Annual Conference Session Scheduled

181st Session

Liberia Annual Conference

United Methodist Church



Theme     :  Finding Your Gifts and Talents for Service in the Church and Society

Text          :  Matthew 25:14-30

Date         :  Monday, February 10 – 16, 2014

Venue      :   Gbarnga United Methodist Mission Station, Gbarnga City, Bong County


Some of the major events forming part of this celebration include the following:


  • Ministerial and Laity Sessions: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 9:00AM
  • Official Opening Service:   Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 9:00AM
  • Ordination Service: Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:00PM
  • Official Closing Service: Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Mission Teams Announced

2014 Date / Team Leader / Conference  / Site

January 5-19 / Pryde Bass / East Ohio / St. John UMC

January 10-19 / Bob Gibb / Rocky Mountain  / George and John Dean Clinics

January 20-30 / Kevin Schaner  / East Ohio / Ganta UMS

February  / Bunny Wolfe / IGRC / Gbarnga Mission

Feb 15- March 16 / Kathy Dickriede  / East Ohio  / Camphor Mission

March / Bunny Wolfe  / IGRC / Sinoe and Kru Coast Districts

May15-25  / Bill Haddock  / North Carolina / Fact Finding

June 18-July 3 / Josh Low and Matt Williamson / East Ohio / Camphor Mission

July 12-28 / Josh Low and Matt Williamson  / East Ohio / Camphor Mission

Pryde Bass- working with the St. John UMC in Harrisburg, Liberia along with the Farmer-To-Farmer project in helping the local church gain a sustainable source to farming; Kevin Schaner team – work with nursing and with the library construction; Kathy Dickriede- coordinates teams and strengthen.

Liberia Summit in Alton Illinois 2

Friday morning, November 22, 2013

Bishop John G. Innis of the Liberia Area of the United Methodist Church speaks to the Liberia Summit. As God said “It is good,” while looking onto creation, so we today can stand back and say “This is good.” All the work exhibited here among those gathered is a powerful example of the good work of the United Methodist Church in Liberia. The church is making a difference in Liberia and in the world. “We can’t see it all. We are connected to the church in Norway, in Liberia, in Germany and around the world.”

There may be difference in our opinions about issues, but we are united in serving the one Lord and in ministry to the world. This is what is exciting about our ministry together. We stand together.

“We say right now,” Bishop Innis declares to the crowd, “Thank you!” “Thank you plenty!” The thanks is expressed in Bassa, Kru, K’pelle, Mano, English by the Liberian nationals present at the Summit.

Jonathan Kaipay, Coordinator of Community Services of the LAC presents to the gathered Summit of Liberia partners.

  • Four schools constructed in four counties. 11,247 beneficiaries.
    Children now no longer meet in open air school classrooms.
    Zanzaye School in Nimba County.
    Louisiana School in Sinoe County.
  • Six health facilities constructed or under construction in four counties.
    Compound Three Health Center in Grand Bassa County.
    Weala Clinic in Margibi County.
    Clinic in Boway in Bong County.
    Boyee Clinic in Nimba County
  • Constructed three mini bridges and one major bridge.
  • Agricultural Projects
    Animal husbandry in Maryland
  • Water and Sanitation
    Fifty-three hand pumps
    Twenty latrines
  • Resource Center in Bopolu


Pryde C. Bass, Sr. of the East Ohio Conference calls on Summit to work together. “We must engage in a synergistic way of ministry.” The right hand must know what the left hand is doing in Liberia. We all care and are invested. Let’s work together.

Looking upon a Liberian national flag in the gathering space, Brother Bass said the one star reminds us of the one Christ as well as the one nation of Liberia. “Let us be the Light of Christ shining upon the nation of Liberia and the world,” Bro. Bass exhorted the gathering.

“Watch the healing take place when we reflect the light of Christ.”

Liberia Summit in Alton Illinois

Thursday, November 21, 2013 Update

Presenters for the first day of the Liberia Summit at Main Street UMC saw a gathering of seventy-five people from around the world. After a welcome by Rev. Keith Zimmerman, convener of the Summit, Bishop Innis and Bishop Keaton spoke in welcome.

Jefferson Knight, Program Director of Water for Life presented on the project’s work in providing clean water around Liberia. The full presentation is on the Water for Life ministry page of this website.

Helen Evans-Roberts, Director of Education and Ministry of the LAC, presented the amazing work of the Education Department. More will be posted on the Education and Ministry page of this site.

Victor Doolakeh Taryor, Administrator of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital, presented and facilitated a discussion on the new plans for the Ganta Hospital construction project. A full report is available in a previous post.

Victor Taryor of Ganta UM Hospital Speaks to Summit

Victor Taryor presents to Liberia Summit about Ganta United Methodist Hospital

The hospital, founded by Dr. George Way Harley in 1926, has been a constant presence of the love of Jesus Christ in northern Liberia.

Director Victor Taryor reminded the gathering of the many ministries of GUMH. Compared to hospitals in the States or elsewhere Ganta UMH is “a small place, but for the service options available in Liberia, it is a big place.”

