- Local Preachers Recognized- Percy Sands, Hartis Pinder, Sidney Pinder, Morley Pinder and Earl Pinder were all recognized on Sunday, September 28, 2014 as lay preachers in Ebenezer. Each one was awarded with a trophy as a token of our appreciation for their ministry.
Mr. Hartis Pinder
It was a word of challenge and encouragement from Mr. Louis Hanchell, who was a Local Preacher at Ebenezer, which led me to give thought to my becoming a local preacher. I believe this was God’s way of sowing the seed that would put me on this road.
Initially, I did not pursue this thought, although from time to time, through a word from one of the Local Preachers or through the inspiration of a sermon I was reminded that God was calling me to serve in this way.
It was my privilege to sit under the preaching of Rev. Patterson Deane during the six years he served as Minister of Ebenezer in the late 1970’s. His sermons never failed to encourage and challenge me, and it was largely through his preaching that I felt myself constrained to offer myself to be trained as a Local Preacher. God spoke in powerful ways through his sermons and I was convinced that the preaching of the word is still one of the most effective ways of communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And so I began the period of training and at the conclusion was officially recognized as a Local Preacher on December 3, 1982.
For many years my father was a Local Preacher in Cherokee Sound, Abaco and his dedication to this work was always a great inspiration.
God promised that those who He calls, He will equip. At times, the sermon preparation can be demanding when there seems so little time, but I believe that God will and does bless the word proclaimed in His name.
I am grateful for the support and prayers of the Methodist people over the years and especially from the congregation at Ebenezer. I also wish to record appreciation for the constant support of Rev. Charles Sweeting and for his great labor of love in the training and nurturing of Local Preachers. May God continue to bless this work.
Mr. Sidney Pinder
During a crusade service at Ebenezer, I had a conversion experience. The preacher was Rev. Whitney Dough, an evangelist from Florida. Shortly after, Rev. Norman Pratt, Minister of Ebenezer, suggested to me that perhaps god was calling me to be a Local Preacher.
At the age of sixteen, I led a morning prayer meeting. The short medication still lingers, taken from Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.” That was the beginning of my preaching service. I did Local preacher’s training under the tutelage of Rv. Norman Pratt.
In Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, there was only one Local Preacher. He and I shared the Sunday services and a Wednesday midweek service when the Minister was not there.
I spent three and a half years in Andros where I took three services on occasions. God has certainly led me these many years. I am grateful for those who influenced my life, including my parents, leaders of the church in Cherokee Sound, Abaco, and both the leaders and congregation of Ebenezer who continue to support me.
Mr. Percy Sands
My father was a lay preacher in the Methodist church in Cherokee, Abaco. Growing up in a christian home, has resulted in the person that I have become today.
At the age of 15, I moved to Nassau on a two-week vacation and while visiting my sister, Thelma and her husband Rannie, a job opportunity became available at Lowe's Pharmacy. I joined Ebenezer Methodist Church and became active in its various ministries.
During Rev. Ward's ministry at Ebenezer, evangelical crusades were held twice a year and were spiritually motivating. It was during the singing of the closing hymn during a crusade in 1963 "Jesus I Come", at the last verse which reads "Out of my sin and arrogant pride, Jesus I come" that I made my way down the stairs to the altar seeking forgiveness. On May 10, 1963, I had that born again experience.
My first speaking appointment was a 5 minute talk under the theme "Reaching Out - Touching Lives". Another message was delivered at the Current Methodist Church in 1987 and was entitled "The City of the Lost".
Since that time, I have been open to God's Spirit, preaching in churches in Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, and New Providence.
If God has touched a life through me, then my being here was not been in vain.
Percy was accredited as a lay preacher on Sunday, July 17, 2011 at Ebenezer Methodist Church where the minister was Rev. Godfrey Bethell.