NASSAU, The Bahamas – At the State-Recognized Memorial Service for Dr. Myles and Pastor Ruth Munroe at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, December 3, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie said Dr. Myles and Pastor Ruth Munroe’s true monument is represented in the two wonderful children they produced, and in many of the leading men and women of our society who were shaped by their teachings and personal example.
The Prime Minister noted Dr. Munroe’s testimony is witnessed in the leaders of our society he greatly influenced and shaped, who will continue his work, and their children “will take the baton and carry on the cause. And that is how great nations are built, brick by brick, one family at a time; one person at a time; one generation at a time, but all moving in the same direction, guided by the same sense of purpose, guided by the same values. Yes, that is how great nations are built, and how great nations endure.”
Before a large stadium crowd, and as part of a comprehensive programme of speakers and cultural expression — the Prime Minister observed that we hear too little of those are doing good things “even great things, day in day out, working by the sweat of their brow; raising good families; helping out and doing good works in the community; leading lives of high purpose that ennoble themselves and ennoble us as all as a society, as a people, and as a nation under God. That’s the kind of people Dr. Myles leaves behind as his monument.”
During his condolences, the Prime Minister discussed his last meeting with Dr. Munroe and his last conversation, noting in retrospect it seemed there was a lot on his mind, “much more than normal” and that he had a sense of urgency that “the challenges of our time summoned us all to leadership in one form or another so that the problems of contemporary Bahamian society that so troubled him could be more aggressively addressed and remediated.”
He said: “I don’t have to tell you that Dr. Munroe really loved his country, this beloved Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Yes, he would go forth into the world, crisscrossing continents, flying across the great oceans of the planet but he would always come back home to play his part, a leading part, in helping to build up his country,” said Prime Minister Christie.
“This kind of outreach was central to his sense of purpose and central to his work as an evangelist for Christ because it was clear to me that religion for Myles Munroe was not about locking oneself up in some remote ivory tower of private contemplation. Rather, it was about rolling up your sleeves and getting down into the trenches to deal with the real problems of real people living in the real world.”
Prime Minister Christie said while Dr. Myles Munroe was unquestionably a globalist, an internationalist, in the scope of his Christian ministry and in the reach of his teachings and travels, he was, at the same time, a profoundly committed nationalist; a Bain Town-bred Bahamian through and through; a man who never forgot his roots; a man who was passionately involved in Bahamian nation-building and who played an important part in that process over the course of more than three decades.
“And so my brothers and sisters, as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, I therefore stand at attention today and salute Dr. Myles Egbert Munroe as a Bahamian patriot of the first order. And on behalf of all my compatriots, I offer the thanks of a grateful nation for the life and work, and for the shining example, of this great son of our soil,” said the Prime Minister.
—-FULL TEXT OF PM REMARKS—-
Tribute by Prime Minister The Rt. Hon Perry G. Christie at Memorial Service for Dr. Myles E. Munroe OBE and Pastor Ruth Munroe on Wednesday, 3rd December, 2014 at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium:
I stand before you tonight not only as Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas but as a Bahamian, and as a Believer, who joins with Bahamians and Believers everywhere in giving thanks for the life and example of Dr. Myles Egbert Munroe and his devoted partner in marriage and the Christian ministry, Pastor Ruth Ann Munroe.
And in giving thanks for their lives, I also call to mind and give thanks for the life and ministry of all the other persons who perished in the common calamity of November 9th, 2014, a day whose tragic events are now forever etched in our collective memory.
And so, to the children and wider family of Dr. Myles and Pastor Ruth; to the widow and family of Pastor Dr. Richard Pinder; to the family of Youth Pastors, Lavard and Rudel Parks; and their two children, one of them unborn; and to the respective spouses and families of Captain Stanley Thurston; Frankhan Cooper; and Diego De Santiago – I again extend the condolences of the nation and my own personal condolences over their passing.
Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen :
Like so many others, from all across the globe, I was deeply touched by Myles Munroe. He was, for me, for Perry Christie, both as Prime Minister and as a man, a spiritual mentor, a collaborator in nation-building, and a personal friend for whom I held the deepest respect and admiration.
