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Jul 08, 2011

The Rev. Johannes George Celebrates 25th Anniversary as Priest

Johannes George
The Rev. Johannes George
Johannes Boots
George tries on boots given to him by the congregation.

The Rev. Johannes George, vicar of Christ the King, Alief, celebrated 25 years of ordained ministry June 29, 2011, with a worship service and reception at the church.


St. James’, Houston’s rector, the Rev. Victor Thomas, preached at the service, urging the diverse membership, who represent more than a dozen different countries, to unite to make their church a successful one.  


George was born in Sierra Leone and entered St. Kizitos Seminary at the age of 18. He attended St. Paul's Theological Seminary in Liberia and graduated with a B.A. in philosophy and later earned a bachelor of divinity from Urbanian University in Rome and is currently working on his PhD from Capella University.  George was ordained on June 29, 1986, and served the Diocese of Kenema and taught at St. Peters and Holy Ghost Secondary schools.


In the early years of his priesthood, George secured funds from the European Union to pay teachers and establish a community center when he became overwhelmed with the plight of teachers who had gone unpaid for months.  In 1991, he oversaw the relief and development program as the civil war wreaked havoc on the countryside.  He was arrested on several occasions while overseeing a feeding program for more than 400,000 refugees.


During those challenging times, George used a satellite phone to alert the BBC of a siege, scaring the attackers away. In 1998, his residence was attacked by heavily armed rebels, whereupon he sought refuge under the church’s altar.  George fled to the United States in 1998 and subsequently became vicar of Christ the King in 2005.  The challenges George faced throughout his ministry make him a very effective spiritual leader for a diverse congregation with many people who have had similar experiences in their own countries.


The Rev. Susan Kennard of St. Marks, Bay City; the Rev. Janie Kirt Morris of Emmanuel, the Rev. Roberta Knowles of Hope, and the Rev. Barbara Van Black of Trinity, Houston also participated in the special worship service.