A Retirement Service was held in honour of Bishop Lernis Cornish of the Marsh Harbour Church of God on November 18 at the Dundas Town Church of God. Bishop Anthony Campbell, moderator, requested that everyone stand as Bishop Cornish and Mother Rovina Cornish were escorted by their children – Daniel Cornish and Taanah Newbold – to the front of the church.
Heaven’s Jubilee was selected as the opening song, and was followed by a prayer by Bishop Clayton McIntosh. Following the Scripture reading, and a jubilant selection by the Praise Team of both Church of God congregations, Sister Samantha Cornish gave a profile reading of Bishop Cornish.
Numerous tributes were given by colleague pastors and bishops. The Bluff Point Girls comprised mostly of the Dawkins Family delivered a memorable performance as they sang the hymns of the past.
Meanwhile, an offering was collected before Pastor Stephen Knowles, president of the Abaco Christian Council, and MP for North Abaco – Renardo Curry, were called on to make remarks. Both men commended Bishop Cornish for being a father figure to many in the community, a nation builder and a great man of God. Members of the Cornish Family also rendered a musical tribute to Bishop Cornish and Mother Rovina Cornish.
In the absence of Bishop John Humes, national overseer of the Church of God in The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, the guest speaker for the event was Bishop Leslie Woodside. Bishop Woodside was delighted that he could attend such a historical achievement. He shared a Scriptural message from 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
“We are to celebrate today the life of our retiring bishop – he is not dead,” Woodside expressed. “He’s just passing on the torch for he left a legacy.”
Toward the end of the service, Bishop Cornish and Mother Cornish greeted the audience.
Throughout Bishop Cornish’s 44 years of service in ministry, he has served in various capacities as Sunday School teacher, assistant pastor, elder, acting pastor, district councilman and pastor. Although retired from active ministry, he and his wife welcome persons who would like to visit with them as they continue sharing the Gospel of Christ.