A Brief History
The Center for Education and Leadership Development Initiative, Liberia (CELDI-Liberia) was established by a native Liberian, Rev. E. Alfred Walker, in the USA, when he studied at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. This initiative was largely supported by high level administrative and faculty members of Princeton who thought that his vision to Change Liberia … one child at a time was an effort worth supporting.
On March 18, 2016, Rev. Walker brought together eight persons from the Princeton Community and its surroundings to make a presentation about his vision for Liberia and to make a request for CELDI-Liberia’s US board members. During this meeting, the following persons were present:
1. Rev. Deborah K. Davis, Director of Field Education, Princeton Seminary
2. Dr. Chester Polk, Associate Director of Field Education, Princeton Seminary
3. Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo, Jr., Vice President for Diversity, Princeton Seminary
4. Dr. John Bowlin, Chairman of Ethics Department, Princeton Seminary,
5. Dr. Chanon Ross, Director of Institute of Youth Ministry, Princeton Seminary
6. Rev. Marsha Harris, Chair of the Missions Committee, Moorestown First Pres.
7. Rev. Bill Davis, Husband to Rev. Deborah K. Davies, and
8. Rev. Thomas Wilson, friend to E. Walker
Five of the eight persons signed up to serve on the board. They were:
1. Rev. Deborah K. Davis
2. Rev. Marsha Harris
3. Dr. John Bowlin
4. Dr. Victor Aloyo, Jr., and
5. Rev. Dr. Chester Polk.
Of the five persons that signed up, Rev. Davis and Rev. Harris were selected to serve as chair and vice respectively on the board. As a result of the appealing nature of the vision of CELDI, Mrs. Heidi Jamieson, signed up to serve on the board few months down the road. Since then she has served so incredibly.
A few weeks later, the board members began setting up speaking engagements for Rev. Walker to share the vision with their friends and members of their congregations. Those few weeks were golden moments for the organization’s initial fundraising campaign and they yielded really good fruits, financially.
On June 17, 2016, Rev. Walker returned to Liberia with his family of five to begin the work of CELDI-Liberia, having studied and lived in the USA for three (3) years. Within the first 3 months of his return, he incorporated the organization with the Government of Liberia and a few months later, he also registered the organization with the Liberia Business Registry. He recruited and trained the first batch of staffers, who recruited 86 underprivileged children and 12 teenagers to serve as student mentors.
Today, CELDI-Liberia is up and running. Within a period of five (5) years, the ministry has served the needs of over 600 underprivileged children through its after-school, feeding, summer camp, and student mentorship programs within the Fiamah-Sinkor and Peace Island Communities.
CELDI-Liberia’s mission is to “Change Liberia … one child at a time by developing underprivileged children, to break the circle of poverty through Christian education, and to raise up a new generation of servant leaders who will proactively transform and serve their communities with distinction .