St Paul Church “Disheartened” By Permit Refusal

December 30, 2016

The Officers and members of St Paul AME Church said they are “profoundly disheartened by the Bermuda Government’s decision to deny our Pastor, the Reverend Nicholas Genevieve Tweed’s work permit renewal” and they “feel utterly betrayed by the Government.”

St Paul AME Church TC December 30 2016

“In 2012, Pastor Nicholas Genevieve Tweed was appointed to St Paul A.M.E. Church by The Rt. Rev. Gregory G.M. Ingram, the Presiding Bishop of the First Episcopal District of the AME Church,” a statement said.

“Since his appointment, Pastor Tweed has rejuvenated the church ministry. He has led our church with enthusiasm, compassion and most of all sound Biblical teaching. He has been a committed servant to his congregation and to the wider community.

“Pastor Tweed has led the congregation in Prayer, Bible study, Discipleship and ministering to the needs of members of the church and the community. Our Wednesday feeding programme and student scholarship awards have all increased under his leadership.

“He has been a true servant leader. He has carried out all his duties of ministering to his congregation with great care, to grieving families, to the sick and shut in, performing weddings and baptisms.

“He was appointed by the Bishop as deputy chair to manage Matilda Smith Williams Seniors’ Residence and his leadership has served to stabilize and improve the operation of the residence.

“Our youth ministry has grown under his leadership, young people are serving and more visible in ministry at St Paul. They are devastated by this decision. The message that the Government sent will resonate for years to come. But we as a congregation will remain steadfast in our conviction and our faith.

“Martin Luther King Jr. in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail stated ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ What has been done to the membership of St Paul and to the AME Church of Bermuda is an injustice.

“This is an attack on the faith community, Bishops, Elders, Pastors, and Reverends are called to serve and are called to speak out when there is injustice. When their voices are silenced there is a missing message of compassion, wisdom and justice that needs to be heard.

“The Government has stated that the Church has been a place of refuge, safety and renewal, their words are hollow to us as we close out 2016 and enter a new year without our beloved servant leader and Pastor, Reverend Nicholas Genevieve Tweed.”

click here Bermuda Rev Tweed’s work permit

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Comments (52)

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  1. Rada Gast says:

    Rev Tweed is no MLK.

  2. Bermudian available says:

    One question…are there Bermudian pastors available?

    • Done with all of you says:

      Tge question should be ..do they want to come home?

    • Rockfiish#2 says:

      Apparently there are a number of AME members who are attempting to keep Tweed here until the present Presiding Elder retires. Then he will be their choice as her successor.
      The rest of this sorry saga is easy to figure out.

  3. O'Brien says:

    Why didn’t you comply with the rules? Or do you feel that you are above them?

  4. BRAINWASHED says:

    HES NOT BERMUDIAN! IS WORK PERMI EXPIRED… PROCEDURE WAS NOT FOLLOWED PROPERLY AND THIS IS THE CONSEQUENCES…

    MR TWEED NEEDS TO GO BACK TO HIS OWN COUNTRY AND HELP HIS OWN

  5. This is no attack on anything says:

    Surely the Church preaches following the rules governing law and order–no?

    If Reverend Tweet was/is so critical to the Church community then why wouldn’t the Church’s administration do everything to ensure compliance with the country’s immigration rules to keep Rev. Tweed on board?

    Something just doesn’t seem right with this story….

    Why wasn’t an application that was complete and accurate submitted–if that had been the case–this would not be an issue, regardless of how things were done in the past.

    Reeks of politics and once again the community suffers at the hands of those hell bent on making a point.

    Sad Bermuda, very sad.

    • Double S says:

      I’m beginning to think that the church really doesn’t want him, but is trying to save face by forcing the government to deny the flawed application.

      Why else would they fail, for almost 6 months no less, to rectify the application deficiencies and advertise?

