Liberia Mission Campaign

St. Luke’s has been invited to participate in school and church mission projects in Liberia, West Africa. 

We are collecting donations through Easter Sunday to support this work.


Reverend Samuel Sumo Payne is the pastor at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Lima, Ohio and a Chaplain at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s.  He was born in Liberia, West Africa in a village named New Town and attended the Gorlu Public School.  In 1987, a family in Nebraska brought him to the United States and provided him a home while he attended college.  He achieved a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and was ordained as a pastor in 1996 in the ELCA.  He has been the pastor at churches in the Midwest and received is Doctor of Divinity in 2014

Pastor Sam still has many family connections to Liberia.  His father, the late Rev. Roland J. Payne, was the first Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia.  In 2008, Pastor Sam traveled to Liberia for the funeral of his grandmother in the village of Gorlu where he attended the Gorlu Elementary School years back.

He was shocked by the condition he saw the churches and the school in.  “Everything was broken down and things looked very hopeless,” Pastor Sam says.  God spoke to his heart to come back and share the story with his American Lutheran friends to help bring life and hope to the people in the villages of Gorlu and New Town by helping renovate the schools and churches.

In the past three years, St. Matthews Lutheran Church Lima, Trinity Lutheran Church in Galion, Zion Lutheran Church in Lima and several friends of Pastor Sam have provided resources to renovate the schools and school supplies for the students and teachers.

This year, St. Lukes has been invited to join the other congregations to support this mission.  At our annual meeting, funds up to $1,000 were authorized to match the donations of our congregation.  Our campaign will run through Easter.  If you would like to give, indicate “Liberia Mission” in the memo of your check to St. Lukes.  After Easter, a check will be written to St. Matthews Mission Fund. 

The funds go directly to support the School and Church.  Sometimes they are used for supplies and food and other times they are used to hire contractors for the well drilling and roof work.  Pastor Sam’s nephew lives in the city of Monrovia, about 6 hours away.  He provides the photos and videos, as well as coordinating the purchases and contractors.

Map of Liberia
Gorlu preschool kids

Roof Project Completed

Water Pump Project Completed

New Projects

Currently, there are two projects going on in the Village of Gorlu. At the school, two buildings need to be painted. Also, concrete is needed to protect the foundation of the school from washing away during heavy rains. At the Esther Bacon Memorial Church in Gorlu, new doors are needed. Also, restoration of the floor and new floor tiles are needed inside the church.

School Project

Church Project

School Tour Video
Water Pump Dedication
Earlier Gifts from Churches
Earlier Gifts from Churches