Liberia Partnership

The Detroit Annual Conference has a longstanding and deep relationship with the United Methodist Church in Liberia. This relationship was formalized as a “Covenant Partnership” during the 1990s, the darkest period of Liberia’s civil wars. Leaders of both Conferences promised to always remember and support each other with prayers, gifts, and sustained conversation.

In order to put this covenant into practice, each District in the Detroit Annual Conference was assigned Partner Districts from the Liberia Annual Conference. We in the Ann Arbor District are blessed to have been given the people of Grand Bassa District, St. John River District, and Rivercess District as our covenantal friends and colleagues in Christ.

The best way to stay informed about the Liberia Partnership is to get yourself on the email distribution list of the Ann Arbor District Liberia Task Force. Please do so by sending an email to Edith Wiarda, member at Chelsea First UMC and Task Force Chair. You may call her at 734-475-9121 (home) or 734-223-0316 (cell).

The Task Force consists of all with a sincere interest in Liberia. Meetings are open to all.

News and Announcments

News from missionary Mary Zigbou - New
Update from Edith Wiarda - Latest News from Liberia - New

Our Mission Field – Grand Bassa, St John River, and Rivercess Districts

Liberia Map

Location and History

Both Grand Bassa District and St. John River District are located in Grand Bassa County, Liberia. This is a coastal county with the city of Buchanan as its county seat. Buchanan is on the Atlantic, about 60 miles (as the crow flies) and a 2-3 hour drive southeast of the capital, Monrovia. Traditionally, Grand Bassa District churches worshipped in English, the language of the Americo-Liberians (former slaves from the U.S.) who founded the nation’s political institutions. St. John River District churches worshipped in Bassa, the native language of the region. Today these language boundaries are no longer fixed. But it is still the case that churches and schools from these two districts are sometimes located literally across the street from each other, yet are administratively separate. Both District Offices are located in Buchanan.

Rivercess District is located in Rivercess County, the next county further down the coast (southeast) from Buchanan. Its county seat, and the location of the District Office, is Cestos City. Cestos is a small town located at the mouth of the Cestos River. It is about 50 miles – a 3 hour drive – from Buchanan. No bridges cross the Cestos. The only form of transportation to churches “on the other side” is via canoe, and then by foot.

Liberia Team

From left to right: Edith Wiarda, Chair, Ann Arbor District Liberia Task Force; Rev. Jacob Nathan, DS for Rivercess District; Rev. Clarissa Robertson, DS for Grand Bassa District; Rev. Roosevelt Goah, DS for St. John River District; Ms. Helen Roberts-Evans, GBGM Missionary and Education Coordinator for the Liberia Annual Conference. Photographed January 2012 at the J.C. Early Elementary and Jr. High School, St. John River District, Buchanan.

Ann Arbor District Church & Liberian Church/District Partnerships

When the Ann Arbor District launched its Liberia Partnership, it was conceived as a set of congregation-to-congregation relationships. To get things rolling, each Ann Arbor District congregation was assigned one or two Liberia partner congregations. These initial assignments are the ones seen below.

As of the summer of 2012, we recognize that some remapping of these partnerships is called for. Our Monroe-area churches were not part of the Ann Arbor District at the time of the original assignments, so were not included. Several of the Liberia congregations have disbanded while other new ones have begun. Further, some Ann Arbor District churches have contributed to significant rebuilding and construction for their partners, and may feel called to a new partnership with a congregation that has not yet had any support.

A major upcoming effort of the Liberia Task Force will be to contact each Ann Arbor District congregation, to see if each wishes to become or remain in active partnership with a particular Liberia church. Being involved at the congregation-to-congregation level is certainly not a requirement for participating in the Liberia partnership.

Grand Bassa District

Grand Bassa DS

Rev. Clarissa Robertson, District Superintendent, Grand Bassa District.

The District contains 16 churches: 10 in Buchanan, and 6 in rural areas. The District also contains two UMC schools in rural areas, and Brumskine H.S. in Buchanan, which is very highly regarded. This District is highly impacted by major improvements being made to the road between Monrovia and Buchanan. Three church buildings (Harrisville, Mt. Zion and Fortsville) will be demolished to widen the road. These churches are working to relocate, and have secured land to do so. Also, Mt. Galilee in Buchanan must be relocated due to extreme problems with seashore erosion. Much of Buchanan has been lost to the sea in the past 20 years. The District’s most rural churches appear to be new congregations, and were never assigned an Ann Arbor partner.

