The officers, directors, and staff of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists express heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs. Audrey Dean-Wright who was faithful to her God in using her musical talents for His glory. Her loving Christian witness and her accomplished musicianship enriched the lives of her family, friends, fellow church members, colleagues, and communities here in the Bahamas and around the world. The Atlantic Caribbean Union forever will be grateful for and remembers with love her willingness to have the Meistersingers, one of the many choirs she directed, deepen the worship experience with majestic renditions at our services and symposiums.
We pray that all who share the pain of this loss find solace in the Great Comforter as we look forward to seeing Sister Wright again when Jesus comes to take us home.
By ATCU Communication Department
The Youth Department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) conducted the annual Bible Connection finals with contestants from the four fields of the union on Sabbath, September 22, 2018, in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The participants were Janeille Styles (Cayman Islands Conference), Amelia Gomez (North Bahamas Conference), Geovaughne Goodman (South Bahamas Conference), and Mellonei Popo (Turks and Caicos Islands Mission).
This competition among the four territories of ATCU was held to determine who would represent the union in the Inter-American Division’s (IAD’s) Bible Connection finals with the other semi-finalists from the 23 union fields within the IAD.
The competition involved answering fifty computer-generated questions that covered content from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark and chapters 6-15 of the book Desire of Ages by Ellen G. White. After months of study and prayer, the contestants were ready to answer the questions.
The stiffness of the competition was evident when, at midpoint, the scores were flashed to the contestants and the audience of over three hundred assembled at the Maranatha Academy Auditorium.
In the second round, the questions were worth 10 points each. At the end of the contest, Amelia Gomez was declared the winner with 350 points. Geovaughne Goodman followed in second place with 320 points.
Amelia accepted her winning plaque with great emotion. She and her coach now would be traveling to Belize to face the 23 other contestants vying for the championship in the IAD’s finals that will take place during November 30 – December 2, 2018. Amelia pledged to continue diligently studying the books of Matthew and Mark and the chapters from the Desire of Ages so that she can bring home the Inter-American Division trophy.
Pastor Kent Price, the youth director of ATCU, congratulated all the contestants and reminded them that they were all winners. He encouraged them to use the opportunity to become stronger in their faith and to be bold in sharing Christ with others.
5K Walk/Run Contributes to Church/Hurricane Shelter Completion
Sunday’s 5k walk/run sponsored by the West Bay Adventist Church will contribute to the completion of a new sanctuary that will double as a hurricane shelter for the district. The annual walk/run brought in excess of a record $13,000 towards the completion of the final works for the church scheduled for dedication in November 2018.
Under construction for the past ten years, the 9,760 sq. ft. building is built to hurricane standards that include an elevation of 5 ft.
In the interim, since 2005 the West Bay Church has been worshipping services at the John A. Cumber Primary School’s auditorium.
“It will be quite a homecoming for the 225 members of the West Bay Church,” said Conference President Reinaldo Dracket, pastor for the West Bay Church, adding: “We are really very pleased that we have managed to construct a building to standards that will enable us to supplement the district’s complement of hurricane shelters, thereby strengthening the ratio of shelters to population in the district.”
With that goal in mind, some 301 persons paid their $15 entrance fee, bringing in $4,515 from the race itself. That was topped up by a donor who matched the first $5,000 collected in fees, while smaller donations brought the total to the current record for this annual event of more than $13,000.
Pastor Dracket said that a portion of the proceeds would go towards scholarships for Cayman Academy.
“I thank everyone who played a part in making this event such a success,” Pastor Dracket said on Sunday at the Ed Bush Stadium, speaking to the large gathering of participants and volunteers at the 6:30 am event.
Of the 301 who registered, 138 ran or walked in the race, exceeding 2017’s participants by 100 and doubling the number for the 2016 event.
An award ceremony followed the walk/run, with the top three trophies in the men’s division going to Anthony Mendez, Paul Williams, and Cornelis Gouwn, in that order. In the women’s division, the top three runners were Ava Hider, Doireann Lynch, and Shellyanne Cupid. The youngest participant in the race was four-year-old Leandro Brown.
The technical aspects of the walk/run were managed by Race Caribbean, a local professional race management service.
November’s dedication of the West Bay Adventist Church will include an unveiling ceremony during which donors will have another opportunity to contribute to clearing the church building’s financial balance sheet.