      There’s more to this for sure.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Remember at the time the Minister was Michael Fahy. The time line fits that they thought he would refuse the permit, so, as Bro. Furbert so eloquently puts it “it ain’t going to happen”. Now the BIU membership are placed in a position of having to follow the orders from Bro Furbert to take action because a non Bermudian has been refused a work permit renewal. So much much for Bermuda for Bermudians. This should be fun to watch. Since the BIU has no funds there won’t be a General, or even partial strike, so the OBA needs to stand strong for Bermudians. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

        • legalgal says:

          Leave the anti-non-Bermudian sentiments at the door. This is a question of compliance. Full stop. Doubt any local would have been as qualified, but we’ll never know unless they do the right thing and advertise.

  6. Politricks says:

    Why do the church officers refuse to answer questions about the non-advertising of the position and other issues noted by the ministry that led to this final decision?

  7. Really?? says:

    i think i’m going to just tell TCD to pass and renew my car next year without taking it down. Or ask for my pasport to be renewed without photos and half a form. What do AME find so hard about fill out for correctly, and follwoing the rules for advertising the post? Purposly not following the rules isn’t the teachings of the Lord that I learnt.

  8. Happy Hell Year says:

    OBA send tweedy home with all the other contract workers and tell the church pray some more.

    • legalgal says:

      Shall we switch off the lights on our way out?!

      Leave the anti-non-Bermudian sentiments at the door. This is a question of compliance. Full stop. Doubt any local would have been as qualified, but we’ll never know unless they do the right thing and advertise.

  9. 32n64w says:

    So where is the church’s consent to allow the facts of the application process to be shared with the public if they feel so betrayed?

    • legalgal says:

      This church needs to be reported to whoever their overarching synod or diocese is to consider their actions. They are bringing the AME into disrepute.

  10. Sabrina says:

    Dear AME Church,

    If Rev Tweed was so important to your church, why did you not complete the application properly and advertise like you were asked to do? Why did you not do everything that needed to be done to ensure that your very important “employee” had his permit approved. Maybe the truth is, you did not want him here and are allowing the Department of Immigration to do your dirty work for you. To come out now and complain about the Governments decision is disingenuous.

  11. Terry says:

    Here we go again.
    Not even having read anything here I just want to comment on how the PLP/BIU are forcing the church to comment.

    It is by design.

    As any Bermudian would say in an instance like this…. Vatz rong wiff yoo lutt.

    Happy………….something.

  12. Betty Boop says:

    This statement by the Church is utterly ridiculous. Rev Tweed may be many things to many people, but one thing he is not for sure and that is he does not pay attention to the rules and neither do you AME Church. Bermuda is for Bermudians first and foremost.

  13. jt says:

    “The position was not advertised despite repeated requests by the Department to do so, and the actual application was incomplete and contained inaccuracies.”

    Complete the application correctly. Until then, stop with the theatrics.

  14. Lesson to work permit holders, dont expose Government’s short comings and problem involvements in projects.

    • jt says:

      The lesson is to insure your renewal is properly completed.

      • But cooperate heads and and those in leadership positions in IB get a pass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Oh ya I forgot de Two Bermudas.

        • jt says:

          They could also apply for an exemption under the very same rules, which is what you’re trying to say. You’re welcome.

        • aceboy says:

          This myth is the only come back you have….and it is a myth. Provide one example!

          Is that the AME Church’s stance too? If so THEY need to provide an example.

          One thing is for sure, the two applications should be posted for all to see. These Church leaders need to answer the questions posed to them if they want to involve themselves in this gutter politics that the BIU and PLP want to play.

          So much for doing God’s work….this church seems to feel its power over the people slipping and see this as an opportunity to shore up the congregation’s loyalty.

          Quite disgusting, frankly.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      A lesson the PLP believed in whole heartedly when they were in government, there were many victims of their ire, who were shown the door, several without due process. In fact there were successful lawsuits against the PLP immigration administration for wrongful work permit terminations. But now we have a case where a work permit holder and his employers have ingored their legal requirements and the PLP are mustering all their surrogate political agents to cry injustice (only other agent we haven’t heard from yet is CURB, must still be waiting for their script from Alaska Hall). Here we have a clear case of a permit holder and his employer failing to do the one thing that the PLP and their surrogate demand must always be done, and yet now they want there to be an exception, now immigration laws should be ignored… hypocrisy.