No. Local Church Pastor (as of July 2012) Associates AA Partner
1 First UMC Rev M Barcon Borbor Rev Frederick Simbo Howell: First
2 Charles A White UMC Rev Aaron Davis   Commerce
3 Mount Zion UMC Rev Mth Lattie J Mah   Hardy
4 J. C. Bernard UMC Pastor Ahmadu Zwannah   Erie
5 Ada Ann Wright UMC Rev Julia G Garber   Dixboro
6 Harrisville UMC Pastor Evans Stevenson   Dundee
7 Fortsville UMC Rev Clarissa J Robertson   Fowlerville: First
8 Annie J. Kemp UMC Pastor Angeline Enders   Dexter
9 Thomas J. King UMC Rev Simon Peterson   Deerfield/Wellsville
10 Bethany UMC Pastor John Mensah   Denton
11 Marblee UMC Rev Janjay Combo    
12 Nahn's Town UMC Rev David Flomo    
13 Palapulue UMC Pastor James Taye    
14 Maniplain UMC Pastor Moses Doepah    
15 Manekuluta UMC Pastor Nathan Kerkula    
16 Gumpus UMC Pastor Ojuku Delekollie    
  Bexley Preaching Pt. NO LONGER LISTED   Clinton
  Kingsville Preaching Pt. NO LONGER LISTED   Hartland
  Paynesbury Preaching Pt. NO LONGER LISTED   Highland

Rivercess District

Rivercess DS

Rev. Jacob Nathan, District Superintendent, Rivercess District

Rivercess District is home to 18 congregations. The poverty and remoteness of the District is reflected in the fact that only 1 is currently constructed out of concrete block (as opposed to mud daub), and only 3 have a corrugated tin roof rather than thatch. The District contains two UM schools: Cestos Elementary and Junior High School in Cestos City, and a rural elementary school. The need for clean drinking water wells is pervasive.

No. Local Church Pastor (as of July 2012) Associates AA Partner
1 Z B Washington UMC TBA   Adrian: First
2 Zee-Watchman UMC Rev Aaron Gartumonjah Pastor Ezekiel Woryonwon Belleville: First
3 Bennie D Warner UMC Rev Julia B Williams Pastor Brown Jarwaray Chelsea: First
4 Samuel Juah UMC TBA   Canton Friendship
5 New Jerusalem UMC Rev David Johnson Pastor Wilson Woryonwon Chelsea: First
6 New Congregation UMC Rev Robert Karr   Ann Arbor: First
7 J G Thompson UMC Rev Smith Zarr Bro Harry Bloyougar Ann Arbor: Westside
8 Abraham Pailey UMC Bro Ben Nyentue   Azalia/London
9 Barblozohn UMC Pastor Moses Gaywhea   Ann Arbor: Calvary
10 Joe Sherman UMC Pastor Daniel Jarkar   Brighton: First
11 Draw UMC TBA   Ann Arbor: First
12 Samuel Ziah UMC Pastor John Doer   Brighton: First
13 Timbo UMC TBA   Britton: Grace
14 Mannah Beach UMC Pastor Arthur Vonyon   Canton: Cherry Hill
15 Sayquah UMC Rev James Glanyon   Blissfield: Emmanuel
16 Siahn UMC Rev Amos Wtobrone   Blissfield: First
17 Neezuhn P Point Bro Elijah Jones   Clayton/Rollin Center
18 N B Whitfield UMC Rev Sherman Wessah   Ann Arbor: Korean
  Yappa Town UMC NO LONGER LISTED   Canton: Cherry Hill

St. John River District


Rev. Roosevelt Goah, District Superintendent, St. John River District

While the District headquarters and some of its churches are located in Buchanan, most of the 42 congregations are in rural locations. As of February 2012, Rev. Goah lacked a vehicle other than his motor scooter, so his ability to visit his churches is severely limited. He has raised roughly $5000, which he estimates is about half of what he needs for a used 4WD pickup.

