On December 11, Methodists came together for nine days of events at six different churches culminating in a Bi-Centennial Celebration at a special service at Cherokee’s Epworth Chapel, with over 200 persons attending. The Green Turtle Cay Methodist Church was organized the year before Cherokee in 1815, therefore 201 years of Methodism in Abaco were commemorated. Although, the Green Turtle Sanctuary closed their doors many years ago.
The celebration festivities began with a Family Night at St. Andrew’s church in Dundas Town on December 2. Then there was a Big Sing held in Man-O-War. Next, a tree was planted in Hope Town by members of St. James to commemorate the occasion. Aldersgate, in Marsh Harbour, held a Speech Competition, and a Candle-light service was held at the Methodist building in Green Turtle Cay. St. Andrew’s held a 100 Man Walk-A-Thon on Saturday morning. Later in the evening, there was a Gala Banquet at The Great Abaco Club, where they recognized the individual church Honorees, with so many people showing up that some had to be turned away. Commemorative t-shirts were available for purchase, as well as booklets listing some interesting history about the six churches and reflections from many old friends.
The final service, held in Cherokee on Sunday afternoon, was well attended and moderated by Alexis Sawyer and Gary Smith. Rev. Charles Carrey remembered the stalwarts and gave the history of Methodism in Abaco. Rev. Carla Culmer, who had served in the Abaco circuit from 1995 to 2004, when she was then transferred to Nassau, returned to give a sermon about Passing On Our Legacy. Silbert Mills recorded the service for other Bahamians to enjoy and Rev. Marie Neilly closed out the festivities by remembering some of the humorous incidents that had taken place over the past nine days and thanking everyone for all the work that was involved in putting the event together.
Refreshments were served across the street at the Wm. W. Sands Community Center before everyone headed back home. Despite the rain, it was a joyful time of fellowship and friendship that will not be forgotten.