Our History

Episcopal Church of Liberia is derived from the Episcopal Church of the United States.


                             

As the Episcopal Church of the United States has its beginnings in the Church of England, so the Episcopal Church of Liberia is derived from the Episcopal Church of the United States. 

1821

DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN MISSIONARY SOCIETY (DFMS)

The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) of the American church initiated missionary work in Liberia when pioneering Episcopal clergymen, the Rev. Joseph R. Andrus and the Rev. Ephraim Bacon set foot on Liberian soil in 1821 with the first black colonists from the United States. Thirteen years later, lay leaders, James Madison Thompson and his wife, Elizabeth Mars Thompson were appointed as teachers “under patronage and direction of the Episcopal Missionary Board.”

1836

VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (VTS)

The first “official missionaries”, however, did not arrive until 1836 and 1837. Recruited from the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), the Rev. Dr. Thomas Savage, a physician, was the first to arrive in “Maryland in Africa” or Cape Palmas in 1836 with a mission charter. The Rev. John Payne and the Rev. Launcelot B. Minor followed a year later. Payne eventually became the first Missionary Bishop in 1851.

1847

EXPANSION INTO LIBERIA

When Liberia became an independent state in 1847, the Missionary District of the church began expansion to the new nation (from its Cape Palmas base).

1884

FIRST LIBERIAN MISSIONARY BISHOP

In 1884, Samuel David Ferguson was appointed the first Liberian Missionary Bishop of the Missionary District.. He served an outstanding ministry to his death in 1916.

1921

BISHOP T. MOMOLU GARDINER

Though the American church appointed its first Suffragan Bishop in the person of Bishop T. Momolu Gardiner in 1921, his authority was limited given the American bishops under whom he served. Growth of the church slowed.

1945

BISHOP B.W. HARRIS 

Bishop B.W. Harris arrived in the post-war era in 1945. He revived the church and set it on a new trajectory. Among clergy trained by Harris was George D. Browne. Browne succeeded Harris’ successor, Bishop Dillard Houston Brown.

1982

ANGLICAN CHURCH OF THE PROVINCE OF WEST AFRICA

George Browne’s ministry was reminiscent of Ferguson’s in terms of strides made by the church. Significantly, Liberia severed canonical ties with the American church in 1982, and joined the Anglican Church of the Province of West Africa. Browne died in his 23rd year as Bishop while Liberia was in the midst of a brutal civil war.

1984

BISHOP NEUFVILLE 

War circumstances so impacted the church that successor Bishop Neufville and incumbent Bishop Hart struggled mightily to keep the church alive. The church has since been in recovery mode.

SUCCESSION OF BISHOPS, 1851 TO PRESENT

•  John Payne, 1851 - 1871
•  Johann Gottlieb Auer, 1873 - 1874
•  Charles Clifton Penick, 1877 - 1883
•  Samuel David Ferguson, 1884 - 1916
•  Arthur Seldon Lloyd (interim), 1918-1919
•  Walter Henry Overs, 1919 - 1925
•  (Theophilus Momolu Fikah Gardiner-suffragan) 1921 - 1941
•  Robert Erskine Campbell, OHC, 1925 - 1936
•  Leopold Kroll 1936 - 1945
•  Bravid Washington Harris, 1945 - 1964
•  Dillard Houston Brown, Jr. 1964 - 1969
•  Charles Alfred Voegeli Iinterim), Dec. 1969 - Aug. 1970
•  George Daniel Browne, 1970 - 1993
•  (Edward Wea Neufville II – suffragan) 1984 - 1996
•  Joseph K. Dadson (interim-CPWA) -1993 - 1996
•  Edward Wea Neufville II, 1996 - 2007
•  Jonathan B.B. Hart, 2008 - PRESENT 

John Payne

Johann Gottlieb Auer

Charles Clifton Penick

Samuel David Ferguson

Arthur Seldon Lloyd (Interim)

Walter Henry Overs

Theophilus Momolu Fikah Gardiner-suffragan

Robert Erskine Campbell

Leopold Kroll 

Bravid Washington Harris

Dillard Houston Brown, Jr. 

Charles Alfred Voegeli (Interim)

George Daniel Browne

Edward W. Neufville

Jonathan B.B. Hart

Episcopal Church of Liberia

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CONTACT INFO

+231.88.651.6343
1000 Monrovia 10, Liberia
info@episcopalchurchliberia.org

WHO WE ARE