Dec 25, 2016 News
“As a leader you take on the role of a shepherd, you have to take care of your congregation, because people come to you with real issues and you have to counsel them and talk with them about life. I connect with housewives, businesspeople, politicians… all sorts of people, daily. It’s my job to point them in the right direction.”
By Rehanna Ramsay
According to the Bible, if a man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a good work. And
this week’s special person has devoted more than half of his life to this “good work.” With some 30 years of experience as a Minister of the gospel to his name, Archbishop Wingrove David (W.D.) Babb has certainly earned the title of esteemed church leader and visionary.
His unique style of preaching and teaching has afforded him numerous opportunities to “minister” to crowds in several parts of the nation, the Caribbean and North America. But it’s Archbishop’s Babb efforts towards developing and establishing a church of excellence and honour that causes his work to stand out in the local Christian community.
Babb says that it was with the help of God and the generous support of covenant partners around the globe that enabled him to establish Special Miracles Ministries, (Royalty Centre) an independent church located at Freeman Street, East La Penitence.
The Church, he hopes, will inspire others to excel at what they do and be the best that they could be for the advancement of their families, churches, communities and the nation.
“What we seek to do is challenge others to reach the next level,” Babb stated.
However given that it’s Christmas, this week’s Special Person will not only share some insight of his work as a Pastor, but also a bit of information on Christmas and what it means to him.
Born on December 30, 1961 to parents, Rudolph Babb and Pamela Greaves, young Wingrove spent his early life being nurtured by his grandparents.
He recalls that he spent his early living between his two grandmothers.
Both women were bible-believing Christians and impressed upon him the importance of living life according to God’s standards. In fact, it was his maternal grandmother, Olga Greaves, who Archbishop Babb says, gave him his name.
“She actually named me after a Man of God who had visited her church on a Missionary trip. After I was born, they were undecided on a name for me, but my grandmother said that I should be named Wingrove…after this mighty Man of God, Wingrove Taylor.”
Babb recalled that as a lad growing up in East La Penitence, he did not always choose the Christian way of doing things.
“I grew up rough like most of the young men in these parts. I loved playing football and hanging out on the street corner.”
But it was his Church upbringing that made an early impact on his life.
“I grew up in Church, but I was not always serious about it until probably my mid- twenties. That’s when I decided to take my life in God to the next level.”
Besides, he emphasized that “even if I wanted to stray, my grandmother and aunts were there to keep me in line. They never spared the rod”.
Nevertheless, Archbishop Babb reflected that he is extremely grateful for his humble nurturing.
“It saved me from my environment. We kept Sunday School in our yard. Growing up
in a community like East La Penitence, as a young man, you’ll hear words like ‘you got to be strong’. Those words in street talk mean a totally different thing in Church. And I came to a place where I had to choose what I wanted those words to mean to me.”
“The positive influence eventually conquered the negative and I made a decision to fulfill God’s calling on my life,” he said.
In the early stages of his Ministry, Babb attended Pilgrim Holiness Wesleyan Church in West Ruimveldt and afterwards Christ Crusaders Deliverance Ministries, where he was under the leadership of his Apostle, the late Charles Van Tull. Under Van Tull, Babb learnt the tenets of Pentecostalism and acquired the skills he needed to launch his own Ministry.
But before he could venture into full-time Ministry, he had considered a few other career choices, including army officer and seaman.
“I actually thought of a career in the military. I was in the army for a period, but what that experience taught me, was how to be under authority and how to have a greater level of discipline in my life.”
These experiences, he said, helped him in the management of the Church. He said that he also attended Bible College which helped him to develop his theological skills.
After a period of serving under the Apostle, the then Pastor Babb, felt the need to launch out on his own. He therefore consulted with his Apostle and received his approval – Special Miracles Ministries was launched in 1994.
“We started in a small area. At one point, we rented a store front apartment on Wellington Street. There, we ran a video store renting (Christian) cassettes and selling music by day and having church in the same space at night.”
The church would move to a number of locations before finally settling in the community of East La Penitence.
During these seasons some persons walked away from the Ministry, but Babb continued to persevere.
“I knew the vision God gave me and I continued to press on. God has a way of encouraging you to hold on, even when things go the other way. He sends a word or a Prophet, but there is always something to encourage us to hold on. Also, I was determined to see success. I am a kind of person who hates to lose.”
It was during this very stage, he recounted, that the ministry started to impact the lives of others – including Preachers – who would reach out to him for advice.
“A number of churches and individuals would have benefited from the ministry, hence the fulfillment of its purpose. The work of a Bishop is quite intricate. You have to manage administration of the church and then deal with people from all walks of life, as well as their problems. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but I had to learn to have a balance with life and spirituality.”
Although he is a Minister of Gospel, Archbishop Babb says that he has always been in touch with reality.
“As a leader you take on the role of a shepherd, you have to take care of your congregation, because people come to you with real issues and you have to counsel them and talk with them about life.You can also pray them through and give them sound biblical advice if it’s a spiritual problem.”
“I connect with housewives, businesspeople, politicians… all sorts of people, daily. It’s my job to point them in the right direction.”
For this reason, at the end of the day, Babb says his work as a Reverend is fulfilling. “The evidence is that I continue to see promotion and success despite the odds,” he added.
Archbishop Babb has a weekly televised programme which airs on Channel 9 at 6:30 a.m. and he can be contacted via his Facebook page.
REASONS TO CELEBRATE
Christmas is a time for celebration, and for Archbishop Babb and his family, there are several reasons to celebrate. The Church will host a morning service today from 9 o’clock.
“Afterward, persons will leave to spend time with their loved ones and that in itself is a reason to be thankful. You may not have a lot of material things, but Christmas is about sharing the love…sharing between your family and friends.
Christmas is about remembering the fact that Christ came to the Earth to save the world because of love, and we celebrate that. It’s not the date in particular, but the time we choose to mark the occasion of His birth. I believe it’s better to celebrate and remember the birth of Christ than not to celebrate it at all,” Archbishop Babb asserted.
In addition to the holiday observance, Archbishop Babb and his wife, Bishop Amy Kumarie Babb recently observed their 17th wedding anniversary. The Archbishop emphasised that his wife is the backbone to the establishment of the Church.
“There are few people who have been pillars in my ministry. My wife is chief amongst them. God has blessed me with a woman of excellence to carry the work he called me do to.”
It’s been a little over two years since the church opened his doors in the community of East La Penitence and the work continues to expand.
The Church has been working to foster the educational and spiritual development of young people in the community. Special Miracles Ministries stages monthly ‘fun days’ on Sundays.
Given that East La Penitence is a working class community, Babb says that the Church would assist the children with school work “…as well as whoever comes to us with an issue, we provide counselling [and] prayers.”
Sunday School is held for three weeks, but the fun day is set aside to cater to the community’s need on a grander scale. Activities include games, school work assistance, counselling, and snacks.
“Our arms are open to those who want to come and join us, to know more about God, Church and giving back to the community,” Babb said of his church.
Additionally, the church engages in outreach programmes in Alexander Village and Cummings Lodge.
“As a church we also have a social responsibility, and we are therefore open to reaching out to the community as much as we possibly could,” he added.
According to him, the work of his ministry has only begun.
“This is just the beginning. There’s a lot more that I am seeking to do in these communities and the nation. My heart is for Guyana. My wife and I are citizens of the United States, but we are here in the nation to do God’s work and finish what he called us to do.”
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