At its recently meeting in St Lucia – July 18 and 19 – the Continuation Committee (the Board of Directors) of the Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) re-appointed the incumbent General Secretary – Gerard Granado – for another four-year term of office effective retroactively to March 1, 2007.
Upon assuming office as General Secretary eight years ago, Mr Granado initiated a significant process of organisational change within the CCC.
Described by the General Secretary as “re-founding”, this change process has resulted in major programmatic, structural and operational shifts in the organisation.
As an integral component of this thrust, new vital regional and international partnerships have been forged with organisations such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID); UNAIDS; and the then United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP).
The most recent partnerships of this kind have been with the Latin America/Caribbean regional office of the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and Huron University College (HUC) of the University of Western Ontario, (UWO), Canada.
In both these instances formal Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) have been signed. In the case of the latter, the outcome has been a Master in Theological Studies (MTS) to be offered by the CCC from a Caribbean perspective.
During his tenure of office, Mr Granado has also placed a major emphasis on the establishment of what he refers to as ecumenical “spaces”. Two such spaces are the Regional Forum for National Councils of Churches (NCCs) and the Regional Ecumenical Institute (REI).
A major focus on Youth (Leadership) Development, especially in respect of youth-at-risk has also been given priority by the General Secretary.
In November 2005, Mr Granado was unanimously selected by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to serve as Chair of the CARICOM /PANCAP (Pan Caribbean Partnership against AIDS) Joint Working Committee for Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) in the region.
For the quadrennium 2003 – 2007, the General Secretary is also a sitting member of the Sub-committee on Mission, Relations and Witness (MRW) of the Board of Church World Service and Witness (CWSW) of the USA.
Speaking on behalf of the CCC’s Praesidium, Bishop Donald J Reece commended the General Secretary for proving himself to be a “competent and visionary sentinel in the furthering of the objectives of the Caribbean Conference of Churches.”
He further emphasised that: “it was quite evident that this visionary General Secretary of the CCC has been true to his word in attempting to put the organisation on surer footing, not only financially, but also theologically in terms of the newly launched and accredited programme of Theological studies that the CCC, in collaboration with the Huron University College, now makes available to one and all in the region.”
Mr Granado was first appointed as General Secretary of the CCC in 1999.