Kiiton Press
KP

Moving to Atlanta





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INVITATION TO BE  A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL IN THE INTERIM
GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA--Accept or Reject?

After publishing my two books on UNICCO, at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, I was ready to go to Atlanta, Georgia in 1992 to live, but I received a call from Dr. Amos Sawyer and Dr. Joseph Guannu in 1991 inviting me to go to Banjul, the capital of Gambia, to join them to run the Interim Government of Liberia.  The Interim Government of Liberia was yet in exile and ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) was making all the logistical arrangements for Dr. Sawyer and his team to move to Monrovia to govern Liberia during the transitional time. President Doe has already been killed, but Charles Taylor was still trying to come to Monrovia and take power.  

The invitation was extended to me and to Hon. Gabriel Farngalo, former first Superintendent of Nimba County. He was to serve as a political advisor and I was to serve as Chief of Information, Communication and Public Relations Director.  Hon. Farngalo and I, from different places, arrived in Guinea at the same time, and we boarded the same flight to Banjul.  When we got to Banjul, we learned that the Interim Government had moved to Freetown, Sierra Leone.  We remained in Banjul for 3 days, and flew to Freetown to join President Amos Sawyer and his team of Interim Administrators.  When we arrived, we received an exceedingly joyous welcome.

I had a team of journalists comprising of the late Tom Kamara and other well qualified Liberian journalists.  We put together some of the flyers on Taylor I brought from the US for mass distribution in Liberia to be dropped by airplane.   We had at least one strategy session.  

After two weeks in Freetown, I expressed my dissatisfaction with the
make-up of the Interim Government.  I felt that there were too many past government officials there who had ugly  and unhealed "political sores
and scars."  Some of them were already noted as corrupt individuals  that Liberians resented because of their past dealings with people in the country
and their close association with previous  corrupt regimes.  I expressed my dissatisfaction with the situation I saw.   I felt that the Interim Government
should comprise of new blood, people who did not have association with past regimes and who were people of new talents,  new visions and broad
perspectives on what good governance was all about.


That was not what Dr. Sawyer thought the composition of his government should be.  He wanted a rainbow coalation, comprising of old experienced veterans, and new blood, and ethnic diversed community who will add a rainbow color to the operation.

He wanted a government of broad participation comprising of old and new faces.
I agreed, but I still felt that while it was good to have a rainbow coalition, the old
political veterans who were already associated with corrupt past governments will damage the image of the new Interim Government. The Interim Government will be tinted with the ugly images of these old veterans that our people will not be able to separate the forest from the tree.  Our people will not know the
difference because they will be seeing the same faces they have identified with dishonesty, corruption and human rights abuse.  Dr. Sawyer did not see the issue that way.  So I decided to return to Hamilton College and continue my college, university, and seminary teaching in America.  I did not want to be a part of that.


          My Teaching and Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia

When I returned to Hamilton College, I had only a few months to move.  
I went to Atlanta and purchased a home in Stone Mountain out of my
 Teaching Retirement Fund.  I also bought several publishing equipment,
new and used and secured a building on Covington HWY as my Publishing  House.  To my surprise, one of my former professors at the seminary,
Dr. Ndugu T'ofori-Atta,  had already negotiated for me to serve as an adjunct professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) where I earned my Masters degree in  Divinity (M. Div) in 1974. He had also planned for
me to be his Associate Pastor in Winder, Georgia, where he was pastoring an AME-Zion Church. When the news got around that I was going to be teaching at ITC, the Director of the Theological Education By Extension offered me a week- end job to be the Coordinator of the Theological Extension School in Winder, Georgia and Gainesville, Georgia.
  
The reasons for all these showers of blessings were due in part to the information
they had that when I was in Liberia, I carried out an Adult literacy program
in Ganta, teaching market women and other adults to be able to read and
at least write their names and figure out simple arithmatic of adding, 
subtracting, dividing and multiplying. Furthermore, they heard that I
headed a theological institution in Gbarnga and worked with children
and adults around Nimba County.  Those are some of the reasons why the
school was happy to have me.  Moreover, I was also a graduate of the school. 

