The North Caribbean Conference (NCC) of Seventh-day Adventists is excited to announce the recent arrival of a new pastor and his family to the island of St. Croix in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Pastor Thomas Rose, originally from Jamaica, comes to the NCC from his pastoral ministry based in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Members of District #2 on St. Croix, which include the constituencies of Hope and Central Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Churches, met together on the Sabbath, following the Fourth of July holiday, to celebrate the arrival of the new pastor and his family.
Members from both congregations came together to participate in and celebrate the much- anticipated installation of Pastor Rose, under the theme, “Inspired to Care, Commissioned to Share, and Empowered through Prayer.” After the official litany and installation prayer, Pastor Rose shared a powerful message, titled, “The Name and the Covenant.” The service was solemn, yet spirited.
In addition to congregational members, attendees included community guests and NCC administrators. The NCC President, and former Pastor of Central Church, Pastor Desmond James, commended the ministerial experience and skill sets of the new minister, “Pastor Rose has a rich repertoire of skills which includes a rich diversity of ministerial skill sets, for example teacher, counselor, and chaplain. He has served the ministry and work of the church in a number of diverse contexts. We have a lot of expectations for him.” President James believes that Pastor Rose will be able to demonstrate effective leadership and bring comprehensive and transformative ministry to the Central and Hope SDA Churches, on the island of St. Croix. Another former pastor of Central, retired Pastor Maurice Andrews, remarked that, “Pastor Rose is very dynamic, and appears to be pastorally gifted.” He believes that he will make a good shepherd of the flock, and hopes that the congregation will be supportive of the new pastor to make his ministry effective. He believes that he is off to a good start and hopes that this positive trend and spiritual tone will continue.
The current pastoral intern in District #2, Pastor Timothy Leito, commented that the day was quite historic and long-awaited. He believes that the mentorship of the new senior pastor will have a positive impact on his own ministry, and take it to a different level. He believes that Pastor Rose will be a good teacher that can continue to train him and assist him in further developing his pastoral skills. Although the past six months without a senior pastor has been difficult and challenging for the young pastoral intern, he shared, “I will always cherish the moments that I had with the Central and Hope SDA Churches. I pray that I’ve been a blessing to them, because they have been a blessing to me.”
Central elder, Bro. David Alexander, Sr., shared that he enjoyed the installation service, and that the expectations for the pastor’s ministry and service are positive. Head elder at Hope, Bro. Reynold Phillip, said that he had a wonderful experience, and that the pastor’s presentation was unique in bringing the district together. The elder hopes that the churches will be able to continue along this path. He emphasized that, “the message was uniting, and the recommitment made is needed. We need a revival and this is the beginning.” Similarly, Bro. Clement Languedoc, deacon at Hope, shared that the district has been without a senior Pastor for a long time. He believes that the new Pastor will “put the church together to finish the work.”
After the empowering church service, community guests, members, and administrators assembled together for an old-fashioned church potluck. It was clear that the fellowship was as good as the food. The arrival of the new pastor to the district coincided with his youngest daughter’s 10th birthday. The church family had a special birthday cake prepared for her, and the church family sang happy birthday to her. So far, his daughter, Gabriella, said that this is one of the best birthdays that she has ever had. She is also looking forward to trying all the new local foods on the island. Additionally, Pastor Rose’s lovely wife of 20 years, Opal, remarked that the welcome that her family received to the island by the church members and administrators was “overwhelming, warm and welcoming.” She believes that if the welcome that her family received at the airport is any indication, she’s certain that they will enjoy their time on St. Croix and as part of the NCC family. She believes that anywhere her family goes, they are able to serve God as a team, and are able to participate in God’s ministry. She is very excited about the opportunity to serve God in a new place, with new people. The warmth and camaraderie demonstrated by the Adventist community here has made the transition seamless.
Pastor Rose shared that his first visit to island was special, but now it’s extra special because his family is with him. He said, “The reception was awesome, and allows me to look forward to serving people. It makes a difference when one is warmly welcomed. For a pastoral family, it encourages you to fit right in.” He shared that this was the best and warmest transition that he and his family have ever had. Pastor Rose said that as long as his family is comfortable, he doesn’t have to worry. He can just focus on doing God’s work and doing it well. He said that “the NCC family is doing it right, and if any worker is treated this way, they will definitely give their best to the field.”