According to a release from the Caribbean Union Conference (CARU), Pastor Andrew Farrel announced his retirement as of April 1, 2018. When interviewed concerning his new phase of life, Pastor Farrel thoughtfully stated, “I am happy that I answered the call of God and I am retiring with no regrets. I am thankful to God for His love to me and His grace and protection over me and my family.” Pastor Farrel is marred to Genevieve (nee Berkel) of St. Eustatius and they have three adult children.
During a celebration for the tenure of several soon-to-be retirees, Pastor Farrel was honored for 38 years as a denominational employee. The Union’s Administrators applauded Pastor Farrel for his contribution to the SDA Mission. During congratulatory remarks, Pastor Desmond James wished Pastor Farrel well as, “he retires to the mountaintop.”
Pastor Farrel began denominational service in 1977 on the nature island of Dominica. It was Pastor Roy L. Hoyte who, recognizing Pastor Farrel’s strength in pastoral care, assigned him to this district after his internship. Interestingly, his last assignment as CARU Ministerial Secretary was the ordination service of Pastor Earnest Pendengue in Dominica. This was not lost on Pastor Farrel who mused, “I began my ministry in Dominica and I ended my service there.” He served as Ministerial and Family Life Director of the East Caribbean Conference in 1993 under President Leon Phillips. After two terms he was called to the Caribbean Union as Ministerial Secretary in 2001 and holds the distinction of the longest-serving Ministerial Secretary of CARU.
When asked about his greatest satisfaction in ministry, as he retirees, Pastor Farrel enumerated: Cross cultural evangelism; working with the Hispanic Ministries in the North Caribbean Conference and the South Leeward Mission; and, the leadership development he pioneered with the Amerindians and Bush Negroes in the interior of Guyana and Suriname, where he conducted Field Schools for leaders. He recalled that in order to fulfill the mission of spreading the gospel to all people groups in CARU, his modes of transportation varied as he travelled for miles: Speed boats across rivers, a small four seater, light aircraft (even as co-pilot), and on foot. Pastor Farrel concluded: “I love my church. When you reside where the people are, you can really minister to them. I received great satisfaction sharing with the pastors, elders, deacons, deaconesses, theology students, family life directors and men’s coordinators. If given another opportunity to serve, I will do it again.”
The mantle of Ministerial Secretary and Family Ministries Director for the Union has been placed on the shoulders of Pastor Ammaran Williams who depends on God to effect a transformational ministry. Pastor Williams has served the SDA Church as district pastor, educator, conference director and administrator. He admires the depth and breadth of Pastor Farrel’s influence, “Pastor Farrel’s tenure of service signals one of commitment to God and His people. I am grateful to Pastor Farrel for his leadership in the SDA Church.”