Rev. Dr. David M. Tokpah
Rev. Dr. David M. Tokpah is a native of Bong County, central Liberia. He was born and raised into a United Methodist family. As a teenager, many of his friends called him “the Methodist boy” in his home town of Gbarnga due to his commitment to attending church conferences and meetings ranging from local church to annual conference events.
Since the mid 1980’s, Dr. David M. Tokpah’s gift of leadership has provided him the opportunity to serve as District Youth Representative, District Young Adult Secretary, and president of Young Adult Fellowship in his home district of Kokoyah, Liberia. After several years of successful leadership in Kokoyah, Dr. Tokpah and family relocated to Monrovia, Liberia, where he served as First Vice President (CUMYAF) of the Liberia Annual Conference. It was during that time he was called to pastoral ministry while serving in youth and young adult ministries.
Ordained a deacon under retired Bishop Arthur F. Kulah (now Interim Bishop), Dr. David M. Tokpah was later ordained as Elder in Full Connection in the Liberia Annual Conference under retired Bishop John G. Innis.
Dr. Tokpah received his Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) degree from the Gbarnga School of Theology (GST) of the United Methodist University, Liberia. While at GST, he served as president of the United Methodist Student Council. Following graduation from GST, he entered Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey, USA, where he earned the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree in 2004. In 2006, Dr. Tokpah became certified as a pastoral counselor after completing a year-long residential program in Clinical Pastoral Education with the American Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. While serving as a senior pastor, Dr. Tokpah set his sights on a doctoral program in leadership and graduated in May of this year with a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree in Higher Education Leadership.
Before traveling to the United States, where Dr. Tokpah is currently serving on loan to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, he taught at the Tubman-Gray High School in Gbarnga and the J.J. Roberts United Methodist High School in Monrovia. He also worked with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in rural Liberia.
Dr. Tokpah’s pastoral appointments in Liberia include associate and acting senior pastor at Grace United Methodist Church and senior pastor at the 72nd United Methodist Church, both of Monrovia District conference, Liberia Annual Conference.
In the Greater New Jersey conference, Dr. Tokpah served as Assistant Pastor at the Centenary United Methodist Church, Lambertville, New Jersey. In 2001, he was appointed by Bishop Alfred Johnson as the senior pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Mount Holly, New Jersey, where he served for 12 years. In consultation with retired Bishop John G. Innis of Liberia, Bishop John Schol of Greater New Jersey conference appointed Dr. Tokpah as the senior pastor of New Covenant United Methodist Church, Hamilton, New Jersey.
While serving in his third year at New Covenant, the 183rd session of the Liberia Annual Conference nominated Dr. David M. Tokpah as one of the two episcopal nominees for the upcoming West Africa Central Conference in Abidjan. Although Dr. Tokpah is currently serving in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, he has maintained his conference membership in the Liberia Annual Conference, where he regularly attends conference events.
In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Dr. Tokpah serves as the president of Gbarnga School of Theology Alumni Association- USA Branch. He has served on several boards and agencies of the United Methodist Church both in Liberia and the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. A two-time recipient of the Kingdom Diversity Scholar Award of Southeastern Baptist Seminary in North Carolina and the recipient of the 2012 Community Leadership Award from the Burlington County Chosen Freeholders, New Jersey. In 2002, Dr. Tokpah became a founding member of the Liberia/Greater New Jersey Annual Conference Partnership. In 2005, Dr. David M. Tokpah and family financed to build an elementary school in Jorquelleh District, Liberia, which was later turned over to the Liberia Annual Conference.
Dr. David M. Tokpah and his wife Jestina are blessed with five children (four boys and one girl).