Bahamas religious tourism executives eye Atlanta’s gospel community
Atlanta, USA — The Bahamas is seeking to forge a greater alliance with the Atlanta gospel community, one that is considered a leader in the North American region. With major music award events, singers and studios, as well as being home to many internationally syndicated televangelists, the city has truly the buckle on the metaphorical ‘Bible Belt’ of the south.
Bahamas Consul General Randy E. Rolle, who is responsible for Georgia and surrounding states, recently met with Dwight Armbrister of director of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s Religious Department and Calvin Watkins, Seventh Day Adventist regional director for pastoral services to discuss some possibilities between the two jurisdictions.
“There are very promising opportunities,” said Rolle. “I am very optimistic that it will be mutually beneficial as there are many Bahamians who are very familiar with the Atlanta gospel scene, and likewise, Atlantans who are familiar with what we offer in terms of gospel events and even follow some of our Bahamian gospel leaders.”
Within the past month, the island nation was unintentionally thrust into the gospel spotlight when Atlanta’s own Creflo Dollar of World Changers’ Ministries in College Park flew down to pay tribute to Dr Myles Munroe, an internationally known Bahamian icon, who was killed in a plane crash, along with his wife, assistant pastors, youth pastors and others. Other well known names representing the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Word Network and Oral Roberts University were also in attendance.
“Dr Munroe often said in his broadcasts, ‘Welcome to The Bahamas, the place where God lives’,” noted Rolle. “His mark on the gospel community is truly indelible as an author, speaker, and global leader. Another person lost in that crash was Lavard Parks, a youth minister who made his mark in the hip hop gospel arena under the name Manifest, winning numerous music awards. When you consider the amount of persons who attended the celebrations honoring their lives, and you consider the amount of international delegates who were in The Bahamas to attend the event they were flying to, it shows that Dr Munroe was truly a visionary in showing that the Bahamas is so much more than sun, sand and sea.”
Rolle says that, while representatives from the Ministry of Tourism’s Religious Tourism Department were surveying Atlanta and his jurisdiction prior to the tragedy of November 9, the mission and vision must continue.