Prime Minister Davis’ Tribute to the Life of Elizabeth Thompson

Thank you, moderator.

I recognize 

  • The officiant, Reverend Dr. Lloyd Smith;
  • Other Reverend Ministers of the gospel;
  • my Cabinet and Parliamentary colleagues;
  • Christian friends and well-wishers
  • Ladies and gentlemen

Good day.

To Rev. Dr. William Thompson and the Davis and Thompson families, to all those who loved her and all those whom she loved, I deem it my humble duty to pay tribute to and to celebrate the life of Minister Elizabeth “Betty” Davis-Thompson 

  • on behalf of my wife and our children
  • on behalf of the Government and People of The Bahamas
  • on behalf of the Executives, Stalwarts, and Members of the Progressive Liberal Party 

I offer profound and heartfelt condolences.

Condolences extend further to the family here at Faith United and to the wider Baptist Missionary Convention. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters

When I was advised of Minister Betty’s passing, James Rowe’s hymn “Gathering Buds” became prominent for me – particularly the third stanza:

“Fathers and mothers, weep not or be sad,

Still on the Saviour rely;

You shall behold them again and be glad,

Beautiful flowers on high.”

Even as we mourn the passing of a mighty woman of God; we rejoice because, indeed, Heaven has gained a resplendent flower in full bloom.

Self-confident, elegant, graceful, virtuous, wise, visionary, humble, courageous, victorious, and dedicated are just a few adjectives that come immediately to my mind when I reflect on Minister Betty.  

Ah, but that captivating smile!  Wherever she went, her smile simply lifted the heart and transmitted joy throughout the room.

Minister Betty used those virtues to build the kingdom of God as a role model for those she now leaves behind.  She was a mentor in the spiritual, professional and leadership realms.

The Bahamas is richer because she was here.

Scores of Bahamians lament the fact that the ministries at this church and the wider convention flourished and grew from strength to strength because of Betty’s invaluable contributions, her faith, her prayer and supplication, not to mention her moral suasion and influence.

As a pastor’s wife, she was a helpmate par excellence in the work of this church, the convention, the broader church community and in the home. 

As a result, the work of this convention in the areas of community outreach, evangelism, missions, Christian education, the women’s ministry and church leadership will continue to transform our communities by strengthening our national social fabric and deepening our spiritual devotion.

While paying tribute, this is a good opportunity to encourage all pastors’ wives, pastors’ widows, those in the women’s ministry and virtuous women generally involved in kingdom ministry building to continue to cultivate national goodwill and unity within the church community by embracing an ecumenical spirit of cooperation within the body of Christ.  This culture is laudable, noble and worthy of praise.

Minister Betty Thompson was our Abigail, Sarah and Deborah all neatly wrapped into one angel of God.  She not only set an awfully high and the gold standard for high fashion but set very high standards for service to God, to family and to our fellowmen.

I understand that her passing seems to leave a leadership void for women in kingdom ministry, but know that death cannot change or diminish the Church.  Embrace this great opportunity for the next generation of women religious leaders to stand boldly and confidently on her shoulders.  Continue her legacy – proclaiming the uncompromising and infallible word of God and the testimonies of Jesus Christ which bring salvation to those who believe.

I am grateful to Minister Betty for her service to this nation in the areas of religion, social development and gender issues.  I am even more grateful that I had the opportunity to say this to her while she was alive.

Christian Friends

For centuries women were not treated as equal to men in too many ways; but the task of nation-building and the creation of a strong state requires the participation of all regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.  I will say this here as Faith United has been known for its bold stance on any number of issues.

Women like Minister Betty have proven themselves invaluable counterparts in the building of our Bahamas.  They are more dedicated and devoted to their duties and have much more patience.  By nature, they are much more polite than men. 

Accordingly, I encourage you as women to press on!

Minister Betty has completed her earthly assignment with distinction. She was a good and faithful servant who ran a very good race.  She never grew weary of doing good.  Today, she is with the Lord, receiving her just and eternal reward.

“May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the Holy City – the New and Eternal Jerusalem.”

May her soul rest in peace.