The Providence Baptist Church, Liberia’s oldest church and the one in which the nation’s declaration of independence was signed, will celebrate its bicentennial next year, February and March 2021, celebrating 200 years of its existence. This historic bicentennial is a celebration of the grace of God for the vision, mission, members, partnerships and works that He has placed in our stewardship throughout this 200-year journey.
Established in 1821, Providence Baptist Church played a very significant part in the history of Liberia as a nation. The aforementioned Declaration of Independence was signed in the edifice of the old Church building, which is a National Shrine. There, also, the original constitution of Liberia was debated and the national Flag was made.
Today, Providence remains a very active part of Liberia through its many human and social development programs, in addition to winning souls for Christ. “We have never been just a Sunday morning congregation,” says Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, senior pastor of Providence Baptist Church (PBC).
It is in this historical context that PBC has convened a steering committee of persons from the private and public sectors, members and non-members of Providence, to plan our Anniversary next year.
On Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 9:30 a.m., at a special service, PBC will officially launch and announce the planning of this national event. President George Manneh Weah has confirmed his attendance to the Sunday service.
To stage this event successfully, PBC is partnering with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism (MICAT), as well as other major groups and organizations at home and abroad, to converge in Monrovia next year for the series of events we are planning, including the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Conference, Inc. (LBMEC), Historical Black Churches and Universities, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Major Christian denominations, Black Fraternities and Sororities, the Congregation and many others.
The MICAT has agreed to work with PBC and assist in organizing tours and other cultural events for invited guests. We are reaching out to persons of African descent throughout the Diaspora especially America and the Caribbean to come to Liberia for the festivities being planned.
During this historic celebration, PBC aims to embark on three national development projects as an outcome of this celebration and will be submitting proposals to funders and others to assist. They are: the restoration & redevelopment of Providence Island as a cultural and tourist destination; the construction of a National Library and Research Center in partnership with Princeton Theological Seminary; and the application to UNESCO to designate the old Providence Baptist Church building as a ‘World Heritage Site” and thereby further preserving its historical significance along with the resources that comes with that for upkeep and maintenance.