Pastor Kerr's Biographical Sketch
Pastor Kerr was born in the parish of St. Catherine, Jamaica. He received his early education at the York Street All-Age School and at the Willowdene High School. He obtained his Bachelors of Theology degree from West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University) and his Masters of Arts in Religion degree from Andrews University. Pastor Kerr began his early ministry in the Central Jamaica Conference serving as an intern in the Spanish Town District and, later, in the South Manchester District. He pastored the South Clarendon, May Pen, Portmore, and Old Harbour district of churches before accepting the call to serve as a missionary to the Turks and Caicos Islands in September 1990 where he served for 20 years as mission president. During this time, he also served as departmental director and district pastor.
Upon his arrival in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in 1990, Pastor Kerr became the sole denominational worker serving the entire country. He immediately saw the urgent need for strong, stable leadership in the mission and was determined, with the help of God, to work with the people of that country to facilitate the steady growth and development of the church.
He supervised the work on five of the islands in the Turks and Caicos at a time when there were hardly any church buildings in which the few members could worship. There was one church with a small membership of about 26 in the capital of Grand Turk. South Caicos had a small group of 8 persons who had no building in which to worship. The island of Providenciales had the largest number of believers which amounted to about 76 at the time, and they were engaged in the construction of a new church which was almost 70% completed.
Pastor Kerr made church building and membership growth his number one goal; and six months after arriving in the country, he was able to mobilize and motivate the church and community to complete the Blue Hills Church building and dedicate it to the glory of God. The following year, he led out in the refurbishing and restoration of the old church building on the island of North Caicos which had been closed for more than 14 years. Upon the completion of the project, Pastor Kerr announced to the public that there were no Adventist members on the island except for a teacher who had come in from Trinidad on a government contract, and so he was asking the non-Adventist members of the community to adopt and own it as their church and to keep the doors constantly open for worship. The people surprisingly responded to the call and made it their church. Today, it remains one of the most vibrant congregations in that country. They have sent several students to study at NCU, and they are all today making great contributions to the development of the TCI.
In 2000, Pastor Kerr partnered with Maranatha Volunteers International and constructed three buildings: an education and evangelism center on the island of Providenciales where he established the Maranatha High School (now Maranatha Academy); a church on the island of South Caicos; and a school/church on the island of Grand Turk.
Pastor Kerr and his family experienced homelessness when the mission house in which they lived was destroyed by fire on May 23, 2003. This was truly a painful time for the Kerrs; but with the blessings of God and the assistance of the church, the community, and the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Pastor Kerr was able to complete and dedicate a much bigger, better, and more beautiful mission house in the short space of just 8 months after the fire. During his tenure, the membership of the mission increased from 119 in 1990 to over 2,200; the number of churches increased from 3 in 1990 to 8 organized churches and 2 companies at the time of his departure in 2010; and the number of denominational employees increased from just one in 1990 to twenty-five in 2010. Also, the mission was blessed with one primary school, one high school (Maranatha Academy which he founded in 2001), and a 10-acre camp site.
Pastor Kerr was a highly respected community leader of the Turks and Caicos Islands. He was appointed to serve on many government boards and committees. These include:
Member of the Turks and Caicos Community College Board - 2010 Member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Board of Higher Education - 2007 - 2009 Chaplain for Her Majesty's Prison (Grand Turk) - 2009 - 2010 Member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Education Advisory Committee - 2006 Member of the Turks and Caicos Islands National Drug Council - 1992 – 1997
Pastor Kerr and his family were so well loved, admired, and respected by the government and people of the Turks and Caicos Islands that in 2000, the government offered citizenship to him, his wife, and two children. In November 2010, Pastor Kerr was elected to serve as executive secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union. Along with his administrative duties, he also served as family ministries and publishing ministries director as well as assistant to the president for evangelism and the prayer coordinator for the union. Pastor Kerr has been serving as a member of the Board of Governors of Northern Caribbean University for twenty-eight consecutive years, making him one of the longest serving members of the board.
At the mid-year executive committee meetings of the Inter-American Division, held in Miami on March 27, 2018, Pastor Kerr was elected to serve as president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union. Evangelism has always been priority for Pastor Kerr. He has led out in the establishment of 10 churches and the baptism of thousands of souls.
Pastor Kerr considers all these accomplishments as clear evidence of the gracious favors of God upon the wonderful, hardworking members of the church in the Turks and Caicos Islands who gave him wonderful support, and he is eternally grateful to God for His blessings over the years.
Pastor Kerr is married to Jennifer (née Coleman), and they have two adult children, Ava-Dayne and Andre; a son-in-law, Mark; a daughter-in-law, Arielle; and two amazingly beautiful granddaughters, Amoy and Amylia Fulford.
Pastor Kerr loves spending time with his family, especially his granddaughters, and he enjoys gardening and reading.