Fri | Aug 18, 2017

A woman shall lead them - Moravian Church appoints Phyllis Smith-Seymour acting president

Published:Sunday | January 15, 2017 | 1:00 AMErica Virtue

The Moravian Church in Jamaica and Grand Cayman has appointed the Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour to act as its president, days after the resignation of the Reverend Dr Paul Gardner and the Reverend Jermaine Gibson, who were president and vice-president, respectively.

Smith-Seymour, one of the five ministers who make up the seven-member governance body of the church and which is known as the Provincial Elders Conference, was appointed last Thursday as the resignations of Gardner and Gibson took effect.

However, the appointment was not made public.

Smith-Seymour is the minister servicing the Salem circuit of churches in Westmoreland.

She will lead the Moravian Church into its synod, which will be held from April 17 to 21, where the new president will be appointed.

In a statement issued yesterday, Smith-Semour said:

"As has been done since 1754, we will continue to act with sound governance, in a responsible and responsive way.

"Within this context, the Moravian Church deeply regrets the circumstances that have led to the arrest of a member of its clergy - a matter that is now before the courts of Jamaica.

"We expect that in this, and any other allegations that may arise, that the law must take its course, and we are committed to respecting and accepting the due process of the law, and the course of justice.

"At this time, we of the Moravian Church must assert our ongoing and unequivocal support for the rights of all people, and especially so of our children, to live free of abuse, and the threat thereof ..."

- Erica Virtue