June 26, 2019
“It does not take a great mind to be a Christian, but it takes all the mind a man has,” wrote Richard C. Raines. Remembering Martin Henry since his passing on May 28 evokes a mixture of deep emotions, but for those who knew him best, there is sweet comfort in knowing that indeed he was a Christian, with a great mind, and a committed Seventh-day Adventist leader.
Four years ago, while speaking at a men’s convention, Martin professed, “To be a Seventh-day Adventist means something different and special. We are committing ourselves to the scriptures as articulated in the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are committing ourselves to the principles, articulated in our baptismal vows … . We are a peculiar people and one of our sacred responsibilities is to understand what this difference means.”
His formative years at home and at the Somerset Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Thomas were the reasons for Martin’s sturdy foundation, which took him on a remarkable journey for 61 years.
“Martin’s influence was wide, and despite his great knowledge and expertise in his field, he was humble and respectful to everyone,” reflected Pastor Eric Nathan, the president of East Jamaica Conference. “Even if he differs from you, he speaks to you in such a calm and humble way that respect is not lost.”
Martin preached, taught, mentored, chaired meetings, helped build churches, and did his farming. He shared in the joys and sorrows of ministry. While he did so, excellence was his mantra and he lived by the simple principles – always on time, on target, and well prepared.