Nine candidates were ordained to the priesthood and the diaconate in a historic and colourful ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Jago de la Vega, Spanish Town, on Sunday, June 30. The ancient rite was performed by His Grace, The Most Rev. Howard Gregory, Bishop of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands. It was especially significant as this was the first ordination in his new role as Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan of the Church in the Province of the West Indies.
The Ordinands include four priests all of whom are graduates of the United Theological College of the West Indies; and five Deacons in the Supplementary Ministry Programme through which the Diocese trains men and women for ordained service, even as they continue to hold full-time jobs in the public or private sectors.
Rev. Mark Jones
Having a strong call to work with young people, The Rev. Mark Jones explained that he entered ministry in order to help our youth make the best of their lives. A past student of Wolmer’s Boys School, Mark states that his life is guided by his Wolmarian Motto, “Whatever you do, do to the best of your ability.” Formerly a Chemist, who worked at a sugar factory in Westmoreland and the Food Industry in Kingston, he is married to Shereen, and they have a son Nicholas, and daughter, Kristen. Rev. Jones is currently assigned to St. Andrew Parish Church.
Rev. Hilda Vaughan
The Rev. Hilda Vaughan was nurtured at St. Matthew’s Church, Allman Town, where she was an active member of the Campaigners youth organization; a Sunday School teacher; and People’s Warden. She also formed a youth group to hone members’ skills in art and craft and instil social graces. Prior to entering the ministry, she worked as an Agricultural Consultant to farmers. She is guided by Micah 6:8, “Be just, show mercy, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” She has two brothers, Hugh and Audley. Rev. Vaughan is currently assigned to Mandeville Parish Church.
Rev. Howard Walters
When The Rev. Howard Walters answered the call to enter the ordained ministry, he said his heart and mind were filled with peace. Prior to that, he was plant manager for Colgate, Kraft Foods, Federated Pharmaceutical Company Limited; and he also operated his own firm as an ISO9001 Consultant. He strongly believes that “Jesus points me to God, and so when in doubt, I stand where Jesus stands.” At his home church at St. Margaret, Liguanea, Rev. Walters was a Lay Reader, Chalice Bearer, Rector’s Warden, and a coordinator of the Alpha Programme. He currently serves at the Cathedral of St. Jago de la Vega, Spanish Town.
Rev. Craig Mears
A graduate of Kingston College, The Rev. Craig Mears spent much of his youth at St. Boniface Church, Harbour View, where he was an acolyte; and was very active in youth ministry. He explains that his involvement in these areas of church life helped him to understand and appreciate the Anglican tradition. His mantra is “Every Saint has a future” and his favourite Bible passage is John 14:4, which he states, assures him of the need to place everything in God’s hands, and to trust on him. Rev. Mears strongly believes in striving to make his mark in the world; and he is an advocate for the concept of ‘paying it forward,’ which he maintains is one way to make the world a better place. In addition to his pastoral duties at St. Andrew Parish Church, Rev. Mears is also the Diocesan Director of Youth Ministries.
The Deacons – Supplementary Ministry
Rev. Carol Haughton
The Rev. Carol Haughton has been a member of the Church of the Transfiguration, Mount Grace since her childhood. She has served as Sunday School Teacher, Youth Worker, Lay Reader, Chalice Bearer, and member of the Church and Cure Committee; and she even sang on the Choir at one stage. She says that the sense of fulfilment that she experienced as a volunteer in the Church’s outreach programme as she ministered to the infirm and the unchurched at cottage meetings, attracted her to the ordained ministry. Rev. Haughton’s favourite Bible passage – Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver them all,” constantly reminds her of God’s mercy, despite one’s circumstances. The retired sugar industry and education sector employee is married to Carlton and has one son, Robert, and three grandchildren.
Rev. Opal Beharie, JP
Rev. Opal Beharie is a trailblazer who, like St. Paul, affirms “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). This has been an asset on her job as Secretary Manager of the Parish Council with responsibility for St. James, St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland; and now in her position as CEO of the Westmoreland Municipal Council. This conviction has also benefitted her pastoral ministry. A member of St. Paul’s Church, Little London, she has served as Lay Reader, and Secretary to Regional Council; Western Region President for the Mothers’ Union; and Treasurer for the Provincial Mothers’ Union. She is also a Justice of the Peace, Secretary/Treasurer for the Clifton Boys’ Home Board; and Chairman of the Board of the Little London High School and Savanna-la-mar Infant School. Rev. Beharie is married to Charles, and they have 5 children.
The Rev. Desland McKenzie
An Accountant by profession, The Rev. Desland McKenzie is a member of St. Andrew Parish Church. He has served as Lay Reader, Director of the Outreach Programme, as well as Treasurer of St. Andrew Settlement and St. Andrew Care Centre. He has also been Treasurer of the Church Committee for the last two years. His involvement in the ministries of the church deepened his love for the practices and teachings of the Anglican faith and inspired him to enter the Ordained Ministry. He is further strengthened by the prayer chorus, “Bless the Lord Oh my Soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name,” which keeps him grounded in the fact that God is the source of his being. Hard-working and ever willing to assist others, Rev. McKenzie is married to Stacey Ann and is the father of a son, John Amarii.
The Rev. Teddy Blake, JP
An active member of the Church of the Transfiguration, in Leeds, St. Elizabeth, The Rev. Teddy Blake has been a Server, Lay Reader, Rector’s Warden, Sunday School Teacher and member of the Anglican Youth Fellowship at the local and Deanery levels. An educator by profession, Rev. Blake, who is also a Justice of the Peace, says his deep involvement in the life of the church led him to answer the call to be a servant of Christ in the Ordained Ministry. Guided by the passage “whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6), Rev. Blake says his Ordination, recent promotion on the job and the birth of his son Khaheem on May 30 represent the fulfilment of God’s promised blessing for the “cheerful giver.” He is married to Danisha, and they have one other son, Jowayne.
The Rev. Claude Campbell For the Rev. Claude Campbell, the “awesome, humbling and fulfilling experience of preparing and delivering God’s message to God’s people” as a Lay Reader for 10 years was the main factor influencing him to enter the Ordained Ministry. He is also a Chalice Bearer, serves on the Church Committee, is involved with the Music Ministry as a steel pan player, and manages the website of the St. Andrew Parish Church, his home Church. His participation in the life of the Church over the years enhanced his awareness that God’s Kingdom is about community and sharing God’s love with others. Inspired by the mantra, “Here I am Lord. Use me, Lord,” he constantly seeks to fulfil God’s will and learn from his mistakes along the journey. He is encouraged by the support of his wife, Gaye, son Craig and daughter, Caitlin.