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98 and going strong

marciadottin, [email protected]

98 and  going  strong

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HE IS ALMOST 100 years old, but Cameron Boyce, who founded the Life and Light Apostolic Assembly in 1952, still stands in the pulpit of the Mount View Drive, St Lucy church and ministers to a congregation “for however long the sermon takes”, and he does not sit down “until the Lord is finished speaking through” him.The 98-year-old said this endurance started 83 years ago at the Salvation Army church, when he committed his “whole life” to the “almighty”. During an interview with the SUNDAY SUN at his home, which stands just seconds away from the church, Boyce recalled his journey with the Christian faith and the establishment of the apostolic church.“I was always a good member in that church to the point that I sometimes used to go the extra mile. When I was at the core cadet level in the church [Salvation Army] they only had about a dozen Sunday school children. And every Sunday morning I would go out looking for children. I used to bathe them, boys and girls and even comb their hair. An instrument“The number was then raised to a hundred and forty children, through the Lord using me as an instrument and I felt so happy about it. But I must say men can’t try that these days,” he said.After 37 years “in the army church, the Lord called” Boyce “to go on another mission”. And, because “I am a man who has always listened to God’s voice I followed”. To cut a long story short, the father of eight said after some physical and financial assistance from church members and kind persons, the church was built.The one-time farmer pointed out that he “did not run the church his own way, or man’s way, but God’s way”. According to him, “the Lord told me to minister to souls, not to own souls, and that I did”.“I never count how many people come to the church because the Lord told me to don’t count them. If you ask me how many people pass through the church, you would get me in trouble because I can’t tell you. I never yet had a list of how many people was in the church. I have never tried to save anybody because my commission is to lift up the name of Jesus and leave the drawings to him. “There are some ministers that I had to put in their place. They like to say ‘every time I preach people have every right to get saved’. I say that’s where you gone wrong, you can preach but you can’t save nobody,” he said.Get filled with SpiritBoyce, who stepped down from his office in the church five years ago, said there were a number of things currently occurring in churches and society with which he was not happy. “I don’t force nobody to love the Lord; I would encourage them. But there are so many people worldwide who have their religious ideas set up as a business. I believe that if you heard a call from God saying that he wants you to go someplace else, you should go be faithful and get filled with his Holy Spirit. But nowadays, my God, so much rottenness going on and in schools too.“This person and the next person want to have a school in their church. Nothing is wrong with that but make sure that righteousness is prevailing over all of that. There are so many young people in the assemblies today  [and] before they are married they are having babies, making my heart bleed . . . my God, it makes my heart shiver to see what’s going on. We are living in a corrupt society because of the lack of knowledge of God.” Boyce admitted that, like any other “gathering”, his church had faced its share of trials and temptations. He recalled being “put at the door by the church’s advisory [committee]”. But the most trying one was getting the members of his congregation to accept that at age 82 he was going to marry 32-year-old Joycelyn Boyce, who, he said, “was sent from God”.“It wasn’t only the church. The whole of Barbados since they heard started forming their own opinions. When I announced in the assembly what the Lord told me, some of the brethren got mad . . . they were vex, and some left the church. One man even went and formed his own church. But after a while, he still came back and said to me: ‘I was misled; can I be forgiven?’ “She was 32 years old when I married her, she was not 16. When she was born I knew it, but I never thought she would have been my wife. I told the congregation what the Lord said but they didn’t believe it. The Lord sent her to take care of me . . . . Not one of my children live in Barbados,” said the former tailor, who said that these days he would still “go out in the yard and pull a few grass or two”.Boyce said that he and his wife had experienced 16 “wonderful” years of “happiness, joy and contentment”. He said that despite the negative feed back and  judgement they received, they loved each other and they were not afraid to show it in private or public.“I treat her the same way I treated my wife of 59 years, who has now passed away. There is hardly a day that I don’t tell my wife I love her. Each morning we awake, we kiss each other and we both say ‘I love you’. There are some husbands in the assembly that I challenge. I would say ‘Did you kiss your wife this morning?’ and some of them would be shame as ever.“There are some sinners out there that said I ought to have been shot when I married her. You believe they looked at a 32-year-old woman as a child. Whoever put their mouths against her had to pay a penalty. One who said I ought to be shot . . . got shot,” he said, adding that “some people openly confessed to me ‘it was a wise thing you did’.”