Nimba’s Oldest Missionary, Bible Translator, Laid to Rest

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One of Nimba County’s oldest missionaries and translator of the English Bible to Mano, Reverned Nya Gami Zuagele, who died at the age of 98, was on Saturday, October 1, laid to rest at the compound of the Ganta United Methodist Mission in Nimba County.

He died peacefully at his home in the Blekay Town community of Ganta on Tuesday, September 13 after a period of illness.

Funeral service for the late Rev. Zuagele was attended by an array of high profile government officials, among them, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee, and three of the county’s representatives, who paid homage to the deceased.

Clergies from the Ganta United Methodist Church, headed by Bishop John Inis and Bishop Emeritus Arthur Kulah, were among those who attended the funeral service.

Chief Justice Korkpor described the late Rev. Zuagele as an educator and a stern disciplinarian, adding, “In these capacities, there can be no denial that he impacted a lot of us who attended the Ganta Mission during those days.”

The late Zuagele was among the first Nimbaians to accept the Christian faith. He was also among those who translated the Bible into the Mano vernacular.

The late Rev. Zuagele accepted the Christian faith in 1946. Thereafter, he became an evangelist in 1947 due to his passion and dedication working for the church.

He was an ordained pastor, an elder in full connection, and a counselling elder of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC).

The late Zuagele served in many positions under LAC/UMC, which included, Pastor of the Miller McAllister United Methodist Church in Ganta; Literacy Director, Bible Translator and Teacher; District Superintendent, Gompa District; LAC/UMC; a Counselling Elder, among others.

Zuagele started his education at the Sanniquellie Public School, now Sanniquellie Central High, in 1932 and in 1977, he enrolled at the University of Liberia, where he studied Linguistics and Phonics for a year.

Due to his commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, in June 1988, the late Rev. Zuagele was invited and attended the International Council of Christian Churches Congress in Florida, USA.

He was born unto the union of Nya Zuagele, I and Yei Lyelay Zuagele on June 6, 1918 , in Tunukpuyee Town, Lao Clan, Nimba County.

His father predeceased him when he was four, leaving him with his grandfather. His grandfather died when he was eight. Due to this appaling situation, the late Nya as a young boy was in the custody of his maternal grandparents, who also passed away two years later.

The late Zuagele was later taken to his mother’s hometown, Gbahn, to live with his uncle, Paye Taryor.

He leaves to mourn his loss his only surviving sister, Nohn Gbei Betee, cousins, 10 children, 50 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.

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