  15. Ringmaster says:

    Several years ago, under the PLP, a non Bermudian Anglican Priest was asked to take the service of another church. He couldn’t because he was warned he would be arrested for violating his work permit. He was very popular but his renewal was refused. The PLP has a history of such actions, and Rev. Nicholas Genevieve Tweed is no different to that Priest. He is not Kingsley Tweed’s son by birth, so is a non Bermudian subject to the Immigration Laws. An impartial Immigration Board refused the renewal. All the Minister did was agree with their decision. That is not interference.

  16. Know it All says:

    No comment or response to the points that the application wasn’t complete or they didn’t comply with DoI requirements and just the “he’s a good guy” defense? No specifics of what the church has done in the last 3 months to correct the issues?

    This is an absolute joke if a meeting/strike takes place because of the rules that the union’s themselves put on government to implement.

    This is not a union matter, and the union’s have abused their collective power of situations that have no merit. By this, they act as 3rd political party and strong arm enforcers for anything they dislike, even fractionally and this needs to stop for the betterment of this country for 2017. Support the members absolutely, but do it properly, lawfully and for the greater good.

  17. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    BYE FELICIA…HE’S NOT BERMUDIAN!!

  18. bluwater says:

    Well, I’m disheartened by the AME’s refusal to obey a simple law even after they’ve been apprised of it and given a second chance.

  19. Rhonnie Oliver says:

    I trust the church means what its said about Rev Tweed which makes it harder to understand why they didn’t apply for his renewal properly so there’d be no chance of his loss.

  20. Release the information or move on..... says:

    At this point all we can go on is what the Minister says, because the AME Church and the BIU just keep talking about his links to Bermuda and how it is Politically motivated. They never address the advertisement situation, incomplete form or inconsistencies, so until they provide evidence to the contrary he will have to leave like any other NON-BERMUDIAN without a valid work permit. One month is standard procedure. I hear you AME church, he did a good job, so do many other expats who work here, but when their work permit is up and it is not renewed they return to where they are from!

  21. Let the church pray . The prayer of faith can move the hand of God to work on our behalf . Pastor Tweed is a good man. There have been assitance given to those that have had this same kind of problem. Let us lend a hand to pastor Tweed.We have chosen to go to war over this issue, when calmer heads can find a workable solution.Why can’t we all get along ?

    • Real talk says:

      That is the truth Rodney. People don’t be fooled by the OBA and their smoke and mirror games. I really wish they would be honest and tell the Pastor look you interfered with the OBA on to many occasions as a work permit holder and now you’re paying the price. Get the foxes out. If public believes that every contract is advertise wait until the truth comes out.

      • O.B.A. puppet.
        Once you finish praying God expects you to get off ya knees and do something.
        You and Dennis have egg on ya faces now.

    • Know it All says:

      We do get along. Issue is that things are taken out of perspective and spun to fit a different narrative. The war cries are from the ones that would rather reference and go back to the past, rather than work to improve and strive for a better tomorrow.

      This has been a very public issue, so why haven’t the appropriate steps been completed over the past 3-6 months? Rather than huffing and puffing now, where was the effort to correct the issues at an earlier time? Too much reactive rather than proactive efforts.

    • Realist says:

      Rodney stop with the talking out of both ends. Either you want fair process for all or you are being disingenuous. This has to do with honesty not religious spin!!! I’m so sick of hypocrites twisting rules for some but not all. IF this case is bent to suit you it would open flood gates for hundreds of denied applications for the same reasons. The lawyers must be rubbing their hands in wait.

  22. Terry says:

    So many posts and opinions.

    Some get ‘teed off’
    Some get ‘weed’ off

    Just wish the radicals would get tweed off.

    Think before you post and become another avenue for aluaha….etc.

