LOCAL PREACHERS AWARDED
This year the Methodist Church celebrated Local Preachers’ Week on Sunday 27th April. In the Anguilla Circuit the event was preceded by the observance of Preachers’ Week over the period Monday 21 to Sunday 27 April.
The Development of new Methodist Circuits in the Caribbean area, has in the main, been pioneered by laymen and women, beginning with Nathaniel Gilbert, a planter, in Antigua in 1758. In Anguilla, the work was pioneered by a Local Preacher, John Hodge, who was later ordained becoming the first coloured Methodist Minister in the Caribbean.
On Sunday 27th April Local Preachers occupied all the pulpits in Anguilla and the entire Conference area. In the evening there was a Local Preachers Thanksgiving and Rededication Service at Bethel. The Officiating Ministers included The Superintendent Minister, the Rev Dr Wycherley Gumbs and the Rev E. Dunstan Richardson. The charge to the Preachers was delivered by the Rev Lindsay Richardson. In expounding on the text taken from 2 Corinthians 4:1, Rev Richardson told the preachers that “In spite of the many challenges and frustrations they will meet they must be faithful to their calling and not loose heart as they serve a God who himself is faithful.”
The high point of the evening was the presentation of Long Service Awards to three Local Preachers: Bro Radford Richardson, who received a certificate and a pin for sixty years of service and Bros Sanford Richardson and Kenn Banks who each received the Black Harry Award for twenty years of service. Black Harry was a slave in St Eustatius who preached Christ among his fellow slaves. Many of whom were converted to the alarm of the planters. He was often punished by flogging for his preaching and was eventually banished from St Eustatius. Bro Radford thanked the church for the opportunity to serve and commended the hymn “Forth in Thy Name O Lord I Go” to preachers and the members as mantra for daily living and to share with others.
Other events during the Week included a Panel Discussion on ‘The Use of Technology In Ministry”, with presentations by Rev Lindsay Richardson and Sis Shellecia Brooks-Johnson, and a workshop for preachers facilitated by Rev Dr Wycherley Gumbs, and local playwright, Mr Felix Fleming, who lead a session on Effective Story Telling. The occasion was also taken to visit and fellowship with sick and homebound local preachers.
During the service the Preachers Meeting Secretary, Bro Kenn Banks, thanked all those who assisted during the week and those who shared in the celebrations.
– Press Release
29 April 2014
(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)