The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Church’s Bicentennial Anniversary Preparing For Providence Baptist

The Providence Baptist Church on Broad Street, commonly referred to as “The Cornerstone Of The Nation Since 1821” will next year at this same time be observing its 200th anniversary. Last Sunday, the church headed by Rev. Dr. Samuel Reeves, celebrated “199 years of Transformational Service and 15 years of Pastoral Leadership.”

Sunday’s celebration was graced by the presence of President George Manneh Weah, who used the occasion, turned to the clergy to use the “power of the pulpit” to quiet down the growing discontent among the general public, while his government focuses on the preservation of law and others.

In his anniversary message continued in the souvenir program, Rev. Reeves said, “It is again that time of the year when we pause to express our gratitude to all and praise God for the opportunities He’s given us to be vessels of His grace.
Thanks to all of you — our Deacons, Trustees, Finance Committee, Strategic Planners, Human Resource Developers, The Providence Foundation, Staff, and our faithful Volunteers for your partnership. My gratitude for all your help, encouragement and support that allowed and enabled us to accomplish all we did to get here in 2020.

We are again privileged with another opportunity to share the enthusiasms, the exhilarations, and the challenges of another year of building a church where lives are radically changed and disciples are intentionally made from Providence Hill to Amandu Town, from Bomi to Bo-Waterside, and from River-Gee to Addis Ababa, as we move forward with a greater sense of achievement and purpose.

As we continue to do ministry in an environment economically challenged, politically charged and spiritually competitive, we must, with God’s help, be courageous in our effort to use our gifts and abilities to exhibit self- sacrificing love and power God’s people. We are called-to live to our fullest so that together we as a church can continue to transform lives and renew communities as we build a church where lives are radically changed and disciples are intentionally made.

Aristotle wisely said that courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible. This is especially true in the execution of ministry here on Providence Hill. where good strategies take courage to implement. Our leadership team, both staff, and volunteers, deacons and trustees, have the courage to stand strong and be decisive, and have chosen a direction without fear of the blame that will come with the wrong course of action.

Again, as we look forward to a new year of new opportunities to change lives and renew communities, we must never forget that we are a part of the most dangerous institution on the face of the earth — The Local Church, the hope of the world. For her to work well and accomplish God’s purpose she must always be a purpose-driven, staff-run and pastor-led institution. The Church is worth giving our lives and resources to, because Jesus paid it all and all to Him we owe.

With great anticipation and faith in God, Providence, the Cornerstone of the Nation will celebrate its Bicentennial Anniversary in 2021. A national Homecoming celebration under the Theme “Bridge to Providence: the church that built a Nation”. I encourage all of us to get ready and keep the date set for a month long celebration and new opportunities for the growth and sustainability of the church and nation.

I challenge those who are only spectators to become active participants by identifying their gifts and using them for ministry purpose.
Thanks, Congratulations for 199 years of Transformational Service and God bless you all.”

Howbeit, this piece is not to do a news report about what transpired during Sunday’s service, but to point out something very important, as the church prepares for its bicentennial next year. As it is known, the church is a historic-making church as this was the place the Declaration of Independence was signed in the 1800’s. As such, as it prepares for this big celebration next year, I want it to consider making the old structure on Broad Street a historic site by turning it to a tourism center by creating the scene of signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In many of my articles whenever I returned from some countries I always focused on the need to develop our tourism programs in this country and one of the sites I always mentioned is the old Providence Baptist Church on Broad Street. Other areas I always mentioned are the Providence Island, where the freed slaves landed; Lake Pico In Grand Cape Mount County, Lake Shepard in Maryland County and Kpatawee Waterfall in Bong County.

My focus on these sites is because of what I saw in some of these countries where historic sites are used for tourism purposes. Particularly, when we visited the late Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Memphis, Tennessee, during the International Visitor’s Program in 1994, I was so impressed about how the place has been transformed into a tourism site. I am making reference to King’s Memorial because it is done in a way and manner as if this great man is still alive.

With the old Providence Baptist Church, a similar thing could be done to show the signers of the declaration of Independence in Liberia. We may not have the expertise; there are counties, especially our traditional friends, the United States of America, from what I saw could be of great help in such a project or undertaking.

Even though I have observed and continue to observe that we have not shown much interest in tourism in this country, this should not discourage us from doing something about those sites I mentioned. It may not be for its income, but to promote the history of this country.

Unquestionably, Liberia, being the oldest back independence country, should be in the position to show the world some of the country’s historic sites.

We should treat this issue the same way we treat our natural resources. It is often said that “Liberia is a country endowed with natural resources,” but we have egregiously failed to tap those resources for the benefit of the country and its people. This situation can be likened to what the late Bob Marley said that only a fool thirsts in the abundance of water.

Indeed, we are blessed with many historical events. It is time, as we prepare for the bicentennial anniversary of the Providence Baptist Church. This is my contribution for the pending celebration.

I Rest My Case.

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