The Internal Province of West Africa (IPWA) celebrated the opening of its state-of-the-art resource centre in Mothaim, Sierra Leone. The $2.5 million facility, located in the Western Rural District, was dedicated during a well-attended thanksgiving and dedication service held on 12 November at the newly constructed Mount Zion Chapel, Training, and Retreat Centre.
The event was graced by prominent church figures, including His Graces and Bishops from IPWA’s dioceses in Liberia, Cameroon, Guinea, Gambia, Freetown, and Bo. Elected representatives, chiefs, and members of the Anglican Church and surrounding communities were also present.
Bishop Thomas Arnold Ikunika Wilson, the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Freetown and the episcopal secretary of IPWA, highlighted the challenges faced throughout the journey to bring the project to fruition. The construction was made possible through the generous support of the UK-based Christian charity organisation Relay Trust. Bishop Wilson emphasised the project’s significance and its commitment to furthering the work of God.
Douglas Ingram, a representative from Relay Trust, praised the Mount Zion Training Centre as the largest project the organisation has ever been involved in. Ingram reaffirmed his commitment to the partnership between Relay Trust and IPWA.
Amongst notable persons invited to perform the unveiling of the plaquettes was the Freetown Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, who stressed the importance of environmental preservation and urged the personnel at Mount Zion Training Centre to protect the surrounding area, as it is both a protected area and a water catchment for the Guma Valley Water Company. With its prominent hilltop location overlooking the peninsula, Mayor Aki-Sawyer cautioned against any potential encroachment or illegal activities that would undermine the protected area.
During the thanksgiving service, Shellac Davies, the CEO of Mount Zion Training Centre, expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to the successful completion of the project. Davies recognised individuals whose ongoing support is crucial to its smooth operation. The service concluded with a spiritual dedication of the hostels, chapel, and the entire facility.
Mount Zion Training Center is designed to be a spiritual learning environment, offering practical biblical training and short courses to clergies, lay preachers, and church workers. Its mission is to equip church leaders with the necessary skills to better serve their churches and communities in a profound and sustainable manner. The centre will also focus on church development, including revenue generation and spreading the Gospel of Christ, particularly in non-traditional areas.
The facility boasts modern amenities, including CCTV cameras, electric fencing, and full internet coverage provided by Orange. With well-furnished dormitories for men and women, staff quarters, a chapel, and two classrooms accommodating up to 30 people each, the complex has the capacity to host up to 131 participants.
In addition to its primary use for church activities and programs, the resource centre offers a multipurpose space available for rental to religious and secular organisations. However, rental to secular organisations is subject to approval based on the nature of the event or program. To maintain a conducive and respectful environment, smoking and alcohol are strictly prohibited on the premises.
Overall, the inauguration of the Mount Zion Training Centre marks an important milestone for IPWA in its commitment to promoting spiritual growth and facilitating the development of the church and the community at large.