PAW Statesman, Bishop Thomas J. Weeks (1916-2013)

Image

Bishop Thomas John Weeks was born the eleventh and youngest child of Abraham and Grace Weeks on the island of Montserrat, British West Indies, June 1, 1916.  Bishop Weeks received his primary and secondary education in Montserrat. After completing his education, he became a tailor apprentice until he moved to Aruba due to the poor economics conditions in Montserrat. He remained in Aruba doing construction work for four years.

         During his childhood in Montserrat, Bishop Weeks met Susan E. Wade, the daughter of Walter and Catherine Wade and the younger sister of one of his friends. Over the years, their affection for one another grew. But his initial proposal of marriage to her was rejected. However, after several years she moved to Aruba and he proposed to her again and she affectionately said, “Yes !” Bishop Weeks and Susan Wade were happily married on October 26, 1940. Two months into the marriage, Bishop Weeks was laid off from his job and the newlyweds moved back to Montserrat. There Bishop Weeks began working for his father-in-law, Walter Wade, in his shipping business.

         In 1941, his passion to help alleviate the injustices that caused World War II, drove Bishop Weeks to Canada to join the allied armed forces. In 1942, after his discharge from the service, Bishop Weeks immigrated to America where several of his elder siblings had taken up residence. He sent for his wife who had remained in Montserrat while he was in the army. Susan arrived in America on August 3, 1943. Since the time Bishop and Sister Weeks arrived in America, they have lived in Boston, Massachusetts, where God has blessed and prospered them and He continues to order their footsteps.

         Bishop, who is a lover and advocate of education, pursued higher education at the Boston Clerical Business School from which he graduated. He also studied at Northeastern University, Harvard University, Boston University and Aenon Bible College.

         As a child, Bishop Weeks was raised in the Christian Trade Mission. Evangelist Susan Weeks was raised in Pilgrim Holiness. Subsequently, once in America, it took a short time for Bishop to experience a pull from the Lord and he joined the Faithful Church of Christ under the pastorate of the late Suffragan Bishop E.T. Payne. He was baptized at the Faithful Church of Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit in 1942. After her arrival in America, it did not take long for Evangelist Weeks to also follow in her husband’s footsteps.

         Church work, ministry, and dedication were not a novice experience to Bishop. He and his sister, Evangelist Hannah Flowers, as young children organized a youth prayer meeting which was attended by both young and old six evenings a week for a period of four years. So, it was not strange for him to put all of his energy into serving God’s people. Hence, while at the Faithful Church of Christ, Bishop Weeks was appointed and served as a  deacon.

           In 1944, they moved their membership to Emmanuel Temple under the pastorate of the late Suffragan Bishop Percy Jordan, where Bishop Weeks continued to serve as a deacon. Over the next 14 years he served in the positions of Sunday School Superintendent, Church Secretary, member of the Board of Trustee, field worker of the Missionary Department, and Chairman of Transportation for the Aged. He also worked in the Massachusetts State Council as the State Sunday School Superintendent and the secretary for the Brotherhood Department.

         Bishop Weeks was called to the ministry in 1956 but remained and served at Emmanuel Temple until 1958 when he had a vision of “The Fruit Tree.” On a flight from Montserrat, Bishop Weeks had a vision of a tree filled with fruit. In the vision, he noted that the tree was in a specific location. The next day after his arrival home, he decided to investigate the location where he had seen the tree in his vision. He found it to be an empty storefront, and recognized it was the place where he was to start his ministry. Bishop Weeks secured the storefront and after weeks of hard work, cleaning, and preparing, the building was ready for services. Bishop and Evangelist Weeks started their first ministry, the Bethel Tabernacle Pentecostal Church, located at 798 Tremont Avenue in Boston, MA, on February 28, 1958. That same year the church was brought into the Massachusetts State Council under the leadership of the late Bishop Samuel Grimes who was Bishop’s mentor and friend.

         After two and a half years the church had four auxiliaries: Sunday School, Missionary, Young People, and Brotherhood. Clearly, the Bethel Tabernacle Church ministry had outgrown the storefront. Bishop Weeks then moved the church to 712 Shawmut Avenue in Boston. In 1976, as the membership continued growing, the church moved to 10 Saint George Street in the South End of Boston. It was at this location, after 36 years, December 4, 1994 Bishop Weeks resigned from the pastorate of Bethel Tabernacle and submitted himself to the new Pastor, Suffragan Bishop Gwendolyn G. J. Weeks. At age 93, he continues to faithfully serve his pastor, his church, and the body of Christ with all of his heart, strength, and resources.

         While pastoring, Bishop Weeks transitioned as well in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Bishop Grimes elevated him from minister to District Elder. He went on to be named Suffragan Bishop in 1966 and was sent to minister on the island of Barbados. During his year in Barbados, Bishop Grimes passed away. In 1967, Bishop Weeks was elevated from the office of Suffragan Bishop to full Bishop and he was placed in the Caribbean to organize the Caribbean Council of the P.A.W. In 1968, he was transferred from the Caribbean Council and placed over the Massachusetts State Council as the diocesan. This position was held for 41years and under his leadership the council expanded, by-laws were amended, and Suffragan Bishops were elevated to assist the diocesan in accomplishing the vision for the Council. The name was changed to the Northeast District Council to reflect the expanded geographic area which includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The Council purchased a bus for a church in Montserrat and acquired a church on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. In August of 2008, Bishop Weeks resigned and presently holds the title of Emeritus Bishop within the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.

         Following are the names of some of the positions that Bishop Weeks held in the organization;

  • Lay Director on the Aenon Board
  • Chairman of the 1,000 member Aenon Alumni Club
  • Treasurer of Aenon’s National Alumni Auxiliary
  • Director for the Brotherhood Department
  • Director for the Youth Department
  • Elected Member of the Bishop’s Council
  • Member of the Bishop’s Judiciary Council

         Bishop Weeks has ostensibly been a strong believer of the propagation of the faith over the years. Heretofore, he founded the Bethel Tabernacle Pentecostal Church in Boston, Massachusetts, the Bethel Apostolic Church in Oaks Bluff, Massachusetts, and the Apostolic Faith Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the Bethel Apostolic Church and the Emanuel Apostolic Church, both on the island of Montserrat.

         Bishop and Evangelist Weeks’ lives have been blessed with children and their spouses. They are like their parents in that they love God and work in their respective ministries. They are named; Deacon John and May Weeks, Apostle Thomas and Leona Weeks, Bishop Leo and Joyce Smith, Brother Victor and Betty Weeks, Suffragan Bishop Gwendolyn G.J. Weeks and Brother Eric Weeks. Bishop and Evangelist Weeks have also been blessed to live to see and have an active part in the lives of their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

         Since his retirement from the pastorate and the diocesan, Bishop Weeks has remained active, not only in his home assembly but also in the Eastern Caribbean Council of Nations. He is the chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Council of Nations. He also teaches a weekly bible class for senior citizens in his community.

        Throughout his ministry, the desire to see people achieve their highest potential caused Bishop Weeks to be a father, mentor, brother, and friend to many of the ministers and constituents of the P.A.W.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s