Farewell Pastor Michael Simpson

Farewell Pastor Michael Simpson

Jennifer Distin

Pastor Simpson ministered as a Taskforce Worker at Windsor Street Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1985/86, and so it was fitting to have his farewell service there on the evening of Sabbath, 24 June. Members and friends gathered together from Areas 5 & 6 and further afield to say goodbye to a much-respected minister who has touched the lives of countless individuals in churches and communities.

The church was filled with new and old faces, ministerial colleagues and laity, some from back in the day and others more recently. There was an air of expectancy, and the atmosphere was filled with gratitude, echoed constantly by all who addressed Pastor Simpson, his wife Marlene, and their sons.

Pastor Paul Liburd officiated throughout the evening, and a video message from Dr Patrick Herbert (Area 5 Ministerial Field Secretary) paved the way for the many tributes that followed. The programme also included a poem from Sis Collymore (aged 93), who said she could not miss the opportunity to express her gratitude. Pastor Massih also shared fond memories of a very young Michael Simpson at Camp Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church and how their bond of friendship had grown into one of kinsmanship. 

For the remainder of the evening, friends, members and colleagues took to the microphone to convey their respects. The common thread throughout the tributes revolved around Pastor Simpson's passion for evangelism in the community, his devotion to equipping the laity for service, and his unswerving commitment to God. The tributes highlighted the same story: from the 1970s until today, Pastor Simpson was called by God and had served Him faithfully in numerous roles. 

After graduating from Newbold College in 1996 and being ordained in 2002, Pastor Simpson served as the Personal Ministries Director, Church Growth Director, Global Mission Co-ordinator, Ministerial Association Secretary and Co-Founder of Hope FM. Pastor Simpson made a difference by encouraging collaboration and open communication, fostering an environment of trust and cooperation, thereby allowing diverse voices to be heard and valued. Pastor Obi testified to the seeds Pastor Simpson had planted in his various roles that are reaping fruits.

During the nearly three-hour programme, recognition and applause were accorded to Pastor Simpson's wife, Marlene, who supported his ministry despite the enormous demands on herself and her family. The Ministerial Spouses Association acknowledged the work she had carried out with grace and consistency, and they added to the many cards and gifts presented to the couple.

Pastor Simpson will be missed, and although the word "retirement" was mentioned several times in light of him going to the USA to care for his mother, most recognise that such a word cannot define him. Indeed, long-time friend Mikey Brown stated that Pastor Simpson "was called before he was called." Another added, "that a man like you cannot keep yourself quiet when it comes to the service of God and His cause."

The prayers, love and respect of many go with Pastor Simpson and Marlene as they take up their new calling overseas.