During last year’s discussion at the Summit the Ganta Hospital focus group established goals of finalizing the new hospital plan and budget composed of a business plan, a sustainability plan along with planned continuous operations during hospital construction period. A project manager was to be hired financed by UMCOR. Fundraising with a total of 5.1 million dollars through three phases. A fundraising manager was planned to be hired for both Liberia and the US.

Achievements of 2013
The employment of Donald Kokeh as project manager of Ganta Hospital.
The business plan and budget were developed and a core team convened in Ganta September 18-19, 2013.

The core team recommended setting up an organizational structure to assist in the construction project.

  • Construction Coordinating Department
  • Building Committee as a subcommittee of Governance Committee
  • Bidding Committee

Strategic plan
A new strategic plan has arisen from the core team meeting:

  • refurbish the existing hospital
  • support for Department of Health to acquire personnel to handle technical issues and coordinate partnerships
  • pursue public/private partnerships with Government of Liberia
  • modernize existing facilities
  • create and environment to address middle class and expatriate expectations
  • utilize facility at airfield by the Winifred J. Harley School of Health Sciences for training allied health workers.

Brother Rudolph Merab spoke directly to the commitment of Illinois Great Rivers Conference in supporting the construction efforts of GUMH. Thanking the faithful efforts of the IGRC, Brother Merab explained the shift in plans for the hospital as a realization of the realities of fund-raising and government support.

The emphasis is really the continuation of service to the people of the area. The ministries of the church in the nation of Guinea is a direct result of the ministries of the Ganta Hospital. “What has happened in spreading the Good News of Jesus in this part of West Africa is a reflection of the United Methodist Church and her commitment to ministry.”

Emmanuel Bailey, president of United Methodist University of Liberia spoke and asked the attendees to assist the church in providing needed facilities.The facility at the hospital right now will be used for allied health. Ganta UMH is now and will continue to be a teaching hospital. The Associate of Science degree in Nursing has 150 current students with a waiting list of 450. Additional ongoing training needing space is: dental technician school and midwifery training. These three of the expanded training program of UMU are examples of facility expansion needs.

Shannon Trilli, Director of Global Health Initiatives of UMCOR spoke to the group and frankly stated, “The first design didn’t work. We say openly that it didn’t work, we come here and say that publicly.” The second hospital is beyond the funding capacity of the LAC and partners. This is a very open and supported process compared to many hospital development plans across the world

Bishop Innis stated that all we are doing with the hospital is “to the Glory of God.” The good hearts of the IGRC partners are fully appreciated and honored. All we are trying to do here is be good servants of the Living Christ. We apologize to our partners and friends as we simply seek to be faithful stewards of the Great Commission. We are very sorry if we have let any one down. We thank you for all you have done. Now, we will move forward in the name of Jesus Christ. We support education and the health of our people and health education. These are central to our United Methodist ministries and who we are as the people called Methodist.

“This is a good family meeting,” is Bishop Innis’ final statement reflecting on the discussion of the change in plans.



Bishop Innis addresses the Liberia Summit

Bishop Innis addresses the Liberia Summit gathering at Main Street UMC in Alton Illinois on November 21, 2013. Bishop Innis opened his remarks with the customary phrase, “God is good.” The gathering responded, “All the time.” This began the bishop’s remarks  reminding the gathering that we are examples of the goodness of God.

Main Street United Methodist Church hosts the Summit for the second time.

Bishop Innis thanked the congregation and church for their hospitality and openness to share their church with attendees from around the UM connection. This church is blessed by the spirit of generosity and helpfulness. Thank you.

Bishop Innis speaks on Philippians 2:1-5

As Christians we are called to follow the example of Christ. The people called United Methodist  are known for their love and being imitators of Christ.

“Do good in Christ’s name. There is no excuse or any reason for not sharing in his name.” Bishop Innis speaks a thank you to those gathered for their expression of love and support for the nation of Liberia and the Church of Liberia. “You are the embodiment of ‘Doing good in Jesus’ name'” Bishop Innis told the group. You have shared and shown that love by spending time in Liberia and for support of missions and ministries of the LAC.

“I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”  People in Liberia can now drink fresh clean water because the people and those represented by the attendees have provided resources for community wells.

“You love the people of Liberia, the churches of Liberia and the communities of Liberia,” Bishop Innis stated to the gathering as he began a listing of the projects and ministries supported by the UMC.

Bishop Keaton welcomes the Liberia Summit

“The church in mission is a sign of God’s presence in the world,” Bishop Keaton quoted from The Book of Discipline in his welcome remarks. “You gathered here are that sign. Thank you.”

Cabinet Gathers for Mid-year Meeting at Camphor Mission

The Cabinet of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church met at Camphor United Methodist Mission last week. The St. John River and Grand Bassa Districts served as the host. The meeting brought together all of the district superintendents representing the church within the fifteen political sub-divisions of Liberia. The UMC cabinet meeting is held twice every year to review plans made during the annual session in order to provide more useful insights for effective, transparent, accountable and productivity leadership in the churches of the conference which God has called the district superintendent to lead.

