JUNE 24, 2013

Good Evening to you all!

This is indeed a very special moment in the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  You have gathered here for this joyous celebration of the investiture of Bishop Sarah Davis as the first female President of the Council of Bishops of the International African Methodist Episcopal Church.  We Jamaicans are particularly pleased that this important mantle is being passed to the Presiding Prelate of the Sixteenth District headquartered right here in Kingston.  To God be the glory!

Lady Allen and I congratulate you, Bishop Davis and pray that God will continue to empower you and guide your every step as you serve in this important role to which He has called you.

Let me take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to the hundreds who have travelled from overseas, I’m told from twenty different countries, to share in this special occasion.   I hope that you will have an opportunity to ‘taste and see” the warm Jamaican hospitality and our interesting culture.

Brothers and sisters, three themes that are closely associated with the African Episcopal Methodist Church, and more so the 16th Episcopal District, resonate deeply with me. They are:

· Influencing The World For Christ

· What Is Impossible With Man Is Possible With God and,

· Mission Possible

Individually and collectively the world-wide Church should approach our Christian mandate with these themes in mind.  Fulfilling The Great Commission demands this, especially in these times of increasing secularism, when so many question the relevance of the Church.  Hard pressed on every side, the Church assumes the stance of “Mission Possible” knowing the Source of her refuge and strength.

The AME Church, like all others of the Christian faith, ministers to communities and nations which suffer the political, economic and social turmoil of our times.  Caught up in the information technology revolution, many, even within our congregations, reject moral absolutes.  To strengthen believers and reach the un-churched, new, innovative approaches to the diffusion of the gospel must continue to be developed. Following Christ’s example, the Church must reach the people where they are, including on social media! We have to interact with them on the internet. We have to make them like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and wherever else we are.

Let us as the Church demonstrate the love of God in our relations within the family of God. People should be drawn to God through our outreach programmes to the vulnerable and the needy; our care for the sick, the homeless and the outcast; and mentorships to those who wander rudderless and risk becoming enmeshed in criminal activity. Even as the Church stands firm in her defense of God’s infallible Word, the Church must draw on His wisdom and be part of the solution to the many serious challenges which we face.

There is no denying our own serious challenges here in Jamaica, but I firmly believe that God will use what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong Jamaica and the church is what is right for Jamaica.

Let us collaborate for this Mission Possible.

Bishop Davis, you have worked steadfastly and faithfully in the Vineyard and God has seen and rewarded your stewardship.   May He continue to bless and strengthen you as you serve in this new capacity and may the peace of the Lord be with you all!

Thank you.

May the peace of the Lord be with you.