Young Bahamian Priest takes over St Agnes in Miami

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Prime Minister Christie delegation for Installation of Fr. Denrick Rolle

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry Christie

BY: LINDSAY THOMPSON/BIS

NASSAU, The Bahamas – It was a proud moment in Bahamian and American history when the Reverend Father Denrick Ephraim Rolle, 36, was inducted Rector and Pastor of the historic Saint Agnes Episcopal Anglican Church in Overtown, Miami, Florida on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

The Solemn Choral Eucharist with Sermon and the Celebration of a New Ministry attracted guests from around The Bahamas including the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister; the Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration; and the Hon. Obie Wilchombe, Minister of Tourism. Also present were Consul General Rhoda Jackson, Miami Consulate; Retired Bishop The Most Reverend Drexel Gomez; and the Venerable Archdeacon I. Ranfurly Brown, Rector of St Agnes Parish in Nassau, who delivered the sermon.

Reverend Rolle was born in New Providence on August 18, 1976. He is a graduate of Freeport Anglican High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados and a Master of Philosophy Degree from the University of the West Indies in 2012. He completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree with Second Class Honours, and received the Colin and Pearl Hirton Prize in Theology.

He was Curate of Christ the King, Ridgeland Park West from 2002-2004; Parish Priest of All Saints Parish (All Saints, St David, St Alban, St Barnabas and St Mary) in Mangrove Cay and South Andros from 2004-2010.

Prime Minister Christie said that such an occasion “affirmed and confirmed” the pride Bahamians have in the young Bahamian priest, who has followed in the footsteps of priests and bishops serving overseas.

Referring to a Biblical verse, the Prime Minister urged Reverend Rolle to put on the full armour of God and to stand his ground when tested.
He also threw his support and that of the Bahamian people behind the priest’s work and ministry at St Agnes.

“I congratulate you; to truly be the best that you can. Develop your own strength, do your work outside this church and remember how good God is,” The Prime Minister said

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the work of retired Reverend Canon Richard Livingston Marquess-Barry, also of Bahamian descent who was driven to do good for the church and the Miami community.

In his sermon, Archdeacon Brown admonished his protégée not to be caught up with the aesthetics of the church or its music but “be conscious of the awesomeness” of his calling.

“God is depending on you to be faithful to him and loving and caring to the people wherever they may be,” he told Reverend Rolle, who served with him while at Christ the King.

“Be alert at all times in order to care for God’s people. If you love the people, they will love you. If you care for the people they will care for you,” Archdeacon Brown said.

Saint Agnes Episcopal Church is one of Miami’s oldest and largest churches, which had its origin in October 1897.  The founders chose the name of Saint Agnes because the majority of them had been members of the Saint Agnes Parish in New Providence on Blue Hill Road.

Fr. Denny Rolle and Kevin Stuart during his installation at St. Agnes Miami, FL.