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60 years of ministry

Published: 
Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Photo by:Suzanne Sheppard

"Good things come from Morvant" is one of the signs prominently displayed in the sanctuary of Daybreak Assembly. It is based on a Bible verse that has long been a source of inspiration for senior pastor Rev Alister Alexander who is celebrating 60 years in full-time ministry and 57 years in Morvant.

Indeed, over decades of ministry in Morvant, largely a working-class community grappling with the challenges of power and crime, Rev Alexander has been working to ensure that good things come out of that area. Through his ministry at Morvant Pentecostal Church and more recently at Daybreak Assembly, the name the church adopted when it relocated to the complex it has occupied since 1996, he has met the spiritual needs of thousands who have been part of his congregation at one time or another.

A respected theologian, widely regarded as a man of great depth and balance in local and regional Full Gospel assemblies, Rev Alexander was raised in a strict, traditional Roman Catholic home in the island of his birth, Grenada, and had devoutly followed the customs and practices of that church. He was an acolyte and was well schooled in RC catechism.

His turning point came in 1952 in the small town of Sautes, Grenada, when under the ministry Pastor Eileen Nicholas, he gave his life to Jesus.

One account of what happened: "His biggest challenges at that time would be to tell his relatives and the priest. With the encouragement of his best friend (a recent convert as well), he took the plunge—his life would never be the same."

After that, showing early signs of his ministerial calling, he became actively involved in church ministry, often chairing open-air meetings. It was at one such meeting that he made his preaching debut when the designated preacher did not show up. His pastor knew then that he was called to preach, but the future Rev Alexander's vision was still set on becoming an engineer.

Eventually, he obeyed the call to begin formal ministerial training and enrolled for a three-year diploma course at the West Indies School of Theology (WIST) in Trinidad. After three years of study he was named valedictorian of the graduating class of 1957.

After graduation, Rev Alexander embarked on a two-year evangelistic stint in Barbados. He asked to return to Trinidad to hold a crusade in Morvant and in 1961, he packed his belongings and boarded a plane to Trinidad. By the end of the crusade, the elders of the church asked him to hold on for two weeks. So began his ministry in Morvant that has continued over the past 60 years.

A man of balance

On September 5, 1964, Rev Alexander married Lula, twin daughter of the late Rev and Mrs Ferdinand LaFleur and she joined him in ministry.

The couple had three children, Kirt, Arlene, and Alan. Although Kirt is now deceased, their other children are actively involved in ministry. Alan, along with his wife is a pastor of a growing church in Tamarac in Florida, while Arlene and her husband are heavily involved in the music ministry at Daybreak Assembly.

In 1966, Rev Alexander was appointed the first National Dean of Men at WIST. He lectured there for 22 years.

As a minister of the Pentecostal Assembly of the West Indies (PAWI), he has held several offices including assistant presbyter of the North Trinidad District. He has also served as president of the Evangelistic Association and first National Vice President of WIST and chairman of the National Council of T&T, an aggregation of four autonomous PAWI districts comprising approximately 130 churches. He has also served as the assistant general superintendent of PAWI for many years.

Very much a man of balance, Rev Alexander was once an avid cricketer and is still a cricket fan. He also enjoys fishing in his spare time.

Today, his many accomplishments will be celebrated with a Pastor's Appreciation service at the church he has served for so many decades—Daybreak Assembly.

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