All God’s plan, says new bishop

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS - By ALEX DOWNES ale­[email protected]­tion­

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.

Chas­ing ca­reer

“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

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