Prime Minister Perry Christie speaks on Sunday night.
PRIME Minister Perry Christie last night said he was left “shocked” and “saddened” by the tragic death of Dr Myles Munroe and others who were on board his ill-fated plane.
His comments came at an impromptu press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister. Free National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and Democratic National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney also expressed condolences about the tragedy last night in separate statements.
“It is utterly impossible to measure the magnitude of Dr Munroe’s loss to the Bahamas and to the world,” Mr Christie said. “He was indisputably one of the most globally recognisable religious figures our nation has ever produced. His fame as an ambassador for the Christian ministry preceded him wherever in the world he travelled. He was a towering force who earned the respect and admiration not only of Christian adherents but of secular leaders both here at home and around the world.”
The prime minister remembered Dr Munroe as a man of “immense charisma and persuasive appeal.”
He said while he and Dr Munroe disagreed on things over the years, he saw him as a friend and spiritual mentor.
“I leaned on his counsel in a number of important matters, most recently in the consultations with religious leaders on the pending constitutional bills, a process in which he took an enthusiastic and constructive part, helping even to re-draft one of the bills that had met with a great deal of public controversy.”
He lauded Dr Munroe as a “great Bahamian of universal renown” who leaves the country as a better place because of his work.
Dr Minnis released a statement which said the news of Dr Munroe’s death left his heart “heavy”.
He added: “This tragedy is both difficult to comprehend and accept but we know that Pastor Myles and his colleagues and family all enjoyed a deep and personal relationship with God and as such are resting in his arms.”
He remembered Dr Munroe as a world recognised teacher and leadership guru who “rose from humble beginnings” to gain international acclaim and respect.
“The Bahamas has been blessed because of the tireless and selfless work of one of our greatest sons,” Dr Minnis said. “He was an author of many books, a number of which are international best sellers. He often remarked that we should die empty, having produced all that God has birthed in us. No doubt the world will mourn with us here in the Bahamas.”
Last night, Mr McCartney said the country has lost “one of its greatest sons.”
He added: “Dr Myles Munroe, president and founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries, was without question one of the brightest lights this country has produced.
“At the time of his death, Dr Munroe was preparing to participate in the latest in a series of leadership conferences hosted by his organisation on Grand Bahama Island. This is indicative of the life Dr Munroe led. He was always eternally invested in the future and development of our great country, its direction, the strength of its leadership and its focus on the will of God,” Mr McCartney said.
Dr Munroe died when his plane, which had eight others on board, clipped a crane at the Grand Bahama Shipyard and crashed into a junkyard.
The plane, a Lear 36 executive jet which departed the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) just after 4pm for the Grand Bahama International Airport, crashed at 5:10 pm.
Dr Munroe’s wife, Ruth Munroe, and Dr Richard Pinder, BFM’s senior vice president and pastor, were on board church officials have confirmed.
Lavard Parks and his wife Radel Parks, both BFM youth ministers, and their young son Johannan “Jojo” were also on board, according to a statement released by Mr Parks’ public relations team.
The Tribune has also been informed that Captain Stanley Thurston, another pilot, and an unidentified visitor from Africa were also on board.