The Bishop of Liberia, the Most Reverend Jonathan B.B. Hart, who is Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa, will this Sunday, March 3, 2019, ascend the office of Primate and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Province of West Africa. He will be the 11th person to hold that office, which is the highest position in the Anglican Province of West Africa.
This historic and colorful ceremony will take place at Trinity Cathedral, on Broad Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia, beginning at 10 o’clock a.m., a release has said.
Episcopal Archbishop George Daniel Browne, also of Liberia, was the sixth head of the Province of West Africa.
On March 18 1982, Liberia acquired full membership with the Province of West Africa. Previously, since 1836 when the Episcopal Church began in Liberia, the Liberian Episcopal Church had been a missionary diocese of the Episcopal Church of the USA.
On November 17, 1981 the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church USA granted the Liberian church’s request that it be transferred to the Province of West Africa.
Several church dignitaries from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, other parts of Africa as well as from the United States are expected to be in attendance at Sunday’s celebration.
According to Chancellor of the Liberian Episcopal Diocese of Liberia, Counselor Seward M. Cooper, the Anglican Province of West Africa has two Internal Provinces. One Internal Province covers dioceses in Ghana and the other covers dioceses in The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon. Each internal Province is headed by an archbishop. On Sunday, Archbishop Hart, the current head of the Internal Province that covers Guinea et al, will be elevated to the position as the overall head of the entire Province of West Africa.
Hart has had a distinguished career. Not only is he the Episcopal Bishop of Liberia. He is chair of the Board of Trustees of Cuttington University, served as head of the Inter-Religious Council and president of the Liberia Council of Churches. He is a graduate of both Cuttington University, where he took the Bachelor of Divinity degree and the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was awarded the Master of Divinity degree. He has been honored with a doctor of divinity degree (honors causa) from Cuttington.
Born in Crozierville, Montserrado County, Liberia, Archbishop Hart is married to Mother Frances Hart. They are parents of several children. The archbishop hails from Christ Episcopal Church, Crozierville, where he was baptized an infant in 1953. He was born in Crozierville on January 9 of that year.
This is an historic occasion for the Church in Liberia and Episcopalians and people of faith and from government and the private sector are expected to grace the occasion on Sunday ensuing.