The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Liberia has strongly reacted to recent corruption allegations published by this paper under the caption “Corruption Rocks SDA Church [Pt-1 &2].
In the NewDawn Newspaper’s February 21 and 22, 2013 publications, the paper reported that the Seventh Day Adventist Church has been seriously hit by corruption in both the Union and Conference leaderships.
The articles, which came in two parts, detailed the alleged malpractices of the Church leadership, including misappropriation of subsidy provided by government, illegal sale of Church properties, committing the institution to huge debt, and fraudulent elections, amongst others. But the Church in its reaction noted that because of the articles, it has received many inquiries.
It described the allegations as unfounded, noting that it is a calculated attempt of whoever might be behind it to undermine the wholesome relationship between the Church and the Government of the Republic of Liberia, as well as sow seeds of discord among its members.
The paper also reported that Pastor Rufus K. Freeman, President of the South West Liberia Conference, misappropriated Government subsidy and gave misinformation to cover up.
The Church explained that for the last three budget years, the Konola Mission, one of its many learning institutions across the country, specifically in Margibi County, has been a blissful recipient of Government educational subsidies.
According to the SDA Church, in the 2010/2011 budgetary period, the Mission received US$30,000; in 2011/2012, US$30,000, and in 2012/2013, US$54,000 was allocated, of which only US$25,000 has been received.
According to the Church, the paper contradicted the President’s statement, when it claimed to have had documents in his possession that reveal that “the Konola Mission received US$60,000 from the Government during the fiscal year 2011/2012.”
The Church has challenged the NewDawn for the benefit of the reading public to make such documents public, as such statement does not only undermine Pastor Rufus K. Freeman’s integrity as a leader of God’s Church, but also the credibility of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which it has gained with the people and Government of Liberia over the years.
The NewDawn management has promised to publish documents in its possession, including the 2011/2012 budget that indicates that the Konola Mission received US$60.000 from the Government of Liberia.
This paper also reported that Pastor James M. Golay, President of the West Africa Union Mission, took an autonomous decision to sell the Church’s property situated in Congo Town adjacent the SOS Clinic without the knowledge of Church members.
But the Church clarified that at a duly called executive committee meeting, held on January 25, 2009, it was agreed and voted that the said property be sold to Elder Simeon Freeman for the amount of US$35,000 due to the swampy condition of the land, which would have made cost of carrying out any development there extremely high.