Categorized | National News

Baptist Bishops Supports Bridge Renaming

The government has in recent weeks faced fierce backlash in some circles for its decision to rename the Paradise Island Bridge in honour of Oscar winner, Sir Sidney Poitier.

But on Monday, it secured the backing of several Baptist leaders, among them Senior Pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church, Simeon Hall.

“While it is true that there are other Bahamians, who are deserving of similar honours, to name the Paradise Island Bridge after an Oscar winner will have great ramifications,” Bishop Hall’s brief statement on the issue read.

“This exercise, in our opinion, is a stroke of genius because Paradise Island is one of the most luxurious tourist destinations in the western hemisphere and to place the name of a world famous Bahamian born personality to its gateway, speaks volumes.”

Bishop Hall went on to stress what Sir Sidney has meant to the local Baptist community.

“Our record shows that when Baptists were marginalised by class prejudices of the day, Sir Sidney Poitier made invaluable financial contributions to help us erect the Jordan Prince Williams School at its present site on Zion Boulevard,” Bishop Hall explained.

“We believe in this instance, the government is right to honour Sir Sidney and we support this initiative.”

Bishop Hall’s letter was co-signed by several other Baptist leaders, namely Dr. Shelton Higgs, New Lively Hope Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. J. Carl Rahming, St. Paul’s Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Philip McPhee, Mt. Calvary Baptist Cathedral; Bishop Samuel Green, Zion Yamacraw Baptist Church; Bishop Delton Fernander, New Destiny Baptist Cathedral and Bishop Gregory Minnis, New Jerusalem Ministries.

In addition to renaming the bridge, the government also plans to name a new Centre for Performing Arts in Sir Sidney’s honour, as part of the country’s upcoming 40th Independence celebrations.

Prime Minister Perry Christie says the 85-year-old film star is being honored because of his life story and diplomacy.
Sir Sidney, the first black actor to receive an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in 1963, has served as The Bahamas Ambassador to Japan and UNESCO.

The official renaming is scheduled to take place on November 2.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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