Jamaican pastor still very active since retirement

Rev. Patrick Perrin.

Once would think that when the veteran, Jamaican-born, United Methodist Church Pastor the Rev. Patrick Perrin retired last June that he would hang up his preaching garments and voice. Not at all!

Rev. Perrin — whose last assignment was pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church of Elmont, Long Is., where he served from 2008 until retirement — has not slowed down much.

Since his official retirement on June 30, Rev. Perrin, 72, who had served as pastor at several United Methodist Churches in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview that he’s been engaged in numerous church and church-related activities.

“I try to keep myself active,” he said, disclosing that he delivered the sermon, “It’s About Time” at the Jamaica 57th Independence Service, at Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, on Aug. 4, 2019.

Rev. Perrin said he has been invited to preach in churches in Mt. Vernon, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, and served as guest organist on three occasions at churches in Long Island, Queens and the Bronx.

He said he preached in an Episcopal church in Brooklyn at its Men’s Day celebration, and worshipped at churches in Houston, Tx, where one of his sons resides with his wife and two daughters.

Rev. Perrin said he traveled to his home church in Spanish Town, Jamaica for the dedication of a new Johannus 270 Organ, which was bought after he led a fundraising effort in the US, raising over US$14,000. He was one of the guest musicians at the dedication concert on Aug. 18.

Since retirement, Rev. Perrin said he also participated in the Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Ministers and Spouses Fellowship, which included a visit to Nassau, Bahamas for worship and fellowship from July 19-22.

He said he continues to chair the Caribbean Mission Partnership (CMP) of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The CMP offers support to mission projects in the Caribbean, providing work teams and financial support for projects.

In addition, Rev. Perris said he chairs the Board of Directors of the Choose Life International USA (CLI – USA), a suicide prevention ministry founded in Jamaica by Dr. Donovan Thomas and his wife, Faith, “which has been doing significant intervention work in parts of the Caribbean and Latin America, and is celebrating the first year of its USA inauguration.”

Rev. Perrin said he has been invited by Bishop Bickerton, bishop of the New York Area, to be the interim pastor at Janes United Methodist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, beginning July 1 this year, on the retirement of the Rev. Robert O Simpson, who has served Janes for the past 47 years.

But though he’s retired, Rev. Perrin shared that “there are some well-known stressors in life and, along with death and divorce and relocation, retirement scores very highly among them.”

The United Methodist Elder said there is a mandatory age of 72 “at which we all have to retire.

“We may offer afterwards to be appointed to a church at the pleasure of the bishop,” he said.

Rev. Perris — who completed 47 years in appointive ministry, 50 years since he began seminary 1969 — said he chose to retire ahead of the mandatory age for several reasons.

He said his wife, Pansy, a former supervisor with the city’s Human Resources Administration, retired four years ago, “and I have been aware for a number of years that she has given up so much of her life and what started out as a brilliant career in the Jamaica Civil Service, to accompany me on my various stations — the USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica — that I believe I should become available to her and to spend quality time with her.

“This became more evident at the birth of each one of our four grandchildren,” Rev. Perrin said. “I have been reading President Jimmy Carter’s biography and inspired by his renewed relationship with Rosalind, his wife, after retirement.”

He also said it became obvious that physically he was no longer able to give of his very best to the daily demands of effective ministry.

“The older ones of us who can should make room for younger pastors to establish themselves, and take the churches we have served to higher and more visionary levels,” Rev. Perrin said.

However, despite the foregoing, he said there are some other aspects of the ministry which he would like to undertake in support of his colleagues who remain in full time appointments.

He said he is anxious to support the work and ministry in the Methodist Conference of the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) by engaging in fundraising for ventures in evangelism and mission, such as social and community outreach, Christian stewardship, education and agriculture.

Born on Jan. 30, 1948 in Spanish Town, the Rev. Patrick George Perrin, said he married Pansy on July 29, 1972. They have four children – Ayesha, Ayanna, Ayodeji and Ajahni — and five grandchildren — Emery, Teodor, Mason, Ayla and Ember.

Rev. Perrin, a graduate of Saint Jago High School in Jamaica, holds a bachelor of science degree in economics, a bachelor of arts in theology and a diploma in education from the University of the West Indies (UWI).

He also possesses a diploma in Ministry Studies from the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) and a Master in Ministries from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN.

Before entering the ministry, Rev. Perrin said he worked, among other places, in the Accounts Department in the Ministry of Communications and Works in Jamaica.

In Brooklyn, he served as pastor of Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Church from 1984-87; Saint Mark’s United Methodist Church, 87–98; and Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church, downtown Brooklyn, from 1998 – 2008.

“There is a sense in which retirement gives us an opportunity to pursue some avocations which may have been placed on the back burner,” Rev. Perrin said.

For him, these include: music — organ and piano-playing, Choral music, compositions and learning to play the bass guitar; art — taking up an early talent that he had not pursued – drawing and painting; writing – reflections, non-fiction (history, counselling, meditation and stewardship); carpentry; and gardening.

“As you can see, I am going to have to struggle against taking on too much,” Rev. Perrin said. “That is why I have given my loving wife the duty of being my scheduler and gate-keeper. To God be all glory!”

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