The First United Methodist Church (FUMC) on Ashmun Street in Monrovia has taken an exception to a media publication dated February 24, 2020, connecting it to corruption and other inappropriate activities.
The First United Methodist is a part is one of the protestant churches with a large congregational membership in Liberia. It operations other social services including education, healthcare, and human rights advocacy besides spiritual ministry.
In its counter-reaction to the report, the FUMC said: “We have read with great concern a FrontPage Africa report captioned: “Corruption in the United Methodist Church” dated February 24, 2020, referencing a joint security investigation Board Report by the Ministry of Justice alleging “theft of property and contributory negligence.”
A release, issued late yesterday evening, also quotes the Church as having said: “The first United Methodist Church, like all faith-based institutions, believes in and operates a transparent and accountable financial system.”
Moreover, the release said that the church, being an institution operating within the society, believes in exhausting all Christians remedies and upholding the Rule of Law.
“We are therefore constrained to make the following clarities: Pastors of the First United Methodist Church are not involved with revenue transactions of the church (I,e. plate collections, contributions from members, rallies, etc).
“Therefore,” the release notes, “The allegations of complicity regarding our Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Julius Y. Z. K. Williams I, once again, are categorically unfounded as evidenced by our letter dated June 27, 2019, addressed to the Ministry of Justice, through the Chairman of the Joint Security Investigation Board, Col. Farfini Kamara, in which the church stated that the joint security investigation was not accurate and requested that the alleged claims against Pastor Williams, is withdrawn.”
In furtherance, the FUMC said it does acknowledge the commission of financial improprieties on the part of the Accounts Office and the leadership of the church has subsequently put in some appropriate measures.
“We wish to assure our congregation and all our members of the First United Methodist Church that the financial resources of our church are fully being accounted for through a transparent and regular financial system,” said the release, assuring, “Again we wish to emphasize that the Church is in full adherence to financial best practices.”
When contacted, the Editorial Team of Frontpage Africa said it stands by its story and there is no basis to regret or retract its publication, “as there is a substantial piece of evidence to back the story,” and editor of the newspaper told the Daily Observer.