ATCU Installs New President and Executive Secretary

ATCU Installs New President and Executive Secretary
ATCU Communication Department

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On the morning of May 19, 2018, Pastor Peter Kerr and Dr. Cheryl Rolle were installed as president and executive secretary, respectively, of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), the administrative body that oversees the work of the Adventist church in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). Presiding over the ceremony at the Grant’s Town Seventh-day Adventist church in Nassau, Bahamas was the president of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD), Pastor Israel Leito who was assisted by Pastor Elie Henry, IAD president-elect, and Pastor Leonard Johnson, IAD executive secretary-elect.

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Pastor Johnson, the outgoing president of ATCU, expressed confidence and pride in the leadership ability of Pastor Kerr as he reflected on how Pastor Kerr and his family sacrificed much as they worked diligently to increase the membership of the Adventist church in TCI from just under 200 in 1990 to over 2000 in 2010. “The Turks and Caicos Islands is a thriving tourist destination now. However, twenty years ago the comforts you find in that country now were not available,” said Johnson. “Pastor Kerr did not ask for a transfer, instead he persevered. And the Lord blessed the faithfulness of the church in TCI,” continued Johnson.

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During the ceremony, Pastor Leito observed that Dr. Rolle was the first female to be appointed as union executive secretary within the IAD. “It is our pleasure to present this godly qualified woman. It is the first time in the history of the Inter-American Division that we have a woman as a union secretary,” said Pastor Leito. “We need to continue to encourage female leadership, not just because they are female but because they are qualified,” he continued.

Using 2 Kings 2:23 as his key text, Pastor Leito further told the leaders that the blessed privilege of all leaders is to trust in the Lord to fight their battles. “Always remember that those who oppose, who mock, who lie, who reject all need salvation, and it is your duty as a leader to work with them for their own salvation…don’t be a counterpuncher,” he admonished. He also encouraged the congregation to support their leaders and to be fearless in speaking up when their leaders are acting outside church policy.

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Also present at the service were the Honourable Lanisha Rolle, M. P., Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, who was representing the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis; and the Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, M. P., leader of the official opposition. Both officials congratulated the new officers and expressed appreciation to the Adventist church for its contribution to nation building.

The installation of new ATCU officers was precipitated when the IAD executive committee elected Pastor Elie Henry (former IAD executive secretary) to the IAD presidency, replacing Pastor Israel Leito who announced his retirement (effective August 2018) as president at the IAD’s mid-year meetings in March of this year. At that same meeting, the IAD also elected Pastor Leonard Johnson, former ATCU president, to serve as IAD executive secretary, replacing Pastor Henry.

With Dr. Johnson’s election and pending relocation to Miami, Florida where the IAD is headquartered, the IAD executive committee then elected Pastor Peter Kerr, ATCU executive secretary since November 2010 and Dr. Cheryl Rolle, ATCU associate secretary, as the new ATCU president and executive secretary, respectively.

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Pastor Kerr began his early ministry in the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, serving as an intern in the Spanish Town district of churches and later in the South Manchester district of churches. He pastored the South Clarendon, May Pen, Portmore, and Old Harbour district of churches before accepting the call to serve as a missionary to the Turks & Caicos Islands Mission where he served for 20 years as president.

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Dr. Rolle, a commissioned minister and an educator with over twenty-nine years’ experience, has served as a teacher, vice principal, principal, and conference education and children’s ministries director with the Adventist church in the Bahamas. She has been serving as the education, children’s ministries, and communication director of ATCU since January 2011 and as associate secretary since May 2012.

The IAD has 24 Unions, 150 local fields, and over 3 million members spread across 37 countries, including The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands which make up the ATCU.