Atlantic Caribbean Union


Historic Ordination in the South Bahamas Conference


Article By: Andrew Burrows

Sabbath afternoon, June 22, 2013, was an historic day in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist church in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) and the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) with the setting aside of eight pastors for the gospel ministry at an ordination service held at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist church in the SBC.

Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the ATCU, unfolded three main points to the congregants and the ordinands in his sermon entitled “Called to Minister.” Using the experience of the call of Samuel as a little boy as recorded in I Samuel chapter 3, he first told the packed congregation that God calls whomsoever He will. Secondly, he stressed that the pastors must be convicted that they are called, reminding them that their call will be confirmed when people see in them a genuine concern for souls and the desire to fulfill God’s will as opposed to making a name or creating legacies.

In his final point, Pastor Johnson emphasized that the pastor must maintain the call. "Hearing and answering God's call is no guarantee of success. You must maintain the call, and I know no better way than to live close to God. Depend on Him and not on your knowledge or strength.” He observed that “the ministry is not merely a profession; it is a calling. It is not for a period of time until some other more attractive occupation beckons a man, but it is a lifework.”

In presenting the ordinands to the congregation, Pastors Peter Joseph, executive secretary of SBC, and Keith A. Albury, public affairs and religious liberty director of SBC, summarized the profile of each pastor. Hailing from the countries of the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Bermuda, the eight pastors ordained were Howard Barr, Acklins and Crooked Island district; Valentino Campbell, Central and North Andros district; Kenny Deveaux, Breath of Life church; Asha-Dane Duncun, South Andros and Mangrove Cay district; Larry Green, San Salvador district; Melvin Lewis, Francophone and Ebenezer churches; Nikita Thompson, North Eleuthera district; and Craig Williams, New Englerston and Peardale churches.
The prayer of consecration and presentation of Bibles were done by Pastor Peter Joseph. Mrs. Denise Johnson, shepherdess coordinator of ATCU, and Mrs. Shelia Adderley welcomed the newly ordained ministers’ wives to the sisterhood of shepherdesses.

With eight pastors being ordained, this is the largest number of pastors to be set aside for ministry in an ordination service in the SBC and the emergent ATCU.