He indicated that God has entrusted the church with natural, human, spiritual, and financial resources for the Conference to use, adding, we must continue to develop and improve the resources so that when we have to give an account to God, we will show how we have multiplied what we have.” Bishop Quire reiterated the need for the church to locate its properties especially those pledged by individuals when the Liberia United Methodist Empowerment Foundation (LUMEF) was launched in 2001 by Retired Bishop John Innis. “We will identify and assess all church properties and real estate with legal documents and those that require processing in every district of the United Methodist Church in Liberia,” he affirmed. LUMEF is a foundation intended to raise money for the support of the ministries of the church including the paying of pastors’ salaries.
Also in his first address to the nation on January 1, 2017, Bishop Quire called on all Liberians especially United Methodists to support President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, herself a United Methodist, in her quest to turn over power smoothly in the country. “Let our peaceful election at the West Africa Central Conference in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivore serve as a model for the national election in 2017,” he cautioned. Bishop Quire urged United Methodists to champion the cause of a peaceful church and nation. Speaking on the theme “A New Heart For A New Church” the new episcopal leader said United Methodists must learn to love each other and work for the common good of the church.
Bishop Quire challenged United Methodists to make the church a place fit for all to dwell, warning, “there will not be room for any divisive maneuvering in my leadership.”
Ending his four months of interim leadership retired Bishop Arthur Kulah challenged United Methodists to join ranks with Bishop Quire in serving the church with credibility, integrity, honesty, and faithfulness, adding, “we want him to be able to leave behind some positive legacies for others to build upon.” The veteran bishop who has been called out of retirement twice to preside over the leadership transitions in Nigeria and now Liberia said United Methodists must serve along with their new bishops so that more souls are won for Jesus Christ, so that the UMC is characterized by genuine love, unity, togetherness, holiness, righteousness, commitment and dedication.
At the induction of Bishop Quire, Bishop Kulah said God is looking for spiritual men and women who are biblically committed to work for the mission and vision of the church and nation. He reiterated Bishop Quire’s called for inclusive leadership when he said, no one leader is a leader. Bishop Kulah is now back into retirement where he is serving the Gbarnga School of Theology as Bishop in Residence.
Reporting and photography by E. Julu Swen for the LAC.