The Rt. Rev. J. Adolphus During, Senior Pastor and co-founder of the Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ and Chief of Protocol, Republic of Liberia, died at around 7 a.m. yesterday at the Aspen Medical Center in Sinkor, Monrovia. He was 72.
Ambassador During joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1974 as Deputy Chief of Protocol.
He received his basic diplomatic training at the Foreign Service Institute at the Department of State (now Foreign Ministry), where he earned a Certificate of Achievement. He then matriculated to the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands, where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Development in 1978.
In 1980 he was elevated to Chief of Protocol, R.L., with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He served in that capacity until June 1990 following the outbreak of the Liberian civil war.
The father of 12 children, J. Adolphus During was in 1998 joined in holy wedlock to Ms. Oretha Tonia Worrel, known to many as a devout and anointed woman of God.
When in July 1997 a constitutional government was democratically elected, the President-elect, Charles G. Taylor, invited Ambassador During to serve a second time as Chief of Protocol.
During his service in the Taylor regime, he served as the Chief Liaison between the government of Liberia and the Foreign Diplomatic Missions accredited to Liberia and traveled extensively throughout Africa, Asia, North and South America. He was received in audience by several world leaders, including the Heads of State of Algeria, Belgium, People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, South Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and the Vatican.
Prior to his transfer to the Foreign Ministry, Mr. During worked in the Internal Revenue Service as Junior Inspector, Senior Inspector, Director of Sales and Excise Tax and Assistant Commissioner of Internal Revenues for Income Tax.
Prior to co-founding the Soul Cleansing Clinic, J. Adolphus During was a Baptist, and once served as an executive member of the Board of Managers, Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Inc. He was elected Vice Chairman for Africa of the Men’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and attended several BWA congresses in Stockholm, Sweden (1975) and Toronto, Canada (1980).
Ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1979, Rev. During in January 1993 enrolled at the Universal Theological School of Ministry in Brooklyn, New York, an affiliate of the International Theological Seminary of California, where he took a Master’s in Theology, with a major in Christian Education. He was later awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Christian Education at the Shalom Bible College and Seminary in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.
After faithfully serving as a shepherd, steward, elder and watchman of the Soul Cleansing Clinic, Rev. Dr. During, in his 20th year of pastoral ministry, was consecrated Bishop on November 18, 2007 at the church’s headquarters in Chocolate City, Gardnersville, a suburb of Monrovia.
John Adolphus During was born in Monrovia on June 3, 1943 to the union of George and Wrotoe During.
J. Adolphus received his formal education in Liberia. A 1963 graduate of Ricks Institute in Virginia, Montserrado County, he later enrolled at the University of Liberia where he took the B.Sc degree in the Natural Sciences in 1968. He later traveled to the USA where he studied Tax Administration at the University of Southern California and received a diploma in Sales and Excise Tax Administration.
In recent years Bishop During started the Liberia Institute of Protocol and Etiquette to train Liberians on how to behave in public and in private. Many people from various professions, including judicial and military personnel, and budding diplomats, benefitted from this vital training.
During the Ebola crisis that hit Liberia in 2014, the Liberian Council of Churches, headed by Bishop Jonathan B.B. Hart, convened a series of prayer services every Friday at the nation’s oldest church edifice, the Old Providence Baptist Church on Broad Street, Monrovia, to pray that God would deliver the nation from the deadly virus.
Bishop During coordinated these prayer meetings; and thankfully, Liberia, though the hardest hit, became the first of the three affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) to defeat the virus.
Among many left to mourn Bishop During’s loss are his widow, the Rev. Mrs. Oretha Tonia During; daughters Bindu, Adelaide, Johnetta, Mauretta During, Mrs. E. Ameria During Sengbe; sons Wendell, C. Raphael, Sr., J. Rudolph, Jake S. During; many foster children; sisters Louise During and Mrs. Sorrow Dixon; daughters-in-law Mrs. Florence K. Parker During and Mrs. Katrina During; son-in-law Anthony K. Sengbe, Sr.; several grandchildren; and many other relatives.