Friday, January 21, 2022 | St. John’s, Antigua | Krista Moore
The afternoon of December 19, 2021, could be described as one of pump and circumstance as the South Leeward Conference (SLC) honored eight retirees in a moment of celebration under the theme “Celebrating Ministry”. This thanksgiving service was held at the St John’s Seventh-day Adventist Church and was broadcasted on all SLC platforms to allow family members and well-wishers who could not be present at the church, because of COVID-19 restrictions, to join in the celebration.
President of the Caribbean Union Conference, Dr. Kern Tobias, and president of the South Leeward Conference, Dr. Carson Greene, were on hand to bring greetings and congratulation on behalf of the Caribbean Union Conference and the South Leeward Conference, respectively. The devotional speaker, Pastor Desmond James, who served as present of the South Leeward Mission from 2011-2016 and is now president of the North Caribbean Conference, challenged the retirees to “keep on rowing”, remembering that they still have a responsibility to remain servants of Christ, even in retirement.
Ministerial director, Dr. Mark Braithwaite, and Education director, Dr. Eulalie Semper, presented the awards and gifts to the retirees who have a combined 276 years of dedicated service to the honor and glory of God. The South Leeward Conference celebrated:
• Pastor Melanie Rodgers, pastor with 16 years of service
• Ms. Nelly Williams, teacher with 21 years of service
• Mr. Bernard Lewis, teacher with 21 years of service
• Pastor James Gore, pastor with 40 years of service
• Ms. Shirley Gardner, secretary with 41 years of service
• Mrs. Juanita George, teacher with 42 years of service
• Mrs. Cheryl Morris, principal with 46 years of service
• Pastor Eldon Coates, pastor with 49 years of service
Pastor James Gore and former principal, Mrs. Cheryl Morris, responded on behalf of the retirees and both shared profound appreciation that the organization has given them the privilege to “smell the flowers” while they are still alive. Their words were punctuated with applause from the audience as they expressed gratitude to God for the privilege of service. To bring this important event to a close, the St John’s praise team led out in the joyful singing of the song “To God be the Glory”.
The South Leeward Conference extends a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to each retiree for their commitment and service to God and to the church over the years. Jeremiah 29:11 - “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end.”