Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Methodists appoint first local female head in 229 years

Published:Monday | July 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Outgoing bishop, the Reverend Everald Galbraith (left), presents Bishop Christine Marie Gooden-Benguche with the gavel at the induction and recognition of district president and bishop held at the Coke Methodist Church yesterday. Gooden-Benguche is the first female president of the 229-year-old church in Jamaica.

Following in the footsteps of the Reverend Karen Kirlew, the first woman appointed as president of the Jamaica Baptist Union, Bishop Christine Gooden-Benguche has been appointed the first female president of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, Jamaica District.

Benguche was inducted yesterday at the Coke Methodist Church in downtown Kingston. She is the first female to be elected in approximately 229 years of the Jamaica Methodist District.

Anglican Bishop Jamaica and The Cayman Islands, the Reverend Dr Howard Gregory, representing the Jamaica Council of Churches, implored Gooden-Benguche to be herself and not feel threatened by men.

 

'BE YOURSELF'

 

"We take note of the fact that this historic development is taking place within a wider national context of the Christian Church, in which several female ministers have been elevated to various leadership positions.

"We cannot ignore the fact that there have been utterances from sections of the Christian community that have decried the development in order to advance the reductionist reading of scripture that would relegate women to a position of subjection within the Church and within the home. You do not have to prove anything to men, and neither do you have to mimic how men would operate. Be yourself!" Gregory advised.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com