All God’s plan, says new bishop
AT 47, Senator Reverend Michael Bruce St John Maxwell has become the youngest Barbadian elected to the post of Bishop of Barbados.
However, Maxwell’s rise to the top of the Diocese of Barbados was not in his plan.
Maxwell’s surprise unanimous selection last Friday night to lead the local Anglican Church is simply proof of God’s plan.
“When I was younger, it was always the case I said I would never become a priest,” Maxwell said to the Barbados Nation at his current church, the Holy Trinity Church in Ruby, St Philip.
“I was always in the pursuit of possibly becoming an accountant. So I would have done an associate degree in accounts, economics and mathematics at Barbados Community College.
“From there, I moved on to do a first degree in accounting with all intentions of becoming an accountant.”
The son of the late Archdeacon Canon Malcolm Maxwell, the new bishop said he followed his father from St Paul’s Anglican Church as a boy, to Christ Church Parish Church and then to St Mary’s Anglican Church where he became more involved with the faith.
However, his goal of becoming an accountant remained until a conversation with former Bishop of Barbados Rufus Brome during his final year of studies which changed his life.
“It was just the simple words: ‘If you want to discuss anything with me, just let me know’.”
“I was wondering: ‘why would he say that all of a sudden?’ I just said, maybe this is where God really wants me to speak to him about my life and what I’m struggling with.
“So, I told him I believe I very well maybe considering entering the priesthood. He told me follow the procedures and from there it was history, in terms of being a priest,” he added.
Maxwell was trained at Codrington College in St John.
His first attachment was at St Jude’s Church, St George, and then Holy Trinity Church in 2008.
It was there the father of two spent the next ten years, preaching the gospel of God until present.
Again, he underscored it was not his plan to become bishop, but for a second time, the former Lodge School student surrendered to God’s plan.
“Some persons would’ve approached me leading up to the election of a new bishop, asking whether or not I would want to consider,” the bishopelect said.
“I said no, I never aspired to be a bishop; very similar to my story of becoming a priest.
“Now I’m in this position, it felt as though it was another situation of me denying what God had for my life,” he added.
Maxwell was not even originally in the running for the post as 42-year-old rector of St George Parish Church John Rogers and 61-year-old Dean of the Cathedral of St Michael and All Angels Dr Jeffrey Gibson were the two top contenders for the position.
This year has been a turning point in public life for Maxwell, the grandson of the late merchant R.D.N. Maxwell. He was named in June by Governor General
Dame Sandra Mason as an Independent in the