The president of Liberia will visit Columbia over the weekend as part of a worldwide meeting of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Liberian President Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be the guest of honor during a Monday ceremony to install Bishop David R. Daniels Jr. as the president of the Council of Bishops of the Global African Methodist Episcopal Church, the faith's governing body. While in Columbia, Sirleaf will meet with business executives, religious leaders and presidents of the state's universities and colleges. She also will attend a fundraiser for a children's school in Liberia. She and Daniels are close, and he is one of her political supporters in the West African nation.
Daniels, who is from Liberia, calls Columbia his second home. He earned degrees from Allen University and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and he has served as pastor at six AME churches in South Carolina. While Daniels and his wife, Irene M. Daniels, live in Liberia, they maintain a home in Columbia. Their three daughters attend Hammond School in Columbia.
Daniels said he insisted the ceremony and the bishops council meeting be in Columbia because he feels indebted to the community for its support over the years.
"We had to fight off all the politics," he said. "I was not going to take a meeting anywhere else."