Editorial: The election of Baptist Preacher Rev. Dr. Samuel Reeves, a somersaulted Clergyman, as President of the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) alongside Rev. Sanjee Abioseh, a ranking member of the now splintered pressure group, Council of Patriots (CoP) as 2nd Vice President, respectively is not only embarrassing but seriously mindboggling. The LCC, once revered as the “conscience of the nation”, seems to have lost its steam.
The election of Dr. Reeves to head the LCC is being criticized across the Liberian society because he abandoned the flock that God had placed in his care, suspended the most sacred duty of preaching God’s word in 2017 and became running mate of former Presidential candidate Dr. Mills Jones on the ticket of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE).
However, after the poll, he somersaulted, picking up the Holy Bible and returning to the pulpit at the Provident Baptist Church on Broad Street in Monrovia, where he has been up to his election as President of the LCC.
It is this flip-flopping history of Dr. Reeves that has raised public apprehension, and rightly so, about his level-headedness in steering the affairs of the LCC, as the country goes to general and presidential elections in 2023.
Many Liberians are asking whether the LCC, under the presidency of Dr. Reeves, would raise an independent voice in future political issues and gain public trust without his past haunting him. Besides, can 2nd Vice President Rev. Abioseh take on government, while keeping one leg with the CoP?
Liberians would love to see a leadership for the LCC that holds no political ties whether in the past or present so that when it speaks on societal ills, it would do so with an open mind and a free conscience.
We long to see an LCC like the days of retired Methodist Bishop Dr. Alfred Flomo Kula, late Catholic Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis, and retired Episcopal Bishop George D. Brown, who were truly consciences of the nation.
They spoke to power without fear or favor and were always on the side of the greater good. Indeed, those days are gone, but we think there is a lot that the post-war LCC can learn from to make Liberia better.
Having an LCC president, who has tasted politics to speak on political issues without having his views questioned, is the most notable challenge awaiting Dr. Reeves’ leadership. He would always have to look over his shoulders before taking a stance on behalf of the entire body. But most importantly, it would be the messenger, not the message that would take the bullets.