“Gov’t Officials Not Forced To Attend President’s Church” – Smith Toby Declares
Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby has refuted accounts emanating from the public that officials of government are obligated to attend the “Forky Klon Jlaleh Family Fellowship Church.”
The Church, which was dedicated recently by the Liberian leader George Manneh Weah, grew out of a fellowship that started at the home of the President’s family years ago when he (the president) most often took the initiative to administer the Word of God to his family prior to becoming president.
Several members of the Weah-led government, including top officials, gathered at the dedicatory ceremony on the eve of the New Year where President Weah delivered a sermon on the theme: “Life is a business; what you do with your life will make you profitable or unprofitable.”
Since the dedication, there have been speculations and rumors in the public sphere that the President has compelled members if his government to attend the church on a regular basis.
“There is no citation that obligates Government officials to attend the President’s fellowship,” Toby said in reaction to an inquiry from a local radio call-in program in Monrovia on Thursday.
Toby clarified that the church has its own membership as it is located in a populated community where most of the residents are members of the congregation.
Toby indicated that President Weah serves in the post of a “motivational speaker” at the Forky Klon Jlaleh Family Fellowship Church and “not a pastor” as is perceived or being speculated in the public.
He said the religious advisor to the President, Rev. M. Emmanuel Nimely, is the Pastor of the fellowship and has also been serving in that position of the President’s family fellowship for years.
“Before becoming president, people used to go to the president’s house every Friday and have fellowship. His grandmother, family and friends used to pray in the house; it was a fellowship from the bush to the garage and later on community members joined,” Toby explained.
According to him, the fellowship grew in numbers and the family home of the president could no longer hold the congregation, prompting them to find an ideal venue.