Simons returns to the pulpit
High-profile pastor Gary Simons has returned as the head of a new church.
Mr Simons, the former pastor at Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, held his first service as senior pastor at GracePoint Church at Elbow Beach Resort&Spa on Sunday.
He left Cornerstone in 2017 after 17 years at the church. He also resigned his post as deputy chairman of Preserve Marriage Bermuda, set up to fight same-sex marriage, that year.
A flyer for the event held at the weekend said that Mr Simons had been appointed by the board of directors of GracePoint. It added that Mr Simons would serve at weekly meetings “along with his wife Belle Simons”. The flyer listed Pastor Jim Cymbala as “overseer” and Tony Evans as “adviser”.
Mr Cymbala is an American author and pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, located in Brooklyn, New York.
Dr Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, located in Dallas, Texas.
He has previously spoken in Bermuda at events with Mr Simons.
Both Mr Cymbala and Dr Evans have voiced opposition to same-sex relationships in the past.
Neither could be reached by telephone yesterday afternoon.
Questions e-mailed to Mr Cymbala and Dr Evans were not responded to by press time yesterday.
No contact information for GracePoint Church was provided on the flyer.
The GracePoint service was detailed in a online story by Bermuda Source.
The article said: “The parking facility was filled and overflowing as jubilant attendees arrived by the dozens.
“Indeed, the prayers of the faithful who petitioned God for almost two years were finally answered in commanding fashion.”
It described the congregation as “positively energised”.
The article said: “The seating capacity was quite limited and so the hall was completely full. Those who arrived late filled a small overflow. It is certain that numbers will increase in the coming weeks.”
It said that more information on GracePoint Church would be provided “in the coming weeks”.
The article added: “For those who would like to attend services, they will commence at 10am. Due to an overwhelming response on Sunday, Pastor Gary is making plans for two services to be announced later.
“If you have kids, the nursery staff are on hand to cater to the young ones, while the adults worship.”
It said that Mr Simons would begin a series of sermons entitled “Identity Theft” starting on Sunday, which Bermuda Source said was to “Know who you are in Christ”.
Information on where the church’s second service would be held was not provided in the article. A representative at Elbow Beach Resort&Spa declined to comment yesterday.
A telephone message left at Cornerstone, on Church Street, was not returned by press time yesterday.
Mr Simons resigned his post as deputy chairman of Preserve Marriage Bermuda in October 2017.
Melvyn Bassett, the chairman of the pressure group, said Mr Simons had resigned via a letter sent to the group.
He added that “no details” were provided by Mr Simons in the letter.
Mr Bassett added that he had not been in contact with Mr Simons for “probably more than a year”.
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