HISTORY OF THE MYSTICAL ORDER
BY: Archbishop Sir Dr Godfrey Gregg
In 2010 I met Darrin on the social networking and became friends after a period of chatting. We had several discussions concerning the Spiritual Baptist Faith of which we are members. Our discussion became more interesting as we spoke of the people we knew within the faith and even their relatives in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Darrin had left Brooklyn to live in Rochester upstate New York, while Godfrey was living in Brooklyn. Since no Baptist churches were in Rochester to continue his religious rites, Darrin became associated with the Pentecostal ministries. He began a prayer group Star Light of Israel Healing School at his home and felt comfortable doing the work of the Lord according to Spiritual Baptist rites. His main job was to work with on the streets to save men and women from drugs, prostitution and destruction. His ministry grew and was registered with the City of Rochester in the Great State of New York in 2005.
I continued to visit churches in Brooklyn and stay connected with the Faith but remained independent to the Archdiocese and other church affiliations. I invited Darrin back to the fold and to join me and my prayer group in Brooklyn. We continued meeting on the phone praying and discussing the word of God on the phone. The interest began to grow and so we reached out to loved ones and others that have left the faith for many reasons to join fellowship with us. We discussed the merging of the groups in Rochester and Brooklyn and that went smoothly. We began meeting on the phone until we were able to get together to have a formal meeting. This went on for a period of time until the first election of officers to serve the group.
The decision was taken to register as a church with the State of New York. At that meeting Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson was elected Archbishop and Apostolic Head, Godfrey Gregg was elected Divine Secretary/Treasurer and appointed Bishop, while Patricia Hackshaw was appointed Abbess. I put forward the name “MYSTICAL ORDER OF SPIRITUAL BAPTIST” which was accepted; thus we were in a position to complete the paperwork and be legally registered. The church needed three “trustees” and the aforementioned were given the mandate to hold the position for a two years period. To be renewed at the third annual meeting of the church. In February of 2012, the church was officially registered at 360 Adams House in the Borough of Brooklyn. This was after the document was sworn to before a Notary Public.
Later same day Archbishop Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson (Now Patriarch and Chief Apostle) and Bishop Godfrey Gregg (now Archbishop and Presiding Prelate) were registered at City Hall as Licensed Marriage Officiant with the Great State of New York. Abbess Patricia Hackshaw was later licensed at City Hall as a Marriage Officiant. Thus the first chapter was closed and the church was on a mission to spread the message that Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. No time was wasted to set up the wheels in motion. The church held its first Ordination to elevate a member to the office of Deaconess. The service was conducted by then Archbishop Darrin with assistance from the clergy.
The church continued to receive ministers and members into fellowship and the word began to spread. It was not an easy first year or second year. During 2012 many ministers were received into fellowship and the passing of the Rules and Bylaws of the church. The ministers’ manual was completed and is currently under review. An email project was launched and it is still going strong reaching over two hundred and seventy persons worldwide.
In May of 2012, Abbess Patricia Hackshaw was elevated to Queen Abbess while Bishop Godfrey Gregg was elevated to Senior Bishop and Administrator. In October 2012 then Archbishop Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson was elevated to Patriarch and Presiding Prelate with the assistance of Dr Waterman Chief Apostle of Full Gospel Tabernacle. The later same day the Patriarch and Presiding Prelate delivered his first Patriarchal Statement and made several appointments to senior positions. The Patriarch relinquished his office of Archbishop and appointed his Senior Bishop Sir Godfrey Gregg to fill the Office of Archbishop and Apostolic Head. That made room for other appointments. A new position was created and filled by Bishop Lewis Roberts as the Chief Bishop. The long-awaited Office of Cardinal was later filled by Bishop Eric Alleyne. Consecration service followed in early 2013. In 2014 the offices of Senior Bishop and Chief Bishop were eliminated.
The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist Inc. has several affiliate churches in England, St. Croix, Barbados and sister church in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. There are many more members in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Canada. Early in 2013, the Mystical Order was invited to the crowing service of the Mother in St. Croix and the Queen Abbess Dr Patricia Hackshaw represented the Order. It shows how important the roles of women are within this Noble Mystical Order. The church continues to grow and the Leadership is stronger and unshakable. October this year the Patriarch will celebrate four years in Office and it will be time to return and give God thanks. The Mystical Order is at present looking for space to fellowship and continues the work of the Lord reaching men and women and to bring them into the fold of Christ. August 2013 the Mystical Order launched its website www.mysticalorderinc.org. This year we will celebrate three (3) years reaching over three (3) million visitors. That ceremony was attended by Clergy, members and well-wishers. The website was officially declared operational by the Patriarch and Presiding Prelate Rt. Hon Sir Dr Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson. As the church grows the history will continue and God will get the honour and the glory.
What I will add here is that the history and union of Starlight are much more than is written and in time this website will unfold the richness of such an organization. As the church expands in the Caribbean you will find Starlight of Israel Healing School officially on the soil of Trinidad. This followed the registration last month (August 2016) as we celebrate 3 years of this website and in September 2016 we will celebrate 6 years of the union between The Mystical Order and Starlight of Israel. We have come a long way and the Leadership is committed to moving ahead regardless to the odds.
I trust and pray that this year mercy and Grace continue to meet.