Deaconess Imogene M. Collins, a Liberian woman who held key leadership responsibilities within the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC), as well as the Liberia Council of Churches and other professional pursuits, has died. Answering her call from labor to reward, Deaconess Collins took her last breath on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at the Aspen Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia.
Born unto the union of Mrs. Hawah Gbee and Monseur Salami on February 5, 1939 in White Plains, Montserrado County, Deaconess Collins was reared from infancy by the late Mrs. Cora Carter of White Plains. Young Imogene later went to Suehn Industrial Academy where she resided with the late Mother Mattie Mai Davis, an American Missionary assigned to Suehn Mission by the Foreign Mission Board, National Baptist Convention, USA.
Deaconess Collins started her early education at the Suehn Mission where she received her high school diploma. She accepted the Lord Jesus at an early age while at Suehn Mission. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the Cuttington College (now University) in Bong County, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science in English (major) and Nutrition Science (minor).
On May 24, 1957, Deaconess Imogene M. Collins married her college sweetheart Benjamin T. Collins, who predeceased her in 1990. This union was blessed with four children: Terry N. Collins, Sr., Hawah M. Collins Henry (deceased) Benegene W. Collins and Willie K. Collins.
Deaconess Imogene M. Collins started her professional life as a nutritionist at the Maternity Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia. After several years of faithful service at the Maternity Medical Center, she accepted a new position at the United States Information Service, where she served as head Librarian. She held this position for an extended period of time until she was appointed by Dr. William R. Tolbert, Jr., former President of the Republic of Liberia, as Director of Publications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Liberia.
Due to her excellent administrative skillset, Deaconess Collins was called by the founders of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) to serve as the first Executive Director/General Secretary of this ecumenical national body. She served the LCC in this capacity until the bloody Liberian civil war in 1989, when she was forced to flee to the United States of America.
While at the LCC, she also served as Country Representative of the African American Institute. Her passion for quality education and youth development led her to assist hundreds of young Liberian students to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies not only in the United States but in other foreign countries.
Upon her relocation to the United States due to the Liberia, Civil War, Deaconess Imogene M. Collins was employed to serve in an administrative capacity at the Superior Court of New Jersey, the Jury Management Division for (20) twenty years. Upon her retirement from the Jury Management Division in 2017, she made the decision to return to Liberia. This servant-leader spent considerable hours of her time in New Jersey serving the American Red Cross with various teams helping people recover from national disaster/crisis.
Deaconess Imogene M. Collins dedicated her life to Jesus Christ serving Him faithfully. She was a faithful member of Providence Baptist Church (PBC), Monrovia, Liberia. She served the Provident Baptist Church in various key capacities at her home church. Among her service roles at PBC over the years, she served as Superintendent of the Sunday School, President of the Women’s Missionary Union and Chairperson of the Deacon Ministry.
Deaconess Imogene M. Collins was not just a faithful servant in the local Church; she was entrusted with key leadership responsibilities within the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention. Deaconess Collins served as President of the National Woman’s Missionary Union (LBMEC); President of the Liberia Baptist Sunday School Convention and Member of the Finance Committee and Acting Executive secretary of the LBMEC. She was a member of the Board of Trustee of Ricks Institute as well as President of the Parents, Teachers Association of Ricks Institute.
While in New Jersey, United States of America, she was a devoted member of the Bethany Baptist Church, Newark, NJ. While at Bethany Baptist Church, she served in the key ministries, including President Senior Missionary, Black History Committee, Women’s League and Black College Committee.
Deaconess Imogene M. Collins earned several awards during her lifetime. A recent award was The Lott Carey Award of Excellence for Christian Ministry by the Providence Baptist Fellowship, USA. She was a faithful servant of the church and humanity. In all places of service, she served with distinction as she offered her best effort.
Deaconess Imogene M. Collins leave to mourn (3) three children: Terry N. Collins, Benegene W. Collins & Willie K Collins; (8) eight grandchildren: Terry Varney Collins, (Naomi Collins) Marlo Price Collins, Alvin Collins (Donna Collins), Benjamin G. Henry (Crisina Collins), Terrine R. Collins, Terry N. Collins Jr., Catherine I. Henry, and Monseur B. Collins; (8) eight great-grandchildren: Peaches Collins, Puddin Collins, Jaden Robinson, Adrianne Collins, Rameel Price, Wedeh-Mai Collins, Xion Collins, Benjamin Milagro Collins; several brothers & sisters including Rev. & Mrs. Gbessie Kemah, Mrs. J. Eva George, Mrs. Peaches Traub, Mrs, Shirley Stewart, Joseph Freeman, Bokia Askie, Massa White, Jenneh Clinton, Sata Askie; several nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives.
The body will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home on Friday, October 25, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. and taken to the Providence Baptist Church on Broad, Center and Ashmun streets where wake-keeping will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Funeral Services over the remains of the late Deaconess Imogene Collins will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Providence Baptist Church.
On the day of her Funeral Service in Liberia, the Providence Baptist Church Fellowship will hold a Memorial Service here in the United States at Calvary Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey.
A second Memorial Service will be held on December 14, 2019 at Bethany Baptist Church – 275 W Market Street – Newark, New Jersey.
Deaconess Imogene Musu Colllins’ “faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed.” She was one of the few pillars from the longstanding Liberian Baptists regime living. She was a faithful servant of God and humanity.