No. Local Church Pastor (as of July 2012) Associates AA Partner
1 James A. Garfield UMC Rev. J. Aquinas Kulah Pst. Paul Dahngbah Hudson: First
2 N. B. Whitfield UMC TBS Rev. Rebecca Z. Kaykah
Bro. Meshach Freeman
Ida/Samaria Grace
3 Mt. Galilee UMC Rev. George M. Mingle, Jr. Sis. Elizabeth H. Kordor Lambertville
4 Paye Manue UMC Rev. Sam S. P. Whornee   Manchester
5 E. R. Tubman UMC TBS Bro. Morris Zeon
Bro. Robert George
Plymouth: First
6 Isaac G. Padmore UMC Rev. Isaac Lewis Pst. Lucky Morris Lincoln Community
7 Walker Brumskine UMC Rev. J. Harris Wilson Rev. Meshach Giah Northville: First
8 Dingwall UMC Rev. John M. Barlinyou Pst. John Gbueh Northville: First
9 George Z. Dean UMC Pst. Joe G. Whea Pst. David Kraingar Plymouth: First
10 P. B. Innis UMC Rev. C. Augustus Barkon Pst. Joe W. Tarr North Lake
11 Gentro Yah UMC Rev. Anthony T. Dahn   Lulu
12 Gbehzohn UMC Rev. Sarwah Ceahzohn   Ypsilanti: St. Matthews
13 Wm. Roberts Mem. UMC Rev. Charlie Juludoe Rev. Emmett Cooper New Hudson
14 Moses Q. Wheh UMC Rev. Morris David Pst. Daniel Yarwon Salem Grove
15 Henry Deputy UMC Pst. Arthur G, Freeman Pst. James K. Ben Macon
16 Guahyah UMC Pst. James A. Davis Pst. David Zeopuegar Ypsilanti: First
17 Garjaye UMC Rev. Alfred Darklaim Pst. Arthur Whea LaSalle: Zion
18 Sammy Harland UMC Rev. Joseph W. Peters Pst. Joseph M. Kerkula Whitmore Lake: Wesley
19 Philip A. Roberts UMC Rev. Moses G. Rev. George Dehwreuh Tecumseh
20 Yeaway Camp UMC Pst. James K. Flomo Bro. Samuel Ben Pinckney: Arise
21 Joegbah UMC Rev. Solomon Karngar TBS Novi
22 William Teegbeh UMC Rev. Henry Dingwell Pst. Alfred G. Corporal Saline: First
23 Alfred W. Page Pst. Stanley Joe Pst. Daniel Joe Manchester: Sharon
24 Josiah F. Yancy UMC Rev. Zac D. Ericson Pst. Isaac T. Boyah Walled Lake
25 Yarwheh UMC Pst. Joe W. Barnie Pst. Solomon K. Davis Petersburg
26 New Sawtrol UMC Pst. Eric Walker Pst. J. George Jimmie Milford
27 Thomas G. Rainsbury Rev. Martha M. Davis Rev. Johnson K. Sayepue Stony Creek
28 New Congregation UMC Rev. Friday J. L. Duo Bro. Richard King LaSalle: Zion
29 Johnny White UMC Pst. Joseph Gongar Augustine Kiamue Milan: Marble Memorial
30 St. Andrew UMC Pst. Emmanuel S. Bloebargar II TBS Springville
31 LAC Comm. UMC Pst. Pilate Brown Pst. Richard Warner  
32 Zorr UMC Rev. Moses Whea Pst. Solomom Doedyu  
33 St. Mary Gospel UMC Pst. Rudolph Bryant Pst. Samuel Zordyu  
34 Baye Town UMC Rev. Solomon J. G. Wendyu Pst. Saturday Tarr  
35 Howard Mem. UMC Rev. George T. Y. Wredyu TBS Morenci
36 Zoegar Town UMC Rev. Solomon Weah Pst. Earnest Garsuah  
37 Bethlehem Temple UMC Pst. Garsuah Jimmie Pst. Stephen Paygar South Lyon: First
38 New Buchanan UMC Rev. Alexander Sumoson Bro. T. Mark Philips  
39 Garwor Town UMC Rev. S. Frederick Yekai TBS  
40 Paynesbury UMC Rev. Tarr G. Williams TBS Livingston Circuit
41 Zeogar Town UMC Rev. Jackson K. Zeo TBS  
42 Goehjey Town UMC Sis. Yarta Binda    
  Marblee UMC NO LONGER LISTED   Weston

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