. . . And when his 42 years of duty had ended, President Silton Nathaniel Browne announced his retirement from active service in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA). This announcement was made at the last plenary session of the NCC Executive Committee on Monday, June 19, 2017, after it was duly presented to and approved by the Caribbean Union. During his address to the Committee, Pastor Browne expressed his profound thanks to God and the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church for giving him the opportunity to serve the Church he loves and posited: “It has been a real honor.” Pastor Browne has served the NCC for more than 42 years in various capacities – Pastor, Youth Director, Associate Church Ministries Director, Executive Secretary and President.
Pastor Browne was elected to the presidency at a time when the North Caribbean Conference was on the brink of financial insolvency and over the course of three terms, with a team of committed spirit-led individuals, arrested the financial decline. Dr. Kern Tobias, President of the Caribbean Union, stated, “The NCC under Pastor Browne’s visionary leadership is now a stable institution in the Caribbean Union.” Pastor Browne has been an outstanding and courageous leader. He has the rare ability to combine a keen academic intellect with the practical insightfulness necessary for a successful administrator. His passion, enthusiasm and commitment to the SDA Mission, as he extended the heart of the NCC by meeting needs worldwide, inspired leaders and members at all levels of the Church. Thus, the Executive Committee voted to record thanks to President Silton Browne for his years of selfless, sacrificial service rendered to God and the Conference, and chronicled some hallmarks of his presidency:
- Under Pastor Browne’s leadership the NCC gave birth to a new and thriving field, the South Leeward Mission (SLM), on March 6, 2011;
- During Pastor Browne’s tenure, the NCC modeled proper stewardship of the environment and improved energy use at the NCC Office with the installation of a solar array which reduced the energy bills to negligible amounts;
- With Pastor Browne at the helm, the NCC has given appreciable support to all aspects of Youth Ministry as he maintained his connectedness with his first passion – the youth of the Church—and untiringly supported the young people, especially in the area of kayaking.
On the heels of his announcement, Pastor Browne presented the devotional feature for the final meeting and entitled his musings, Lesson[s] I have Learnt from Life, Ministry and Administration. As his nine (9) valuable reflections resonated with the Committee, the lengthiest provided much food for thought: “Even when one comes to Adventist Administration with basic skills such as organization, integrity and courage, you must grapple with the challenge of finding consensus among administrative colleagues, then consensus among committee members. So the final position determined may not be what the leader envisions or what he may think is the ethical requirement. So a leader must be strong, both to give the best leadership initially, but also be strong enough to bear rejection by team, either because he is wrong, or because the team is too weak to do the right thing.” On behalf of the Committee, Pastor Ammaran Williams, NCC Executive Secretary, summarized the sentiment of all: “At this point in time it is difficult to envisage the NCC without Pastor Browne. We wish him and his family God’s richest blessings as they prepare to transition to a new [pace] of life.”