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FACE TO FACE: Trying to turn young people away from a life of crime

PASTOR Dr Roosevelt Whyms teaching adult Sunday School at Transformation Ministries Intl.

PASTOR Dr Roosevelt Whyms teaching adult Sunday School at Transformation Ministries Intl.

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FELICITY DARVILLE

By FELICITY DARVILLE

IN a time when there are rising concerns about the rate of crime, and after a bloody weekend on the streets of the inner city, one church elder is calling for all sectors of society to pour into the youth the right spiritual principles, self-esteem, respect and love to bring the Bahamian society back to what it used to be.

Pastor Dr Roosevelt Kamiller Whyms hails from the settlement of Behring Point, Central Andros. Family Islanders can attest to the peaceful upbringing they experienced, and the lessons of manners and respect that have literally taken them around the world. He is one of them. His path began with humble island beginnings and led to him being appointed as a District Elder in his church and becoming one of the country’s most successful real estate developers. He is certain that with the right guidance, Bahamian children and young adults have an opportunity to make the best out of their lives. He even feels that those currently in a life of crime could be saved, if the churches would meet them where they are and share the Gospel.

“Society is depending on us (the church) to do what is needed,” Pastor Whyms said.

“Presently we are faced with high levels of crime throughout The Bahamas. We have gangs in this country now, and these gangs are made up of our young people. We are faced with a society without love for one another. That’s not the way we used to be. That’s not what our society was all about. We are a loving and God-fearing people. We have to do what we can to curb the hands of time and lead the youth in the right way in Jesus’ name.”

Pastor Whyms is a District Elder for the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. He is the National President for Christian Education, responsible for the National Sunday School, which encompasses all of the church’s Sunday Schools throughout the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos. This weekend, the church, which is a part of a global organisation, wrapped up its 73rd General Convention under the theme: “Standing on a Firm Foundation” Matthew chapter 7, verses 24–27.

For Pastor Whyms, that firm foundation is laid by leading children in the right way: “If you don’t start from Sunday School, where will you start? You have to get them from small so when they are bigger, they will know the right way and contribute well to society.”

During the Convention’s official Sunday School Session, Pastor Whyms told those gathered that “the word of God suggests that once you have been strengthened, go and strengthen your brother and sister” and for this reason, he said churches must be willing to meet the people who need their help wherever they are.

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PASTOR Dr Roosevelt Whyms.

The church’s Diocesan Bishop Ellis J Farrington, Sr, said Pastor Whyms has been faithful, and travels to all of the Sunday Schools in his diocese, which includes churches in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros and Turks & Caicos. Currently, a church is being built in Long Island and will soon be completed.

“We don’t want to leave our children behind,” Bishop Farrington said.

“We are trying to get the Government to recognise our National Sunday School Programme and see that we have effective programmes in place, which includes not just the Gospel, but sports and other activities. We have a strong youth organisation, and we want to see it continue to grow throughout the country. I prayed for the children, and the Lord told me in a vision that I wouldn’t have to worry about anything; that he would send a man to run it (Sunday School and Christian Education). Pastor Whyms has come, and he is the right man to do it. We cannot afford to leave the young people unsupervised in this day and time, and Pastor Whyms is the real man to do it. He will meet you wherever you are.”

During the convention, even adults were taught in Sunday School.

“I am excited about our Christian Education programme,” Pastor Whyms said.

“We want to get the apostolic way of teaching to all of the places where our churches are located to help deter the young people from the wrong way and convince them to give up their life of crime for a life of salvation. The Gospel says be wise to win souls. We will use approaches and devices to win souls and have them baptised and have the mechanisms in place to keep the young people interested. The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World intends to make its presence felt throughout the archipelago.”

In addition to his extensive work in the church, Pastor Whyms is president of several Bahamian companies, having successfully planned and developed numerous subdivisions on the island of New Providence.

