Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

My heartfelt greetings and warmest wishes to all those gathered here. 

It is a pleasure to share this special occasion with you.  

The theme of this 89th convention, “Let Us Cross Over Together,” comes to us from Mark 4:35. 

The scripture reads, “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.'” A simple but profound directive. 

This verse is a testament to the power of faith and togetherness. 

It embodies an openness to change and a willingness to confront obstacles and invites us to move forward with faith in our own lives. 

The verse comes from a passage I remember fondly from my childhood. The scripture tells of how Jesus and his disciples embarked on a journey across the Sea of Galilee. On that voyage, however, they encounter a fierce storm that threatened to capsize their boat. Jesus’s disciples erupted into a panic, but Jesus remained calm. With just a few words, He calmed the storm. The disciples were dumbfounded. 

“Who is this Man? That even the winds and waves obey his Word?” 

That day, they realised that with faith comes not just peace, but the capacity to overcome adversity. In these times, this is a lesson that we should all learn and apply to our own lives.

As a nation, we have tremendous challenges ahead of us – issues like crime and social and economic equality – and it is through the power of our collective faith that we can maintain peace in our streets, overcome all obstacles, and turn our challenges into opportunities to learn and advance as a people.

“Let us cross over together” is a reminder that we need not do so entirely on our own. When we come together to do the work of the Lord, we find ourselves not overcome, but empowered. 

Just as Jesus calmed the storm and guided his disciples to safety, so too can we navigate the trials before us and emerge wiser and more resilient. 

Our journey may be fraught with obstacles, but with faith and unity, we can prosper. 

So, let us not be afraid to make the crossing. 

Also Let us reflect on the words of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” This scripture not only ties beautifully into our theme “Let Us Cross Over Together,” but it also calls us to action.

We, as a community of believers, are urged to support each other, to lift each other up in times of need, and to celebrate together in times of joy. It’s a reminder that our togetherness in Christ is not just our comfort but our commandment. As we cross turbulent waters, let us be the brothers and sisters who reach out to steady our neighbor’s boat, as Christ steadies ours.

I ask you, the devoted men and women of faith gathered here, how can we further embody the teachings of our Lord in fostering a nation unified in spirit and purpose? How can we, as a community, extend our hands not only to each other but to all who make up this great nation, ensuring that no one has to cross over alone?

As we begin this sacred gathering, let these questions guide our actions and renew our spirits. Let them remind us that in every gesture of togetherness, we echo the teachings of Christ. Together, let us build bridges of faith that are strong enough to carry us all across, reflecting the glory of God in every step we take.

There is so much waiting for us on the other side.

Thank you.

May God bless The Bahamas Baptist Ministry and may He continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.