In conclusion, we may point to three defining characteristics of Antiguan Methodism:
Felt Presence of Almighty God
We can point to the felt presence of the mighty hand of God working in our land from the onset to this very day. Of a truth we can affirm that God has been with us and will continue to order our affairs from age to age until the end of time. The exhortation therefore is for us to trust Him.
Pioneering Role of the Laity
It must be stressed that from the onset, the lay membership has always played a pivotal role in the course of our history. The integral role that the laity played in determining the course of our history manifested itself as follows:
(a) The continuation of the work: The succession plan from one epoch to another pointed to the efforts of key lay persons, who were in the forefront at each critical moment in our history. A layman started the work. When he died, laywomen continued the work. Their support later came from another layman.
(b) Foundational work: Many of the missionary efforts were built on work that was started by local lay members. In many respects the missionaries came, consolidated and strengthened the work that was already in progress.
(c) Propagation of the work: Lay persons played a critical role in the propagation of Methodism not only in
Antigua, but throughout the various Caribbean territories. Coke himself gives credit to the quality of work he met on his initial visit to many of these islands. While this is so, our ministry over the years has been severely restricted as a result of insufficient lay leadership support for the ministry of the church. The challenge here is two-fold: First, for us to appreciate the contribution of our own people to our history and second, for more of the laity, in keeping with our heritage, to assume the mantle of constructive leadership and responsibility within our church.
Involvement in Social Services and influence in Society
The pioneering work of Methodism in Antigua’s history particularly in the transition from slavery to freedom, and in the preparation of the Negroes to assume their new status as free persons is remarkable. This manifested itself particularly in the field of education and in social services.
We hereby register our thanks and gratitude to fore bears and to all those friends and wellwishers who have over the years given to support the work here in Antigua. Truly, God has been good to us! To Him be all honour, praise and glory, now and forever more.