Much loved local pastor dies after long illness

| 19/11/2011

Pastor al new.jpg(CNS): The pastor of the Agape Church in George Town and chair of the Constitutional Commission, Pastor Al Ebanks, has passed away after a long illness. The much loved pastor who will be sorely missed, not just by his parishioners but the whole community, was equally well known for his work on the country’s constitution as he was for his work in the church and the wider community. Pastor Al died on Friday evening sometime around 7pm and his death was announced by his Constitutional Commission colleague, Wil Pineau, at the national health conference on Saturday. Among his very many public roles Pastor Al was a former chair of the Health Services Authority and remained a director.

On Saturday the Cayman Ministrer's Association  said: "We give grateful thanks to the Lord for the gift and privilege of knowing such a good shepherd and guide, having him as our friend and benefiting from his outstanding leadership."

Category: Local News

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am really sad to learn that Pastor Al passed away. I was a Cuban refugee living in tent city in 1994-1995. His help, love, and contributions to us at the camp I will never forget. Although I lost contact for sometime since moving to the US, I always thought of him and his family. May God give strength to his family. We have lost a true servant of God.

  2. Barbados Honorary Consul says:

     

    The Honorary Consul to Barbados and Barbadians living in the Cayman Islands extend our deepest sympathies to Sis Kathy, immediate and extended family of Pastor Al Ebanks.

     

    Our sympathies are also extended to the wider Caymanian Community as you have lost an exceptional son of the soil.  When you listened to Pastor Al sharing his life story of the direction his life could have taken but his choice to Serve God and to serve his community, you will understand his heart.  Pastor Al loved his people but he also embraced others and demonstrated respect to each and everyone and encouraged others to do the same.  He was a man who was direct, to the point but his chastisement if any, was done in love and with respect.  Always, always smiling.

     

    Several Barbadians have passed through the Church on Hospital Road and the Agape Family Worship Centre and were counseled, nurtured and welcomed with open arms by Pastor Al.

     

    On a personal note, I am grateful for the support given to me over the years from Pastor Al, his exceptional ability to know what you were trying to say even when you were struggling to say it.  I am happy to have had the opportunity to know him.  He will be deeply missed.

     

    I wish for comfort at this time for the family he has left behind and I know that they are proud of the legacy pastor Al leaves behind.

    Rest In Peace dear Pastor Al.

    Juliette Gooding

    Honorary Consul to Barbados

      In the Cayman Islands

  3. Osbourne Bodden says:

    A good Caymanian, Pastor, Father, Husband and my friend.   So sad to see you go, but Al this country will forever be grateful to what you, from humble beginnings achieved.  You served in so many ways, so well.  You buried your beloved son as only a man with deep faith could do.   You negotiated between church and state with dignity, and with an ability that few can match.  You changed many lives for the better. 

    Ride unto into the sunset and take thy rest my brother.  You will forever be loved and remembered and yes, Nancy still hanging out with me – “bad company”, as we often joked. 

    Gone too soon but God needed another angel.  Our condolences to your loving family and may God comfort you at this time.

  4. noname says:

    The love of God was evident in Agape Worship Centre. Agape means God's love and under this pastor, the "theory" matched the "practice" very well.

     

    We cry on this side of the airport at the "Eternal Departures" terminal because Pst Alden has gone and we may not see him again on this side. His ticket was "one way". But we are quickly reminded that one of these good days, this is still the path we have to take.

     

    On the other side of the destination is a large crowd of Heroes of Faith; dear ones who went ahead of us, they are waiting to receive thePastor. They are at the "Eternal Arrivals" terminal singing with joy in celebration of the arrival of the pastor. He is in a better place. For to be absent in the body is to  be present with the Lord. A cry on this side is a celebration on the other side.

     

    We miss you pastor. We will join the Lord's band some day.

     

    Charles Wambua, Nairobi (Kenya)

     

  5. ROBERT WOOD says:

    In the words of the late great president John F Kennedy " ask not what your country can do for you, But what you can do for your country" TRULY THESE WORDS EXEMPLIFIED THE MAN THAT PASTOR AL was . AS he used to tell me many times "the little barefoot boy from boy from west bay " I did not get to visit you during your illness , but always asked and enquired of your well being and only just a week ago sent you greetings through your daughter. May the whole of your family , and the Cayman Islands as a whole  continue to follow in the path that you carved and set forth for us  all to follow. May the Good spirit lift you up as you did here on earth. God Bless. 

