Imminent split in Presbyterian Church
By Winston W. Parley
Split is imminent in Liberia’s historical Presbyterian Church where supporters of a suspended pastor threaten a breakaway and establishment of “The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Liberia.”
In an interview Tuesday, 3 January 2023, the suspended clergyman, Rev. C. Wellington Morgan told this paper that he is seeking his lawyer’s advice in demanding his benefits from the Presbyterian Church.
He said the other option could be to sue the Church for allegedly illegally kicking him out.
“As I speak to you right now, I am with one of my lawyers … I was illegally kicked out of the Church for no reason,” said Rev. Morgan.
“Yes, if it means going to court I will; but I need legal advice because I need the Church to pay all my benefits for the time I served and for illegally kicking me out,” said Rev. Morgan.
Some leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Monrovia who were interviewed have explained that the Board of Elders decided not to renew Rev. Morgan’s probation because he did not convince the Board that he run the Church properly.
The Board of Elders’ decision came after Rev. Morgan allegedly abandoned a three-day session of the Presbyterian Church in Yekepa last year to attend to some issues in Monrovia.
But Rev. Morgan and his supporters have denied this.
Morgan claimed that the leadership of the Church ransacked and cleared his office in his absence.
He contended that he was never acting, and he has documents to prove that he was employed by the Church.
He said he served the Church for nine years, first as associate pastor, and later, as senior pastor.
He claimed that he and the Church signed a contract, and he was fully employed as the senior pastor of the Church.
A supporter of Rev. Morgan, Stanley Solo, claimed that the Church’s decision was not in line with its constitution.
“Before a pastor is suspended for some reason, the issue must be grave, and you don’t just jump up from the first offense to suspend a pastor,” said Solo.
“Some said that that suspension was not necessary, it was not right. He should have been warned, he should have been written a letter…,” said Solo.
He argued that the pastor must go through counseling and made to write a letter of apology. He said for a second offense, the pastor can then be suspended.
For his part, Mr. Maurice Gayflor said they met in Yekepa last year for a three-day annual session.
But he said Rev. Morgan abandoned the Yekepa session and returned to Monrovia to attend to an alleged “urgent issue.”
He claimed that Rev. Morgan left all the Church leaders in Yekepa without giving any excuse.
“You know, it was a gross disrespect to those people so they decided to suspend him,” said Gayflor.
Following alleged multiple calls seeking his whereabouts, Gayflor claimed that Rev. Morgan later texted him (Gayflor) and stated that he had returned to Monrovia for an urgent issue.
“He was not sick, he only told me he had an issue in Monrovia, and that he had to attend to it,” said Gayflor.
Additionally, Gayflor said the local Church in Monrovia decided not to renew Rev. Morgan’s contract because he had allegedly made the leadership shame in Yekepa.
Gayflor alleged that Rev. Morgan was not the pastor proper for the Church, challenging him to provide a copy of the contract he signed with the Church if he has any.
He said Rev. Morgan did not convince the Board of Elders that he could run the Church properly while serving on probation.
He alleged that Rev. Morgan “was more of a social person than a spiritual person.”
According to Gayflor, out of 21 members of the Board of Elders of the Church, about three are against the decision not to renew Rev. Morgan’s contract.
Through an alleged voting process, Gayflor said an overwhelming majority of 17 members of the Board of Elders agreed not to renew Rev. Morgan’s probation.
In place of Rev. Morgan, he said the Church has selected Rev. Cornelia Green Wesley to be in charge while it searches for another pastor, or to even retain her.
Gayflor argued that Solo belongs to no auxiliary in the church and that Rev. Morgan is not a called pastor of the church, but he was only acting.
He said the Church is 190 years old, and it has no history of any congregation breaking away.
Wow!!!!! Presbyterian in the news. One day the actual story about this Annual Session in Yekepa will come to light. God does not like ugly
Thus headline is just a sensational one. I see this as no imminent split and just a suspension of one Pastor who has been reneging on his pastoral duties and poor maintenance of church properties entrusted to him.
If 17 out of 21 Elders voted to have him removed, doesn’t it speak poorly of the way he was running the church. For him to even be given a terms of reference and put on probation shows that it wasn’t a unanimous decision for him to be appointed as Pastor Proper after the demise of Rev. Sando Townsend.
Let’s see what good a lawsuit will do him.