Speaking as Prime Minister, what I particularly liked about Pastor Myles was how he always gave it to you straight. There was never any beating around the bush. If he thought you deserved commendation, he would commend you. But conversely, if he felt that you had said or done something that called for rebuke, he wouldn’t hesitate to administer the rebuke either – always respectfully but never apologetically. Just as the great prophets of old saw it as their duty to speak truth to power, Dr. Munroe saw it as an integral part of his calling too.
You never left an encounter with Myles Munroe wondering where he stood on the matter that had brought you together. You never had to guess. He would let you know straight out.
But even when he was at odds with you, Pastor Myles would always be constructive! Whereas some others might only want to condemn and then walk away, Dr. Munroe would instead engage you. He’d construct and present alternatives; he’d develop compromises that took the best of the contending arguments and then he’d distill them into solutions that would break through the walls of division to find a common ground.
Indeed Dr. Munroe had demonstrated this gift not long before his death when, along with his BFM team of legal advisors, Merritt Storr, Nadia Wright and Wence Martin, he had put forward a simple but brilliant solution for one of the more controversial bills; a solution that both the Government and Opposition accepted and which led to the bill being amended.
Myles Munroe loved the word “Diplomat”. For example, he used it in the naming of his church’s premises here in The Bahamas, and in the naming of his aviation company as well. For Pastor Myles, diplomacy was both a necessity and a virtue. It’s what made things work. It was the instrumentality of compromise and consensus without which there could never be peace or harmony in the secular affairs of humankind.
Pastor Myles really believed that, and because he did, he was never stubbornly rigid or unyielding in his positions. Instead, he could see other points of view and was always prepared to work with those who held other points of view, so that together they might forge a consensus in a way that required neither side to deviate from its core principles. That’s the genius of the true diplomat. And Dr. Myles Munroe was the quintessential diplomat and peacemaker.
But it was Myles Munroe, the preacher and teacher, who was better known to us and to the world. And it was in these defining roles of his life that he helped shape the minds and hearts of millions around the world. He really was in every sense of the term, an icon of universal renown, particularly in his timeless messages about personal leadership and responsibility and in his biblically-supported teachings about self-empowerment and purpose.
The stories are legion of how one Bahamian or another, travelling in some faraway land, would have a chance encounter with a stranger, and after mentioning that he or she was from The Bahamas would see a sudden spark of recognition in the stranger’s eyes, followed by words of happy exclamation like : “Wow, The Bahamas! Well, you must know Myles Munroe then!”
There are thousands of such stories. Taken together they bear testimony to the fact that in the three score years allotted to him upon this earth, Myles Munroe earned for himself and for his beloved Bahamaland a place of fame that few others of his compatriots have ever equalled, much less surpassed, in our history.
Long before his death, Dr. Munroe had become a focal point for the faith of millions around the world. He was always on the move. Jetting off to South Africa one day, then stopping off in London the next; rallying in Tanzania one day then travelling to the Promised Land the next – Myles Munroe was always spreading his message somewhere on the planet. The Bahamas may have produced him but it could not contain him. Instead Dr. Munroe was called to a life of service to the Lord all across the world. He was a Bahamian, and proud to be one, but he was also a citizen of the universe; a man whose prestige, whose appeal, whose influence transcended national boundaries and geographical constraints. The world was truly his stage.
In paying tribute to Myles Munroe one cannot ignore the central importance that his dear wife and partner played in making him the man of global standing he came to be. Ruth Ann Munroe, a woman of God, a pastor in her own right, was, by all accounts, the wind beneath her husband’s wings. She made it possible for him to achieve much of what he did. She was always there as his helpmate-in-chief. I know it has become a bit of a cliché but the personal example of Pastor Ruth Ann Munroe really has proven beyond doubt that behind a great man lies a great woman. And so the tribute to Dr. Myles Munroe I give today is one that I extend to this wonderful lady as well.
I end with these words:
By his sermons and songs, through his scores of books and tapes, by the many hundreds of television appearances and talks on radio, and by the personal example of his leadership and moral rectitude, Dr. Myles Munroe, for more than 30 years, carried forth into the darkness of this world, in places far and near, a candle of uncommon brightness that, in the end, helped lift the hearts and minds of millions and, in so doing, helped make this world a brighter and better place.
May his soul and the soul of his dear, devoted wife and partner, rest in peace.