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Veteran AME pastor and presiding elder dies

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Malcolm and Elvia Eve (2016 photograph from the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs)

The Reverend Malcolm Eve 1934-2021

A former presiding elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bermuda and pastor of Bethel AME Church in Shelly Bay has died.

The Reverend Malcolm Eve was 86.

Mr Eve was a champion of traditional values and a strong voice for the church’s roots in the 1700s as a catalyst for freedom from slavery.

He wrote in The Royal Gazette in 2007: “We have strong sympathy for people who are now suffering what our foreparents once suffered.

“We recall the enormous social and political effort required to achieve liberation.”

He stepped down in 2010 after 17 years as elder and was succeeded by the Reverend Betty L Furbert-Woolridge.

The Reverend Larry Dixon, the AME presiding elder and pastor of St Philip AME Church, Smith’s said his friendship with Mr Eve dated back to their time in the 1990s as fellow elders, when he was in the New York conference.

Mr Dixon said: “Reverend Eve was a classy dresser, and I liked to tease him, saying ’I want to be just like you’.

“As fate would have it, I followed in his footsteps as the pastor here at St Philip and presiding here in Bermuda today.

“Certainly he and his wife are a classy couple, and I cherish his friendship and wisdom.

“Both of them have had a lifetime impact here on the island and on the AME church and are well liked and well respected.”

Mr Dixon added: “He has left a great legacy that will live on in Bermuda.

“When we speak of the AME church’s mission, Malcolm Eve’s name will be a part of it.”

Mr Eve began his working life as a dockyard apprentice – part of the civilian staff at the West End naval base who serviced Royal Navy ships.

He started aged just 15 as a ship fitter.

Mr Eve was among a handful of apprentices selected to go to the Royal Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth in the UK in 1950 to complete their training when the Dockyard at Ireland Island was closed by the Admiralty.

Many of the apprentices went on to hold prominent roles in Bermuda.

Mr Eve played in a band of others from the island, The Bermuda Four, while in Britain.

He worked in marine technical trades when he returned home before he committed his life to the church.

Mr Eve was later appointed as pastor at St Philip Church in Smith’s and served the congregation for a decade before he moved to Bethel AME in Hamilton Parish.

Mr Eve was brought up in the West End along with his cousin, Bishop Vinton Anderson, in the home of Charles Lawson Ratteray and his wife Fanny.

Mr Eve met his wife, Elvia, at a dance in 1975 and the couple married the next year.

Ms Eve is founder of the Mother Eve School for children in the southern African nation of Zambia.

⋅ Malcolm Lawson Eve, a former presiding elder of the African Methodist Episcopal church in Bermuda, was born on August 15, 1934. He died in April 2021. Mr Eve was 86.

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Published April 28, 2021 at 8:07 am (Updated April 28, 2021 at 8:07 am)

Veteran AME pastor and presiding elder dies

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