By S. U. Thoronka.
A cross-section of clergymen, educationists, diplomats, government functionaries and the public past Saturday converged at Leicester Peak opposite Javouhey House overlooking the capital city Freetown to witness the launching of the United Methodist Church University and the official opening of the Bishop Wenner School of Theology.
The dedication of the Bishop Wenner School of Theology according to official sources from the mission is the first step in actualizing the denomination’s dream of opening a university with four faculties including nursing, theology, development studies and agriculture. While other faculties would be integrated later on as they become ready, and at the same time furnishing and equipping of the newly constructed School of Nursing in Bo City is ongoing.
In his welcome address, Professor Thomas Yormah who cited the theme as “Moving Forward” maintained that it is one of the major characteristics of living things human beings inclusive. He went further to describe the various movements mentioned in Science in relation to human behavior, adding that the journey to establish the university was not in any way smooth, but that with the able leadership of the Resident Bishop and his support staff in the mission they were able to weather the climate.
The Chancellor of the university the Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church (UMC) in Sierra Leone Dr. John K. Yambasu in his opening remarks opined that the occasion was a milestone in the history of the mission, and that the vision to establish the university was borne out of his ten years tenure in office. He maintained that majority of young Africans live in abject poverty and illiteracy and are often misused and dumped by politicians.
Bishop Yambasu prayed for a peaceful election, stating that his major goal during his tenure was vision 2020 which saw the establishment of the university. He said most people were skeptical more especially in the area of funding for the implementation of what he referred to as an ambitious programme. He said the establishment of the UMC University was a dream comes true. According to Bishop Yambasu he decided to invest in education in a bid to encourage sustainable development and peace and at the same time discourage the rapid brain drain for greener pastures oversea.
Bishop Yambasu noted that highly educated people are better placed in society to undertake accurate research and proper interpretation of data and theories adding that he was moved by the alarming number of inadequate trained and qualified Sierra Leoneans.
He maintained that education in Sierra Leone is nothing to write home about hence the need for the establishment of the UMC University in Freetown and assured that branches would be establish in the provincial towns in the near future.
Bishop Yambasu climaxed the occasion by appointing Professor George Carew as Vice Chancellor and Dr. Yeabu Kamara Pro-Chancellor of the university.
Rev Dr. John K Yambasu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from Njala University, Sierra Leone, a Master of Theology in Christian Education from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta Georgia, USA; and a Doctor of Theology (D.TH) Honoris Causa, from the United Methodist University in Liberia.