The Church of the Nazarene Trinidad and Tobago District made history when it held its 60th District Assembly on Saturday 28th March, 2015 in the JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy) Auditorium at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. It was not only the first time in 60 years that the District Assembly was not being held at the St. James Church of the Nazarene, but also the occasion for the launch of the District’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 with the vision “to create a healthy nation by transforming people and communities through organisational effectiveness, doctrinal integrity, holistic education, inspiring leadership, and spiritual vibrancy.” The theme of the Assembly was “the Future Glory of this Church.”
The District Assembly was chaired by the Mesoamerica English Field Strategy Coordinator Dr R Alphonso Porter who welcomed 180 delegates and 20 official visitors in behalf of Presiding General Superintendent Gustavo A. Crocker and Mesoamerica Regional Director Dr Carlos Saenz.
Newly appointed Caribbean Nazarene College (CNC) President Dr. Anthony Manswell, and his wife Barbara, presented their first Education Report.
The highlight of the Assembly was the District Superintendent’s Report. District Superintendent Dr. Victor George told delegates that there were now 29 organized churches on the District, with the last being the Lowlands Nazarene House of Praise which received organized status on the 23rd February, 2014. He informed the Assembly that the District had gained 196 members bringing its current membership to 4994, following the death of 26 members and the removal of 444 members by Church Board removal. Churches gave just over TT$ 300,000 to Global Missions. Churches with the highest membership intake were presented with awards of recognition by the Presiding Officer Dr. Porter.
Moreover, District Superintendent Dr. Victor George told the gathering that “a Strategic Document has been developed to provide a cohesive and clear understanding of what areas we need to focus on and how we are to transform ourselves to ensure that the Church of the Nazarene survives, thrives, and becomes a more viable living entity.” He also said that an Operational Matrix has been developed with activities and timelines consolidated over a five year period for each strategic pillar. Furthermore, a budget has been determined for the ministries and functions that need to be involved for each initiative. He stated that the strategic Plan outlined the Vision, Mission, Core Values, Strategic Direction, Objectives, and Deliverables of the Church of the Nazarene Trinidad and Tobago District for the period 2015 – 2020. After a short deliberation, the Assembly approved the adoption of the Strategic Plan unanimously. The Presiding Officer called upon delegates to pray for the District Superintendent, his wife Marilyn, daughter Shimeka, and son Michael as the first family of the District.
In more Assembly business, delegates also approved a recommendation to increase the Gospel Magazine (Local Radio Evangelism) Budget from 1.25% to 1.35% of last year’s giving of tithes and offerings. Delegates also approved Andy Edwards from the St. James Church of the Nazarene as the newest District Licensed Minister.
(Dr. Alphonso Porter presents Pastor Andy Edwards with his District Minister’s Licence.)
Dr. Porter asked each ordained Senior Pastor to give a short testimony of their current standing before God. He also invited the unassigned Pastors to stand to receive the blessing of the Assembly.
In closing the meeting, Dr. Porter asked delegates to observe a minute of silence in recognition of the 26 members who had died in 2014.
The results of the election ballot were announced with Rev. Dexter Daly, Rev. Rian Williams, Gary Francois, and Dr. Gelien Matthews being elected to the District advisory Board. Rev. Farouk Mohammed, Rev. Ruth Lawrence, Rev. Paul Bunsee, Rev. Patricia Derry, and Rev. Dexter Daly wereelected to the District Credentials Board. Rev. Gregory Isaacs, Rev. Vilma Mohammed, Rev. Dr. Peter Stroude, Rev. Mark Lawrence, and Rev. Alvilene Williams were elected to the District Ministerial Studies Board.
Rev. Kwame Payne
District Communications Team