When renowned Methodist preacher Reverend Emmanuel J. Giddings finally decided to return to Liberia after many years residing in the United States, he was coming to help educate the thousands of Liberian youth and older folks disadvantaged by the years of civil war.
Rev. Giddings established the Liberia-Ghana Mission (LGM) and Alfalit International Liberia, two organizations that have immensely contributed to scholarships and adult literacy programs across the country.
It was against this backdrop and his many humanitarian efforts in the country that the Harriette E. Bailey United Methodist High School decided to honor Rev. Giddings, the executive director of LGM.
Last weekend, the school named a newly constructed modern student resource center (computer and science laboratory) in honor of Rev. Giddings.
The center will provide the students access to a well equipped laboratory that will serve as a center for experiments, while the computers will help them with their research work, the school administration said.
“We are grateful to have people like Rev. Giddings, who have been of great help not just to us, but the entire country. He is a true humanitarian who loves his country. His handiwork are all over the country,” school principal Reverend Charles W. Fiske, Jr. said during the honoring ceremony in Duazohn, Margibi County.
The school operates under the United Methodist School System of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Rev. Fiske indicated that Rev. Giddings, apart from the many scholarships that he has provided to students, remains the highest donor to the construction of the resource center.
“Rev. Giddings is indeed a gift to this school. He is the highest donor to this resource center project,” Rev. Fiske said, adding that “everything that has to do with education excites this man. ”
In response, Rev. Giddings said he does not like being the center of attention, but would rather like for his works to speak for him. We decided to accept this one, because it represents what we stand for. Our students require these necessities to be on par with their colleagues elsewhere. We can’t continue to ignore the fact that our students are not being provided the appropriate environment to thrive academically and it is incumbent upon us to (support) them,” he said.
Giddings said that the country’s education system is not strong, “because these pertinent issues have not been prioritized. In how many places or schools can you find such a facility? It is so sad for our kids. This is having an adverse effect on every sector of our country.”
Madam MacDella Cooper, political leader of the opposition Liberia Restoration Party, who delivered the keynote address, praised the work that Rev. Giddings and his team are doing in the country, especially in the education sector.
“Our young people are in a critical stage of their lives and they need our help, people like us—Rev. Giddings, me and all well meaning Liberians,” she said.