Profile of Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles
Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles was born on April 18, 1956 in Kainkordu, Kono District. Archbishop Charles began his religious journey with admittance into St. Kizito’s Pre-Major Seminary, Kenema in 1977. In October 1978, he was accepted at St. Paul’s College-Seminary in Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia. Four years later, he got his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in June 1982. In June 1985, upon the completion of his theological studies, the Pontifical Urban University for Theological studies in Rome awarded him a Bachelor in Sacred Theology. He was ordained deacon in Liberia on the 28th of April 1985 by the renowned Archbishop Michael Francis of Monrovia. He returned to Sierra Leone that same year and was ordained priest for the Diocese of Kenema by Bishop John O’Riordan at the Uganda Martyrs Church in his home district town of Koidu, on the 4th of April 1986. The then Fr. Charles was appointed to Kenema Cathedral as Assistant and Diocesan Youth Chaplain until in September 1989 when he was recalled to St. Paul’s College Seminary in Gbarnga later that year to teach Philosophy. In April 1990, Fr. Charles brought some of the seminarians back to Kenema because of the Liberian Civil war. In June 1991, he left for Rome to pursue a Licentiate and later a Doctorate degree in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He returned to Sierra Leone in 1996 and was assigned to St. Paul’s Major Seminary then in Makeni. He was appointed Vice Rector and later Rector of the Major Seminary, a position he held until his appointment as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Freetown and Bo on March 15th 2008 following the retirement in March 2007 of Archbishop Emeritus Joseph H. Ganda who had been in the post since 1980. As Rector, Fr Charles established and managed the St. Paul’s Catholic Community in Regent until he was called to higher pastoral responsibilities. He was consecrated Archbishop at the National Stadium in Freetown on May 14th, 2008 by His Excellency Most Rev. George Antonysamy, Apostolic Nuncio in Liberia, The Gambia and Sierra Leone.