A brief history

The following is an excerpt from a paper written by Dr. Abba Karnga, Bassa, Language of the People, pages 6-8.

The American Colonization Society in 1822 seized this country, formerly called the Grain Coast of West Africa, from its citizens. Thereafter, it was renamed Liberia, meaning Freedom. In 1847, Liberia was given to the freed Black Americans as their country in Africa, and they called themselves Americo-Liberians, while they called citizens of the defunct Grain Coast Native-Liberians.

The Native-Liberians being denied the citizenship of the new country, were also debarred from participation in all development programs of Liberia. These included:

  • Good education
  • Economic stability
  • Political involvement
  • Church leadership
  • Social relationships

Moreover, the Native people were relocated into the hinterland away from the “40-mile limit of Liberia.” Hence, an embargo was laid on all development programs to the hinterland population (98% of the country).

This embargo put on development for the Native population by the Liberian Government was lifted half way by President William V.S. Tubman in 1951. Thus, Western missionaries were permitted by the Government to extend elementary education beyond the 40-mile limit of Liberia. And in the late 1950s, a few Native children were taught by good-hearted missionaries. Although they were mentally young in their elementary education, they were chronologically old and experienced.

The half-way educated Native children joined with a few experienced and concerned indigenous church leaders to, by all means, find a way in which an institution could be established for a good education for themselves and their children. To this end, the Christian Education Foundation of Liberia (CEFL) was founded by them in 1968 with the purposes:

  • To strive for unity among Liberians, particularly among the indigenous people of Liberia.
  • To build and run institutions, including high schools, colleges, and vocational training centers.
  • To seek credibility for the indigenous churches and their leaders with missionary-planted churches in Liberia as well as with mainline churches in Liberia.
  • To develop and improve the quality of living conditions of the poor native people.
  • To encourage Christian Fellowship among Christian leaders and to form a Christian partnership with like Evangelical Churches and Missions.
  • To enhance and strengthen the theological education of the indigenous church leaders and teachers.
  • To develop the sense of ownership in the docile Christian leaders as well as among the tribal leaders.

Accordingly, the following institutions of learning became subsidiaries of the CEFL to help attain these purposes:

  • Liberia Christian College and High School
  • Christian Extension Ministries
  • Bassa Christian Radio