Bishop Leo M. Simpson, Diocesan and Resident Bishop of the Liberian West African Council (LWAC), 35th Episcopal District, of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW), Incorporated, has warned pastors and evangelists of the Church to evangelize and win more souls for Jesus Christ.

Bishop Simpson has given a 1-year ultimatum, the Church’s next convention (86th National Convention), at which any pastor or evangelist who does not perform will drop from his or her position. “PAW is dying because of you,” he told the preachers.

The Diocesan gave the ultimatum on Sunday, February 10, 2013, when he delivered the closing sermon of the Church’s 85th National Convention in Gbarnga, Bong County. The Convention was held from Monday, February 4 to Sunday, February 10, 2013, at the Mother Esther B. Slewion Memorial Pentecostal/PAW Church, in Plum Valley, in Gbarnga, bringing together about one hundred and thirty (130) delegates from PAW’s churches and preaching points across Liberia. The convention was held under the theme: “More of Jesus and less of me,” with text: John 3:30.

The Gbarnga’s convention marked the PAW 85th year in Liberia. It was against this background that Bishop Simpson lined up the preachers before the congregation and told them it was disheartening for the Church to be present in only six (6) of the country’s fifteen (15) counties, whose flags were hoisted at the event. They include: Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Grand Gedeh and Bong Counties.

“Even the Churches and preaching points we have are empty because of you,” he blamed the pastors and evangelists.

The Diocesan reminded the preachers that they were called by God and so they should wear the Christianity helmet to struggle in winning more souls for the Lord, as Jesus commanded His disciples.  He said: “If you are called by God, you have to produce.”

Some pastors and evangelists could not produce any delegate at the convention. Praises were given to the Bethesda Temple Apostolic Church/PAW, located in the Omega Tower area, which was established two years, for carrying more delegates to the Convention, as compared to the older churches. Bethesda is headed by Acting Pastor Moses Dakina.

Despite the situation, some members were also recognized for their tireless services to the PAW. Those who were recognized and honored by Bishop Simpson include: Evangelist Victoria Dweh, Acting Women President/LWAC/PAW and Elder Tobias Dweh, who chaired the Gbarnga’s event planning committee.

However, Bishop Simpson termed the Gbarnga’s event as the most successful convention of the PAW in Liberia.

In an interview with this paper following the occasion, the PAW’s Diocesan said though some pastors did not produce more delegates as expected, the occasion ended successfully. He said the event was well organized, informative and looking forward in terms of progress.

At the same time, delegates at the convention adopted a resolution, in which they reaffirmed to upholding Christian norms and practices.

According to the resolution, which was adopted on Friday, February 8, 2013, with the heading, “Diocesan’s 2013 Special Resolution,” and signed by Bishop Simpson, the PAW’s delegates vowed to uphold the precious Word of God.

Among other things, the resolution gives a 12-month ultimatum, as of the date of the resolution, to PAW’s unmarried members who are living together as husband and wife to get married or live apart and stop all types of sexual activities, pending marriage-leally and in the Lord.

Those who will violate, according to the resolution, shall be silenced indefinitely, “and should they continue in disobedience to the Word of God, said persons should be ex-communicated from the LWAC/PAW Inc.”

Any pastor who fails to support this mandate shall face corrective measures, the resolution indicates.

Unlike some conventions where elections are held, the PAW’s annual event is intended to review previous activities and formulate plans for the next year, aimed at strengthening the Church.

PAW held its 84th National Convention last year (2012) in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

Venue for the next convention was not disclosed at the Gbarnga’s event, as Bishop Simpson said it will be discussed by the Council Board. –Fredrick P. W. Gaye from Gbarnga