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Presbyterians bid Ex-Moderator farewell

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The immediate past Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Liberia, the nation’s third oldest church, the late Reverend Sando E. Townsend has been laid to rest in his hometown in Vaizola, Bomi County following funeral rites over the weekend at the First Presbyterian Church in Monrovia.

Reverend Townsend died on September 3, 2020 at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center following a brief period of illness. He was also Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church-Monrovia, a position he held from 2009 up to his demise.

He also served as the last Religious Adviser to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf from November 2016 to January 2018.

Pastor Townsend was a graduate of the Gbarnga School of Theology now under the United Methodist University. Before then, in 1985, he acquired a diploma in Building Construction from the Arthur Barclay Technical Institute in Sinkor, Monrovia.

He became the 24th Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Liberia from 2008 to 2018 since the church was founded in Liberia in 1833. It was under Reverend Townsend’s stewardship as Pastor, the Church envisioned establishing a University and plans are being worked on.

In 1991, he was licensed Licentiate; and in 1994, ordained as Minister of the Gospel in the Presbyterian Church. Between 1994-2002, he served several Presbyterian Churches including, the Korean Mission Presbyterian Church in Congo Town; Trinity Presbyterian Church along the Duport Road which he founded in 1994 and the First Presbyterian Church in Careysburg.

While as Senior Pastor of the Careysburg’s Church, the late Townsend was elected as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Liberia -the third highest level position in the denomination -under Moderator Reverend Dr. Coker A.A. George, Sir.

Again, the late Townsend was elected to the second helm of the Church as Vice Moderator under Moderator S. Prince Porte; and later in 2009, he was overwhelmingly elected as the Stated Supply (Acting Pastor) of his home church, the First Presbyterian Church in Monrovia.

He was an ardent gospel singer who interspersed his sermons with hymns and songs that thrilled his congregations.

Reverend Townsend was born on December 4, 1961 in Vaizolon Town, Bomi County. Both his parents: Honorable E. Reginald Townsend and Hawa-Zoe QuaziahGballay predeceased him. Honorable Townsend was Liberia’s first Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and the pioneer who established the then Liberia Information Service which was later renamed the Ministry of Information and Cultural Affairs in 1972.

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