Rev. Cllr. Dr. Pearl Brown Bull declares at Providence Baptist 200 Anniversary
Liberian lawyer and minister of the Gospel, Rev. Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull, has declared that Liberia’s foundation is in trouble if its citizens remain standing on the “Faulty foundation” that has upheld the country for 173 years.
In her sermon, delivered at the 200th anniversary of the Providence Baptist Church on Sunday, March 7, the vocal Liberian female lawyer and preacher identified “Wickedness and greed for money” as vices that have taken over the true essence and motto of the establishment of Liberia.
Many Liberians claim that, because the country’s independence was signed in the Providence Baptist Church and those at the time were majority Christians, therefore “Liberia is built on Christian Principles,” an assumption that free thinkers and members of other religions have contested.
However, Liberia’s principles are reflected in the National Pledge of Allegiance: “One nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”
As a lawyer who is more acquainted with the justice system and social behaviors of Liberians, Rev. Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull, well known for her unadulterated frankness, said: “Many Liberians are out of the country not because they want to be out but because of what their own people have caused them. With greed and wickedness their own people have created, they have left to seek better opportunities in other countries, and for this, the church must uphold its values and dignity in order to lead the nation.”
Preaching on the theme, “Strengthening the foundation of the Providence Baptist Church,” Cllr. Bull cautioned the church that is known as the ‘cornerstone of the nation’ to stand on its dignity to lead the country, or the country and the entire church would collapse because of wickedness and greed for which God punished some false prophets who misled the children of Israel.
In reference to her concerns, Rev. Cllr. Bull quoted Jeremiah 23:1-4: “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
In other preachings on the observance of the 200th anniversary of the Providence Baptist, Bishop M. Wolo Belleh, Bishop of the first Diocese of Harvest International Ministries, located in Congo Town, has described the Providence Baptist Church as a womb that was used by God to birth a nation called Liberia.
Referencing the Holy Bible, Rev. Belleh said in Genesis 12;1-3, God spoke to Abram and told him to go from the country of his ancestors to a nation that He [God] would show him, so that He (God) can make him (Abram) great.
Bishop Belleh spoke on a theme, ‘Providence: A Womb that Birthed A Aation’. “The theme is in connection with our text from what we just read,” he said. “We see the manifestation of Providence at work in a Hittite nation where the people did not know the almighty God though they were faithful in serving their handmade gods.”
“As you consider this, we must understand that issues about Providence Baptist Church indicate that an unseen God, a God that you do not see with your eyes, is always directly or indirectly involved in the affairs of mankind.”
Bishop Belleh further explained that whether men approve it or not; whether God is invited or not, whether humans acknowledge Him or not; the creator of heaven and earth is always involved in the affairs of mankind, and everything about men, whether individually or collectively, have already been laid out.
“I stand here to announced to you that after 200 hundred years, this church, this ministry, is heading somewhere and God has not disengaged with the founder of the church.”
He noted that it was because of the church that Liberia was founded on Christian principles. “God has established this ministry, this nation was founded on Christian principles. I don’t care who challenges or changes it. All we see is that Providence is a sign that this nation was built on Christian principles,” Bishop Belleh declared.
Also speaking, Rev. Dr. James B. Sellee, Dean of the Trinity Episcopal Parish (commonly known as Trinity Cathedral), said “This indeed is a historic church. Let me remind myself. This is the oldest nation founded in 1821. It is on this holy ground that the Declaration of Independence was signed and the flag was made as well as the first constitution was debate; indeed you are a historic church.”
He also frowned on a government Minister who once generalized that pastors want to open churches because of money. According to Rev. Sellee, that Minister spoke out of ignorance.
However, public perceptions about the church over the years have gone in the direction of the unnamed Minister due to how most churches are conducted. Some churches tend to honor certain individuals as “Fathers (or Mothers) of the year” because of the honorees’ financial influence. Such endorsements by those churches have been used by those honorees to seek political power or enhance their sphere of influence in other arenas.
In his counter view against the government official, Rev. Sellee, speaking on the theme, ‘Love is the Greatest Resource for a Better Living,’ acknowledged that the church has impacted Liberia in a significant way in education, healthcare and politics. “The church has raised great men and women who are the finest in society.”
Without bias, however, he admitted that the church has its own shortcomings, which which it has failed in some ways, because it is not perfect. “There are leaders who are in churches and in this nation that have failed us,” he said.
In reference to his theme, Rev. Selle called on the congregation to be mindful of people who profess love to them because some only want to hurt their feelings. “Many lives have been destroyed with the word ‘I love you’, [because] something else is under their intent,” he noted.
The 200th anniversary of the Providence Baptist Church is held under the theme, ‘Bridge to Providence,’ and will be carried out in four quarters.
Giving updates on the church’s remaining activities, Rev. Laura C. Pritchard, Director of Sister Church Relationship, PBC, said from March 14-28 is the official Providence Baptist fellowship gathering in Liberia.
Also, Rev. Pritchard said on March 22-26, the Lott Carey Mission USA will be in Liberia to join the celebration, and Saturday, March 27, 2021, will be the official bicentenary gala and grand ball.