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The Reverend Doctor James Tetegba Yarsiah is the current Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Voorhees College. He also serves as the Vicar/Pastor of the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Denmark, South Carolina. Prior to assuming the positions at Voorhees, he served as the Vicar of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, for seven years. For the past nine years, Fr. Yarsiah has served as Chairman of the Pastoral Care Committee of the Liberian Episcopal Community in the USA (LECUSA). He currently serves on the Regional Council at York Place, an Episcopal Home for Children, located in York, Upper South Carolina.

The Rev. Dr. Yarsiah has been an Episcopal Deacon and Priest since November 1996. He has served in several dioceses, including the Episcopal Church of Liberia, the Diocese of Cape Coast, Ghana, the Diocese of Tennessee, Nashville and currently serves in the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, based in Charleston. Father Yarsiah is a 2010 graduate, with the Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) degree from the School of Theology, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. Prior to this, he studied at the Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Cuttington University College, now, Cuttington University in Liberia. Prior to his full time ministry in the Episcopal Church of Liberia, James acquired a Certificate in Trauma Counseling/Conflict Resolution form the UNICEF/AME Zion Community College.

For five years, James worked as Trauma Counselor and Assistant Site Coordinator with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNIMIL) and the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs/Humanitarian Assistance Co-ordination Office (UNDHA-HACO). He worked specifically with ex-combatants of the Liberian Civil War and participated in the demobilization process in Liberia, from 1993-1995 and 1996-1997. He also worked with displaced women and children of the Liberian Civil War. During his tenure as Priest in the Episcopal Church of Liberia, Fr. Yarsiah served in several churches and academic institutions and held key positions, including but not limited to: Managing Director, The Episcopal Church Drums; Registrar and Instructor, Seth C. Edwards Theological Institute; Priest In Charge, St. Stephen Episcopal Church, Sinkor, Monrovia and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Harper, Maryland County; Chaplain/Religion Teacher, B. W. Harris Episcopal School; Assistant Priest, Trinity Cathedral, Broad Street, Monrovia; Chairman, Nominating Committee – The Episcopal Church of Liberia and Chairman, Commission On Ministry – The Episcopal Church of Liberia, among others.

The Rev. Dr. Yarsiah is the author of the book, “Early Missionary Work of the Protestant Episcopal Church (DFMS) in Liberia and Their Differential Effects 1821-1871” published in September 2010. This book has sold more than 350 copies and can be found at (Createspace: https://www.creatspace.com/3457483 and at Amazon/ Kindle: https://www.amazon.com).

In 2001, James and his family became the first clergy family from the Episcopal Church of Liberia to participate in a Sabbatical Priest Program, sponsored by the Christ Church Cathedral Parish in Nashville, Tennessee. At the end of this program, the Yarsiahs returned to Liberia. However, in July 2003, due to the escalation of fighting among rebel/government troops near Monrovia, the family fled Liberia and spent six months in exile in Ghana. Through the kind assistance of special friends at Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, Tennessee, the Yarsiah family returned to the USA.

In 2006, Fr. Yarsiah, his wife, Ophelia and the larger Christian community, embarked on a humanitarian mission, known as: “Global Outreach Ministry to Liberia.” In the past nine years, a total of eight freight containers, filled with dry food items, church materials/vestments, Bibles, theological books, school/office supplies/equipment, text/library books, medical equipment/supplies, clothes, shoes, blanket, beddings, etc., were shipped to Liberia. These items have benefited thousands of Liberians in churches (Episcopal and non-Episcopal), seminaries, clergy, orphanages, schools, hospitals, clinics, leprosy colony, etc. The Ministry is scheduled to ship the 9th relief container during the latter part of 2014. Fr. Yarsiah strongly believes in helping others in order to make a difference in their lives. His famous quote is: I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again,” by Stephen Grellet.

The Rev. Dr. Yarsiah has received numerous awards for his humanitarian services and leadership: The Community Service Award – For Outstanding Community Service in International Awareness and Development, presented by the Charleston Alumnae Chapter – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; The Christian Leadership Award, presented by the 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration – West Ashley Area; The Excellence Through Service in Community Award, presented by the Alpha Tent # 212 – Charleston Southern District #4; The Humanitarian Award, presented by The Liberia Entertainment Awards – Charlotte, North Carolina and The Bishop Dillard Brown Service Award for Dedicated Services to LECUSA and Services to The Episcopal Church as a Whole; presented by The Liberian Episcopal Community in the USA (LECUSA).

Fr. Yarsiah is a child of God and is married to beautiful Mrs. Ophelia N. G. Yarsiah and they are blessed with three wonderful children, Wede, Temah and Kenneth.


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