The Montserrat community joined with the SDA church in saying Farewell to Pastor Carl Craig Hastings. He served the island for five years and nine months along with his wife Mrs Rita Nicole Hastings. He was Pastor, teacher, counsellor, and neighbour to not just his congregants, but also the entire community. He was also a frequent presenter on Radio Montserrat on the programs The Adventist Voice, a program heard every Friday morning a 6:15; on the Signs of the Times heard every Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and on Morning Devotions.
On Sabbath morning, Saturday July 18th Pastor Hastings delivered his final sermon as the minister responsible for the SDA Churches in the District of Montserrat. He had been responsible for overseeing four congregations – New Ebenezer in St. Johns, New Carmel and New Love in Salem and New Life in Mongo Hill. In the Divine Hour service which was recorded and broadcast on Radio Montserrat on Sunday July 19th he spoke passionately on the topic “We Shall Overcome”. He encouraged the congregation as well as those who listened in radio land and via the internet to be faithful till Jesus comes.
Pastor Hastings and his wife were hosted to a sumptuous fellowship luncheon at the New Ebenezer church prepared by members of his congregations. The Hastings were joined by Mrs. Ida Simon (Pastor’s mother-in-law) and Premier Donaldson Romeo.
At the farewell service in the afternoon, the representatives from each of the congregations took the opportunity to reflect on the ministry of Pastor and Sis Hastings and presented them with gifts of appreciation. Also in attendance were members of the clergy, the education fraternity and members of the public.
According to all reports Pastor Hastings will be missed for his community involvement, not just in Evangelism but also for the way he interacted with people. It was reported by several persons that his vehicle M2020 became a well-known vehicle on the roads of Montserrat. He greeted people along the streets by a friendly tip of his horn; a friendly wave or greeting; he gave persons rides even if it meant going out of his way; he could be found at the bedside of the sick or grieving alongside the family members when their loved ones were sick or had passed away.
Pastor Hastings loved young people and among his many activities, he taught Mathematics and provided counselling services at the Montserrat Secondary School and gave motivational talks to students and teachers; at the Lookout Primary School, Brades Primary School and Light House Academy he gave moral and religious instructions. He was involved with the Royal Montserrat Police Service delivering motivational speeches, offering prayers at Public functions. He was active in Sports and played Cricket and basketball with the SDA teams and provided leadership training to youth leaders.
Pastor Carlisle Vyphus of the Anglican Church brought greetings from the Montserrat Christian Council and his own behalf. Mrs Hyacinth Bramble Brown brought greetings from the Ministry of Education and the Montserrat Secondary School at which Pastor taught Mathematics and provided counselling and motivational talks. Ms Denelta Weekes Head Teacher of the Lookout Primary School brought greetings from her school. Mrs Annie Dyer Howe and several individuals told briefly how Pastor Hastings impacted their lives.
Pastor Hastings was also featured on the Signs of the Times broadcast on Sunday 19th and Basil’s Breakfast show on ZJB on Monday July 20th where persons took the opportunity to call in to thank him and to express their appreciation for his ministry and his best wishes as he moved on to his new assignment. Following his final prayer in which he prayed for the nation, its people and Radio ZJB, Pastor Hastings promised to be an ambassador for Montserrat wherever he goes.