BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 17, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris was on Sunday August 16 among family members and friends of Bishop George C. Gilfillan who was feted at a special 88th birthday church service celebration at the Pentecostal Church of God, on Main Street in Saddlers Village.
“Could we give a loud round of applause to Bishop Pastor Gilfillan as we wish him a happy birthday, well-deserved and well earned,” Prime Minister Harris told worshippers who had turned out for the special service. “I grew up in Tabernacle not far from Pastor Gilfillan’s house and I would have gone to the church next to him, and seeing the Pentecostal power moving just like a magnet.”
Bishop Gilfillan is credited for building three churches in St. Kitts – the Pentecostal Church of God in Saddlers, the House of Deliverance New Testament Church of God on Main Street in Tabernacle Village, and the New Testament Church of God on Central Street in Basseterre. The fourth and the largest church, located on Boon Street in Basseterre, is expected to be opened shortly.
“I want to thank him for his many contributions to the village of Tabernacle, where he lived and he came to adopt as his own, the communities of Saddlers, Newton Ground, and Basseterre,” said Prime Minister Harris who later presented the Bishop with a fruit basket. “Apart from being a pastor, he was a contractor and builder and he gave support to the construction of churches all around St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The Honourable Prime Minister observed that Bishop Gilfillan had a generous spirit, and always opened up his home to the people of the community, “and I myself had an extended stay at his house – learnt to enjoy his cooking, and developed a love for lemonade like only he can make one.”
He thanked Bishop Gilfillan for being a real father figure and someone who would offer him counsel. In conclusion Dr Harris said: “I end by hoping that that magnet of God continues to prevail over Pastor Gilfillan, my father, my advisor, my mentor, and the goodness of God continues to be with him.”
Deputy Speaker Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett, who was in attendance, observed that the last time she remembered standing in the same position at the same pulpit was in 1999 when she was the valedictorian for the Saddlers Primary School. She praised him for kind gesture over the years, allowing the Saddlers Primary School to conduct graduation ceremonies at the church.
“Bishop, all of us are gathered here today to celebrate your culminating years of your octogenarian era and so I ask that God may continue to guide you, bless you, strengthen you, and order your steps in His ways,” said Dr Nisbett.
Also present and gave remarks to honour Bishop Gilfillan’s 88th birthday was the Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Six, and Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Dr Denzil Douglas.
When Bishop Gilfillan rose to respond to remarks by well-wishers, he addressed Prime Minister Harris as his son, and Area Parliamentary Representative Dr Douglas as his friend. He told them: “My son Timothy and I will say to anybody adopted, and my friend Dr Douglas: I say to you, do not have any enemies you know. The Bible says if your enemy hungry, feed them. So if you make enemies you have problems.”
Bishop Gilfillan’s son-in-law, who ministers at the Saddlers church, Rev Dr Analdo Bailey told the congregation: “We are thanking God that He has blessed our Bishop so that there are persons all over this world who can testify of the impact he has had on their lives.”
Relatives from overseas offered birthday wishes to Bishop Gilfillan via video link, and his last daughter Ms Geraldine Gilfillan in Tennessee, USA, said that her first son was born on the same day as her father. Also celebrating birthday on the same day with the bishop was Minister Keithly Armstrong who turned 62, who was feted at the church.
The service was conducted by Rev Ronald Taylor, of the Holy City Worship Centre in Basseterre, who said: “I want to honour this day to King George on the celebrating of his reign, his 88th reign, and so I say to you may God bless you.”