It was a bitter-sweet send-off for the late Apostle Rev. Dr. John Adolphus During over the weekend. It was bitter because many will miss his profound, impactful service to Liberia and to humanity; it was sweet because, as everyone seemed to agree, he “fought the good fight, and finished the race.” So, in spite of the occasional wailing at the funeral service, the ‘joyful noise’ of music filled the atmosphere and made it a true celebration of a life well lived.
Giving the funeral discourse, the General Overseer of Love Center Ministries Incorporated, Rev.Eric S. Gbogar, described the late Apostle Rev. Dr. John Adolphus During as a friend to everyone, despite his status and relationship with God.
Speaking from the text of Luke 12:16-21, under the theme; “Your Here and There,” Rev. Gbogar said that Liberia is a nation where people don’t celebrate service, referencing Apostle During who served his country for over 40 years and was not appreciated, despite his contribution to humanity.
“At the level of Apostle During, some people would distance themselves from others; but he made himself accessible to everyone so that even a common man would feel welcomed,” he said.
“His life was to educate others, to empower others in society and to make people’s lives to shine. Apostle During shared his knowledge with others, so that people benefited from his education,” Rev. Gbogar said.
The Liberian Official Gazette said, “the country has lost a dedicated public servant” and expressed appreciation for his many contributions to the Republic.
“With the death Ambassador During,” said the Gazette, “the family has lost a loving and caring father and his comrades have lost a devout and faithful servant of God.”
In her tribute, Apostle Ethel Taylor of the U.S.-based Faith Fellowship Ministries International, of which During’s church, the Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ Inc. (SCCJC), is a member, described Apostle Rev. During as ‘Ambassador for Life’.
“Here lies a great man,” she said, “a man of great spiritual stature, a man so kind-hearted, tender, humble, and understanding. Yes, a family man who cherished family values, who upheld the sanctity of marriage, and manifested community spirit in all he said and did. He was a plain man who had nothing to hide, a man so open and real.
“When Faith Fellowship Ministries International came under the Apostolic anointing, Apostle During, along with Apostle Williams, Overseer for Africa, was elevated and Consecrated Apostle on October 19, 2008, along with his dear wife, who was Consecrated Prophetess,” she said.
The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) also appreciated the good work of the late Apostle During, describing him as a man of spiritual stature and a dedicated public servant.
Apostle During wore many hats and entrepreneured many endeavors. Primarily, he was the senior pastor and General Overseer of the Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ Incorporated Ministries International. He also founded and served as President of the new Life Bible College; Liberia Overseer, Faith Fellowship Ministries International, Incorporated, Liberia Region; Founder and Director of the Liberia Institute of Protocol and Etiquette; former Chief of Protocol, Republic of Liberia, a position he held that spanned three Liberian presidents.
Held on Saturday, January 23 at his church, SCCJC, located in Chocolate City, Monrovia, the celebration of the life of Dr. During was also graced by many officials of government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were he worked for many years, was well represented, with the presence of Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Elias Shoniyin and Liberia’s current Chief of Protocol. Also in attendance were four former Ministers of Foreign Affairs, namely Monie Captan, George Wallace, Olubanke King Akerele and Augustine Ngafuan.
The absence of people who were expected to grace the celebration of Apostle During’s home-going, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Boakai and other top officials of government was noted at the occasion. However, Mrs. Kartumu Boakai, 2nd Lady of the Republic of Liberia and a personal friend of the During family, was present. The office of VP Boakai however gave a tribute and deposited a wreath.
Among the hundreds in attendance were many family members, friends, representatives of churches, as well as private, non-governmental and business institutions, witnessed and paid tributes in songs and statements of condolence.
Apostle During was interred in the church yard, next to the tomb of his late mother-in-law, Henrietta V. Nesby.