At this mid-year meeting accounts of activities in the respective districts were reported for the purpose of strategizing to ensure successful discipline making. As has always been the case the head of ministries and agencies of the conference were also invited to brief the cabinet on activities of their various ministries.

During the opening session, Bishop Innis commended all of the cabinet ministers from the depth of his heart for serving the Lord with enthusiasm in the midst of challenging circumstances. He urged them to use their gifts and talents for the effective leadership in the Liberia Annual Conference, supporting and upholding one another and remain faithful ministers of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Innis also called on the cabinet to take their calling seriously as servant-leaders, and go forward with the mission of Christ. He urged them not to fail because one day everyone will give an account to God. But while waiting for our accountability to God let us begin by holding each other accountable for the good of the church and our honest actions and efforts as leaders will lead people to a full knowledge and accepting of God.

LAC Cabinet gathers with Bishop Innis at Camphor Mission September 2013

LAC Cabinet gathers with Bishop Innis at Camphor Mission September 2013

Bishop Innis addresses the LAC Cabinet during Mid-year Meeting at Camphor Mission

Bishop Innis addresses the LAC Cabinet during Mid-year Meeting at Camphor Mission

Camphor Mission Welcomes the LAC Cabinet to the Mission for their mid-year meeting.

Camphor Mission Welcomes the LAC Cabinet to the Mission for their mid-year meeting.

LAC Cabinet with Bishop Innis at Camphor Mission

LAC Cabinet with Bishop Innis at Camphor Mission

Liberia Partners Summit Announced for November 2013

Liberia Partners Summit

November 21 and 22, 2013

Main Street United Methodist Church, Alton, Illinois

 July 17, 2013

 Greetings in Christ!

As one who has a heart for the people of Liberia and attended the 2012 Liberia Partners Summit, we look forward with the hope that you will join us again this fall for the 2013 Liberia Partners Summit.  This year’s follow up gathering will begin on Thursday, November 21 with lunch at Noon and conclude the afternoon of Friday, November 22.  The site of the Summit will again be at Main Street United Methodist Church, 1400 Main Street, Alton, Illinois, USA.

The purpose of the 2013 event is to follow up on last year’s Summit in which 66 persons from 14 US states, Germany, and Liberia met in Alton, Illinois.  We can look forward to updates on the renewed commitment to the building of the new hospital at Ganta, which was generated out of last year’s Summit, and hear about the networking that is taking place to bring partners together for joint trips and projects.

Online registration is now open on the Illinois Great Rivers Conference website and will close November 8, 2013.  Please register at  The registration fee of $85 may be paid on line.

If you are coming by air and do not know your flight arrangements at the time of your registration, please e-mail your arrangements to by November 8, 2013 to arrange airport pick up from Lambert Airport in St. Louis (STL).

Rooms are reserved at the Alton hotels listed below with the daily rate indicated. You must call and make your own room reservation before October 1, 2013.  After this date, the rates will increase and the block of rooms will be released.  Please identify the room as UNITED METHODIST LIBERIA SUMMIT.

618-433-9900     Best Western Plus Parkway Hotel, 1900 Homer Adams Pkwy, Alton, IL [$70 plus tax per night]

618-465-9999     Comfort Inn, 11 Crossroads Court, Alton, IL    [$70 plus tax per night]

Bishop John Innis, Liberia Area, and Bishop Jonathon Keaton, Illinois Area, both plan on being in attendance.  We also hope to be joined by representatives of the general church and key leaders from the Liberia Annual Conference.

Your participation in this gathering of partners with Liberia will help us better coordinate and maximize our mutual efforts in evangelization, education, health care, and economic opportunity in Liberia.

Please save these dates in your schedule and plan to be a part of this important follow up conversation, and please invite at least one additional person to come to the event with you.  By expanding the circle of participants, we can further enhance our mutual disciple making ministry and mission with our Liberian brothers and sisters.

Your servants in Christ,

The 2013 Liberia Partners Summit Organizing Team

Sandy Coolman, Indiana Conference
Jan Jones, Detroit Conference
Janis Shuster, Detroit Conference
Bunny Wolfe, Illinois Great Rivers Conference
J Keith Zimmerman, Illinois Great Rivers Conference

Missionaries and Friends Gather for Reunion

Eighteen friends of Liberia pictured in the Memorial Chapel at Lake Junaluska NC

Friends of Liberia Reunion at Memorial Chapel, Lake Junaluska, NC. Sunday July 14, 2013

Left to Right: Front Row: Sandy Coolman, Shirley Hickman, Mrs. Melvena Nagbe, Marian Kehleay Webba, Stella Boayue, Carolyn Kingsbury, Kitty Decker. Second Row L-R: Bob Coolman, Dr. Max Hickman, Dr. Bob Kingsbury, Dr. Wilfred Boayue, Sharon Nagbe, Dr. Max Hickman. Third Row L-R: Dr. Paul Getty, Rev. Evelin Epple, Rev. Dale Epple, Rev. Beth Crissman, Rev. Kelly Crissman.