HUNTINGTON, INDIANA— Huntington College awarded two honorary degrees today at the United Brethren General Conference meeting at College Park United Brethren church, held every four years. The Doctor of Divinity was awarded to two United Brethren pastors of international significance. Archie Cameron was recognized for his faithful service as pastor, evangelist, and educator as he passionately serves the Spanish-speaking people of Honduras. Lloyd Spencer was recognized for his dedicated service as pastor, church founder, and committed evangelist among the people of Jamaica.
Archie Cameron was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1917, where he lived until the close of World War I when his family moved to Canada and settled in Toronto. When Archie gave his life to the lord in 1939, he enrolled in the Toronto Bible College to study for the ministry. Having a great desire to reach the people of Sierra Leone, Africa, Archie applied to be a missionary when he graduated. But at the age of 32 he was considered too old and his application was declined. Archie faithfully served the Lord for two years in Niagra, NY where he was assigned, but his heart still longed to be in missions. Archie’s persistence and determination impressed denominational leaders. His application was ultimately accepted, though not for service in Africa.
Archie and his wife, Maisy, were commissioned to serve in La Ceiba, Honduras. They arrived there in July 1952, for service in an English-speaking congregation. Archie was moved by the needs of the Spanish- speaking majority, and soon shifted his ministry focus to them. Archie Cameron’s ministry in Honduras has multiplied over and over. Not only did he establish a church in the port city of La Ceiba, but he also coordinated ministry teams to go into the rural villages and share God’s Word. Under his leadership, many churches were started along the northern coast of Honduras. Today, those churches number more than 50 and are staffed by dynamic young pastors who have been taught and mentored by Archie Cameron. Archie Cameron’s leadership and ministry also spread through the years to the countries of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
In addition to the work of the church, Archie also was committed to Christian education. He established the Bethel School—a primary school, a high school, and a theological seminary—that today boasts 1,500 students. His interest in music led him to establish a marching band and choir that has traveled all over Honduras. His fame as leader of the marching band has impressed mayors and even presidents of Honduras. Several times he has been recognized for his contributions to patriotic parades. In fact, his band has often been the only one chosen to play for national dignitaries visiting La Ceiba.
Archie Cameron also saw a need for Christian literature in the area. He established the Bethel Bookstore in his home and today that bookstore has grown to be an important source of literature for towns along the north coast.
In 2000, the mayor of La Ceiba honored Archie Cameron as “The Chosen Son of the City” (man of the year). In addition, the Association of Pastors of La Ceiba recognized him as the most effective pioneer missionary in the area.
In an excerpt from his newly released book, Tio Archie, Steve Dennie, communications director for the United Brethren in Christ Church, describes Archie’s most cherished recognition. “The many residents of La Ceiba fondly refer to Archie Cameron as “Tio Archie” (Uncle Archie). All who know him—the young and the old, those of position and status, and those of common means—know Archie Cameron to be a man who unconditionally loves and serves them. Everything that bears the name “United Brethren” in Honduras today is done in Spanish and bears the imprint of Archie Cameron.”
Lloyd Spencer has had a fruitful and dynamic ministry. After his graduation in 1964 from Jamaica Bible College where he received a diploma in Biblical studies, Lloyd began serving his first parish at Mt. Pleasant, the mother church of the of the United Brethren work in Jamaica. Three years later, while leading the church in Malvern, he was one of eight Jamaican pastors ordained in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.
From 1969-1988, Lloyd Spencer faithfully served the church in York Town. During this time, his passion for evangelism enabled his congregation to begin a new outreach that resulted in the founding of the May Pen church in 1986. Three years later, he also founded the Kingston Community church, an extension project that had begun in a YMCA building at Half Way Tree.
In 1991, Lloyd was granted a one-year scholarship leave to study at the Huntington College Graduate School of Christian Ministries. One year later, with his Diploma in Theology in hand, Lloyd returned to Jamaica and immediately began recruiting other pastors to attend the Graduate School. United Brethren leaders such as Rev. Donald Dacres and Rev. Winston Smith found their way to Huntington College because of Lloyd’s encouragement.
Since 1992, Lloyd Spencer has been pastor of the Faith United Brethren Church and the Miracle United Brethren Church, both in Kingston. From 1992-1994, he was a member of the Committee for the Establishment of Religious Radio Station and the District Superintendent of the Jamaica conference. Today, Lloyd serves as the General Superintendent of the Jamaica Conference, a post he has held since 1997, and remains an active member of the Jamaica Bible College Board of Governors and the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals where he serves as vice president and executive member.
In an interview with former colleague, Eleanor Datema, now a Huntington, Indiana resident, Spencer was described as “a quiet and unassuming man, calm in the face of adversity and gentle in his approach to others. Woven throughout Datema’s stories of her interaction with Spencer the following themes resound. “Lloyd Spencer is deeply respected for his wisdom, counsel, sacrificial lifestyle, and personal integrity. His courage to confront tough situations and his determination to address the moral degeneration of the communities surrounding his churches has made him a bold disciple of Christ, an impeccable witness of the Truth. Through the spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer, he has marshaled the armies of God to defeat spiritual forces intent on bringing dishonor and disgrace to the Church and to Christ.
Lloyd’s direct and powerful preaching has enabled hundreds of people to confess their sin and find grace in the name of Jesus. His life and vision for evangelism serve as an inspiration to all who have a passion for sharing the Gospel.
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