Across the islands, The Bahamas celebrated its 50th anniversary in grand style. In our local churches, members, and visitors were blessed by the special services held to commemorate this year’s independence.  

On July 1, the Good News Church worshiped with former Prime Minister the RT Honourable Perry Christie as part of their heritage month series.  He served as Prime Minister of The Bahamas from 2002-2007 and from 2012-2017 and represented the Centreville constituency for 40 years. 

During the service, Christie shared that his relations with the Seventh-day Adventist church began with the late Pastor Hugh Roach whom he considered a beloved mentor. “He grew me up so to speak,” Christie said. “And therefore, when I became Prime Minister, he was there to welcome me.” Christie also stated that the Adventist church was also fundamental in the life of another individual who impacted his life. 

 “I went to the church in Centerville to see the founding Prime Minister rebaptized; Sir Lynden Pindling… and through the spoken word and through his actions…he had accepted the Lord as his savior,” Christie added. His address serves as a reminder of how the Adventist community has been an important pillar in the Bahamian Society.

On July 8, the celebration continued in the churches.  At the Hillview Church, the congregation worshipped with church leaders from the various denominations in our country. Among those present was Anglican minister, Deangelo Bowe from the Holy Trinity Church in Stapledon Gardens, who remarked that coming together during Independence was important to show how God’s people can be unified for a purpose. 

“I gave thought to us as a people celebrating independence but celebrating that we are one people who serve the same God,” Bowe said, “despite the many revelations and traditions and practices by which we share that faith and that belief.”

Other religious guests included, Bishop Kendal Simmons, from the Church of God of Prophecy, Pastor Anthony Sampson from the Zion South Beach Baptist church as well as Pastor Dave Burrows of Bahamas Faith Ministries Ltd. The Hon. Brent Symonette, who has been a long-time patron of the Hillview Church was also present to enjoy the worship service. 

The Grant's Town church was filled with music and praise as they celebrated with church and community members. Among the guests, was the leader of the Free National Movement Party, Michael Pintard, who thoroughly enjoyed the service. Also present was the Governor General,  His excellency Sir Cornelius A Smith. Smith took the time in his address to recognize the forefathers who helped to build this country. “You must recognize that it if it was not for their vision, if is was not for their hard work their determination,… we would not be here today celebrating independence,” he said.

Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Division, Pastor Leonard Johnson delivered a heartfelt message on the importance of God's people understanding the blessings of being free in Him. “When you come to The Bahamas, it must be obvious to all that God has blessed us a people, as a nation,” Johnson said.

During the independence celebration on July 9, at Clifford Park, South Bahamas Conference President, Pastor Deveaux was also one of the ministers selected to pray on behalf of our nation’s children and youth. 

We praise God for his blessings on our nation as we continue to march in this Bahamaland.