Pastor Al Ebanks, leader of the Agape Family Worship Centre in George Town and chairman of the Cayman Islands Constitutional Commission, died 18 November after battling a long illness. He was 52.
Pastor Al, as he was widely known in Grand Cayman, likely will be remembered most for his church services and efforts to assist the less fortunate in the local community. But he also was chairman of the constitutional commission responsible for reviewing the Cayman Islands’ governance arrangements with the United Kingdom, as well as former chairman of the Cayman Ministers Association and the government’s Health Services Authority Board.
Pastor Al, whose full legal name is Alden A. Ebanks, was born on 20 January, 1959 in Grand Cayman. In March 1979, he married Kathleen Bodden.
Pastor Al was ordained a Christian minister in 1987 and became the full-time pastor at Agape. In 2003, he was one of 500 people recognised as a nation-builder on Cayman’s Quincentennial Wall of Honour.
Pastor Al also was a recipient of the Certificate and Badge of Honour from the Cayman Islands government.
“When I heard of his passing, I was beside myself, distraught,” said Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush. “I really didn’t expect him to pass now. The country has lost a good man.”
Among his profound community involvement, Pastor Al served as co-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce working group on constitutional modernisation in the Cayman Islands and in this role, addressed the United Nations Select Committee of 24 on Decolonisation at the UN Headquarters in New York. In 2009, he travelled to London with a delegation to finalise the Cayman Islands’ new constitution, which was approved by voters later that year.
Pastor Al also helped lead efforts to process applications and identify those most in need of assistance following Hurricane Ivan. During the years, he had also served with the Marine Institute and the National Youth Commission.
Pastor Al was chairman of the Health Services Authority Board from August 2005 until September 2009. He was chairman of the Cayman Ministers Association from 2001 to 2006.
In January 2010, Pastor Al was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.
“Our community has lost a loyal servant, a friend and a visionary,” said Wil Pineau, chief executive officer of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.
Pastor Al is preceded in death by his eldest son. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and three children.