FREEPORT: Dr. Myles Munroe, the leader of Bahamas Faith Ministries International (BFMI), his wife, Ruth, and seven others died in a plane crash in Freeport Sunday evening.
BFMI’s Assistant Senior Pastor Richard Pinder, BFMI Youth Pastor Lavard Parks and his wife, Radel, were among the victims.
Authorities said the Lear 36 executive jet carrying the victims departed from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau at 4:07 p.m. and crashed after hitting a crane while making an approach for landing at Grand Bahama International Airport at 5:10 p.m. Although the plane was flying at a low altitude due to inclement weather, an official cause of the accident has not been determined and an investigation is underway.
Dr. Munroe, 60, was travelling to Grand Bahama to host the 2014 Global Leadership Forum, an event he organized. As of press time, a message was posted on the Myles Munroe International Facebook page indicating that the Global Leadership Forum would continue. Munroe and his wife recently returned from a three-week tour of eight east African nations.
In addition to founding BFMI, the internationally known Munroe was also president of Myles Munroe International (MMI). The BFMI website described Munroe as a “lecturer, teacher, life coach, government consultant, and leadership mentor”.
The tragic accident has prompted an outpouring of condolences.
On his Facebook page on Sunday, president of the Bahamas Christian Council, Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson, urged people to “join me in prayer for BFM and the entire Bahamas as we reflect on the life of Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife and team who went down in a plane crash today”.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said he is “deeply saddened” by the accident and offered condolences on behalf of the government and the people of the Bahamas to the families of those who perished in the crash.
“It is utterly impossible to measure the magnitude of Dr. Munroe’s loss to the Bahamas and to the world,” he said in a statement.
“He was indisputably one of the most globally recognizable religious figures our nation has ever produced. His fame as an ambassador for the Christian ministry preceded him wherever in the world he travelled, whether in the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Europe or Africa.
“He was a towering force who earned the respect and admiration not only of Christian adherents but of secular leaders both here at home and around the world.
“Although Dr. Munroe and I disagreed on some matters over the years, I regarded him as both a personal friend and spiritual mentor. I leaned on his counsel in a number of important matters, most recently in the consultations with religious leaders on the pending constitutional bills, a process in which he took an enthusiastic and constructive part, helping even to re-draft one of the bills that had met with a great deal of public controversy.”
Opposition Leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis, expressed his sorrow in a statement released on Sunday evening.
“Tonight my heart is heavy and like millions around the world we are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of one of the world’s most noted spiritual leaders,” he said. “This tragedy is both difficult to comprehend and accept but we know that Pastor Myles and his colleagues and family all enjoyed a deep and personal relationship with God and as such are resting in his arms.”
Myles and Ruth Munroe are survived by their daughter, Charisa and son, Myles Jr. (Chairo) Munroe.