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Confessions of Pastors' Sons

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by Bishop Shurlon Paul

 Photos: Andrea DeSilva

Pastors' kids or PKs as they are sometimes called, usually get a bad rap from those both inside the church as well as outside.   The reality is that Pastors' children face an unusual combination of popularity and pressure from peers, adults and sometimes from their own parents.  Upstream persuaded three high-profile Pastors' sons to share their stories with Bishop Shurlon Paul, Pastor of Sangre Grande-based Kingdom People International and a PK as well.   The line-up includes Lemuel Nelson,36, son of the late Bishop Turnel Joshua Nelson, former General Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies; Luke Quamina, 26, son of Pastor Cecil Quamina of the First Church of the Open Bible, San Fernando; and Jonathan Bachew, 24, son of Pastor K.K. Bachew, Faith Assembly International.  The guys opened up on what it's really like to be the Pastor's son. Lemuel is married. Luke is single, and worship leader Jonathan is soon to be married. Yes ladies, it is true...

Shurlon Paul (SP): Recall for me when it first dawned on you that being a pastor's son was something special.

Lemuel Nelson (LN): I guess it was probably like about at age four or five.  I can recall Christmas and receiving lots and lots of gifts from people I didn't even know.  That's when you realised, ‘This is because the pastor is my dad.'

SP: Jonathan, you grew up in a family of about eight, right?  When did you realise that this thing was special?

Jonathan Bachew (JB): You realised that real early o'clock.  Sometimes during church, myself and some of my siblings, we would sneak out and go and play ‘Hide and Seek', and ‘Home free' and hide under cars.  Afterward, the ushers would say, ‘We expect better from you, you are Pastors' children.  You all are supposed to be setting an example.' It really hits home that it's a responsibility later on, like in your teens.

SP:  I know that to other people, Daddy is pastor.  But to us, Daddy is father, and sometimes the parental expectations are a lot stronger than congregational expectations.  Any of you guys ever got [rebuked] from the pulpit?

LN: Man I get licks! (Laughter) You talking bout [rebuke]? Daddy was preaching, told the congregation, ‘Excuse me' and stepped down.  We lived right next to the church and I was outside doing some nonsense.  What I do remember is that I didn't expect to see him because I knew he was preaching!  But then I should have known, because there was a lull where I didn't hear his voice, then all of a sudden I saw him in front of me.  And I got licks right there and then.  He said, ‘Go sit down by your mom', brought me back in church, he went back up on the pulpit and continued. I was about seven to eight then.

SP: It ever happened again?

LN: (incredulous) No, not again! (Laughter)

SP: Now whether Daddy is important or not, little boys have the tendency to want to be like Daddy.  Did you all have those feelings from childhood?

Luke Quamina (LQ):  I didn't want to be like my dad concerning his ministry and pastoring.  He was a national cricketer before and he would have probably gone on to the West Indies team, but got called out to full-time ministry.  And when I made National Under-14, then National Under-16 and then went to Under-19, he started to give me a lot of attention there.  I wanted to be like him in one sense to fulfil that unfulfilled dream in his life, to play professional cricket.  I didn't really appreciate his pastoring until very late when I myself had an encounter with God.  He's been through several things, but it's how he dealt with it in front of our eyes that really convinced me that it was an honour to be a man of God.   If I am half the man who my father is, I'd be happy with that.

JB:  I never wanted to be in ministry growing up.  My older brothers were always in ministry.  I had a lot of pressure with that too, everybody said, ‘You're a pastor's son, and you will be a pastor too'.  I only really started to get into my ministry when I started to fall in love with the worship.  When I had to talk to the worship team, I started to realise that my dad had to be in front of all these people, talking and sharing his heart and teaching about God.  And I started to really appreciate it and to understand the value of that. 

SP: So what was your relationship with your father like when you were growing up?

LN:  He did his best, but he would always say, even before he died, if he had one thing to do all over again, he would spend more time with his kids. I mean, church was Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday... church office under the house, you know? The only time we really got time with Dad was Saturday morning when we had family devotions.  Mind you he'd come to all our sports days, he'd run Father's Day race.  But me being the last of five, I guess his time was caught up. 

JB: With our family, it was eight kids so we didn't get a lot of one-on-one.  But collectively, we would get collective attention.  We'd make tours to the States playing steel pan, so we had a lot of family time together.  So we'd had those seasonal times with Dad.  And you'd feel like you were the only child in a sense sometimes, because he'd

 jonathan bachew photo
Jonathan Bachew
say, ‘Well, hold that' and give you a little money.  But when you walk off, you see another brother with the same thing in his hand.  (Laughter) Of course, there were times when you felt like it could probably be a little more.  But overall I felt good about it.

LQ:  In the past, cricket had helped us a lot to share because we played on the same teams.  I remember the first morning I made the National Under-14, my father get up early to buy the first newspaper.  That whole day, because I was selected, was a celebration.  My father went to buy roast corn because roast corn is his favourite.  He carried me for whatever I wanted to eat.  I think we went somewhere in the night with the whole family.  This helped for good bonding. 


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Great Job Lemuel! Pastor Nelson would have been very proud!
Noel Williams

Hey guys, I can relate to most of what yall saying,..especially with the "licks" part for playing outside while church was going on. Im a Pk 2...n apart of the Ministers' Children Association, Guyana..n it would be really cool for us to link up n share...n continue being a force to recon with....u can check us out on facebook @ Ministers' Children/Pastor Kid - International...Kep the faith..Live Up!

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