Drexel Gomez - Former Archbishop of The West Indies

The following is an excerpt of an article written at the St. Agnes Church in Grant's Town website - please visit the website for the full article - link below

Drexel Wellington Gomez was born in the Berry Islands in The Bahamas on 24th January 1937, the second child of the late Reuben and Mrs. Wealthy Gomez.

In New Providence he attended the traditional Western Junior and Western Senior Schools and also attended the competitive Government High School. He attended St. Agnes Church in Grant's Town where he served at the altar with Canons George Loran Pyfrom and Milton Cooper.

With pastoral guidance and fervent blessing of Bishop Spence Burton, Drexel Gomez entered Codrington College, Barbados, in 1955 to begin his training and formation for the sacred priesthood. He was sent to Durham University where he completed his degree in Theology.

On 21st December 1959, at the tender age of 22, he was made a Deacon in Barbados. He was ordained to the sacred priesthood on 1st February 1961 by Bishop Spence Burton at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau. Later that same year, he married Carol Chandler of Barbados in October.

He served as a Tutor in Biblical Studies at Codrington College from 1964 to 1968.

Fr. Gomez returned to The Bahamas and served as Parish Priest at St. Stephen's Church, Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama, from 1968 until 1970. He was then appointed and consecrated Bishop of Barbados in 1972.

He pioneered the efforts to bring the Diocese of Barbados out of a long history of Establishment with the state, and into a new culture of dis-establishment and self-sufficiency. The recruitment of many ordinands for the sacred priesthood was matched by an active policy of clergy advancement through academic study and other surges of professional / vocational enhancement. During his tenure in Barbados, Bishop Gomez also served in regional, ecumenical, and world capacities including the Caribbean Conference of churches and the World Council of Churches. He served on the Anglican Consultative Council from 1986-1992.

Following his resignation as Lord Bishop of Barbados, he returned to The Bahamas where, from 1993 to 1995, he served as Assistant bishop of the Diocese.

On 20th October 1998, the Provincial Synod of the Church in the Province of the West Indies (CPW) elected Bishop Gomez to succeed The Most Rev'd Orland Lindsay as Archbishop of the West Indies.(St. Agnes Church)

Along with Archbishop Peter Akinola, Anglican Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Gomez is a leading opponent of the ordination of practising homosexuals as Anglican clergy, an issue that escalated into a crisis for the Anglican Communion following the consecration of openly gay clergyman Gene Robinson as Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the USA in 2003.(wikipedia)

Archbishop Drexel Gomez later retired from the office in December 2008. He was later succeeded by Bishop of Barbados, Dr. John Holder.

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