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    He was a man of many names. Some called him a pastor, a friend, a father, a mentor but all in all he was a great man in who cared not only for himself, but for the cayman islands as a whole. He not only received love but was even quicker togive it. With a smile and a hug that would make you feel god's presence around you and a constant reminder you too are loved.

     

    My condolences to the family and anyone who was granted the opportunity to know such a great man.

     

    You will be missed greatly and loved forever.

     

    R.I.P Pastor Al

  7. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    My deepest sympathy and condolences to all the family, God will Bless and keep you.

  8. Peter Davey says:

    Al was a good man, and a fine speaker, his words and actions always coming from the heart. May he rest in peace, and may his family find solace in the kind support of their friends.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on his gentle breast, Rest In Peace Pastor Al till we meet again some day. Condolences to the family, God Bless you all is my prayer.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A real son of the soil again has passed. He has left his mark. Condolences to all his familys. His parents certainly raised a wonderful man. We know that you will be raised on that resurrection day which is not long from now according to the signs, and he will be caught up to be with the Lord. He will just be resting in the grave until that day. We also have that hope that his dear wife and other family will be there with him . May God give them strength at this time.

  11. Astria Solomon says:

    RIP Pastor Al

    Indeed you have left a legacy for all the residents of these our beloved Islands. Those of us who personally know you will never forget your passion to reach out and touch especially those who just needed a nudge to remember the guiding principles of true christianity. We all must now come together and live our lives with the moral and ethical values you shared inside and outside of the church from the the dignitaries to the very person on the streets who to some seemed insignificant. You led a life that in the true sense of the word can only be described as exemplary. I am comforted to know that you are suffering no more and I am confident that you earned your place in God’s Kingdom with great honor.

    Your family though grieving will celebrate your homecoming and what a celebration Faithful Servant.

    Sleep on our beloved Saint you are missed!

  12. Anonymous says:

    A great shepherd has left us… Sympathies to his family!

    But the church and faithful should remain strong and carry on their own duties as shepherds to the lost!

    I remember first meeting him decades ago – he was visiting a family home and telling all of his conversion experience!

    Consistantly worshipful and positive!

    God is Great!

     

  13. Caymanian Boat Captain says:

    If the Cayman Islands had another "dozen persons" with the same character and humility like "Pastor Al"- for the most part, what a greater Cayman Islands community this would be !!!

    A very calm, intelligent and sincere individual…….. who was as down to earth as you could find anywhere. He will be greatly missed in these islands and in particular the West Bay district, where he was born and bred. No more pain and suffering Pastor Al, you are now with your mother, sister and son whom are smiling in heaven, having been embraced by Almighty God. You have been welcomed into a place where the streets are lined with gold and an abundance of milk and honey flowing everywhere.  

    I call on the Hon Premier and the members of Legislative Assembly to "Let's lower our National Flag on all government buildings at half mast" for a day this coming week, out of respect and mourning at the passing of this great Caymanian icon.

    God Bless and comfort his immediate family and the parishioner's at Agape Family Worship Centre.

    "Love Never Fails"  !!!!!!         

    • Anonymous says:

      A man of such stature and local distinction is deserving of a MBE, though be  it posthumous; trust someone will do him the honor and put his name forward. For this, I call on our honorable Premier to see that it happens.

      Rest in peace Dr. Al.

      • Anonymous says:

        Son of the Soil ~ Man of God ~ Friend to All ~  rest in peace dear friend.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am an atheist so I disagreed with my friend Al on many things of course. It is a mark of the great man that he was that he did not nag me about my non belief but accepted me for what I am. His contribution to Cayman has been simply enormous but when rightly praising him for that let us not forget he was, quite simply, a humble, loving, dignified Caymanian son,husband and father. He will be hugely missed by many.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Pastor Al changed my life and fueled my lovefor Christ.  He embraced me and my expat family into his church and was a beacon of light and wisdom for me during my darker days. I will miss him deeply and always.  Pasor Al will forever be an inspiration to me as I eternally pursue a life following Jesus.  I have faith that one day I will be reunited with my brother Pastor Al, that I will meet my Lord and Savior, until then I will attempt to be the hands and feet of Him, my Father – Our Father – as Pastor Al so incredibly and admirably eminated. I will keep Cathy and his earthly family in my prayers and work hard to continue my journey until I meet my end, I pray then I will know Pastor Al's hug and smile again…such comfort on earth…I will always long for it again.  Rest in Peace special man and friend.  I love you.

