UMC Liberia Officially Welcomes Bishop Innis Home
The United Methodist Church of Liberia on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 officially welcomes the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis home to Liberia after months of staying in the USA for health reasons and the travel restriction imposed by the country due to the Ebola crisis. At a welcome program dubbed “Special Welcome and Thanksgiving Service” held at the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia, UMC Liberia members turned out in their hundreds to praise God for the safe arrival of the Resident Bishop of the Liberia Episcopal Area and a successful surgery in the USA.
Delivering the meditation, the Rev. Dr. Matthew A. Jaiah of the Stephen Trowen Nagbe UMC called on United Methodists and other attendees to be thankful to God for the challenging path he has led them through during the Ebola crisis. Referring to the successful surgery and the safe arrival of Bishop Innis into the country and on duty, the UMC Clergyman urged UMC Liberia members to be thankful to God for all the things he has given the church including the return of Bishop Innis. “There were challenges, but God has guided us through them all,” Rev. Jaiah asserted.
Speaking on the theme, “Why should I be thankful?” the Prelate, who almost sang through the meditation, called on the congregation to be thankful when the tides are high.” “I will work in the house of the Lord for all of the things he has done for me,” Rev. Jaiah concluded.
For his part, the Resident Bishop of the Liberia Episcopal Area, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, thanked UMC Liberia members for praying for him in and out of surgery. “I was overwhelmed by the out pouring of love from all of you for my health situation at the time,” Bishop Innis said. The UMC Liberia Leader who has been out of Liberia for the past eleven months, was on official Episcopal travel duties when he had to attend to his health and could not return to Liberia soon enough due to the Ebola crisis. He praised the leadership of the Liberia Annual Conference for ably managing the affairs of the church while he was away. “I thanked God for you wonderful people called United Methodists,” he added.
The ceremony was attended by several leaders of UMC Liberia including the Lay Leader, Rudolph Merab; Conference Chancellor, Oswald Tweh; and the Conference Secretary, Isaac Padmore who referred to the gathering as a “Pre-Conference.” Also attending the program was the Head of the Episcopal Management Team Rev. Dr. Ellen Thompson of the First United Methodist Church and Rev. George Wilson, Director of Connectional Ministries of the Liberia Annual Conference.
The welcome ceremony was organized by the Episcopacy Committee of the Liberia Annual Conference and hosted by the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia.