Bishop David Rwhynica Daniels, Jr.
Chair of the Commission on Christian Education
When Rev. Daniels, arrived at Eliza Turner in 1989, the church had taken in less than 12 members that year. The next year the membership had grown to over 500. The success of this ministry was swift but short-lived because of the civil war, which broke out in Liberia December 1989. This senseless war destroyed all that had been gained there.
Reverend Daniels lived in the United States for a year and three months after he escaped for his life in June of 1990 from Liberia. When asked by Bishop John Richard Bryant the second time to come back to Liberia, Rev. Daniels gladly accepted the challenge. Rev. Daniels came back home to Liberia the second time to continue the ministry he began at Eliza Turner Memorial AME Church. He knew God could use him as an available vessel to “Make a Positive Difference” in Liberia. Upon his return, he worked tirelessly to reorganize the church; and, with God’s help, it became one of African Methodism’s largest churches on the continent of Africa. Eliza Turner grew from a few hundred members to several thousands. The church went from one full-time employee to several employees before the 1996 hostilities.
In 1992, Rev. Daniels organized a ministry school which has developed into a seminary. It was named in honor of Bishop John Richard and Rev. Dr. Cecelia W Bryant. It was formally named as the Bryant School of Ministry, “BSOM”. It is known as the Bryant Theological Seminary.
Again, Rev. Daniels and his family were driven into hiding for their lives as April 6 hostilities unfolded. Rev. Daniels condemned any kind of killing of human beings and the brutal senseless civil war. Consequently, the Daniels were airlifted by the United States Marines among thousands of foreign nationals in April 1996 in neighboring Dakar, Senegal in route to the United States where he now resident.
Before his election in July 2004, he was the pastor of Turner Memorial AME in West Columbia, South Carolina. Rev. Daniels, the visionary leader that he is, met Turner Memorial in debt; and, he organized the church and instituted a Sacrificial Giving effort, which got the church out of debt in 16 months. He moved quickly to establish a school called Turner Child Development Center. They now have a thriving school with several full-time employees.
Under the dynamic Afro-centric visionary leadership of Bishop C. Garnett Henning, Sr. Bishop Daniels played an integral role in organizing the AME University in Monrovia, Liberia.
Bishop Daniels is also founder of Frank M. Reid, Jr. Christian School in Liberia, emphasizing spiritual and academic excellence and Christian moral standards. The vision for the F. M. Reid, Jr. Christian School is to influence student behavior in such a way as to dissuade anti-social behaviors and encourage students’ tolerance of their differences. The effectiveness of this emphasis was evidence in the school’s growth. The school began with about 25 students in 1992, and by 1996, enrollment had reached several hundred with present enrollment exceeding our expectation. F. M. Reid, Jr. Christian School now has a long waiting list because of lack of space.
In August of 2002, the AME University confers the Doctor of Divinity upon the Rev. David Rwhynica Daniels, Jr. (Degree of Doctor of Divinity (D. D. Honoris Causa) Bishop David R. Daniels, Jr. holds a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. He is trained in Clinical Pastoral Counseling and holds an Advanced Pastoral Clinical Education certificate. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree Magna cum Laude in Business Administration from Allen University. He has also studied at the University of South Carolina.
Bishop Daniels is the consummate prophet, fearlessly committed to the directive of the Great Commission. He reflects the characteristics of Old Testament prophets in many different ways.
Bishop Daniels laments over Liberia just like Jeremiah lamented over Jerusalem. Of Liberia’s situation, he states, “Liberia is a country of repatriated ex-slaves from the United States and brothers and sisters they met there. Out of ignorance, we forgot that we were all inter- dependent and needed each other to survive and progress as a prosperous nation. We reinstituted a quasi-slavery system God liberated us from in the United States of America. We begin to oppress each other and kill each other. We adopted the ways of the country of our oppression and enslavement; we brought back with us the spirit of oppression. But, my consolation comes from Jeremiah 29:10, “Thus saith the Lord, after your period of captivity, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. I know the thoughts I have for you…of peace not of evil…ye shall seek me and find me…and I will gather you from all the nations…and bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”
Like the prophet, Habakkuk, Bishop Daniels awaits the Lord’s appointed time for the vision, though it tarries; it will surely come to pass.
On July 5, 2004, God answered the long-awaited prayer of Rev. David R. Daniels, Jr. to go back to be used by God “To Make a Positive Difference” when he was elected and consecrated as the 124th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bishop Daniels received the highest number of votes among the eight bishops elected. He got elected on the third ballot with 1391 votes out of 1428 votes cast on the third ballot.
Bishop David Rwhynica Daniels, Jr.’s election was a history-making event in the life of the church as the first West African to be elected from West Africa as Bishop in the AME Church. To God Be the Glory! He was assigned to the Fourteenth Episcopal District serving from 2004-2012. At the 2012 General Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, he was assigned to the Fifteenth District encompassing Western South Africa, Namibia, and Angola and reassigned in 2016 at the 50th Session of the General Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Bishop Daniels was born in Rivercess County, Republic of Liberia, West Africa in the spring of 1957. He is married to Mrs. Irene Moifoi Daniels. They are the proud parents of daughters: Danica Rwysayma, Davida Renee, Iesha Mardea.