  16. Michel says:

    Our sincere condolences go out to Pastor Al and specially the Family members and the whole Congregation . Keep strong and use this sad event to rally together and make him proud from above. We know that his name is written in God's book of Life with many great prophets  and that he is suffering no more and is in a place that he as being seeking for many years by conforting, counseling and praying for many. One good Son of the Soil is no longer with us but his death on earth is the Good Lord's gain. Please keep his  legacy going by loving and caring for one another as he would have wanted it. Rest in Peace Pastor Al. The Lemay family

  17. Whodatis says:

    Such an unforgettable man.

    What struck me most about him was the way in which he interacted with young people. He was the first local spiritual leader that I witnessed actually take the time to empathize with the youth and counsel them from a position of true compassion absent of judgment and condemnation.

    There will never be another "Pastor Al".

    I willalways remember the times I was fortunate enough to share with him – even though they tended to be laced with (friendly) teasing and embarrassment.

    My deepest sympathy and sincerest regards go out to his family and close friends.

    (I am sad today, but somehow I believe that he would not want me / us to feel this way.)

    Rest in eternal peace Pastor Al.

    You will be missed.

     

  18. beachbaymeatballs says:

    R.I.P Pastor Al we miss you we will continue to hold your family in our prayers.

  19. Peter Milburn says:

    My deepest sympathy to Pastor Als family.He always had nothing but good to say and do for his fellow man and he will be sorely missed by all of us.Rest in peace my friend and may the Lord give your family the strength to see them through this difficult time.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Pastor Al demonstrated the very spirit of Christ with his loving care, friendship, always extending a handshake or a hug, a smile or wave, or just encouragement generally.  He loved everyone, treated all as friends, and has left a great legacy of agape love for his family, church family and the Cayman Islands generally.  He is with Jesus now and great rejoicing is going on in Heaven with his other family and the saints there.  No more suffering or struggling here!  May God surround his family and all who miss him with that assurance and with His great comfort and peace.

    • Anonymous says:

      As of this very moment, I can't really beleive that Pastor Al is really gone ,  surely it must be a mistake I cry to myself .  But deep down I know, and it breaks my heart to accept this great loss to our community and the church.  What a God sent man, he walked the walk and talked the talk in everything that he did.

      From humble beginnings on Elizabeth Street in West Bay he came and rose with God's guidance to be one of the most respected and loved person in the Cayman Islands.

       As I stare at his picture it's almost next to impossible to imagine that this beautiful man will no longer walk amongst us ever again. It's almost too much to process right now!

      Rest in peace in God's all loving arms, for that is your reward for the life that you lived while  on this earth. If anybody has gone to heaven, it's you my dear friend. I love and miss you.

       

  21. Anonymous says:

    Pastor Al counselled me out of drugs and has turned my life around.     I have been drug free for 4 years.   He was the only one that never gave up on me, quietly watching out for me.   Everyone else gave up on me, including myself……..but he saved me.  

    I owe the last 4 years of my life to you, and I will try my best to live up to all that you taughtt me.  

    "…..its just another beautiful morning……..".  That is what he used to say.   "….live for the mornings, not the nights……".   I willtry my best.  

     

  22. Anonymous says:

    A true Caymanian to the core.  Pastor Al not only gave love but was loved. He not only respected his fellow men but was also respected.  A man who was  compassionate, a gentle soul who always had a ready ear for the desperate and on he breadline individuals . whether you were rich or poor, virtuous or  sinful, Pastor Al was there for you.  Heaven must be rejoycing. To his wonderful family, be comforted to know the jubilation that is now in Heaven when  Pastor Al was received. There is one thing that is promised to all of us and that road we all have to travel to meet that one thing, called death. Therefore, let us all be prepared like Pastor Al.  Blessings.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Rremembering One Of Own West Bayers! A gentleman and friend, I am sad that you are no longer here with us, will be missed terribly.

