the Governor's Speeches

Back to Speeches Indexoct 17, 2021

Congratulations for a unique and historic Chapel, the Philipsburg Methodist Cathedral

By His Excellency, Governor drs. Eugene B. Holiday

Delivered on the occasion of the Thanksgiving Service for 170th Anniversary of the Philipsburg Methodist Church Chapel

October 17, 2021

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten

Good Evening Church,

Today we pause in this service of thanksgiving, to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the Philipsburg Methodist Chapel, or rather the Philipsburg Methodist Cathedral. Marie-Louise and I congratulate the entire Methodist community on the achievement of this milestone. Special congratulations to all the ministers who have served as superintend minister and pastor in this Chapel over the years.

Dedicated in October 1851 this Chapel has been a constant factor on Sint Maarten. Majestically standing in the everchanging Philipsburg landscape, this Chapel serves as: a place of worship, a national monument, and a local landmark. This Chapel therefore has and continues to play an important guidance and formative role in the life of our people.

Having been baptized, confirmed, and married in this Chapel, and having attended kindergarten, Sunday school and boys brigade on the grounds of this Chapel I am proud to be part of the rich history of this unique national treasure. It is as such a great pleasure for me to stand here and greet you for this 170th anniversary thanksgiving service.

The theme of this thanksgiving service: Trust God in Difficult Times, “Transforming obstacles into opportunities” to commemorate the 170th anniversary of this Chapel reminds me of the powerful hymn:
“Take it to the lord in prayer”

For the past 170 years this Chapel, has and continues to serve as an invitation to people to trust God, to pray in good and difficult Times.

For the past 170 years this Chapel has been a beacon of faith for Methodists in particular, and Christians in general on Sint Maarten; a beacon that reminds us that no matter what the obstacle,

“We should never be discouraged
when we take it to the Lord in prayer”

Taught by past and present ministers and other leaders of this Church, this message that all things are possible, when we take it to the Lord in prayer, has been an inspiration and source of strength for generations of worshippers in this Chapel.

Faced with the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, we were in response forced to turn to virtual services.  As we responded many of us realized that there is no replacement for meeting in our place of worship, to find refuge, to find comfort, to gather strength, to overcome, to give thanks and to celebrate.

As we work through the challenge of the ongoing pandemic let us therefore seize this moment to give thanks for bringing us this far and for continuing to look over this Chapel, over its leaders, over its congregation, and over the people of Sint Maarten.

Let us give thanks for the wisdom of the structural builders and more so for the enduring work of the spiritual builders of this Chapel.  Let us give thanks to God for past and present Ministers, Stewards, Class Leaders, Sunday school teachers, Boys and Girls Brigade Leaders, Women’ League leaders, Youth Leaders, Choir Leaders and others in the Church.

Let us do so in the knowledge that their devotion to the work of God at this Chapel will continue to enrich our Christian values and with that build the resilience of our nation to transform obstacles into opportunities.

In closing, I therefore once again congratulate you with the 170th anniversary of this unique and historic Chapel, the Philipsburg Methodist Cathedral. With that I hereby in the Methodists tradition leave you with the mission, to continue to standup for the Christian values which this Chapel symbolizes and transform our world.

Thank you for inviting me to speak during this 170th birthday celebration of this Chapel and May God Bless You!