Prime Minister Statement: I am delighted to join the congregation today as you celebrate the Ordination and Installation of Cynthia Pratt as Assistant Pastor at Prayer and Praise Assembly.
Cynthia Pratt is known to so many as “Mother” because of her generosity of spirit, her willingness to invite into her home those in need of one, and because of her dedication to mentoring and coaching so many young persons, particularly women, for so long.
Born in New Providence, Mother Pratt is an eminent daughter of a large Mangrove Cay, Andros family. She received grounding in her faith and social responsibilities early. She has had several careers – as a nurse, a teacher, at the high school and college level, and as a politician.
Following two successful careers, Cynthia Pratt answered a call to national service on the front line of politics. She was elected to the House of Assembly in 1997 and quickly ascended the hierarchy of her party, eventually serving as Deputy Leader and Deputy Prime Minister.
As fate would have it, she also acted as Prime Minister during the ill health of her Leader. In that highest political office in the land, she served to the very best of her abilities with distinction.
She gave the same attention and devotion to her political career as she had done in nursing and in education and she has succeeded in becoming a role model in the Parliament of our nation and in the Government in which she served as Minister of National Security.
An outstanding quality of Cynthia Pratt as a politician was that she always strove steadfastly to avoid unnecessary conflict where compromise was possible, and nearly always refrained from unkind or unsavoury commentary both in Parliament and on the wider political stage.
In that regard she was certainly a rich example of political deportment for others, especially those of the younger generation.
In her decision to step away from politics and public service, she will be transferring her efforts and her energies to the performance of a higher, divine service.
Indeed it would do well for others on the political forefront who might feel the urge, like Mother Pratt, to respond to that divine beckoning, resolving to giving and not counting the cost, fighting and not heeding the wounds, toiling and not asking for any reward except knowing that it all they do they do the will of Him who beckoned them to service.
Throughout her various careers Mrs. Pratt never lost sight of her most important vocation – that of a wife and mother. Her dedication to her late husband, particularly in his declining years as his health failed, was truly admirable.
Mrs. Pratt brought to each of her careers her strong Christian faith, so often demonstrated through her dedication to her neighbours and friends, and her commitment to being of service.
It could not be a surprise, then, that Mrs. Cynthia Pratt would also accept a calling to preach the word of God and to promote the practice of a Christian way of life among her people
She is being ordained and installed as an Assistant Pastor today, but she is hardly new to this field – she has long led her fellow church members in prayer.
Mother Pratt has long held the Biblical injunction of the Great Commission found in Matthew “…go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples. Baptise them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the ages.”
Even as she juggled others careers, it is obviously that her final concentration would be complete service to Almighty God.
She is a born teacher, having used her teaching gifts to uplift the spirits and transform the lives of countless young people.
Now, she is being officially commissioned to use her gifts as a teacher to preach the Good News of forgiveness and reconciliation, mercy and justice, hope and healing.
Mother Pratt appreciates that the commission to go and teach implies that the Church must reach beyond its walls and borders to mend broken spirits and replenish and restore the human spirit.
The Church is more than four walls. It encompasses all of God’s people, wherever they live and whatever the circumstances of their lives. The Church is defined by the quality of its witness, not the quantity of its membership.
In her new ministry of love and compassion, Mother Pratt brings the practical wisdom of having served in political life.
She also brings to her ministry a profound commitment to the common good of all Bahamians, regardless of denomination, social circumstance, colour or creed.
As she embarks on this phase in her Christian witness and public service, may she always be comforted in knowing that she is held in God’s grace and in the esteem of the people she now seeks to serve.
I am pleased to recognize her many contributions to our country’s development, and to extend hearty congratulations as she formalizes her long association with the Prayer and Praise Assembly assuming the post of Assistant Pastor.
On behalf of the Government and people of The Bahamas I commend Cynthia Pratt for her dedication to our people and to her Church and extend very best wishes for continued success.