The Caribbean General Conference of The Wesleyan Holiness Church elected a new general superintendent this past summer.
The quadrennial event took place in Antigua, July 31-August 3, 2014, where leadership was transferred from former General Superintendent Rev. Carlston Christie to Rev. Cumberbatch. Currently, in this new role, Rev. Cumberbatch oversees ministry in 20 countries in the Caribbean: Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad, and Barbados, just to name a few.
He has served as a pastor and college professor and has served in ministry for over 34 years–26 of which he served as a pastor in eight congregations. Rev. Cumberbatch was born and raised in the village of Chalky Mount in Barbados. His parents didn’t know Jesus but “like the average Barbadian parent” they insisted he attend church. He occasionally accompanied his mother to an Anglican church. Rev. Cumberbatch’s exposure to true worship was gained by attending Pentecostal churches with both his grandmothers while growing up. Years later, he began attending Chalky Mount Wesleyan Church.
It was during his childhood that Rev. Cumberbatch realized his need to know Jesus and through the influence of his grandmothers, youth leaders, and pastors he made his faith decision.
He also credits mentors from his adulthood who’ve helped prepare him for his current role of general superintendent: Dorothy Millington, the late pastor who took personal interest in his spiritual well-being; Rev. Dr. Carlston Christie, former general superintendent of Caribbean General Conference; and various other Wesleyan Holiness leaders.
The goals that Rev. Cumberbatch has outlined for his new role excite him and he is ready to embrace numerous priorities in this quadrennium: mobilization of Caribbean Wesleyans to rally around the Wesleyan cause, partnerships between Caribbean Wesleyans and the global Wesleyan Church, expansion of the Church into some English and non-English speaking territories in the Caribbean where there is no Wesleyan presence, recruitment of pastors and ministers, and further expansion and development of Caribbean Wesleyan College, Rev. Cumberbatch’s alma mater. (He also graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in Fillmore, Ky.)
Accomplishing these goals is possible, but it won’t come without some challenges. Travel can be expensive between the separate islands and funds are needed for anticipated projects.
“I am extremely excited about the future,” said Rev. Cumberbatch. “Ours is a great Church with a great heritage and a potent message. I am extremely humbled and yet honored to be exalted to the pivotal office of general superintendent at this time and to be a bearer of that message.”
He looks forward to working with Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church in North America, more in the future.
“Dr. Lyon is a tremendous asset to the global Wesleyan family, and I am honored to be associated with her in this capacity,” said Rev. Cumberbatch. “There is much I will learn from her.”
Rev. Cumberbatch is married to Beverley. They have one son, Adriel.