The Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS) for the first time on Thursday, January 21, 2021, had an opening convocation and matriculation service for about 46 students for the 2020/2021 academic year and the official taking over of the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees at the institution.

According to the President of LBTS, Rev. Momolu A. Massaquoi (PhD), this is the first time the institution has embarked on the exercise of matriculating students in the seminary, noting that with a new culture, they are moving to a new direction.

Speaking during the matriculation service, the new Chairman of the board of trustees and Liberia’s Foreign Minister, H.E. Deacon Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. said he is very much pleased with utmost humility at this point and time to take over the mantle of authority as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of this great seminary.

“I accept this wholeheartedly to the glory and honor of God.  Let me be quick to point out that as we embark on this new role of ours as Chairman of the Board of Trustees …, we do so and will provide our leadership as the first among equal to use the core value which I created since 1978,” Ambassador Kemayah stated.

He took over as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from Dr. Aaron G. Marshall.

The Liberian Foreign Minister intoned that he crafted this core value which has guided him through his life, saying he named it “TEACH”, meaning Transparency, Equity, Accountability, Client and Hard Work.

The Foreign Minister indicates that this will be used as a tool for his duty and responsibility given him on the Board of Trustees.

Serving as keynote speaker, the Director for Quality, Assurance, National Commission on Higher Education, Rev. James Andrew Lablah shared with the students the (5c) for becoming successful during and after their studies.

Starting with competence, he said an individual can do work properly.

“It is the desire that you have to do all of your academic work accordingly, and doing it as it is required,” he said.

Rev. Lablah explained further that competence includes all the related knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes that form your work.

According to him, competence begins on the training ground, noting that it starts from the classroom and you can begin it here and right now.

“If you came with a mind to work hard, study hard and get the result that you deserve, then you are on the right track of becoming competent,” he continued.

He cautioned that a strong “B” or even stronger “C” is better than a weak “A,” speaking in reference to classroom performance.

However he said this is not meant to discourage students or make them think of settling for the least, but they must have a desire to justify their education by proving what they have learnt through hard work.

Touching on commitment, Rev. Lablah explained that it has to do with your willingness to give your time and energy to what you believe in.

“No whining about how hard it is. No worrying about what it looks like, or how others think about it. No laziness and no delays. Your level of commitment plays a key role in the process of creating a fulfilling career,” he added.

According to Rev. Lablah, you will become committed when your thoughts and emotions are pointing in the direction of your vision and ambition.

He said this requires hard work with time consciousness, noting that you don’t have to be punished for coming to class late or late for activity before you become committed.

Moving on the character, Rev. Lablah noted that this primarily refers to the assemblage of qualities that distinguish you from others.

He noted that it is the attributes and qualities you need as a student for your vocation to succeed in your pursuit of education and career.

Speaking of contact, he said this is the good relationship you establish and develop with a person or people that take you to another level of life.

“It will enable you to accomplish your dream. The good relationships you make, connections you establish and maintain have much to do with how you will succeed in and out of here,” said Rev. Lablah.

He stressed that contact is important and must be kept valuable, explaining that sometimes it becomes difficult for some competent people to succeed because they lack the appropriate contact.

“CONTACT with GOD” –Prov. 2:3: “So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man,” he concluded.