Dorothy Macauley, Liberia Annual Conference
Prior to the 1990 Civil War in Liberia, I was a member of the Georgia Pattern United Methodist Church, where my mother served as a lay speaker. I usually followed her on first Sunday, where lot of activities occurred, and we shared fun with other young adults. When the war intensified in 1990, I was a newlywed with nowhere to go in the township of the New Georgia Community. I said to myself, “I will remain here. If I die, let me die.”
There was no food, even if there was money you couldn’t find food to purchase. God being God provided in the midst of the shortage, and one of the soldiers give us a few bags of rice. We started to barter—fish in exchange for rice—which enabled us to have soup of a kind.
During that time, I had a nervous breakdown; I couldn’t walk, I was dehydrated, and I lost my sight. The West Africa troops appeared, and I was escorted—in a wheelbarrow—along with my family, to a place called West Point. There we sought refuge in the home of my mother, who had a prayer room. Family members and some spiritual children were caring for me.
During this decision-making time, I engaged God and made a vow: “Lord, if you heal me I will serve you all the days of my life.” I committed myself to these words, and it seemed like a testing time, with interference from in-laws and lack of finances, but I stood strong through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. I resigned my job as a senior secretary of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation to go into ministry and attend seminary. Fortunately, the bishop of the Liberia Annual Conference sent an elder, the Rev. Dr. Anthony Dioh, and an evangelist, Sister Theodosia Wah, to open a Preaching Point in the community. I got totally involved with the work of the church.
The Church Council recommended me to the Charge Conference to be the first lay speaker, Church School Superintendent, Worship Chairperson, and later, Women President. Those were not easy times because preparation goes before performance. I joined the Evangelism Department in 1995 under the leadership of the Rev. Reginald Goodridge, director of Evangelism and Missions. Upon the completions of one hundred eight credit hours, I requested ordination. This was a difficult decision. I had a family and children to care for, but it is God that equips and make provisions (see Matt. 6:33).
Before the opening of Annual Conference in 1998, the Evangelism team led a crusade and a call to baptism. The Spirit of the Lord moved in the Sinoe District, and many with life-threatening diseases were healed, while some converted. I was called upon to give the invocation at the closing worship, and the Spirit moved, and I was given divine knowledge during the prayer. The words said were unknown to me. Then the administrative assistant asked me to give the opening invocation at Annual Conference. A similar thing occurred, and the bishop asked, “Who is that lady?” The delegates responded, “She is Sister Macaulay.” He said, “Let her go to the seminary.” And the respond was, “She is in the seminary.”
On Sunday, at the climax of the Conference, I was appointed as Associate Pastor to the A.P. Camphor Church in Clara town Monrovia, Liberia. In February 2002, I was ordained an elder in full connection and appointed District Superintendent to the Tappita District, under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Resident Bishop. This was a challenge, a cross-cultural environment where I had to adjust, walking twelve hours, along with my team, to host charge conferences; but God always goes ahead of us to prepare the difficult path, and I made it through.
I recruited about fifty-three pastors, constructed churches, and arranged for a rubber farm to sustain the church because there was no income for pastors, which broke my heart. Our farsighted bishop engaged with partners in the Michigan Annual Conference under the episcopal leadership of Bishop Linda Lee. My district partner was the Detroit West District. I was asked to tour the district in 2003, and tell our story; through that we began to receive salary support.
When my tenure as district superintendent ended in February 2008, I was appointed coordinator for the Liberia United Methodist Empowered Foundation (LUMEF) where I still serve. The Board of Directors has embarked on an investment plan for the self-sustainability of the church.
2019 – Unity in the Church
2018 – Claim Who We Are in Christ
2017 – Bodies, Oppression, and Gospel
2016 – Birthing a Worldwide Church
2015 – Clergywomen Lead Vital Congregations
2014 – Empowerment for All
2013 – What Next?
2012 – What Does the Lord Require of Us?
2011 – See, I am Doing a New Thing
2010 – Voicing Truth With Grace
PDF archive – 1987 to 2009
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WellSprings, A Journal of United Methodist Clergywomen, is published by the Division of Ordained Ministry, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Editor: HiRho Y. Park
Managing Editor: Barbara A. Dick
Editorial Circle: Patricia Bonilla, Neelley Hicks, Anita Phillips, Jacqui Rose-Tucker, Trudy Hawkins Stringer