    R.I.P. Al

     

  24. concerned CAYMANIAN TO THE BONE says:

    RIP Pastor Al shepard to all. You have moved on to a high and more rich calling and may the angels of heaven sourround  you and accept you into everlasting praise and feasting with the one you so dearly loved and emulated. I can almost feel your sweet presence with you mama in heaven. Respect and honor to your broken hearted sisters and children. God bless them and know that if you are redeemed by the blood  you to will meet him in the clouds.

    I miss you Al and I can't forget the days we spent together when we were boys and most recently when we spent some time reminissing about our boyhood days. I trust that the legacy you left behind will grow from strength to strength and kind words and deeds continue as you would have liked it to be.

     

  25. Anonymous says:

    Pastor Al was a Godly man. God's presence shone through him and touched everyone he came in contact with.  So sorry for his family and for Cayman as a whole.  I've never met a man who could relate to and talk to anyone and everyone he came into contact with like Pastor Al could.  R.I.P. Pastor Al.  You will be always be missed.  

  26. Anonymous says:

    RIP Pastor Al, May God take you in his arms as he did Abraham.  May your family find comfort in the memory of you and the strength of God to take them through this time!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Pastor Al played a great role in my life and in that of my family. He will be so missed. His guidance for me personally and more importantly for the Country, is already missed and the loss is immeasurable. My condolences to his family and in particular to his wife Cathy, whom he loved and treasured to the end and for that reason alone, she too will have a place in my heart. RIP Pastor Al.

  28. Ravie M says:

    So sad to hear about Pastor Al. He was a gentleman and a beloved pastor, wonderful and compassionate man. He will sorely be missed indeed. My condolences go out to his family, his church – Agape Family Worship Centre, the community and the Cayman Islands as a whole. May he rest in peace.

  29. Steve Faucette says:

    Sorry to hear this, no words can express the loss. Much love from Australia for the Family

  30. Anonymous says:

    Rest peace Pastor Al. I know you are in heaven because you served God. You love people. You were not a hater and you treated all nationalities good regardless of colour or creed and whether they were Honduran Phillipenos , Jamaicans, canadian, British and even if they did not have a nationality also if they were UDP or PPM or no P at all.

    I will see you in Heaven because I am working towars that end.

     

    RIP

  31. Ravella says:

    So sad to hear about Pastor Al. He was really a beloved pastor and I loved and respected him very much. He officiated at my late boss' funeral and he was such a compassionate man and so easy to talk to. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family, his church, the community and the Cayman Islands as a whole. R.I.P. Pastor Al.

  32. Cayman Bracker77 says:

    He will be missed!  God be with the family.

     

  33. Anonymous says:

    It is a sad day for Caymanian and Kenyan people, he is the man who tried to bring the two together. He  will be remembered for having invited a high ranking Kenyan government official to the territory.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Pastor A,l a God fearing Christian man he will be missed by alot. We have lost a good man here in these islands. Cayman's loss and heaven's gain. Condolences to the family and the Agape Church.

  35. sad expat says:

    Sad to hear ,R.I.P pastor Al.A well respected gentleman who welcomed us expats with great kindness into the Agape and wherever we met.You will never be replaced.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Pastor Al was there for Cayman. Period. We need more like him in our little islands~ Our islands may be small in size but it is people Like Pastor Al who worked on many committees, contributing to our growth and solving issues. I know, because I have had the priveledge to serve with him at one point. While Cayman may know Pastor Al – they will never know the many wonderful things he did quietly, and with humility.

    We will miss him terribly as a country and we should honour his memory. For his wife and family, please know that he is loved and missed by us all.

    Rest in well deserved peace, dear colleague, friend and leader….

  37. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace Pastor Al. Cayman's loss is Heaven's gain. You will be missed.  Condolences and prayers to his family – may they be comforted in knowing that he was loved by his community and will be remembered.

    • Anonymous says:

      We will never find another Pastor Al and my heart cries out with pain.  He was the one person whom you could trust with all your secrets. The Agape church has lost its Shephard, for no one can replace him.

      Dr. Al was always seen with a beautiful smile on his face and always had kind words to say to all. 

      You will forever be missed my dear Pastor Al. Rest in peace dear beloved, for this earth will never be same without you.