Seven months after he announced that he was going to change the agriculture ministry of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr on Friday, August 25, 2017 launched the United Methodist Rural Agricultural Development Project (UMRADP) in Liberia. “I want every district and local church to own a farm before I retire from my episcopal leadership,” Bishop Quire said. He indicated that he wants agriculture to be his legacy as leader of the United Methodist church in Liberia.
In a special statement during the launch of the over $100,000 agriculture project, Bishop Quire noted that during the leadership of Retired Bishop Arthur F. Kulah, most of the ministries of the church in Liberia were thriving on agriculture projects throughout the various mission stations, adding, “when I am driving through this country, I want to see sign posts announcing farms that belong to United Methodist congregations.” The Liberian church leader said he is going to ensure that people of the church return to the soil through the United Methodist Rural Agricultural Development Project. “We can support ourselves if we make use of the soil,” he emphasized.
According to the director of the United Methodist Rural Agricultural Development Project (UMRADP), Rev. Joseph Theoway, the project will own five basic farms across the country making use of the mission stations including Gbarnga, Ganta, and Gbeazon Town in Sinoe County, now serving as the agriculture college of agriculture for the United Methodist University. He also indicated that UMRADP will partner with the government of Liberia to empower the people of Liberia and not just United Methodists. “Our job is to empower to the people to enhance self-reliance,” Rev Theoway asserted. The head of UMRADP said the initial project cost which is estimated at over $100,000 United States dollars will focus on reviving the agricultural infrastructures of the church while training the people at the same time for the first two years. “In the first four years of Bishop Quire’s Episcopal leadership the practical results of the farms that will be located in five regions across the country shall be seen,” he concluded.
Earlier during the launching program, the Conference Lay Leader of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, Tolbert Nyenswah attributed his fun memories to the agriculture ministries of the as a youth growing up in the church. “We will support your leadership in this agriculture endeavor for the church,” Nyenswah said. The Conference Lay Leader said once the church can feed its people, it will enhance the food security initiatives of the Liberian government.