Michelle Lynn Forbes-Dames inducted as vice president in Methodist Church
Published: Oct 10, 2013
History was made recently when Michelle Lynn Forbes-Dames was inducted as vice president of The Bahamas Turks & Caicos Islands Conference of The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Forbes-Dames, a life-long member of St. David’s Methodist Church, in Sea Grape, Florida, was the first member of the Methodist Church in Grand Bahama to become vice president, the highest and most responsible post that may be held by a lay person in The Methodist Church.
During her induction service held at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Grand Bahama, Forbes-Dames was told that she was taking office at a time when the church and the nation faced serious social challenges by Bishop Derek C.O. Browne, president of the conference. He emphasized that the laity must work along with the clergy and the powers that be in seeking to bring crime under control. He highlighted the importance of the Christian nurturing of children in the home and church, so that they would grow up to become good citizens of the nation.
The newly inducted vice president pledged to work for a greater degree of unity amongst Methodists in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and to do her best to develop programs designed to attract and keep young people within the church.
In a touching, emotionally charged response, Forbes-Dames who has served as circuit steward, president of the Grand Bahama Circuit Women’s Fellowship, Sunday school superintendent, treasurer, and youth leader, spoke about her journey from humble circumstances in Sea Grape, to serving diligently in many capacities to attain the top post open to lay persons in Methodism.
She paid tribute to her parents, and thanked her husband, Dunlock ‘Bobby’ Dames, for supporting her in all her activities, as well as the ministers of the gospel and members of the church who had positively impacted her life.
Conducting the service was the Reverend Mark Christmas, secretary of The Conference and superintendent of The South Caicos Islands Circuit. He was assisted by The Rev. Theophilus Rolle, superintendent of The Grand Bahama Circuit; The Rev. Kenneth Lewis; The Rev. John Stubbs and the Rev. Dr. J. Emmette Weir, supernumerary minister.
The act of induction of the vice president was administered by Bishop Browne. Judy Munroe, outgoing vice president, presented the vice president’s Bible to Forbes-Dames.
At the beginning of September, which marked the beginning of the new church year in Methodism, Patricia Dickenson and Bert Lightbourne were appointed as the circuit stewards of the Grand Bahama Circuit. They succeeded Leviticus Wright and Forbes-Dames.
Dickenson is secretary at St. Paul’s Methodist College and a lay preacher in training. Lightbourne served for many years as treasurer of St. Paul’s Methodist Church.
Dickenson and Lightbourne were installed in office by The Rev. Theophilus Rolle, superintendent of the circuit.
The appointment of the lay persons was in line with Bishop Browne’s call for the laity to work along with the clergy and government in tackling the social ills impacting the community, notably the need to control the high rate of crime and violence.
Circuit stewards normally serve for three years in The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands Conference of The Methodist Church In The Caribbean and The Americas.