His developments include: Misty Gardens – a 126-lot development in which he installed all the infrastructure, constructed 40 residences, and sold the remaining 86 properties; Marshall Estates Subdivision, where he installed all the infrastructure and sold the lots; Orchard Close Subdivision, where he built and sold all 27 homes; Kool Acres Manor and Ashley Close, where he installed all the infrastructure and sold six homes; and Eastwind Gates Subdivision, where he installed the infrastructure on all 46 lots and sold them.

He is also responsible for the development of three Bahamas Government subdivisions: Snow View Subdivision, Lionel Davis Subdivision (phase 1) and at present, Carmichael Village Subdivision.

His ongoing work includes Venice Bay, a 208.5-acre development.

“This is one of New Providence’s prestigious gated communities, comprising canal front, ocean-front, lakefront and interior residential and multi-family lots,” he said.

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PASTOR WHYMS, left, has been instrumental in the development of housing subdivisions throughout New Providence.

“In addition, this project includes a marina with deep water access, currently under construction. The canal and access channel excavations are completed.”

In the early 1990s, Pastor Whyms personally planned and laid out all of the roads in Treasure Cove development, located on Yamacraw Road, New Providence. More recently, his company conducts administrative work for the Palm Cay Development.

As a real estate developer, he brings a plethora of wisdom and knowledge. He was professionally trained and licensed in the state of Illinois, USA, as a land developer. His training included the planning of developments; preparation and installation of electricity and street lighting systems; telephone communication systems; construction and installation of roads; designing and installation of water and sewerage treatment facilities; designing and installation of street drainage; and water catchment and disposal wells.

Pastor Whyms is a member of the Bahamas Contractors Association, and he is a broker with the Bahamas Real Estate Association where he holds the designation of developer. He has achieved the honour of Residential Sales Council designation worldwide in the real estate community. He also has certifications in business development for Residential Specialist and Listing Strategies. He has been a Government-appointed member of the Subdivisions and Developments Appeals Board since 2017, serving for both the Ministry of Public Works and Physical Planning Department.

In addition to his past and current works, he is the owner of numerous apartment complexes and real estate properties on the islands of Great Harbour Cay, Andros, Exuma, Long Island and New Providence.

His success in business is coupled by his strong faith in God, which he has building just as much as the development he has devoted his time to. In addition to serving as a licensed and ordained District Elder appointed by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Incorporated, he serves the church in many ways.

In 2016, he was appointed Adjutant to Bishop Ellis J Farrington Sr, JP of the 39th Episcopal District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Pastor Whyms also serves on the Board of Directors for the District.

In 2022, he was appointed president of the Education Auxiliary for the District. He holds a certificate of recognition from Community Bible Institute and Seminary in Brevard County, Florida.

Pastor Whyms also holds two excellence awards from JIREH Manna Production Institute as Armor Bearer and District Elder, as he holds Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees in Divinity.

He serves on the Board of Directors for Community Bible Institute and Seminary, Incorporated in Brevard County, giving back to the institution that helped mold his spiritual leadership journey.

Pastor Whyms was awarded an Honour and Worthy Certificate from the Evangelical Church of Salvation in Gonaives, Haiti, for his missionary work in that country.

In December 2021, Pastor Whyms successfully completed a Justice of the Peace training at the National Institute for Certification and Talent Development and was officially appointed a marriage officer by the Government of The Bahamas.

Comments

JohnQ 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with most of what has been stated in this article. But, I also think it starts with us and right in the home. When large portions of the citizenry are on the take and are willing to cheat on even the most basic aspect of things - electric bills, water bills, vehicle licenses, etc. - the thuggery becomes a way of life.

In my observation, much of what we see today is the result of the breakdown at the family level. No father in the home, women who cohabitate with men without values, children who are neglected, and a society that tacitly approves of the breakdown. Some of us have not fallen into the breakdown, we live a modest lifestyle and raised our children in a two parent household with loving guidance and support. In the case of my wife and I, our children are all now honest hardworking productive members of society.

I don't have a for sure answer to this problem, but can only say what my own experience is and what I see everyday. It starts in the home.

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Godson 3 months, 2 weeks ago

This article spins more on highlighting Pastor Whyms than it does for the topic depicted.

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