The Right Reverend Gilbert Arthur Thompson Celebrates 50 Years as a Priest.

 

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Bishop Thompson celebrates 50th anniversary as a Priest.  L-R, The Rev’d. Whitfield Hutcheson, Bishop Thompson, The Rev’d. Timothy Eldon.


Hundreds gathered at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday evening to celebrate the Christian life and witness of the Right Reverend Gilbert Arthur Thompson, Assistant Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Heading the Government Officials in attendance were Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Hubert A. Ingraham and Mrs. Ingraham. Also in attendance were the Leader of the Opposition, The Right Honourable Perry G. Christie, and former Governor General, The Honourable Arthur D. Hanna.

Leading the Clergy were The Right Reverend Laish Zane Boyd, R., Diocesan Bishop, and The Most Reverend Drexel W. Gomez, retired Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies/Assistant Diocesan Bishop. Bishop Gomez , a childhood friend of Bishop Thompson, celebrated 50 years as a Priest on February 1st, 2011.

In addition to special guests and family members, large numbers of parishioners from St. Barnabas Parish, where Bishop Thompson served as Rector for 32 years, St. Agnes, his home church, The Anglican Church Women (ACW) and Anglican Church Men (ACM) organizations, other New Providence parishes, and the wider Diocesan family were present to share in this special occasion.  Representatives from the wider Christian community were also in attendance. 

The service took the form of a Solemn Pontifical Eucharist with Bishop Thompson serving as the Celebrant.  The sermon was preached by The Reverend Crosley Walkine, Rector of St. Matthew’s Parish, and a “son” of St. Barnabas Church. Deacon of the Mass was The Reverend Whitfield Hutcheson, Assistant Curate of St. George’s Parish.

Music was provided by The Anglican Chorale conducted by Ms. Rosemary Hanna, St. Barnabas Choir conducted by Mrs. Venus Bominy, and soloist, Mr. Adrian Archer.  Organists were Mr. Weston Mortimer and Mr. Jeffrey Sturrup.

Characterized as a humble, caring Priest, Bishop Thompson has served his 50 years in two Parishes in The Bahamas. He was Parish Priest at St. Peter’s Parish, North Long Island from 1961 to 1968 and Rector, St. Barnabas Parish, New Providence from 1968 to 2000. 

On June 24th, 2000 he was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and served in this capacity until 2005.  During the period he also served as Diocesan Registrar, Chairman of the Commission on Ministry, and as a member of the Provincial Commission on Ministry.

Bishop Thompson was a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral from 1990 to 1998, and served as Archdeacon of the West Central Archdeaconry from 1998-2000. He served as Rector pro tempore of his home parish of St. Agnes, New Providence from 2006 to 2007.

Bishop Thompson was born in Nassau on October 17 1935, to the late William Edward and Corene Thompson. He attended St. Agnes Day School, Western Preparatory, (1941-1943), Western Junior, (1944-1946),  Western Senior, (1947-1948), St. John’s College, (1949-1952)Teacher’s College, Nassau (1953-1955) Codrington College, Barbados  (1956-1961)        Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. 

He holds a General Ordination Certificate ACTM, U.K., and a Lambeth Diploma in Theology (S.Th.) Lambeth Palace, London, and Masters of Arts (Religious Education), Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey.

Prior to testing his vocation to the Priesthood, Bishop Thompson was an educator, and served as Headmaster of the Victoria Point School in Andros from 1955 to 1956.

He was a Justice of the Peace, Member of Council for College of The Bahamas, Chairman of the Anglican Central Advisory Council for Education, (1985 – 1995), Member of the Public Disclosure Committee, Member of Southern Library Board (1972 – 1990) Member of Nassau Library Board,
National Chaplain, Girls Brigade Council(1972 – 2008), Lecturer at Templeton Theological Seminary, Teacher at St. John’s College, Chaplain to the Senate(2007).

In appreciation for his service to the Church and Community, he was honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and named as a Companion of the Distinguish Order of St. Michael and St. George.

Bishop Thompson is the author of Instructions for Anglicans, and is currently writing the History of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands.

He is married to Olga Louise Thompson (nee Major), and the proud father and grand-father of children: Maude Angela Williams, Heather Anne (Clement) Maynard, and Gilbert Anselm (Jahzeel) Thompson, and grandchildren: Falon Williams, Amelia Maynard, Mary Maynard, and Gilbert Thompson III.

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