Church Leaders Ordain First Adventist Minister on the Island of Bonaire

Jurvensly Koots currently serves as the secretary of the Bonaire Mission.

Pablo Lake and Inter-American Division News
Church Leaders Ordain First Adventist Minister on the Island of Bonaire
Inter-American Division president Elie Henry (left) congratulates Jurnensley Koots (center) during the pastoral ordination ceremony at the Antriol Adventist church in Bonaire, as Shurman Kook (right), president of the Dutch Caribbean Union Mission, looks on. [Photo: Dutch Caribbean Union Mission]

Seventh-day Adventists in Bonaire, an island municipality of the Netherlands in the Caribbean, recently gathered to witness the first ordination ceremony ever to take place there. More than 200 church leaders, members, family members, and community residents met at Antriol Seventh-day Adventist Church on the premises of the original site of the first church building in Bonaire, as Jurvensley Koots was officially ordained. Koots has been serving as the secretary of the Bonaire Mission since 2018.

“This marks a pivotal moment for the local church and its members,” said Shurman Kook, president of the Dutch Caribbean Union Mission, which oversees the Adventist Church in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. “The church in Bonaire is being empowered with a minister with full ecclesiastical authority today.” He added, “There is no longer a need for authorization to perform baptisms or to have an ordained minister sent from the Dutch Caribbean Union to perform the services of a duly authorized Seventh-day Adventist minister.”

The ordination is a landmark for the Bonaire Mission, which was organized in 2017, Kook explained. That year, it transitioned from the previous setup of a combined Curaçao and Bonaire Conference. Other ordained ministers had been sent to Bonaire in the past, but the mission had been without an ordained minister since 2021. In the meantime, the Bonaire Mission, which oversees four local congregations, had been overseen by the union.

“Our local church members see this event as a beacon of growth and empowerment for the advancement of their faith on the island,” Kook said.

Inter-American Division president Elie Henry spoke during the ceremony and reflected on the significant milestone reached by the membership with an Adventist message legacy going back to when the first church was organized on the island in 1941.

“God has been with His church on the island, and we can see growth,” Henry said. “The ordination service as a Seventh-day Adventist Church is very special, for it not only marks a specific moment in the life of the servant of the Lord but also in the life of the church.”

Koots, 40, is originally from Curaçao and has been serving as a pastor on Bonaire since 2017.

He reflected on his journey and the divine guidance he has received. “When I look back on my life, it illustrates what God wants to teach us as His children, and that is to recognize that it is the hand of God that has led and is leading every step I take,” he said. “I am a living testimony of what God can do with a person, everything that He desires.”

Koots was given a copy of The Minister’s Bible by the treasurer of the Bonaire Mission, Nurelle Chirino. “We thank you and your entire family for what you are doing for the advancement of God’s work here in Bonaire,” Chirino said.

Ministerial Spouses Association associate director Anna Maria Manuela spoke to Koots’s wife, Suehedy, about the unique role she and her husband play together in ministry. “In a pastor ministry it takes both the strength of the husband and the sensitivity of a wife to represent Christ fully to His church, just as Adam and Eve represented together the full image of God,” Manuela said.

More than 430 Seventh-day Adventists attend four congregations in Bonaire.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Pablo Lake and Inter-American Division News