Master pastor lauded ... fine farewell for Rev Dr Sam Green
Hours before the scheduled 5 p.m start of the grand farewell function for clergyman the Reverend Dr Sam Green on Sunday, celebrants began filing in to the Grace Missionary Church, St Andrew, where he has devoted the past 18 of his 46 years in ministry.
By the scheduled starting time, the church pews were filled with bright faces of beautiful children and adults decked in their Sunday best to say gracias and adios to an 'elder statesman' of the Christian community.
Two nearby tents with closed-circuit television screens spilled over and car parks were jammed.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen headed the list of hundreds who turned out to laud Green for his leadership in the Church and his contribution to education and non-governmental organisations.
Sir Patrick hailed Green’s sense of purpose in carrying out his church work and marvelled at his sense of humour.
Green, 66, has served his denomination's Missionary Church Association in Jamaica in numerous capacities, most notably as president during the early 2000s.
While serving as president, he also held the office of chairman of the board of the Jamaica Theological Seminary – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Missionary Church.
"It would take a biography of hundreds of pages to capture the extent to which God has used His servant on the battlefield for the Lord, and so the limitations of a citation bring constraints," said Dr Thelora Reynolds in paying tribute to Green.
She said Green consistently demonstrated the values of leadership, commitment and faith worthy of emulation.
Green, a Justice of Peace was humble as he rose to say thanks to his flock.
Declaring that he was awed by the overwhelming turnout including foreign guests, Green acknowledged that often when pastors leave a congregation there is a break-up of the congregation.
However, he implored his membership to remain united and to continue to build the fellowship.
Green also thanked Thelma, his wife of 40 years, for her unfailing support through the years, his three children and each individual who made his pastoral experience as meaningful as it had been.
Green did not disclose his next pursuit but resolved to continue to serve people.