 I gladly accepted these offers. Dr. T'ofori-Atta had other plans under his
sleves for me.  He wanted me to open my publishing house so that I can publish most of his manuscripts he has worked on for years.  That would open doors for me to publish other books for members of the ITC faculties.  I saw the economic insentive and went for it.  I considered those as real blessings to be counted
one by one.

At the Interdenominational Theological Center, I taught African Traditional Religions, the Mission of the Church, and Middle-eastern Religions (basically the History and Theology of Islam).
 

                    Below is one of my classes at ITC in African Traditional Religions.

ITC students having real fun in learning about African Traditional Religions
All these students are working on their Masters or Doctorate degrees in
Theology. I do not know what I said that got everyone laughing or smiling.
Many of these students in this class are studing for their Doctor of Ministry
degree (D. Min.) One student is studying for his (Th. D.)  Doctor of Theology.
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COURSE OF STUDY

Below this line,  are  my students of the Theological Education by Extension in

Gainesville, Georgia.  Like all the other places in Georgia or other states in the United States where ITC is operating the Extension program, the course of
study comprises the following:  New Testament, Pastoral Care, Church Administration,  Church History, Christian Education, Theology or 
Doctrine, Old Testament (The Hebrew Bible), Preaching, Ethics, Church and Community, Evangelism & Preaching on Special Occasions, and Denominational 
Church Polity.  After these courses, then there is Graduation.  The graduation
takes place at ITC campus in Atlanta, Georgia where all the Regular students
and Extension students graduate together and receive their degrees,
diplomas and certificates.  As a Coordinator and Instructor, I taught
all these courses.  Completion of studies takes 2 years of intensive work.
_________________________________________________________________________

          These other students  below are not working on degree program.  
          They get Certificates and Diploma in theology.  This is an Adult
               Theological Education by Extension in Gaineville, Georgia

      
These are  my students of the Theological Education by Extension in
Gainesville, Georgia in 1998.  The little boy on the first roll is not a
student of this class.  His mother brought him with her. I am the 4th
person on the right squatting, wearing a white shirt, and tie.
From left to right:  (back roll) Marilyn Sharpley, Fredddie Webb,
Laura Whechel, Mattie McCrary Dorothy Rucker and Lemuel Billingsley.
(front roll) Adult in Blue, Randell Robinson, Carree Bailey,
 Nya Kwiawon Taryor 

Miss Kathi Ellis was a member of
the Gainesville class above, but she was absent on the day of the picture.


                   Students in Winder, Georgia, White oaks Baptist Church,
                           Studying for Certificate in Adults Theological Education
        From left to right:  front roll:  Marvin Ross, Valencia Lyn Berry, and
                                                    Rev. Alfred Hazel
                       From left to right, back roll:  Nya Kwiawon Taryor,
                                     Rev. John W. Teasley and Rev. Edwin Price.

   
Graduation day for Students in the Theological Education by Extension
Program in Winder, Georgia  Class of 1977-1978, Dr. Ndugu T'ofori-atta
in the center at the back and Dr. Marvin L. Morgan, Program Director 
on the left with the Doctorate robe and the red hood.

Same class above with Dr. Nya Kwiawon Taryor, their Instructor and Program
Coordinator in Winder, Georgia and Gainesville, Georgia.

All the classes combined on Certificate night in White Oaks Baptist Church. The
Classes combined are from Gainesville and Winder. White Oaks Baptist Church
Winder AME Zion Church, Rucker Center and Austin Chapel.  Those in the 
Theological Education by Extension by ITC and other students in my
Tutoral Adult Theological Eduation classes--all combined to receive their
Certificates. 1999.. 

Guinea Mandingo Music















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