Elwood Dunn continues to enrich and admonish the Liberian Episcopal Church. His earlier history of the Church brought his readers through the birth and early years of planting the Church not only in Liberia’s coastal communities but also in the hinterland. The present volume assesses the difficult years following the deaths of Bishop Bravid Washington Harris and President William VS Tubman, men who laid the foundations for the Christian community and the nation in a rapidly modernizing Liberia. The book traces the lives and work of the Liberian Episcopal Church under the last foreign bishop Dillard Brown and his Liberian successors George Browne, Edward Neufville and the present incumbent Jonathon BB Hart.
Dunn does not mince words as he details the strengths and weaknesses of the Liberian church and its leaders during this critical time in post-colonial Africa. The book emphasizes the growth, or lack thereof, of the Christian body in coastal Liberia, in Liberia’s increasingly powerful indigenous areas, and in neighboring countries in the West African Provinces of the Anglican Communion. Instead of being what was long seen as a poor relation of the American Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Liberia has become a leading and independent witness to God’s work in Africa. Much work remains for the Episcopal Church of Liberia to shed the colonial heritage and pursue real leadership in Africa. Dunn’s book traces the history up to the present, and lays a foundation for the future work of Christians in Liberia.— John Gay, Professor Emeritus, Cuttington College and Divinity School/Cuttington UniversityDr. D. Elwood Dunn is the foremost historian on the Episcopal Church of Liberia (“ECL”). His commitment to this cause is unwavering. Dr. Dunn’s historical and analytical account, spanning the last forty years of the ECL, provides noteworthy prognosis of issues vital to the sustainability, growth, and future of the Church. Liberian Episcopalians are indebted to him for the extensive research and clear recount of events that helped to shape the Diocese of Liberia. — Ann Fredericks Cooper, D.Min. (Liberia’s Thanksgiving Day 2019)
This book, together with the prequel before it, adequately covers the full spectrum of ecclesiastical history of the Episcopal Church of Liberia from its humble beginning to the present. Dunn simplifies complex issues like spiritual schizophrenia among Liberian Episcopalians by craftily situating the Liberian Diocese within the broader political and cultural realities of Liberia on the one hand and the Province of West Africa on the other. The author succeeds in fairly apportioning to the three indigenous Bishops—Browne, Neufville and Hart—the space required to adequately address the accomplishments and challenges of their respective Episcopate.— C. William Allen, Episcopalian, Liberian Diplomat, and Academician; Offbeat
In his History of the Episcopal Church of Liberia Since 1980: A Sequel, Dr. Dunn brings to “a close this remarkable story of the Episcopal Church as embedded in Liberian society.” As with its precursor, A History of the Episcopal Church in Liberia, 1821-1980, he employs the rigors of academic research and writing to A Sequel, and provides strong analyses, well-reasoned findings and conclusions. The book is properly referenced and richly sourced. A Sequel meets the standard of an academic history textbook that is written for the non-academician in a clear and readable style, making it an engaging read.