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Episcopal residence decommissioned for educational use in Liberia (UM News)

August 3, 2022

The United Methodist Church in Liberia recently decommissioned its episcopal residence and the entire property for use by the United Methodist University of Liberia’s Graduate School of Professional Studies.  

“After serving the church for 29 years,” Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., Liberia Episcopal Area, said, “this building is now decommissioned from being an episcopal residence to an educational facility of the Liberia Annual Conference, where the UMU will now operate its graduate school.” 

He indicated that decommissioning the building was The United Methodist Church’s way of helping the Liberian government to make education available to all Liberians, especially young people.

In an interview with United Methodist News, Retired Bishop Arthur F. Kulah said the building was purchased by the annual conference during the Liberia civil war in fulfilment of the conference decision. “The conference,” he said, “passed a resolution during the tenure of retired Bishop Bennie D. Warner not to rent any house for their bishop to live in.” 

Dr. Yar Donlah Gonway-Gono, UMU president, assured Bishop Quire that the facility would be developed with help from university partners to ensure that Liberians receive quality education. 

“You are all aware,” she said, “that The United Methodist Church in Liberia is noted for its persistent role in providing quality education for our people.” 

Gonway-Gono pointed out that the property was an added advantage in helping the university as it seeks to expand the graduate school beyond theological studies. “We are going to diversify our graduate studies program to include business, education and health sciences,” she added. 

The decommissioned episcopal residence is the second property that the Liberia Annual Conference has ceded to UMU since the arrival of Gonway-Gono. The building was the home of retired Bishops Arthur F. Kulah and John G. Innis. When Quire was elected bishop, he indicated that he would not move into the 29-year-old building, which needs extensive repairs. The building has not yet been renovated.