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A Money Tree Watered By Tears

Farewell to the Brennens

Living Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church

January 22, 2013




It was a unique outpouring of love an appreciation for Pastor Barrington and Mrs. Annick Brennen during their last Sabbath serving at the Living Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church.   It began at 9:15 a.m., on Sabbath, January 19, 2013, and ended at 1:30 p.m.  The regular Sabbath School program was suspended to allow for each Sabbath School Unit and some individuals and families to express their appreciation to the Brennens as they sat together on the platform facing the audience.  


Barrington Brennen served Living Faith Church as pastor for five years and introduced many new ministries and improved the organizational structure of the church. He was asked to be the pastor for the Centreville Church beginning January 26, 2013.   Annick Brennen served as an outstanding assistant treasurer during the five years and Community Services leader during the last year.  The church record keeping methods were upgraded with the use of the Church Members Directory software for membership data and QuickBooks software for accounting. Annick provided training for the use of these software.  Living Faith is now one of the few electronically data-driven churches in the South Bahamas Conference.  During Annick’s term as Community Services leader the soup kitchen was re-introduced and the kitchen was organized with secured cupboards.  The Community Services room was organized with shelving, and the much needed pots, pans, cooking utensils and accessories were purchased for the kitchen. 


On this beautiful Sabbath morning the celebration of love was interspersed with sweet music by the Living Faith Praise Team (Tamika Roberts, Hubert Williams, Bridgette Barrett, Janice Gibson, and Nelson Dorsett).   The singing began with one of Pastor Brennen’s beloved songs: “Press On.”  As the words of the song unfolded tears began to flow out of the eyes of Pastor and Mrs. Brennen and those of the singers: “When the valley is deep and the mountain is steep  . . . In Jesus name press on.”


It was touching to listen to the kind words of love and appreciation by all.  In addition to the adults sharing, the Pathfinders, the Children’s Ministries, and Youth shared in very unique ways their love and appreciation.  The most unique gift was that of a “money tree” by the Children’s Division.  It was lovely plant on which the children taped fifty one dollars bills and one five dollar bill on the leaves.  Another unique gift was given by the youth of the church.  They created a giant card held together by a bowtie and opening up to a number of beautiful pictures and notes of appreciation.   One by one, the groups and individuals came forward, many with tears in the eyes, expressing their appreciation to the Brennens.  The Praise Team sang many of Pastor Brennen’s favorite praise songs:   “Give Thanks,” “My Tribute,” “Yes I know,” “Lead me Lord I will Follow,” “Go Light Your World.”


These moments of  appreciation lasted for almost three hours and ended about twelve noon when the Divine Worship began.  What an outpouring of love!


The Divine Worship began with everyone kneeling in prayer and Pastor Brennen praying for the people.  At the end of the prayer, and while all the people were still on their knees, they sang with the pastor the Lord’s Prayer.  It was a beautiful and meaningful way to begin the service.   This was done in celebration of the final day for Global Rain of Prayer around the world.  The wonderful singing continued during the service.  It was inspiring to hear the congregation singing with the Praise Team more of the Brennen’s favorite songs: “Shine Jesus Shine,” “Pass It On.” “We are a Family,” “The Longer I Serve Him,” and “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say Come unto Me and Rest.”   


During the children’s story time Pastor Brennen shared with the exciting children, who surrounded him on the floor up front, his song: “Step into the Light of Knowledge.”  During the Divine Service the final farewell greeting was presented by the head elder, Stephen McBean on behalf of the entire church.   Then the choir sang an old-fashioned gospel song in preparation for Pastor Brennen’s final message.  Pastor Brennen began his presentation with a brief report on the achievements of the past five years.   He shared that the membership of the church grew from 600 to 754.  One hundred and forty-nine were added by baptism, four were added by transfer of membership, and one by profession of faith.   There were seven who transferred their membership to other Adventist Churches and 20 who died, awaiting the resurrection.  He read very slowly the names of the 20 persons who died.  They were: Lofton Alday, Lolesha Bain, Andrew Clarke, Laura Albury, Adai Bowles, Leona Adderley, Sidney Brown, Lloyd Dorsett, Pamela Dorsett, Terrance Edgecombe, Evadney Goddard, Anthony Harris, Hazel Hepburn, Betty Knowles, Ciro Lowe, Jackqueline Moxey, Chesteen Rolle, Karen Whyte, and Genevieve Saunders.


Pastor Brennen further reminded the members of the special days and events that were initiated during his stay at Living Faith Church. 


They were:

  • Barefoot Sabbath (Come to church with shoes a leave without them by donating them to those who need shoes)

  • Right Side Up Sabbath (AY at 11 a.m. and Divine Worship at 6 p.m.)

  • Casual Sabbath or Dress Down Sabbath

  • Outdoor Church

  • Sharing Sabbath (Bring a small token to give to someone during the church service)

  • Project Sturrup (Community outreach program)

  • Christmas Tree and Giving days.  (Erecting a Christmas tree in church and members bringing gifts for the needy)


He told the congregation that more than 2000 pairs of shoes where collected during the five years of celebrating Barefoot Sabbath.  The shoes were given to hundreds of people who were in need in Haiti, Asia (the Barefoot Program) The Red Cross, and the Church’s community.


In his sermon Pastor Brennen gave a review of high points he wanted the members to remember.  A few of them were from his last sermon series on the Reformation.  Here are the seven high points he left with the congregation: 


  1. Reformation in the Old Testament was necessary because the people had fallen away (apostatized) in three areas of their lives: diet, dress and worship. The most important reform needed was in their worship.  It was who and how they worshiped.  

  2. The reformation came about because people no longer understood the meaning of the “priesthood of all believers.” (I Peter 2:4, 9, 10).  Since Christ’s death and resurrection, the people no longer needed to confess to a priest. Each one could go to God on his or her own.

  3. One of the reasons the Reformation happened is that there was a "rediscovery of the attractiveness of the gospel.”  

  4. The Reformation spread over Europe and the Christian world after the people learned how to read and write.  

  5. No reformation can truly take place until there is first heart reformation.  Dress and diet reform is not possible without first heart reform—a spirit renewal.  Pastor Brennen shared that we need to rediscover the Scriptures for ourselves, we need to rediscover the “attractiveness of the Gospel,” and we need to rediscover Jesus.  He asked the question “Can the world see the beauty of Jesus in you?”  

  6. Victory in Jesus is not the absence of pain but accepting that God is with you through the pain.    Victory in Jesus in not the absence of the desire to do something wrong, but the trusting and depending on Jesus everyday to keep you from falling and to live a more abundant life.  Although Jesus died so that we will one day be SINLESS, His greatest joy is when we sin less and less and less and less.  

  7. Forgiving is not reconciliation. Do not confuse forgiveness with reconciliation.  Forgiveness can facilitate reconciliation, but it does not require it.  Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do FOR someone else. Forgiveness frees us to think objectively about what to do next.


Pastor Brennen concluded his message by sharing five texts he wanted the congregation never to forget.  They were:


  1. Galatians 2:20, 21: 20. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  21. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

  2. Psalm 27:1, 4, 5: 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  4. One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek:  That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.  5. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.  11. Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 14. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

  3. Romans 8:35, 37-39: 35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.   38. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,   39. nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  4. Philippians 4:13: 13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  5. Revelation 22:12: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me . . .”


Pastor Brennen ended the service with an invitation for everyone to meet him in heaven. He invited the congregation to join him in singing: “Jesus keep me near the cross,” and then he prayed.


The day was most touching and enlightening. May God continue to bless the Brennens as they continue in service at the Centreville Church.






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