  23. O.M.G says:

    I am really tired of this S. You people just don’t get what you are doing to this country. So many hypocrites in these churches very very sad what a way to end a year. Please someone shut chris Furbert mouth. You should have done the process properly. That’s it. But we really don’t need this type of reverened here. He should have kept his mouth in the church not being a radicalized. How long has he been here

  24. josun says:

    If the Church had any love of Bermuda it would direct Rev Tweed to leave now. This is only going to end in disaster for The Island. 1981 here we come, again.

    J

    There is blame in every direction.

    • Izzypop says:

      Wait till A C comes in May. That’s when they r going to pull out all the stops to make it fail. Already hear little rumblings amongst a certain few

    • Jesus went through S!@# too.

  25. Nathalee Johnson-Simons says:

    Just my non-Bermudian two cents, as indicated in the article in quotes below, I WOULD THINK HE HAS PERFORMED HIS DUTIES AS EXPECTED UNDER THE JOB DESCRIPTION AND THE WORK PERMIT TERM!!!! like any other position the candidate on work permit he should have mentored a Bermudian to fill the position after his/her permit is expired.

    St Paul, should confirm if a qualified Bermudian had ‘shadowed’ Rev Tweed and is now fully capable of continuing all the work he did as well as make a difference to further advance the duties of the church???

    If not and the renewal is sought and denied, then the executive and members of St Paul has failed and need to be held accountable.. keep praying the divine intervention can happen.

    Isn’t the below a ‘Normal’ Job Description of a pastor??? why highlight these??? I’m sure Rev Tweed was not on volunteer work for St Paul, correct me if i’m wrong.

    “Pastor Tweed has led the congregation in Prayer, Bible study, Discipleship and ministering to the needs of members of the church and the community. Our Wednesday feeding programme and student scholarship awards have all increased under his leadership.
    “He has been a true servant leader. He has carried out all his duties of ministering to his congregation with great care, to grieving families, to the sick and shut in, performing weddings and baptisms.
    “He was appointed by the Bishop as deputy chair to manage Matilda Smith Williams Seniors’ Residence and his leadership has served to stabilize and improve the operation of the residence.

  26. legalgal says:

    Everyday Jacob prayed to God: “Lord, I am your faithful servant Please provide for me.” “Lord I have no money to feed my children/wife?cat/dog. Please send me food/a job etc.” “Lord everyday I pray I will win the lottery, but nothing. Lord have I offended you. Is it personal?”

    After weeks of this the Lord, frustrated bellows : “FFS Jacob, at least buy yourself a lottery ticket!”

    As they say say: it pays to advertise!

  27. James H says:

    They should be disheartened that they didn’t bother to comply with the regulations like everyone else has to. Religious entitlement at its worst.

  28. nabba jabba ding dong baby daddy says:

    Don’t let the door knob hitchah….
    Where the Good Lord splitchah….!

  29. Realist says:

    Who signed this letter really? It’s circulating out there that the letter was written by Reverend Tweed not the congregation.

  30. clearasmud says:

    Too much is missing from this story and I do not believe that it is as simple as the Minister would have us believe. Also I believe that it is the government job to serve the people therefore if the application was inaccurate then the appropriate response would be to give instructions on how to fix it. If the Church failed to fix it in a timely manner then that usually results in a delay not a refusal. For those who think that the post should have been advertised please help me understand how that works! While you are at it please identify for me one pastor in this country that was appointed from this procedure as it would help give me some context. Perhaps the Minister has some other reason for her position and if she does she should say so!

  31. mmm says:

    it is a very sensitive issue, very passionate. I feel so grateful for Pastor Tweed,s involvement in issues affecting the community .. the difficult thing to grasp, is why wasn,t the directions of the Immigration Department taken care of. Is it a very complicated process ? Are copies kept of previous applications approved ? Does the AME church have a legal team to ensure they are not on a collision course, and that all paper-work is done, and reviewed, and reviewed again before submitted. Is there someone at Immigration to meet with in person to be clear on what needs to be done. I don,t like emails or talking thru glass partitions.

  32. Sandgrownan says:

    Christ, what a whinny bunch.

  33. DanMBDA says:

    You know what, I’m disheartened that the AME can’t fill out simple paperwork!

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