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An Eleutheran Profile Continued from pg. 12
The Spanish Wells Gospel Chapel (his home base Brethren church), said Frank, was established during the late 1870’s. “In those days there were schooners - sailboats that came out of Nassau carrying freight,” said Brother Frank, “and a Mr. Holder, back then, landed where the Shipyard Restaurant is currently. He started preaching here, and later formed the Brethren Assembly.” Looking back at his time with the Brethren church, including his work with other churches, Frank shared, “I’ve been with the Brethren church for 78 years, but I’ve also preached in many other churches, the Evangelical church in Bermuda, the Methodist Church, the People’s Church - wherever I’m invited, I go. We have about seven or eight churches in Nassau (Brethren), and the Lord has been good to me. I’m very grateful, people have been so kind here in the Bahamas. In small communities, you always have some problems, but we manage to come through it. I learned a long time ago, you don’t come to an island like this and try to change the culture or the laws or the way people live. Otherwise, I became a Spanish Wells person. When in Andros, I’m an Androsian and in Abaco, I’m an Abaconian. I’ve managed to get along with everybody.” In his travels throughout the Bahamas, Frank worked with a dedicated group of evangelists, forging life-long bonds. “I went with Ed Allen, the pastor of Abundant Life - he, Heskitt and I have been great friends, and have worked together, along with Tom Roberts and Hartley Thompson in Freeport, Rex Major, Marcel Lightbourn, also David Cartwright in Marsh Harbour. I can’t even begin to tell you all the wonderful times we’ve had. David, when he was sixteen, just graduated high school, I took him out to Current and Harbour Island and when he met me, he said brother Frank, this is for me, and that’s how he got his inspiration and calling and have been in the work full time ever since - in tent meetings and the like - I can still picture him now with an accordion strapped over his chest, and also leading the singing with the other hand. Marsh Harbour was good for tent meetings, because we drew from Dundas Town to Murphy Town, and of course the islands like Man-O-War, Guana Cay, Green Turtle - many of them came up many nights, even some from Cherokee. After the roads were improved we were able to travel around a little more,” he reminisced. “I’ve been to Andros, Grand Bahama, New Providence and Abaco was one of my great ‘planting grounds’ if I may use the word. I spent a lot of time in Abaco… We had great times. Way back, about 55 years ago, when they didn’t have any roads from Marsh Harbour to Murphy Town, we used to go by boat, and when we got to the north side, we would walk across to the church there. There were no lights, just lanterns, and then we would preach.” He recalled very fondly, how after the service, they would be escorted back in song, with the lights from the lanterns waving - ‘God be with you, ‘til we meet again’, or with, ‘Goodnight, God bless you, one and all’. Brother Frank also remembered years of special blessings in Spanish Wells in 1967, two years after hurricane Betsy, and again in 1996, during meetings where many people came to know the Lord and were baptized. In his humble way, Brother Frank, expressed the importance of always giving God the glory in the work He allows you to do, saying, “No one person can claim the right or the full benefit of leading a soul to Christ. A mother prayed, someone brought them to the services, others prayed, others witnessed one to one, so when we get to glory you are going to discover that there was a chain of people involved in the work of the Lord. I’ve always maintained that, and I believe that’s true. I’m just thankful that I was a part of it. That’s all.” Social/Community Service: Pastor Frank Perry, assisted by many family members and friends, operates a “Care Center” located in Spanish Wells. He spoke of what inspired him to get involved in social service more than thirty years ago, recalling the large fire in Alice Town, Hatchet Bay, that destroyed many homes, and his hand in delivering a truckload of food to the affected families following the tragedy. “That experience burdened me to be more involved in social work,” he shared. The need for a storage facility presented itself during the hurricane Andrew experience, he shared, “We had our porch filled to the ceiling with goods, and rains came, got it all wet, and it was very discouraging. I said, we’ve got to get a place, and that’s why we have a place now, and Savannah (his eldest daughter) has been a tremendous help in that.” “We regularly go to south Eleuthera - Bannerman Town, Wemyss Bight, Green Castle, and also Alice Town, Hatchet Bay - whenever we get the food in. Everything is by faith. If the funds are in, we’ll do it. Now clothing, there have never been a shortage, and our policy has always been, if you can’t wear it, don’t bring it. This year for the first time, we’ve had more new toys than we’ve ever had, with donors from the Bahamas and Bermuda. The people here have been very kind. I’ve had a lot of support - Bahamians are very supportive and I admire them. They’ve been a tremendous help and encouragement to us,” smiled Continued On Page 14 Frank, adding, “The Care
The Eleutheran | Mar/Apr 2017
The Eleutheran Newspaper (March/April 2017). Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells Bahamas news, information, real estate, highlight...