1st Presbyterian Church Begins 189th Anniversary Celebrations

MONROVIA- The First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia has commenced activities in celebration of its 189th Anniversary as Liberia’s third oldest church after the Baptist and Methodist Churches.

While Liberia celebrates its 200th years of founding by freed slaves from the United States of America, Presbyterian Ministers were among those freed slaves who arrived in Monrovia near the Bushrod Island that led to the establishment of Liberia.

The Presbyterian Church was formally founded in 1833 – 11 years after the arrival of freed slaves and 14 years before Liberia declared its independence.

The church was the first denomination to establish a high school in Liberia – the Alexander High School where notable Liberians including E. Wilmot Bylden and Liberia’s eleventh President Hilary Richard Wright Johnson, were educated.

As part of the anniversary’s activities, the Presbyterian Church, on Sunday, February 13, held its Praise of Worship combined with a County Rally to appreciate the Lord’s guidance through the years and in recognition of Liberian unity through counties.

In solidarity with the Presbyterian Church, the Choir of the First United Methodist Church – the second oldest church and guests from other denominations participated in the colorful spiritually fulfilled praise and worship service.

“A musical talent show, beach jamboree, induction of a new pastor, thanksgiving service and revival are events lined up to commemorate this year’s celebrations from February to March”, said Elder Matilda Parker, Chairwoman of the Planning Committee.

Reverend C. Wellington Morgan, Sr, the Acting Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia, said the congregation remains thankful and appreciative of the Lord.

“Our church has come this far by faith and in service of the Lord. For this reason, we have chosen a theme for this year’s celebration: “Going Forward with Faith in God” with texts drawn from Philippians 3:13-14 Exodus 14:14-15”, Pastor Morgan said.

He continued, “This year’s celebration is important to the Church as Liberia celebrates 200 years of founding and this makes us reflect on the numerous contributions Presbyterian prelates made from the establishment to the declaration of independence”, he said.

“The Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians were named the Trinity of Church when Liberia declared its independence”, Pastor Morgan narrated.

Reverends Amos Herring and Ephraim Tilter were the two Presbyterians among the 11 signatories to the Declaration of Independence in Liberia. The two represented the Bassa Cove (now called Grand Bassa County); and because of that representation, two of the four stripes in the Grand Bassa flag represent their memories of participating in the signing of the Independence.

Daniel B. Warner, Liberia’s third President and composer of the Liberian National Anthem, was a presbyterian minister along with his Vice President, James M. Priest who also served as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church-Monrovia.

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