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Thursday, June 20, 2024

ELEVATING THE AG BIBLE COLLEGE TO A UNIVERSITY: A MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENT

Date:

By Jacob N.B. Parley

After many years of successful preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Liberian soil, one of the long awaited dreams of the Assemblies of God Church Liberia is at the verge of bearing great and remarkable fruits.  The AG Church is considered as one of the best Pentecostal churches in the world when it comes to propagating the words of God through a spirit-filled approach.

Setting the discussions into motion, the author sees it quite expedient to take a vivid and chronological look at how news about the running of an Assemblies of God University in Liberia is spreading like a bush fire or being received.

The idea being discussed through this medium promises to be one of the best  decisions  in the existence of the AG Church, taking into consideration its effects on Liberia’s human resource development programs through the transfer of knowledge and job creation, among other factors.

The initiative will also play a pivotal role in diversifying programs at the then Assemblies of God Bible College situated in Brewerville,  especially  as the quest for modern academia in post war Liberia  is  receiving considerable volume of emphasis.

From a chronological perspective, the AG Church came to Liberia in 1908, while the Assemblies of God Church in the United States of America was established in 1915.  Working out the simple mathematics with accuracy, we are seven years older than our colleagues in the United States.  I also want to believe that the Assemblies of God Church in the US is making a lot of progress at many levels. However, since I was unable to gather the needed statistics up to the completion of this article, I sincerely beg to withhold the argument for now until my subsequent publication.

Meantime, the Federal Republic of Nigeria is blessed with one of the best faith-based higher institutions of learning.  It is called the Covenant University and it’s owned by Bishop David Oyedepo (Living Faith Church).

I am drawing in these lines because I strongly believe that Assemblies of God Church Liberia should by now be boosting about many of these tangibles, to include hospitals, conference halls, etc., which could be a form of giving back to church members through job creation.

However, there is a wise saying that says a journey of thousand miles begins with the first step. Bravo to our visionary leaders for the worthy undertaking.

As mentioned from the genesis of this opinion, the faces of Liberians at home and abroad, especially members of the Assemblies of God Church have been beaming with smiles following last month’s pronouncement by the leadership of AGL that a full-fledged first class Christian university to be known as the Assemblies of God University (AGU) would begin official operations in Liberia in September this year (2024).

The launching ceremony of the University at the fall of April 2024, witnessed several statements from leaders of the Assemblies of God Church Liberia, including AGL General Superintendent Rev.Dr.Abenda F. Tamba and the President of the Assemblies of God University, Rev.Dr.Jimmy B. Kuoh.

As it is often said that there is now easy way to success, I can deduce that the road leading to the realization of the dream has not been an easy one.  I strongly believe that reaching to this crucial stage of the process is based on several factors, with God’s divine intervention and direction being at the top.

No doubt, telling the story about this momentous development in the existence of the AGL may be incomplete without also counting the role of prayers, unity, determination and a team of visionary leaders of the church, current and past.

For two scores, the Assemblies of God Church in Liberia has demonstrated its forte and value in providing what it takes   as far as the issue of contemporary tertiary education is concerned.  Bearing such in mind, it was not therefore surprising to some of us when, in January 2020, the Church passed a unanimous resolution at Zion AG Church, Upper Caldwell to elevate the AG Bible College to university level.

Records available to the author show that the resolution received overwhelming endorsement, taking into account the participation of approximately 600 churches at the gathering. Unfortunately, the euphoria which followed the passage of the unanimous resolution declined when COVID-19 hit Liberia.

However, praise be to God that such an unexpected set back did not cause our visionary church leaders to sit back and allow this glorious opportunity   to be hijacked by the wind of uncertainty and subsequently eaten by the locusts.

 Keeping Faith And Fortitude Alive

As I was saying, when COVID-19 hit Liberia, the dream almost got scattered. However, leaders of the church kept faith and courage alive when a number of constructive steps were taken. Clearly, these constructive measures are paying off today. Among them is the setting up of a 17-member Organizing Committee on March 16, 2022, to strategize and work out the requisite modalities to operate a full-fledged faith-based   university.

I also recall a gathering of the laity of the Assemblies of God Church at Cavalry Temple AG Church in 2022, where the idea to set up  University was reinforced, with the leadership of the AGL admonishing each member of the Church to contribute one month of their monthly salaries.

At the laity meeting held at Calvary Temple AG, the General Superintendent of AGL, Rev. Dr. Abenda F. Tamba said: “This is not my project, but God’s. I met the plan on the table and we are trying to implement it because we believe in continuity,” he disclosed. In September 2022, a fund drive for the process was launched. The 17-member committee wasted no time, when on 29th March 2022, it developed a five-year work plan.  All of these efforts led to the AGU being accredited by the National Commission on Higher Education on 1st November, 2023.

 Diversification

As part of efforts to ensure diversification of programs at the AGU and to further expand its activities, two additional colleges have been added to the previously run College of Bible and Theology. They include business and liberal arts.

Again, the birth of the Assemblies of God University (AGU) in Liberia is a brilliant idea, taking into consideration the roles leaning institutions of this category play in modern societies (pioneers in teaching and learning), etc.

About the Author:

Jacob Parley,  a professional Liberian journalist  isreachable through:

 Contacts: +231777604576/886560455

Emails: jacobtheancestor@yahoo.com/jacobnbparley1@gmail.com

WhatSApp: +231881336137

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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