EJC bids farewell to three pastors
Written by: Phillip Castell. Director- Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, August 1, 2019
The East Jamaica Conference (EJC) family is saddened as it says farewell to three of its shepherds who leave pastoral ministry to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Pastor Wadsworth McAnuff, who served as senior pastor at the North Street and Arnold Road SDA Churches in Kingston and Pastor Odiaka Walker who served as his intern at both churches, left their churches heartbroken when it was discovered that both men would be leaving the pastoral district and in a very short time.
Pastor Wadsworth McAnuff leaves on retirement after serving as a pastor in East Jamaica Conference for thirty one years while Pastor Odiaka Walker, who started as an intern less than twelve months ago leaves to begin further studies at Andrews University in the United States of America.
Pastor Carl Honeyghan, who began his journey as an intern on January 1, 2007 resigned a few weeks ago to end his sojourn in East Jamaica Conference as district pastor at the Rollington Town SDA circuit of churches.
A special appreciation service to say farewell to the men was held at the EJC head office at 74 Constant Spring Road on July 29, 2019 which was organized by the Ministerial Department, headed by Pastor Leabert Williams. In attendance were colleague pastors, office staff, family members and Conference Administrators who all came to share the final moments with their colleagues.
In commenting on the ministry of Pastor McAnuff who started pastoral work on June 1, 1988, Pastor Linton Williams, Executive Secretary of the Conference, referred to him as an excellent pastor and one who should be commended for his exemplary work.
“Your ministry in East Jamaica Conference has made us richer, has made us better, has made us more spiritual and your ministry in this great Conference is one that we as officers will miss,” Williams said in reference to the contribution made by McAnuff over his three decades of ministry in the Conference. “You have been an excellent pastor and we pray for you and your family as you take on a new dimension in your ministry,” Williams said.
Conference president, Dr. Eric Nathan, agreed with his fellow administrator that McAnuff will be missed and expressed that it is going
to be difficult to find someone with his particular skill set to take his place when he is gone. “We are going to miss you,” the president said, when it was his turn to address the men for the final time as their chief shepherd.
Nathan described McAnuff as a spiritual man who had a relationship with the Lord and who was careful and conscious about his diet, his health and his eating habits. “He is a strict vegetarian and is the epitome of what good Christian life is all about,” the president said.
Pastor Manley Phillips, Associate Ministerial Secretary and Associate Family Ministries Director who spoke on behalf of the Ministerial Department, said McAnuff had earned the reputation as one of the pastors who visits a lot and who had been a good example for young pastors.
“You have left a good legacy and you have had many good moments in this Conference and you can cherish those thoughts,” Phillips said to McAnuff in his farewell speech at the start of the service. “We are very happy that you and your family could have served this conference with such dignity,” Phillips added.
Pastor Brian Shaw, who spoke on behalf of the Ministerial Fraternity said both pastors McAnuff and Walker had served the fraternity well and they were saddened that both men had to leave the fraternity at this time.
“The fraternity is saddened because we are losing two of our officers,” said Shaw. “Pastors McAnuff and Walker serves the fraternity executive well. If you are at our meetings, you will hear their insightfulness in the discussions and they always have a stable word, especially Pastor McAnuff, in rough times,” he added.
The president also spoke highly of Pastor Odiaka Walker and disclosed that his leaving the Conference was the conscious and strategic decision of church leadership to invest in the education of someone who could be trained to return in the future to assist the church’s university.
“Elder Walker is no ordinary person. It is good when the Union president of our church can single out a man to save the rest of us. The brethren looked strategically among us to find a man who understands our history and culture who they could send away to train and who one day can assume leadership in the religion and theology department of our church,” Nathan explained, as he tried to provide background information for Walkers reason to leave.
“When he comes back, he is going to come back as dynamo to help to prepare the religion and theology department of our university for ministry,” the president said with a sense of pride.
Pastor Linton Williams commended Walker also for the diligence with which he approached his work and for the strong support shown by his wife and two daughters who aid in their father’s ministry.
“You have shown yourself to be a Christian gentleman and one who was not a simpleton as it relates to Christian living and the handling and sharing of the word,” Williams added.
Pastor Linton Williams recognized the work of Pastor Carl Honeyghan even in his absence from the service. “He also is leaving and we hoped he would have been here but we want to wish him well and from my level as the person in charge of human resources, I want to thank him for his ministry in the East Jamaica Conference,” said the conference secretary.
The third ranking officer of the Conference, Elder Donmayne Gyles, was also present to say farewell to the men who had made significant contribution to gospel ministry in EJC.
“It is always sad to see any worker go,” Gyles said in his opening statement when it was his time to speak. “It is always heart-rending, especially when you know the worker is of extreme value. I believe we have men on display today who are workers of worth and we applaud the contribution you have made to the work,” the Conference treasurer said.
After words of affirmation and good wishes by other pastors including Carl Cunningham and Enroy Ferguson, Conference president Eric Nathan finally commended the men for their stewardship in ministry and assured them of his prayers as they move on.
“I want to commend both of you as you go and I want to encourage you to pray for us and we will pray for you. We will not be able to find anybody like you to fill your space but one thing I love about the Adventist Church is that God is the one who is in charge of his church and before long someone will fall in the slot and take responsibility and the work of God will go on.”
A gift basket and an envelope was presented to both pastors at the end of the service and special prayer offered on their behalf by Pastor Eric Nathan