Third generation member takes the helm at church
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Sep 05, 2013
The Church of God of Prophecy’s fifth indigenous national overseer, Bishop Franklin Ferguson, used to sleep in church and wake up in church – literally.
During his youthful days, the service was held in his grandparents’ house in Farmer’s Hill, Exuma, during a time when they did not have a church building.
Ferguson is a third generation member of The Church of God of Prophecy. His maternal and paternal grandparents and his parents (his father was a minister) were members of the church. He’s been involved with church work from his childhood. After serving in various posts in the church, today he’s into his fourth day in office as national overseer, having risen to the top leadership role in the church. He succeeds Bishop Elgarnet Rahming.
“It’s an honor to be selected to serve, and to be selected by your peers as someone they feel capable of leading the church in the country. That’s an honor from the Lord and an honor from those whom you have served over the many years, and so I thank the Lord for that,” said Ferguson.
“Already, there’s a lot of excitement among our people, a lot of expectation and I’m trusting the Lord to help me to do what needs to be done.”
His approach to his leadership, which includes oversight of the 60 local churches that comprise the Church of God of Prophecy, four national missions and a national preschool, will be a people’s approach.
“A collective and plurality of leadership will be the way forward,” said Ferguson, who assumed the office on Monday, September 2.
Having previously served in public relations for the church, with his main area of focus on education at the national level, he’s been to all churches from Grand Bahama to Inagua, which afforded him the opportunity to meet almost every member of the church with the exception of the new ones who joined in recent months.
“I’ve been to all our churches across the country at one point, and as time goes on I hope to get back to all of them and spend some time with them and do some work in those areas,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson has stepped into the leadership of a successful church that has been around for 104-plus years. He does not plan to rest on that laurel. He said The Church of God of Prophecy already has a good plan in place and that he wants to continue to advance many of the programs that are in place, and develop new programs in all areas, things he said would be outlined and detailed to the membership as they move forward.
“I look forward to advancing a number of areas that will come out as we move forward because those matters have to be discussed with leaders throughout the country. I’m just looking forward to building on the work that we have started 104-years plus now, and trusting the Lord for good things,” he said.
While he has ideas of things he would like to see happen, Ferguson said the basic things like evangelism, which is the thrust of the church, must continue.
“Our work in education, and of course the other areas which are core values of the church, prayer and leadership development, we will be concentrating on,” he said.
He also said the church was constantly in a position of developing leaders, and that at present, they had 40 people in seminary school working towards their degrees as they develop leaders, pastors and younger ministers.
The church also has a center for biblical leadership that runs approximately five core courses, plus another five that are put on occasionally. They also have a School of Practical and Advanced Studies, which is run on an annual basis at four levels, as well as Sunday school and its youth ministries, which are all supportive of the educational core they have running in the church.
“Those core values would spread into other areas – youth department, youth ministry, as our young people are the present and the future,” said Ferguson.
“The youth provide the energy and the inspiration and take leadership in many areas now and in the future so they have to be a very important part of our entire thrust. And of course, women and men all have special needs, and we have ministries that work with all of them.”
Ferguson will hold a dual role as overseer and continue on as senior pastor at the East Street Tabernacle, at least through the end of March 2014.
His installation service as National Overseer of The Church of God of Prophecy will take place on Sunday, October 13 at 3:30 p.m. at the East Street Tabernacle.
Ferguson is the fifth indigenous overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy. He was preceeded by Bishop Elgarnet Rahming (1999-2013), Bishop Brice Thompson (1974-1999), Bishop Alvin Moss (1934-1974) and Bishop Stanley Ferguson (1924-1934).
Ferguson is the eleventh overseer in the church’s history.