Celebrating and Appreciating our Faithful Family in Bristol Central Church

Celebrating and Appreciating our Faithful Family in Bristol Central Church

Careen Lawrence

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”Galatians 5:13.

On Sabbath 11th May 2024, Bristol Central Church held an appreciation service for department leaders who have served for a minimum of two consecutive terms within the church. The service was organised and hosted by Sister Beverley Thompson-Francis to “thank department leaders for their hard work and commitment to the church and the local community”. 

During the service, there were a total of 13 individuals recognised for their hard work within the church, some members serving as long as 17 years. At the beginning of the service, Sister Beverley reminded us that “we do our good works as we are faithful to God”.

Some of the roles mentioned were; Adventist Youth Leader, Children’s Ministries Leader, Church Clerk, Deaconess, First Elder, Health Ministries Leader, Pathfinder Leader, Safeguarding Lead, Social Co-ordinator, and Treasury Team Leader. The recognised individuals were, Brother Albert Gardiner, Sister Kim Garnet-Smith, Sister Sharon Cochrane, Sister Yvonne Gordon, Sister Norda Atkinson-Clarke, Sister Anessa Spencer, Sister Novlette Wilks, Elder Kwasi Dankwa, Sister Mary Philip, Elder Claudette Brown, Sister June Ford, Sister Nadine Brown and Sister Martha Mwilima. 

John 15:12 (NKJV) says, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” which shone through each slide as Sister Beverley spoke about those who were acknowledged. From working to empower children, young people and adults in the church, to extending love within the community, the accreditation given to each member was exemplary to members and visitors present.

On being asked about her role as Children’s Ministry Leader and Adventurers Leader, Sister Sharon said that it was her “responsibility to build a positive Christ-like relationship with children ages 0 – 12 years old”. Sister Sharon has also explained that within her role, they as a department would visit the elderly, making cards and singing for them. We have been told to train up our children in the way they should grow, and through her role, Sister Sharon was able to do that. 

Some of the outreach work carried out by Sister Mary, between 2012 and 2023 involved the first Health Expo in 2013, singing at St Phillip’s fruit market in 2016, Shoe Box Appeal in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and Feeding the Homeless in 2020. Sister Mary explained to the church that it was while she was sick that she dedicated her life to God’s work, which I believe some of us are able to resonate with. 

While Sister Beverley described different members, there was the motif of individuals being willing to serve, being punctual, efficient, professional, and approachable. These words were also reiterated by Pastor Royston Smith, Personal Ministries Director, and former Bristol District Pastor. The members of Bristol Central Church have been blessed with department leaders who dedicated their time to the needs of their church family and the community. 

As we continue to take heed to the Great Commission, may we learn from those who have led in differing departments, and approach our roles, be it small or large, with love. It is important that we serve with loving hearts, meeting the needs of others, to continue to win souls for the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father.