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The Elliptical Political Journey of Rev. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh      


I don’t know much about Rev. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., the vice-presidential candidate who is on the ticket of presidential candidate Mills Jones of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE).

I got to know a little about Rev. Reeves just recently after his protective brother, Joe Reeves, (a former die-hard supporter of presidential candidate Joseph Boakai (Unity Party), who has since jumped ship to join his brother’s elliptical vice presidential bid), inboxed me the ‘profile’ of his brother.

How can an individual who was once a dedicated, passionate, early supporter and defender of the presidential candidate of the ruling Unity Party – long before his relative was ever chosen to be on a ticket drop his candidate and any allegiance to the candidate for a relative’s campaign; is perhaps an issue I need to thoroughly look at in a future article.

If I ever should do a future piece on this issue, I will take a look at the lack of loyalty, commitment, betrayal, opportunism in (Liberian politics), and the family ties that served conveniently as a magnet that drew Joe Reeves to his brother’s camp in the 2017 Liberian legislative and presidential elections.

 For now, I want to focus on Rev. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr.

 According to his profile, Rev. Reeves is an “inspiring man with a hope-filled vision of faith, a powerful community leader, a theological scholar and a transformational pastor.” He is also “a family man who enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and extended family and friends.”

Those are warm and fascinating qualities about a man of God who wants to be the next vice president of Liberia – a “transformational pastor” who could be the next President of Liberia in his own right.

If those qualities about Rev. Reeves are true, they are worthy of our collective attention and adulation because of the compelling nature of his story, which shouldn’t be told only when he’s running for a political office totally and completely different from his ecclesiastical role at the holy pulpit.

I want to hear more of those stories, inspiring stories about Rev. Reeves and other Liberians whom I believe are good and decent God-fearing people residing in the Liberian orbit, whom we don’t often get to know or hear about (except for the legendary Togba-Nah Tipoteh), whose trademark decency and uncorrupt public life has riveted our collective imagination.

So where has Rev. Reeves been all these years when the Liberian people needed him?

 Again, according to his profile, Rev. Reeves “has been serving for the past 12 years,” and “has made Providence {Baptist Church} one of the most social and politically conscious churches in Liberia.”

Rev. Reeves has made Providence one of the most “social and politically conscious churches in Liberia?”

“Politically conscious?”

Really? When?

Rev. Reeves was politically conscious during his 12 years at Providence Baptist Church during the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration?

On the issue of social consciousness, Rev. Reeves’ LEAD (Liberian Entrepreneurial and Asset Development, Inc), according to his profile “established strategic plans of extending his vision of Christian Education to other regions of Liberia,” which has offices in seven counties.

Rev. Reeves’ profile mentions that he is in the “process of building a homeless second-chances model center for Ebola orphans, with vision of senior house complexes. Rev. Reeves “has built the DeVos Village, comprising of Medical Center, a high school, an IT Center, a water company, a farm, and housing units, located in Bo-Waterside region.”

Are these facilities in Bo, Sierra Leone or Liberia? If yes, why Sierra Leone and not in Liberia?

Truth is I follow Liberian politics a whole lot and I never heard anything about Rev. Reeves’ “politically conscious” activities in Liberian during the Sirleaf administration, or in any administration.

 With a profile as rich in everything positive about Rev. Reeves circulating everywhere, I would think his profiler would include and specify the Rev’s “politically conscious” activities in a country (Liberia), and a government that experienced over the years slews of political killings, rampant corruption, abject poverty, hunger, underdevelopment, high unemployment, nepotism, armed robberies and a whole lot of other criminal activities, in the nearly 12 years of the Sirleaf administration.

History tells us that the Liberian people are not too kind to preachers-turned politicians, and are not kind either to a quasi-theocratic republic as it was superficially during the Tubman-Tolbert autocratic regime and the Tolbert-Warner-Greene period.

Can the Liberian people handle another preacher as vice president or president?
Do you all remember what happened in 1980 and after? Is he ready for the incoming political storms? Can Rev. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr. handle the heat in the political kitchen?

Providence Baptist Church has a history of political consciousness when Rev. E. Toimu A. Reeves pastored the church in the 1970s, during the Tolbert administration.

I know because I listened to Radio Station ELBC that year, (I believe) 1978, when Rev. E. Toimu A. Reeves boldly tote the moral bullhorn to the pulpit and spoke passionately to the conscience of an anxious nation when he challenged President (Rev.) William R. Tolbert, Jr’s. cruel attempt to make what was known as the “age of consent” law legal in Liberia.

The so-called ‘age of consent’ law was meant for 13-year old girls (kids) to legally have sex with grown men.

Had the age of consent law passed, it would have made it legal for grown adult men to molest, rape, ‘marry’ and have sexual intercourse with 13-year-old young girls.

It is one thing to be socially-conscious like Rev. Samuel B. Reeves profile says. It is also spiritually and morally unconscionable for men and women of God to sit by idly and see the children of God suffer at the hands of an uncaring government.

What would Jesus say or do?

I guess Jesus will say, ‘your people are suffering. Speak out like Rev. E. Toimu A. Reeves once did when he rallied the consciousness of a nation and stopped a bad law.”

Category: Editorial, News Headlines

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