Russell Tomlinson recalls his time ministering at New Testament Church of God with great fondness.
The American pastor spent six years at the Somerset church in the early 1990s.
“The thing I remember most about my time in Bermuda is the acceptance and hospitality people showed me,” Mr Tomlinson said. “I was welcomed with open arms into the community and as a result was able to pour into others’ lives and offer them the encouragement to make a change for the better.
“When I lived on the island, we saw many people get better and do better and that’s what we hope to keep going through our upcoming event.”
He’ll return here next weekend to host Uplift Bermuda with his Bermudian wife Cindy Trimm Tomlinson, a Christian author and motivational speaker.
On Good Friday, the powerhouse couple will share an inspirational message with help from gospel artists Last Call, Olivia Hamilton and Cherann Brangman.
Saturday’s festivities include more live performances, bouncy castles, face-painting, an Easter egg hunt and kite flying.
“Cindy and I actually met for the first time as colleagues when I was living in Bermuda,” Mr Tomlinson said. “To this day, the island is another home to us. People there have always been very kind and generous to us both so I think we are actually just giving back based on the hospitality we have received as a result of being a part of the community there. I guess you could say Bermuda is reaping from us what it has sown into us.”
Since getting married last October, the duo have been able to expand their individual ministries and platforms.
Scripture says two are better than one; Mr Tomlinson maintains that since joining forces with his wife he is better, his ministry is better and the impact he can make on the world is far better.
“Everything across the board is better as a result of our union and we are taking what has happened for us and sharing the goodness that God has given us with everybody that we come into contact with,” he said.
“That’s what we are creating in Bermuda. We believe this event will give people a time of encouragement and inspiration and that this will be a time of healing.
“People are coming to our events with broken hearts and broken lives and we just believe an uplifting message can bring about a space for healing for individuals, households and the community as well.”
Mr Tomlinson has been involved in ministry for more than 30 years. At 21, he got tired of his “self-defeating lifestyle”, having reached a breaking point in his life.
“One day, I decided there has got to be a better way at life than what I am living,” he said. “I remembered when I was a child, my grandmother would call Jesus her ‘Saviour’. That made no sense to me at that time, but as I became an adult I said, ‘Lord, if you are real, I welcome you into my life and if you could change me for the better and help me to live a life where I can begin to be productive, then I open my heart to you.’ Immediately I experienced a change and I have been in ministry ever since. I never looked back.”
With plenty of fun on the menu, he’s hoping for a great turnout next weekend
“We’ve got live entertainment and Powergirl Trina will be there hosting and she will be reaching out to folks from all walks of life and encouraging them,” he said.
“We will have vendors there that will have great goods and an Easter egg hunt for the children as well. There will be great gospel music and I believe DJ Chubb from Vibe 103FM will be with us. It’s a line-up of some of Bermuda’s best and brightest and the goal is to attract people all throughout Bermuda. No one is off limits. Anyone can come, bring their kids and have a great day of fun and inspiration.”
• Uplift Bermuda takes place at TN Tatem Middle School in Warwick beginning at 7pm on Friday and 10am on Saturday. Admission is free. Look for Uplift Bermuda on Facebook.