Robert W.T. McKinney, GCI senior pastor in the Bahamas, was born in Freeport, Bahamas. “I was born on December 19, 1961, then born again on December 20, 1981.”
Robert first became aware of WCG when only eight years of age. “I grew up in Freeport, where I graduated from Hawksbill High School in 1979. One week later I began my employment as a banker, and was fast-tracked to become a bank manager. My experience was to prove very beneficial later in pastoral ministry. I became pastor of our congregation in May 1995 after the senior pastor left over the changes. Prior to that, I served as assistant pastor.”
Robert was always interested in attending Ambassador College, but it took a dramatic event to get him to actually send in an application. “When my childhood friend Nathania Curling was accepted in 1984, my interest in attending intensified. At that time I was interested in her and the thought of losing her led to my applying. I was accepted the following year (1985). We were married a year later and continued as married students. We both graduated in 1989, and since then, she has been my partner in ministry.” Robert continued: “My wife and I thank God for GCI (she grew up in the church as well), and there is no other place we would rather be than right here with God’s people in this part of his vineyard.”
Robert and Nathania have been married 28 years this month (July). “We have three children, Robert Jr, (24), who is completing a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, Gabrielle, (22), who is a pre-med student at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, and Ann-Marie, (12), who will enter the 9th grade in September.”
Robert says what he loves most about being a pastor and being part of GCI has to do with connections. “As a pastor I really enjoy seeing people connect with Jesus and begin to grow spiritually. I also enjoy performing weddings. I truly treasure our international and local connections as a church fellowship.”
When asked about his passion, Robert said, “One of my greatest passions is helping the young people see that Jesus and his way of life is really fun. I especially enjoy working with them at summer camps.” In his personal home life, Robert said he also enjoys gardening.
His most memorable pastoral moments include his family. “Over the years I have baptized a lot of people, but my most memorable moment as a pastor has been baptizing my three children. Other memorable moments have been planting a Sunday congregation in our fellowship and overseeing the purchase and acquisition of our church premises.”
Living in the Bahamas, it’s no surprise that Robert loves the beach. “I feel closest to God when I go to my particular spot on the beach, which I have been doing for more than 20 years. There I enjoy a nice, gentle breeze on my face, smell the ocean, listen to the waves lapping in and meditate on the goodness of God. I always find it to be a time of refreshing and renewal.”