A reason to celebrate
Published: Jun 20, 2013
St. George’s Parish Rector Father George Kingsley Knowles recently marked his 30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood with family, friends and parishioners at a special service.
Knowles, who was elected to the post of rector at the church in 2001, was appointed to the position of archdeacon by the Right Reverend Laish Boyd in 2010. His archdeaconry covers all the Anglican churches in eastern New Providence and those in Eleuthera, Cat Island and San Salvador.
Knowles is the second son of Evelyn Knowles Cooper and the fourth child of the Knowles/Cooper amalgamation of 12 children after his mother’s marriage to Arthward Cooper.
The priest, who was born on New Providence, was baptized and confirmed under the leadership of Canon John Calnan.
During his youth, he was involved in the youth work with the Anglican Church in The Bahamas and served as president of the Christian Youth Movement. He was also involved with scouting at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (3rd Bahamas). He was active at Christ the King Anglican Church in Ridgeland Park and assisted in the renovation and extension of that church. As a member of the youth movement, Knowles along with others would travel to the various islands to assist with repairs to churches, which proved rewarding and exciting to him.
In pursuit of his ultimate goal, Knowles attended Voorhees College in South Carolina and obtained a liberal arts degree in sociology with minor in social work.
As a college student, he became active in various clubs – The White Rose Social Club, he was superintendent of the Sunday School, Alpha-Chi-Honour Society and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He was also a member of “Who’s Who” in American universities and colleges. Knowles received the Presidential Award and graduated with honors in 1979.
That same year, he attended the University of the West Indies and Codrington College, Barbados to test his vocation to the priesthood. He was the guest master and assisted with the sacristan duties while there. In 1982 Knowles graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theology from the university and a diploma from Codrington College.
On returning home, he was ordained on August 6, The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Blessed Lord at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, where he was a member before going to college. He was then assigned to St. Margaret’s Church, under the rectorship of the late John H. Reece Jr. He worked in the youth department and assisted in evangelization in the Kemp Road area.
Two years later, he was assigned to St. Saviour Parish, Cat Island, where 11 churches make up the parish. He managed to keep the small communities going and did much to enhance the spiritual life of the parish, renovating and restoring with the means available to him. It was during that time that Knowles indicated that his faith became stronger. He also taught at the High School in Arthur’s Town.
In 1984, Knowles was assigned to South Long Island and there he remained for seven-and-a-half years. During which time he married Sandra Louise nee Bethel.
The couple worked together with the seven churches that made up that parish. Structural work was done on St. Athanasius/St. Theresa and St. Paul’s Churches. He also taught in the N.G.M. Major High School during this time.
In 1994, Knowles took a sabbatical for six months with his family to the United States and pursued a course in spiritual direction. While there, he assisted at St. Mary’s Church in Brooklyn, New York. He returned home that same year and was assigned to St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama, where he served for seven-and-a-half years. At the archdeaconry level he worked with the Sunday Schools in the northern district.
In 2002 the priest received his Master’s Degree in Spiritually from the General Theological Seminary in New York, USA.
Knowles and his wife are the parents of two daughters, Kandra Georgette and Keá Lois.