese of Liberia to carry on the consecration.