Liberia: Lutherans Kick off Fundraiser for University



--As ELCA Bishop challenges Christians to take the Great Commission seriously.

The Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL), in collaboration with the Association of Liberian Lutherans in America (ALLIA), has kicked off a fundraiser to start a university for the Lutheran Church in Liberia in order to help meet the educational needs of the citizens.

The fundraising dinner was held on April 22, in Monrovia and attended by a cross-section of Lutheran members, pastors and bishops along with members of ALLIA and other visiting guests from the United States of America, Eastern Africa and Asia. Also attending the program were clergymen from other denominations in Liberia and officials of government.

The fundraiser is part of activities of the 2nd International African Lutheran Conference currently taking place in Monrovia, organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and the LCL. The conference is held under the theme, Preach, Heal and Teach.

The LCL, established in 1860 by Morris Officer, a missionary from the U.S., has over the years done extremely well in the areas of health and education. However, the church has only endeavored to provide primary, secondary, vocational and nursing education until now that it has envisioned to start a university.

Lutheran Bishop, Rev. Dr. G. Victor Padmore, said that the vision to establish the university is a longtime dream.

“People might sometimes think about how far we are going with this vision. But I can tell the truth, with the help of the Almighty God, we are going to get there. We must raise the funds to get the university started. We are working with the government to get the accreditation and to have the qualified staff to teach,” he said at the fund raising dinner night in Monrovia.

Bishop Padmore said that his administration is working with Liberian Lutherans in the diaspora to raise approximately US$10,000 dollars to jump start the university.

The proposed university project when implemented will start with five colleges, agriculture, theology, education, health, and accounting.

Bishop Padmore is the sixth bishop of the Lutheran diocese, succeeding Retired Bishop, Rev. Dr. D. Jensen Seyekulo.

Bishop, Patricia A. Davenport, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA

Speaking on Sunday, at the St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Monrovia, the Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA, Patricia A. Davenport, called on Christians to take the great commission seriously in order to save more lives.

Bishop Davenport, who is the first African American female bishop of the ELCA, spoke on the theme, “We Get the Power to Make it Happen.

She said in her sermon that Christians have the power to transform their world and must be willing to live a different life to make it happen.

“The command is about saving lives and moving through the works of the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t make this as a suggestion but a bold command. He made the difference by showing justice so he wants us the Christians to do the same. Everywhere Christ went he made the difference so that people can get salvation. Therefore, Christians should not give up but allow God to use them to make the difference. Go and do so even in a tasteless situation,” she said.

“I want you to know that there is power in your testimonies. You have the power to make the difference. There will be pain and sorrow but Christians should know that they are not alone.  Making disciples is not the power of individuals but depending on Christ. You must make the difference in the lives of the Liberians,” she added.

She praised the Lutheran Church in Liberia for working harder to spread the gospel of Christ.

“The Lutheran Church of Liberia has done a lot to preach, heal and teach. There are many accomplishments done by the Church. The Lutheran church has held missionary work in Africa. It recognized the role of the church to bring healing to the Liberian society,” she said.

According to her, the conference in Liberia is about reflecting the accomplishments of the LCL to bring about peace and reconciliation.

She mentioned that they are working to establish a network with African churches to further spread the gospel of Christ.

“African churches can boast of bigger congregations in the continent. They are careful to meet the needs of the members. We want to establish a network for the goal of peace and reconciliation in Africa and to spread the Gospel across the world,” she mentioned.