Reverend Dr. Joseph Sedu Mans was born 95 years ago to Muslim parents. His father Mohamed Barrie, an accomplished Islamic scholar, had come from the then French Colony now known as the Republic of Guinea in the early 1900s to settle in Sierra Leone engaging in business.
The death of his father between 1933 and 1936 gave him an opportunity to attend formal schooling having made contact with Missionaries who saw great potentials in this young man. In 1943 he completed his Primary education.
Having shows signs of a call to the ministry, between 1943 and 1947 he entered the Gbendembu Wesleyan Theological Seminary where he obtained the Certificate of Theology.
|The Late Rev. Joseph Sedu Mans
He then between 1960 and 1964 pursued higher educational heights by entering Houghton College in New York, United States of America where he obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Religion.
The Reverend Dr. Joseph Sedu Mans contributed immensely to the education and lives of many Sierra Leoneans. Between 1944 and 1948 he was teacher and later Head Teacher of the Gbendembu Wesleyan Primary School. He was the founder and Primus-Principal of the Birch Memorial Secondary School Makeni, between 1968 and 1970.
Between 1948 and 1955 the Reverend Joseph Sedu Mans was full time Pastor at the Kamakwie Wesleyan Church during which time he also erected the structure of the Wesleyan church at Kamakwie.
Between 1955 and 1970 he was appointed a full time Pastor of the Makeni Wesleyan Church. It was during his leadership at Makeni that the present Rogbane Wesleyan Church building was erected and completed in 1972.
Over a span of many years, the Rev. Dr. Mans was invited to attend many conferences in Berlin, Ghana, Addis Ababa and Kenya to name a few. Impressed with his contribution, the World Council of Churches in 1971 made him one of the six man commission to assess the Council’s impact of their relief programme with Bangladesh refugees in Calcutta, India.
Between 1980 and 1995 he was still attending and contributing to conferences, seminars and workshops locally and internationally. These took him to Canada, Finland, Togo, Germany, England, Switzerland World Alliance in Jamaica and the Baptist World Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In all of these conferences the Rev. Dr. Mans exhibited the stature of a statesman.
The Rev. Dr. Mans was not only an internationally recognized leader in Christian ecumenical forum but also contributed equally at home. Between 1960 and 1969 he was the Vice President of the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone. He became chairman of the Bombali District Red Cross Society from 1965-1970 and Executive Secretary of the New Life for All Movement in Sierra Leone from 1970-1974. The Reverend Dr. Mans was founder of the Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone (EFSL) and served as its president from 1970-1982. The Rev. Dr. Joseph Sedu Mans served as a member of the Sierra Leone Bible College Board from 1978-1998.
Equally so in civil life, between 1956 and 1968 The Rev. Dr. Joseph Sedu Mans served as a member of the Makeni Town Council and the Bombali District Council.In 1966 he was commissioned by the then Minister of Education Dr. Sallia Jusu Sheriff to examine with other commissioners the status of the Local Education Authority (LEA) and make recommendations.
With a view to revive the Baptist church in Sierra Leone, the European having done extensive research identified Rev. Dr. Joseph Sedu Mans as the most suitable person to pioneer this enormous task which he graciously accepted in 1972 as Executive President.It is this organization that he developed into what is now known as the Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone.
Rev. Dr. Mans was also instrumental in the negotiation that led to the establishment and development of the Lunsar Baptist Eye Hospital. Still in his quest to assist humanity, Rev. Dr. Mans was involved together with his wife in the construction of the Freetown Youth Centre.
The insignia of member of the order of the Rokel (M.R.) from his Excellency the President Dr. Siaka P. Stevens was awarded to Rev. Dr. Mans in recognition of the tremendous development he brought to the country and philanthropic service generally.
In recognition of his literary works in theology and profound contributions in international for a the Rev. Dr. Mans was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Theology, Honoris Causa on the 29th of November, 1998.
The affable nature of Rev. Dr. Mans and obliging disposition won him a beautiful lady, the quintessence of dust in the person of the late Susan Sadi Hassanyeh, R.I.P. whom he married in 1947. This union has being blessed with three children: Joseph Sedu Mans, Jr, Rev. Mrs. Linda Isatu Koroma, and Elizabeth Naaba Mans. As a lover of children Pa Mans brought up and educated many children and adopted four: Mrs. Isatu Jabati, Mrs. Rosaline Bockarie, Ismael B. Kamara, and Mrs. Mabel Manga.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.