By Nigel Coke
The leadership of the newly organized Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) broke ground for the construction of their headquarters at Bethany Cove in Nassau, Bahamas. The ceremony to mark this historic occasion took place on Sunday, January 16, 2011.
According to the chief architect of the building, Lionel Johnson, the 3 story building, which will be located opposite the Bethany Church, will occupy approximately 5,500 sq. ft. and is designed to fit into the Bahamian Islands context, while also proclaiming the presence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Chief Architect of the ACUM headquarters, Lionel
“It is a blend of traditional vernacular styles with an infusion of classical elements,” said Johnson. “It is designed to be both visible and recognizable as a symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in The Bahamas.”
The building, which is expected to cost approximately US$700,000.00, would have been far more expensive if it was not for the many members who have so far given their support with time, talent and financial resources.
“It is amazing to see the number of members who have volunteered and have committed to give support to the construction of our headquarters,” said Pastor Leonard Johnson, President of ACUM. “I express deep gratitude to those who came to assist us voluntarily even when we did not ask them to. This tells me that the true Spirit of Christ is still at work in the hearts and minds of individuals who see the need to build up God’s kingdom.” L-R Minister of Health for the Bahamas The Hon.
Hubert Minnis, Inter-American Division Executives, Pastors Balvin Braham, Leon
Wellington, Elie Henry and Israel Leito participate in the groundbreaking
On hearing of the project, architect Lionel Johnson who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, was more than willing to give of his talent to support the cause.
Said Johnson, “As young persons in the Seventh-day Adventist Church we long for opportunities to be of service to a church that we owe so much to. Hence when such an opportunity arose it was with a feeling of humility and yet trepidation that the design work on the New Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission Building began with input from the Union, Bethany Church members, builders and Adrian Rollins.”
The building will boast a large porte-cochere at the front of the buildings, which leads to a stairway that will take individuals into a large two-story entry lobby area that contains wall galleries, ample greeting and reception areas and a heritage room. It will also have a 500 sq. ft. conference room with adequate space for large meetings, a studio area to house the various needs of the communication arm of the church, along with other support areas on the ground floor. Union Officers from the Jamaica and Atlantic
Caribbean Unions participate in the groundbreaking exercise. L-R Elder Bancroft
Barwise, Pastor Everett Brown, Pastor Peter Kerr, Elder Roderick Sands and
Pastor Leonard Johnson.
The second floor will have a smaller lobby area, generous offices for directors, a room for accountants and the offices of the president, treasurer, secretary and the other usual facilities.
Pastor Israel Leito, President of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists who did the devotion at the ceremony challenged the leadership of the Union to finish the new building in time for the Division year-end meeting scheduled for October 31 – November 3, 2011 in Nassau, Bahamas.
Elder Roderick Sands, Treasurer of ACUM led out in an appeal for gifts and offering which saw financial pledges and presentations from the Conferences and Mission of ACUM.
Greetings came from Pastor Elie Henry, Secretary of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Everett Brown, President of the Jamaica Union Conference and Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis, MP, Minister of Health of the Bahamas.
Inter-American Division officials, along with Unions, Conferences, Fields and Institution officials and local church leaders participated in the groundbreaking exercise which was directed by Pastor Leonard Johnson.
On January 14, 2011, ACUM held its first Executive Committee meeting and its inauguration service was held on Saturday, January 15, 2011. ACUM was organized on November 29, 2010 as one of two Unions from the 104-year old West Indies Union Conference, and comprises three Conferences, one Mission, and six primary and secondary schools in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It also co-owns and operates with the Jamaica Union Conference, one of the largest Seventh-day Adventist Universities world-wide - the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) - located in Mandeville, Jamaica.View Photo Gallery