Bishop Newton Cole: My Thoughts…
What does it really mean to be a man? By examining Genesis 2, and treating Adam as the prototype of masculinity, we can find elements of true manhood. Specifically, these elements are revealed; Purpose/Work, Moral Responsibility, Family Relationship, Wisdom and Declaration.
Bishop Newton Cole has passed on, but he was a true “Genesis Man”. He worked all his life to make his way and provide for his family. No job was beneath him if it was provision for those he loved dearly. No job was too menial if it propelled his ability to minister.
His purpose was iron clad – he was God’s “Yes Man”. The word “no” was not his response vocabulary to the Lord. Bishop Cole was God’s faithful minister. Nothing was more important than being a “blessing” in the hands of the Lord. He functioned as ABM leader (Pastoral Care), and Sunday school teacher and bus driver, CPMA leader (Heritage Ministry), VLB leader (Youth Ministry), Evangelist, Pastor and Bishop.
He possessed a wisdom that was evident, and a by-product of living and tabernacle(ing) with God. He was never content with just dispensing advice, but he would always challenge and teach with a question -like a godly, modern day Socrates. There was patience in his wisdom. If Bishop Cole wanted to “talk” with you about something, (he never rushed ahead) be sure to know that it was the third thing on the list!
He was playful and youthful even in his wisdom. I recall being a young lad and I made an appointment to see him in his office to (as tradition dictates) ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I remember thinking, “How can I get this over as fast as I possibly can.” I was nervous; he had been my pastor longer than I had been alive. Before I could burst out with my goal, he held up a hand –I’m sure there was a twinkle in his eye– and said “Let’s breathe a word of prayer…” I tell you, it was the longest prayer I’ve ever experienced in my life.
He was a man of priority. Family responsibility was paramount. Being there for his family was a driving force in his life. Being a father and a husband was his reason for existing as a man. The week before he passed away I planned to accompany my mother to Jamaica for my Aunt’s funeral. His condition was uncertain, and up until the day before I was scheduled to leave, I wasn’t sure if could take the trip. How could I be so far from my wife if he passed during the week I was away? So, I said to the Lord, if he is okay tonight (the night before I was supposed to leave) I will go.
I’m not sure how much input we have into our own passing, but at the very least, I imagine his prayer was, “Lord, don’t take me until Israel gets back.”
(He died the same day I got back from my trip.) He not only cared for his family until the end, but his two children stayed faithful active in the Lord and His service, and this is no doubt a clear legacy of his commitment to family.
He was a man of moral responsibility. He had a sense of right and wrong, and nothing… nothing could move that river. Integrity and honesty were hallmark pillars in his personal life and worship and ministry. Bishop Cole was a man of impeccable character.
He was a man of declaration. He used his words to build up and create. He was positive. He told me (and I’m sure many others) that “I could do anything.” He gave me (and many others) opportunity in ministry and he made the ordinary person feel that he or she were up to any task.
We will miss him. I will miss him. The angels are rejoicing -he has increased the property value in heaven. The only unfortunate fact is that there is one less “Genesis Man”, but we believe that his legacy will inspire many more.
I leave you with the words on the tombstone of my Grandmother Medora Ellis;
“God may take our loved ones from us, but never from our hearts.”